After chucking out numerous decluttering books for various clients it got me thinking............ when does your decluttering book become clutter itself?
Maybe you've thought about having a bit of a sort out and a declutter?
You may have started by buying one of the 1,313 (?!*) books available on decluttering and organising on Amazon. If you bought one, did you read it? Or is it acting as a magnet collecting dust and drawing other stuff on top of it somewhere in your house?
Maybe it's in THAT PILE? You know the "special pile", the one that you are definitely going to sort out this weekend. Special piles can spring up anywhere.
One of my personal favourites is the one at the bottom of the stairs that somehow never quite makes it up. Instead it’s found a new more annoying job of continually almost tripping you over when you’re in a rush to get out of the house!
I don't blame you for buying these books. I used to have a few myself. Mostly they are brilliant. The covers alone are usually so enticing offering the promise of a clean, stress free, top hotel, 24 hour room service, kind of a look lifestyle to them. And the titles promise everything from "life changing" to "total hassle free happiness," all for under £20 - not bad!
Annoyingly these decluttering books don't act by osmosis. Just owning even one of these doesn't seem to actually solve any of your decluttering problems. Even if you piled up all 1,313 all you'd have is a pretty impressive dust collecting, modern sculptural, sky high pile of written help but sadly not much more than that. I know, it seems so unfair that we don't possess any magical Mary Poppins qualities or Samantha's twitchy nose from Bewitched (showing my age now!) to simply make everything move or disappear on its own. The only way to sort it is to do just that, get stuck in and sort it out.
Don't panic……I'm not saying let's just chuck everything away (but if we worked together you'd be amazed at how quickly I can transform a room!). A home full of things can signify a full life. I am talking about stuff that doesn't add to your life, yes, I'm talking clutter. Clutter exists only when those things exert a mental drag on you, or get in the way of living.
Lets face it a lot of us are natural hoarders at heart. The "just in case", or the "oh you never know when a second foot spa may come in handy!" hoarder gene is probably in all of us. But it's how you tame and manage it that gets results. I am working with a wonderful man at the moment who is allowing me to help him do just that. He is really starting to see the results of all our hard work together and he is loving it.
The great thing is once you start, you realise that it’s VERY rewarding to sort the wheat from the chaff. You also rediscover stuff that you completely forgot you had and fall in love with it all over again!
So, as we head into Winter, with Christmas round the corner (don't panic my next blog will help you feel like you've got a band of Santa's little helpers working for you!) and with the prospect of us hanging out more indoors here's a few suggestions to get you started.
I never see decluttering as getting rid of stuff. I always see it as keeping all the wonderful stuff that really matters: all the beautiful things we love and want to be able to see and enjoy.
It would be a great incentive to reward yourself. Give yourself a goal and when you have reached it reward yourself. NO, don't go off buying more STUFF, you know what makes you happy - do that.
Why don't you get someone else to help you. We are not just saying that so you let Please Organise Me do it (well, maybe just a little bit!!). Having someone you trust but who has no emotional attachment to your stuff will be able to show you what to keep.
Always try to finish the job you start. Don't be too ambitious and try to do too much at once. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day!
So, should you buy a decluttering and organising book for yourself or the messy person in your life this Christmas time? Personally I don’t recommend it. Maybe they don't need to read about how socks are happier when they feel respected and rolled nicely in a draw?
Maybe they just need a friend to give them a gentle helping hand. Anyway, you know if you did buy a decluttering book, you’ll only find yourself tripping over it or staring back at you from one of those special piles!