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Decluttering Ideas For When You Feel Overwhelmed

Posted on 3 m read

Have you ever decided you’re finally ready to tackle your clutter, only to be stopped in your tracks by overwhelm? If that’s how you’re feeling this post is for you.

I’ve written about some of these aspects in previous blog posts but here’s a little round up of steps you can take to avoid the clutter overwhelm.

1 – Ground yourself

Take a moment to get out of panic and overwhelm so your head’s in a better place to address the clutter. Ways you can get grounded instead of being up in a panic in your head:

  • Go for a walk in nature or do some gardening
  • Walk barefoot on grass or sand
  • Hold a crystal like haematite or black tourmaline
  • Meditate

2- Start when you’re fresh

Trying to tackle your clutter when you’re tired or anxious is just a recipe for disaster. Decluttering requires you to make decisions. If you’re already decision-fatigued from a busy day, you won’t find this easy. Start your decluttering after a good night’s sleep when you’re fresh to think clearly.

3-Don’t look at the clutter in its entirety

Don’t open the door to your spare room / storage unit /attic / basement / location of choice and look at your clutter as a whole. Remember, it’s not built up over a weekend so it’s not going to be tackled in one weekend.

Focus on one aspect or area. Depending how muddled together everything is, you may not be able to do eg one category of items or one chest of drawers. It might be a case of clearing one foot of space or 5 bags for the charity shop. Be ok with that and just start chipping away. Know that it’s a marathon and just keep going without looking up too much. After a little while you’ll look up and see that you’ve made good progress and space is appearing. You just need to go for a bit until you get to that point.

4- Get some help

Having a friend or family member involved in your decluttering can be a help or a hindrance! You need decide how you work best and if there’s someone who could help you tackle your clutter. If there’s someone you can ask, then do. If not, consider getting a professional declutterer to help you. It’s worth the investment.

5- Prepare to move your clutter on quickly

Once you’ve cleared out some stuff it can be good to move it quickly. That way it’s not cluttering up another area of the house adding to the overwhelm. You could also make a bit of money which is a great motivator to keep going. Having accounts set up ready to move your stuff straight away is better than getting round to doing it after.

Consider joining local Facebook selling groups as well as setting up eBay and Gumtree so you can list your items immediately.

6 – Avoid sentimental items

Start decluttering broken items, things that aren’t working or are past their use-by date. These are much easier to let go of than other sentimental items. You can make inroads quite quickly and with much less emotional stress.


If you never seem to get out of clutter overwhelm, consider getting my Live Your Decluttered Life online course. It’s designed for people who get stressed out by their clutter and get emotional making decluttering decisions. Use the code LYDLNOW to get the whole programme for just £27 and let me guide you to calm home bliss. Find out more about the programme here.


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