Photo of a sign pointing to order and chaos
Restoring order by having a really good clear out at home can unclutter your mind as well

Change your life: Decluttering

12 January, 2015

There’s nothing like a really good clear out to make you feel great and to literally and metaphorically ‘clear some space’ in your life.

If your home or office needs a visit from the Decluttering Police, here are a few tips to help you to be ruthless about those items you are finding it hard to make a decision about.

Paper Mountain: It can be really hard to throw pieces of paper away – especially when the phrase “but I might need to refer to it later” keeps playing in your head. The most useful tip I’ve come across is to ask yourself – If I did need this in the future, is there some way that I could get hold of it again? In other words, could you ask the person who sent it to you to send you another copy? Could you download the information from the internet? Could you somehow reproduce the information in another way?

If the answer is ‘yes’ it’s a lot easier to make the decision to throw it away.

“He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss.” — Leonardo Da Vinci

Clothing, books and other items: If you’re finding it difficult to throw or give something away, try this trick. Get a bin liner, put the items into it, tie it up, put the date on the outside and store it somewhere like the garage or a shed. If you haven’t needed any of the items within twelve months, throw the bag away (or give it to charity) – WITHOUT LOOKING INSIDE!

Ask for help: If you’re still short on will power, choose a friend or colleague who you know to be decisive and ask them to help you. It’s much easier for an outsider to be ruthless.

Hold a Decluttering Party: Make it fun! Get in some treats, and invite some friends round to help you decide which things to keep or which to get rid of. You never know, they might even want to take some of the items off your hands for you!


  • Annabel Sutton is a Professional Certified Coach and Author.  She has lived in Los Angeles and Indonesia; survived earthquakes and riots, lived with head-hunters and enjoyed a portfolio career.  She now enjoys a somewhat quieter life in Somerset!  Her latest book, 52 Ways to Transform Your Life (Weekly Wisdom for Busy People), contains 52 inspiring, quick-to-read life tips and is available from . Find more information at