I feel so guilty about my clutter

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Amassing clutter brings with it a huge range of emotions but the main one we come across time and time again is the guilt.

Guilty because your family are living in chaos, guilty because your friends have busy lives too and they have tidy homes, guilty because that bank statement is proof of how much money has been wasted on retail therapy, guilty because your home is full of gifts you have been given that you will never use, and on and on. The guilt can be overwhelming.

But overcoming that guilt can be tough. There are emotions and doubts standing in your way

  • What if I need this one day?
  • What if the person who gave it to me finds out that I got rid of it?
  • I spent so much money on it; it seems such a waste to get rid of it?
  • Selling it or giving it to a friend would make me feel better
  • What if I do a declutter then go back to square one?

Whilst it is important to understand the psychology that has led you to hold on and amass clutter, the vital part of the decluttering process is drawing a line under things and moving forward with the determination and drive to make your home and life a better place to be. Once you make the decision to start your declutter that day is a day to be celebrated and a process which, however difficult initially, ultimately will be enjoyed.

The amount you spent on the item, the lack of use so far, the fact that someone special gave it to you is less important than your own ability to take control of your life going forwards.  Whether you work with a Professional Organiser or work on your own, you have control of what stays and what goes. The important thing is to learn to let go of the items holding you back from your decluttering goals.

Once you learn to let go of the emotions and gain more clarity in terms of what items truly deserve a space in your home, then you can learn to love your home and live in an organised and peaceful space.

Take a look at our blog about what you can and can’t take to the charity shop and come and find us on Facebook and Twitter  for more tips – we would love to see you!

Clear Your Clutter – Guest Blog

Sandra Czachur is one of the founders of Ayurveda Apothecary and was a Client of ours previously; in this guest blog she shares her experiences of using our professional decluttering and organising service and the benefits of being clutter free. Thank you for the mention Sandra @vatasandra !

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This morning I heard the end of a Radio 4 programme about Hoarding. These days I like to think ‘how could Ayurveda help?’. In the past I have used the services of a Declutterer, The Clutter Fairy, and I can honestly say I felt so much better after ‘letting’ go of all the stuff I really didn’t need. It has also made me think my office could do with a declutter……

The Vedic science of environmental harmony, Vastu Shastra, identifies how clutter creates stress in an environment. Vastu, or “yoga for the home,” comes from the same wisdom texts as Ayurveda, meditation, Jyotish, and yoga. According to Vastu, stress caused by clutter reduces and restricts life-force energy. Depending on the area of your home or office, clutter impacts different aspects of your life in specific ways:

  • Clutter in the northwest affects relationships, business partnerships, and stability of the mind.
  • Clutter in the northeast blocks growth, both spiritually and financially.
  • Clutter in the southeast affects health and productivity. It also affects passion, creativity, and your physical energy.
  • Clutter in the southwest affects support, which includes your skeletal structure (showing up as back pain) and your career.

Clearing clutter is something everyone has to deal with. From a Vedic perspective, once it’s removed, it will free up the energy in your home or office creating an environment where you can thrive. Eliminating clutter simplifies your life and opens the space physically and emotionally for new possibilities to enter.

If your clutter is manageable then it is worth investing time to clear the clutter yourself on a regular basis, if you feel overwhelmed then it might be a good idea to ask friends or family to help, or engage the services of a professional declutterer like Lesley, The Clutter Fairy.

I’m conscious that maintaining a clear space supports my mental clarity, health, and joy. And I’ve discovered that the reverse is true, too: The way to create lasting order in my outer life—in my home, my schedule, and the way I use my resources—comes from clearing out my inner landscape and refocusing on my priorities.

Like most people, I still struggle from time to time to stem the tide of clutter and to balance a busy life. I try to remember that life, like Ayurveda, is an ongoing journey and that the small, positive steps add up and can eventually become good habits.

One small step at a time.

Linda Bretherton and Sandra Czachur are the founders of Ayurveda Apothecary. Our aim is to promote living in harmony with nature. We have designed a wonderful range of natural skin care products to match your own specific Dosha. For more information go to our website www.ayurvedaapothecary.co.uk

[Photo credit: PracticalCures.com]

Make your New Year’s resolution to declutter a reality

I’m into my 7th year as a Clutter Fairy in 2016 and it’s time for me to reflect as a business owner how things are progressing generally. When I started back in 2009 very few people knew about the possibility of having someone in your home to help with your clutter and so it was a bit of a risk as a business model but now, several years on and over 250 clients later, I’m so delighted that the risk has paid off. I’ve got to be honest, it still feels like fun rather than work, but a business it is and so people spend their hard earned cash on having me and my team help them with their cluttered homes and I’m confident enough to say most feel like it’s some of the best money they’ve ever spent. So what kind of clients do we have?

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Jackie, 35, busy mum of 3, works 9 to 5 (and then some) and likes to spend the precious time she has with her husband and kids, finds time to see her girlfriends and generally has a fulfilled life but she never quite gets round to tackling the dumping ground in her spare room. When her girlfriends come round for wine, she sweeps stuff off floors and surfaces into a carrier bag and hurls it into the spare room where it stays. Every time she opens the door, she feels overwhelmed and out of control and just wishes she could get on top of it.

Jackie is capable of decluttering herself, she has very little emotional attachment to stuff, it’s time she lacks. She calls us, schedules a day in her diary, we come, declutter the room together, find a home for everything, talk strategies, and the job gets done. The key here is that it is a scheduled task that is given priority and is finished.

Eleanor, 55, is a mum and grandma.  Eleanor’s home is immaculate and she knows which cupboard everything is in, but there is a lot of it. She has a big home and has been allowed to spread out especially for the last ten years since her kids left home. She would like to move to somewhere more suitable but is stuck in a rut because of all her stuff. Eleanor was brought up by parents of the make do and mend generation. If something has a use, you keep it. She uses the internet all the time but is still not quite sure what paperwork she should keep so keeps everything.

Eleanor needs a helping hand and reassurance that it’s OK to offload some of her stuff. We go through all her papers explaining fully the pros and cons of what to keep and why but always have her comfort zone in mind. We understand and can visualise smaller homes and how much stuff she will be able to manage and we systematically go through all her belongings to work out what will enhance her life going forwards. The key here is reassurance, working through her stuff with a system that she feels in control of and our ability to visualise a smaller home.

Jean, 60, lost her husband ten years ago and has struggled to get in control of so many things since. Her home has become full of stuff and her family periodically come whiles she’s out and sort rooms out, taking bags and bags of stuff to the tip. That makes her feel vulnerable, she can’t find things she knows she has so she buys it again. She feels guilty, embarrassed and thinks she is not as bad as ‘the ones on the telly’ but feels some sympathy for them.

Jean needs help from someone who is objective, non judgemental, practical and sympathetic. Is she a hoarder? Maybe – there are so many definitions – but we are not going to put a label on Jean. She wants to change, has picked up the phone to ask for our help and we are going to try. It will take a while. The clutter has taken years to build up so it’s not disappearing overnight but, every time we come, we will start to see clarity and progress and Jean will see light at the end of the tunnel. The key here is that we will help anyone who wants to change but we are realistic. We have different clients, just like Jean that we work with regularly and have done over the past 6 years but at some point we will get there.

Our clients are all unique; everyone’s lives, homes and circumstances are different and should be dealt with differently. The one common thing is that they have made a resolution to change and asked The Clutter Fairy to help in that process.  Yes, it’s a strange idea to those people who are fully in control of their homes. Yes, it costs money. Yes, it’s going to take you out of your comfort zone and you’ll go through a huge range of emotions. But you will go through the process with someone that cares, tries to make it fun and will finish the job. It will change your life and it’s going to mean that that resolution you made to tackle your clutter in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 is finally going to be kept and 2016 will be your first year of a clutter free lifestyle.