Experts have revealed the eight steps to achieve a clutter-free home

Publish Date
Thursday, 1 June 2017, 4:11PM
Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

Thanks to decluttering gurus such as worldwide sensation Marie Kondo, we've all been hearing that finally ridding our lives of unwanted items is the path to inner peace, not to mention a tidy home.

But a thorough clear out is often easier said than done with many of us struggling to get rid of things because they originally cost a lot of money, or we're sure we'll regret it when we need them at a later date, report the Daily Mail

Now experts from Sainsbury's and Oxfam have put together a guide to getting over the decluttering "guilt" that stands between you and a streamlined wardrobe.

From breaking up the task into "quick wins" to learning how to let go of costly items, these are the eight steps you need to finally get on top of your clutter for good.

1. Tackle it in sections

If you find it difficult to part with your possessions, then trying to tackle your entire wardrobe in one day is bound to fail.

"I recommend tackling it in easily manageable sections - dresses one day, trousers and tops the next - so it doesn't feel like a daunting task," says Fee Gilfeather, Trading Head of Retail Brand for Oxfam.

2. Pick 'quick wins'

If you're struggling to get started, pick out the obvious items to get started with.

Things that are beyond repair or don't fit anymore should be the first to cull, and once you get started you should find that motivation kicks in.

3. Ask yourself how it makes you feel?

The remaining items that are still in good condition and wearable are the hard part.

"A great tip is to try it on and ask yourself 'does it make me feel great?'. If not then get rid of it," Fee suggests.

"You never know, it might make someone else feel great instead."

If you're unsure take your time to try things on. Make sure you're standing in a good light and wearing the right shoes and accessories to really figure out whether it's a piece that still works for you or not.

4. Treat your wardrobe like your living room

If you're struggling to cut back, think of your wardrobe as another room in your house that a guest could walk into at any time.

"Just because you can close the door on your wardrobe doesn't mean it can be a jungle in there," says James Bell, Clothing Sustainability Manager for Sainsbury's.

"With so many of us taking pride in our homes, ask yourself, 'would I be happy for people to see inside my wardrobe?'.
"If the answer is no, it's time to start filling those bags."

5. Ask for feedback

"There are always going to be items that you're dithering over, which will inevitably get put back in the wardrobe and never worn again," says Justin.

"So think about getting a second opinion; whether that's from a friend, partner or housemate, their honest feedback will help you cut down on clutter."

"On the flipside, their compliments will help you feel great in the items that you choose to keep, meaning you'll be more likely to wear them in the future."

6. Stop feeling guilty about value

People often hold on to expensive items because they're determined to get the maximum value out of them.

But that only works if you're going to wear or use it again.

"Be realistic," says Justin. "If you've got a fancy bag that's been gathering dust for years, chances are you're not going to give it another outing."

Something scrunched up in the wardrobe that never gets used has no value at all, no matter how expensive it is.

But if you decide to donate it to charity, it suddenly has value by helping to raise money or even making a life changing difference to someone abroad.

7. Be honest with yourself

Stop telling yourself you're holding on to something because you'll need it in the future, and instead ask yourself when that's going to be.

"Picture when you'll wear the item next, and be honest," Justin explains. "If you're waiting for your next beach holiday or holding on to something for when winter comes, brilliant.
But if you're struggling to picture yourself ever wearing it - in a situation that's likely to happen - it's probably time to part ways."

8. Learn what charities really want

Many of us hang on to old worn out items because we can't bear to part with old favourites, or don't want to add to the millions of tonnes of waste that end up in landfill.

But organisations such as Oxfam will accept a lot of items you might never have considered adding to the charity bag.

"Looking at clothing, it sometimes shocks people to know that we accept bras, but in reality they play a vital role in helping our work abroad," Gill explains.

"Many of them will be sorted and sold in Senegal via our social enterprise project, which creates jobs to help local people escape poverty."

"If damaged or stained garments aren't suitable for resale, anything donated via the Sainsbury's recycling banks can be recycled and turned into new fabrics, or made into new items such as housing insulation, furniture padding and flooring underlay."

"This generates valuable funds for Oxfam and diverts waste from landfill so you can de-clutter your wardrobe while feeling good about the consequences."