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How to de-clutter your house

Updated on September 9, 2014

Set to it and Get Rid of all the Unnecessary Clutter

We all do it. We collect things, put them in a drawer and then never use them in the next twenty years. Of course it may be true that the minute we throw them out we find an essential use for them. But then we can't have it all ways.Are you one of those people who when they move house take everything with them and stack it all in the garage and there it stays? It is choking your life. Get rid of it.Take a look at the photos. As you see I am an expert in clutter. Before I end this page I intend to be an expert in de-cluttering.

All photos in this hub are mine.

The coffee table - I can't see a coffee table.

A voyage of discovery

No I can't see a coffee table. But let's see what we do have here. To the right is a heater kept for additional heat in winter, but this photo was taken in August! There is no need for this heater to be in the room. It can go in the large cupboard at the end of the corridor. There are several candles present. I very rarely light candles so why are they here? They must be put away or given away. There is a lid from a biscuit tin. Find the tin and put it on. It is empty. Do you really need this tin? Of course they are useful, but if they are cluttering up your life they are strangling you and getting in the way of your creativity. You will see in the next picture you already have a biscuit tin like that. Perhaps I need two. Now, now think positively, we are going to sort out this mess and live more freely. What is that handbag doing under the coffee table. See it in the next picture. It has a broken handle, therefore you cannot use it, therefore it needs to be thrown out. It is clutter.

It's a nice bag but the handle is broken

Wow that's so much better

All those books sorted and put away and the rubbish thrown out. Now we can see the coffee table in all its glory, glass and wood. The effect on our mood is tremendous. This coffee table is upbeat and cheerful whereas before there was a heavy, lumbering effect. It really is important to get rid of clutter.There's also a smaller heater in the corner for those chilly evenings.

See that glass and wood

Tins and plastic boxes

Do I really need these?

One of those tins and those two plastic boxes are going out in the rubbish. There's a part of me wants to cling on to them, they look so useful, but I know they will just sit in a cupboard and not be used. I am not a great cook so I will not be wanting to freeze anything in them and if I did, they are too big for my needs. There I've talked myself into it, they are going.

It is so easy to hoard completely unnecessary things. How many of us have a drawer with a key in it and we don't know what door the key was for? Yet we hang on to it. Do you have any little bottles of cheap, gone off perfume in the house? Sling them. Think of all the lovely space you will have for hoarding new things.

The big cupboard, or is it a little room

What should I throw out?

What lovely cardboard boxes, so strong and useful, but they have to go. The only things that belong here are the vacuum cleaner, the steps the guitar and the stand for the keyboard. Probably I should get rid of the guitar and the keyboard too, to good homes, of course. That pink shopping bag is broken, out it goes. The cereal box is there in case I wanted to make something for an illustration in church. I'm sure I could find something better, so out it goes. This is very therapeutic, getting rid of all this clutter,you should try it.

I'm fortunate I've been here only nine months so I haven't had long to accumulate very much. As you will see I am not a tidy person by nature, but I do see the value of this exercise. There is much to be gained from de-cluttering.

Look at all that lovely space

More behind the door

Is it really necessary?

There are three cardboard boxes in this pile. They are all going, along with last year's Christmas cards I was keeping for a friend. All very good, but I can't see me taking them to her. So be firm get rid of them. That small box is for carrying cakes. I used it at Easter. I'm not a great maker of cakes, So "Goodbye box." It's going to be wonderful to get easily into this little room.

What a difference

Not too bad

Books are great

On the top shelf I have my precious diaries. They certainly wont be going, they are a record of what it was like to live in the second half of the twentieth century. I haven't written much this century, I've been too busy living. I used to write so that I could feel I was living, now I'm just getting on with living. I think I can leave this shelf alone.

Kitchen clutter

Plants and books

It's true to say that a good session of washing up would work miracles here, but why am I holding on to that sad chrysanthemum. I really should avoid house plants for their sake as much as mine. Also it is very good to keep most things in the cupboards. Things like the coffee and sugar and tea. This de-cluttering is going to have to be an on-going part of life. Clutter has a habit of creeping up on me when I'm not looking. I'm a sucker for the sweet tones of a friend saying, "As we are moving would you like any of our books we don't want any more." "How kind," I say and come home with a plastic bag full of such wondrous titles as, Friendship, Arthritis,rheumatism and Psoriasis, A man called Peter and Missionary heroes of Oceania. What a useful lot. Well they have moved now so I will sneak them to the charity shop.

How nice to have some room

The doctor's surgery

The doctor's surgery is the right place for these magazines. That is if they don't say they are too out of date for them. I've read very little of them in the last 5 years so I'm not likely to start now.

Out of date magazines

Storage Boxes

Some of us, (particularly thinking of me) are never going to succeed in being really clutter-free. My advice then is to have lots of storage boxes. That way the clutter is contained and can be moved out to another room when you have visitaors and want to be tidy. Also it is easier to tackle one box at a time when you want to have a sort out. See below for a selection of handy storage boxes.

To Hoard or not to Hoard

Do you hoard things?

Too Many Clothes

A lot of my problems with hoarding things is left over from my mother who needed to keep and use everything she could in her youth. Things were scarce then, but I am in a very different position. I have at least 18 good pairs of knickers and yet I persist in keeping ones that need mending, which I will in fact never get around to mending. So I must grit my teeth and throw them out. Most of the tights in that drawer below have a ladder in them. The ones that are O.K. are lost among the others. I keep the ones with ladders for wearing under trousers, but by the nature of things there are always more laddered tights than I need to wear under trousers. So here goes and we shall have a half-empty drawer in no time. I also have five pairs of gloves in this drawer. Do you know what I only have one pair of hands. The mittens go first, I can't drive with mittens.

I'm also sorting through my clothes. I have two very nice black skirts. One I have worn once in the last ten years, the other not at all. Obviously I don't feel right in them, so why am I cluttering up my life with them. If this rings a bell with you follow my lead and un-clutter your life too. It's liberating.

I hope what I've shown you will inspire you to take a step to freedom. No longer will your clothes be ready to leap at you from the wardrobe. They will be tamed and hanging in tidy ranks instead of bursting out to get you. They will lie flat and acquiescent in their drawers instead of cascading onto the floor. Break free from the clutter

Knickers galore

Saving tights like they're going out of fashion

You can feel great too

Would you like to break free from clutter?

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    • toknowinfo profile image


      4 years ago

      It always feels better to reduce clutter. It is nice to see what you did from start to finish. The hard part is keeping it that way.

    • Jo11 profile image


      6 years ago

      I would write more accolades about your lens right now, except - I'm off now to de-clutter...

    • JJNW profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      YES - clutter makes me nuts - it's a love/hate thing, lol. Very useful and clever lens. Great "stuff."

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice! I could use these tips :)

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful lens!! I laughed out loud when I read the part about throwing out the magazines because you've read very little of them in the last five years so are you likely to start now! The reason I laughed is because that's me too! I've got all the magazines from years ago, and why exactly am I saving them?

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Can I have that pink bowl? I just kidding. I have a collection of the pink. Some of it is in boxes. I am going to get rid of our NatGeos. All of them are on CD, you know. Good work in this and the clutter.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      It's amazing how clutter sneaks up on us. I have half a dozen items to put away, but days go by and still they sit there. Tomorrow, for sure, I'll get them stashed in their proper places.

      Lensrolled to my HELP - My Desk is buried lens, and to Get Rid of 50 Things.

    • Snozzle profile image


      9 years ago

      I try not to get too cluttered generally - but really that's a fib. It looks that way on appearance but I tend to keep things (out of sight) just in case they might one day become useful/valuable etc.

      De-cluttering definitely makes you feel better though.


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      If you don't "LOVE IT" then throw it out!! I've had to get rid of pack-rat mentality. My first thing is keeping the kitchen sink shining, the rest of house will follow. Our closets are the worst to pile up. Thanks for showing great tips!

    • Laniann profile image


      9 years ago

      So true we feel so much better when all the clutter is gone. But somehow it is hard to part with at times. We have to be brave. :) 5*s

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      9 years ago from USA

      Oh please come unclutter my house next! Nice work!

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 

      9 years ago

      Don't worry, I will bring my own clutter the next time I come to stay :)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Excellent lens, Liz! You're so right about collecting clutter - I hate it when I do it. Somehow, it keeps piling up. I like to be organized myself, but sometime it's just an organized mess and I just love to de-clutter, it's very relieving! I need to do it more often. ;)

      I loved the before and after pictures, it adds great value to your lens. I was encouraged to de-clutter right away...great job! :)


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