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De-clutter and Simplify Your Life
by Kate Tilmouth

We all live in a fast moving world full of things. We have more belongings in our life than in any other time in our history as we can now afford to have more. However this is not necessarily a good thing if we let our desire to own things overwhelm us and plunge us into debt and worry.

One of the benefits of choosing to live a more frugal lifestyle is that not only do you spend less and so avoid the pitfalls of mounting debt but we also simplify our lives and reduce the clutter surrounding us. Many things can cause stress but one of the most overlooked areas of the causes of stress is clutter. Living in an over crowded space full of untidiness and a lack of space can be very stressful and difficult to think clearly in.

Clutter can be caused and defined as many different things. It can range from:

  • Too many toys left lying around the house
  • Piles of un-ironed clothing
  • Wardrobes bulging with items of unworn clothes
  • Magazine and newspapers left scattered on the kitchen table
  • Display surfaces crowed with too many dusty ornaments
  • Rooms full of furniture either too big for the room or mainly unused.

These are just a few examples of things cluttering up our lives, our homes and our minds. By taking a more frugal approach to belongings and our home environment we can remove at least one aspect of stress from our lives and create space in which to be able to think more clearly and objectively in.

To make a start at de-cluttering your home you will need a few items to help you sort out all the mess. The basics are or course old cardboard boxes that can be frugally sourced from your local supermarket and rags for cleaning. A good thick black felt tip pen for labelling boxes for easy identification and a note pad and pen.

The first thing you need to do is to give yourself time to de-clutter your home on a regular basis. Expecting to do it all in one go is unrealistic and boring too, so allocate a set period of time either every day or week and keep to it by using an alarm clock telling you when to stop. This will make the job far more manageable and even fun, especially if you play music while you de-clutter.

The next thing you need to do is to identify what needs to be kept and what doesn't, this can seem rather daunting at first but with note pad in hand walk around the house and ask yourself these questions to help motivate and clarify the situation.

Do I use this item? Do I have another item that does the same thing? What purpose does this item have and does it add anything to my home? Does this item need to be in this room? Does this have any sentimental attachment?

Be ruthless and realistic, the more you can create space and tidiness the more relaxing your home will become. It is also important during this process to have a very clear mental image of how you want each room to look; this will be a very strong motivational image that will spur you on.

You may find that you still end up with far to many items that you want to keep but just don't really have the space for. There are several solutions to this:

You can pay for some extra storage elsewhere, this can be a good solution if you have large items of furniture you wish to keep for the future, but the cost will have to be weighed up against the benefits of keeping the item.

Store the items in attics and basements in labelled boxes.

Create cheap storage solutions within your rooms using cardboard boxes and wrapping paper for decoration.

This last suggestion can be great fun, as you can decorate the boxes in anyway you want to match the décor of your rooms and with a little creativity and flair can even add to a rooms over all look and feel.

De-cluttering your life is a great way to distress your life and can even make you a little money if you decide to sell unwanted items. Most other items can be recycled or given to charity and so has the added bonus of making you feel good about yourself too.

Kate and her partner co-write a site all about living simply and frugally in the modern world. Their second site is a cat friendly site full of cat health and cat care advice. Kate Tilmouth may be contacted at



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