Clearing Stress by Clearing Clutter

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You you feel overwhelmed by how packed your cupboards are? Need a way to get rid of it all? I’ve always enjoyed having a good sort out. It always seems to me that I end up clearing stress by clearing clutter. So this post is going to give you some great free tips on how you how can do the same.

*This post on decluttering has been updated – it was first published in July 2018

Clearing Stress By Clearing Clutter

When I was young in the 70s, our family had very little. Not only could we not afford it, but I don’t think that society was as throwaway as it is today. The world today seems aimed at pushing us to constantly buy things.

The internet sends us adverts and emails daily telling us of new offers. Magazines tell us of the things that we need in our lives to make us happy. Celebrities show off their new products, enticing us to buy these so we will be like them.

But Is This Really True?


The more stuff we have, the more time we need to tidy and maintain all that stuff. What takes top your space takes up your time. Time tidying, organising, cleaning. 

So the less stuff you have the more time that you have for life. Maintaining less stuff is simpler than dealing with more and more things!

And organizing the stuff really isn’t the solution either… Just reorganising what we have rearranges it, but over time you are still going to need to keep all the clutter tidy and it is just as overwhelming. So the b set idea is just to have a good sort out and clear out and get rid of the things that are weighing you down.

I actually think now that the older I get, the less I really need. The more I have, the more overwhelmed and anxious I am about keeping all these things.

It all seems rather unsustainable. But I do admit to have fallen into the trap of buying too many clothes, too many books and too many things. When I moved into my house 20 years ago, I could fit all of my possessions into one room. Now, over time, with 2 cats, a partner and an almost 7 year old, the rafters are crammed. It’s more than just having a junk drawer, I don’t just have one space or one area, I have a life and home full of used items that could benefit from clutter clearing.

It is time for a house clean and a declutter.

Fancy starting a declutter in 2023? Read this post.

How To Start To Clear The Clutter


To me, one of the most overwhelming parts of beginning clearing out clutter is actually beginning! It can seem really overwhelming to even begin if you are faced with a large amount of stuff. So my biggest tip is to break it down into smaller segments. Pick a small area to think about cleaning. Pick one place such as a cupboard or even a small area of your living room or bedroom.

Often start with my bedroom, as this is where most of the clutter that I accumulate seems to congregate for me. 

So I am going to start my clutter clean up in my closet.

If you are like me you probably have lots of things in your wardrobe that you don’t wear. Hell, some of the things in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn had tags on! So why are we all keeping hold of them?


I think that in getting rid of some of these items we will lose a load of guilt, guilt that we won’t ever get into those expensive designer dresses again. Get rid of the guilt of having bought something that actually didn’t suit us after all, guilt that we never read that pile of books under the bed. By clearing the clutter you are also getting rid of this feeling of guilt, which can only be a good thing, right? Now you are clearing stress by clearing clutter.

Time to clear out – How To Clear Clutter


The mantra I like to use is “Is it beautiful, is it useful?” and if it isn’t either of those things, it is cleared out. Also, if it hasn’t been used in over a year, are you ever going to use it? Out it goes!

I have a 5 bag system when I clear out.
  • The first bag is a black bin bag. Items that need to be thrown away. You could also have a green bin bag or bin for recyclable items. 
  • The second bag is an old large store bag ( I am also betting that if you are anything like me you have a hoard of these somewhere!) which I will use to place items that may be able to be resold. If it is new, still has the labels on, is designer, is fashionable, is expensive or is vintage, it is certainly worth trying to sell it on.
  • The third bag I use for things that have genuine sentimental value. Sentimental items can be really difficult to sort out when decluttering, especially if you have an emotional attachment and find it hard to be parted from such items. How will I determine whether they are truly sentimental? I will put them in a box for 6 months, and make a note to revisit and declutter that box again. If I still feel the same in 6 months they can stay.
  • The fourth bag is where I put any items that I think I may be able to reuse. Such as clothing that I could upcycle into leggings for my little girl or maybe even to make a rag rug?
  • The final bag is for broken or torn items that I think I may want to keep.If it is damaged or torn, are you going to mend it? I give myself a couple of weeks to sew or mend any broken items. Any longer than that and it cannot stay any longer. Bye-bye.

But I spent a fortune on those things!

I hear you! Well, you are never going to recover all the money spent, but it is still worth thinking about recouping some cash from your trash. Maybe you could sell some of it on eBay?. Or at a car boot sale, like my friend Rosie does.  And some of the things are not worth a bean, but isn’t it a good feeling to have cleared some space? Its definitely the case that that you clear the clutter and breathe!

Going forwards, remember that the best way to prevent clutter is not buying it in the first place. If you don’t buy it you’ll never have to declutter it!

Love This Post About How To Get Rid Of Clutter? Why Not Read Some Of My Other Slow Living And Organization Ideas?

Have you started clearing clutter? Let me know how you have got on, I would love to hear how you have started to clear your clutter.

Also, I have lots of other posts on improving your home life, organizing your spaces,  and living more simply and intentionally. Why not read these other posts I have written?

I hope that this has given you some good ideas and tips on how to start clearing clutter in your own home. I would love to hear how you get on! Let me know in the comments, or find me on social media

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Clearing Clutter - How To Start To Clear Clutter. Tips to help sort out, get rid & organize when you clear the clutter from your life & home




6 Replies to “Clearing Stress by Clearing Clutter”

  1. Mackenzie Glanville says:

    A good declutter does leave me feeling so refreshed, and less stressed! I agree that often during the process you can look at the consumption and feel guilty about the waste of money and worse the impact on the environment. I try to donate as much as possible, as the children grew out of toys, if they were in good condition we gave them to kindergartens that were in poorer communities who had less resources. The feeling of a more organised space even in cupboards we don’t look at much just leaves you feeling lighter. Thank you for linking this up with #ABloggingGoodTime

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Certainly I feel better for a clear out. I’m not clutter free unfortunately but I’m making a real good effort! #ablogginggoodtime

  2. Jean says:

    Jo, I like your “I give myself a couple of weeks to sew or mend any broken items. Any longer than that and it cannot stay any longer. Bye-bye.” I’ve often let things that needed mending stay around too long! Once you’ve got everything pared down, it’s easy to maintain by following the “One In One Out” rule. If I buy a new “whatever” I have to get rid of at least one same-category item. It would be lovely to sell some items, but I know I would have them hanging around way too long just like the to-be-mended items, so I just donate them immediately.

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I was doing the one in- one out rule for a long time. But it all went by the wayside when I got pregnant, and now in 3 years I am over-run once more. So definitely time to get back to where I was before. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Ruth says:

    So many great tips! I feel so much more relaxed when I declutter a space that has accumulated too many things. I totally agree that we are constantly bombarded with messages to buy more things. When I was a kid you just bought something and used it until it was no longer repairable. How times have changed!


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