Do you have a clutterberg?

Sep 24, 2019
An iceberg in the middle of the ocean with land visible in the background.

The idea of getting organised and having a thorough declutter session can be overwhelming. A lot of the clients that I work with are overwhelmed by stuff, but there is one space in particular (and it’s different for everyone) that pushes them over the edge. When I first meet these clients, they tell me that while the garage/spare room/garden shed/kid’s room/wardrobe is the most frustrating for them to deal with on the daily, actually they have several areas that need some attention in order to be returned to functional, enjoyable spaces in the home. And to that I reply: “Ladies and gentleman: that’s what I call a clutterberg.”

Clutterberg (noun). A mass of unwanted items in different areas of the home that prevent spaces being used and enjoyed by the home's occupants - Rebekah Holmes

While those super frustrating areas might be really annoying to navigate on a daily basis, they are just the tip of the problem. Beyond the tip of the clutterberg there are store rooms, linen closets, attics, basements, kitchen cupboards and more bursting at the seams. Of course the idea of dealing to it is overwhelming - it seems like a colossal task that no one will ever have time for.

Actually, I’d like to challenge that idea - the secret to dealing with a clutterberg is to either outsource it to your friendly local professional organiser, or to chip away at it in 60 minute time blocks. You can tackle the following 3 areas in 60 minutes (each) or less:

  1. The junk drawer - the one in the kitchen that is the dumping ground for lone batteries, packs of cards, twisty-ties, an old bread knife, chargers, padlocks, keys-to-who-knows where. Purchase some inexpensive containers - they’ll help keep the drawer tidy when you’ve put everything back in. Pull everything out and put it on the bench - throw out anything that is broken or a mystery, re-home anything that should live elsewhere, and then return your pared-back “junk” to the drawer, using your purchased containers to maintain categories. Voila!

  2. The bathroom cabinet - pull everything out and create categories on the bathroom floor. Group moisturisers with creams, shampoos with conditioners, hotel soaps all together, and so on. Once you’ve finished look at the size of your categories - do you really need that many moisturisers (just an example!)? Discard anything that has been opened for more than 12 months; cosmetics do go off and your skin deserves better than having expired product used on it, no matter how expensive it originally was. Get rid of travel soaps completely - I promise you that you will never, ever, ever use that collection. Search for great causes in your area that are asking for travel soaps and donate them to people who will actually use them. Boom!

  3. The linen closet - depending on how big yours is, you may be able to tackle this in 60 minutes. If it’s huge, break it down into sections and only deal with one section at a time. For example, start with towels - pull all bath towels, beach towels, hand towels, face cloths, etc out of the closet and pile up on the floor beside you. Open every single towel; really feel it and look at it - check for holes and stains, and decide if you actually like the texture of the towel. If it looks and feels good (or any holes/stains aren’t a problem with you), fold it neatly and set aside. Don’t put back in the closet yet. As you go, create categories with your towels - either as sets (e.g. 4 x bath towels, 1 x bath mat, 2 x hand towels and 4 x face cloths of the same brand and colour make up a set), or as categories (e.g. group ALL bath towels together, all face cloths together, etc). Keep inspecting, folding and categorising until all your towels have been handled. Anything that you don’t want to keep, set aside for donation to your local animal shelter. Now, looking at your categories of towels - how many do you have? How many do you need? How many do you like? Add to the donation pile if you need to, and put the rest back in your linen closet. Next time, focus on the table cloths, and so on until the linen closet is done-burger. Shazam!

Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the stuff lurking in the recesses of your home - dealing with a clutterberg is much the same as eating an elephant…. you do it a small bite at a time! And if you need some help to get started, let’s book a free 15 minute chat - we’ll make a plan of attack so you can start feeling less stressed out by the stuff in your home. Book now.

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