Decluttering is for anyone who wants to get more organised

What is decluttering?  Is that only for hoarders?

NO it’s not only for hoarders. Decluttering is for anyone who wants to get more organised by finding a place for their items, giving items to charity or friends, selling items, fixing items, storing items or putting them in the bin. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by clutter ( we use this term clutter and it’s not a word I personally like. Why? Well I feel these are our personal belongings and for whatever reason they’ve accumulated and are unorganised and untidy but I believe they still need to be treated with respect and to call them clutter almost belittles their value to the owner. What may seem like rubbish to one person has a special meaning to another. And therefore respect is priority when decluttering. Ok that was my rant on the word clutter. Yes I still use the word but now you understand my thoughts behind the word. I’ll continue where I left off.)

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by clutter, and there’s a whole host of reasons why you may be overwhelmed by this and why it got out of hand but if you’ve reached the point of I can’t deal with this anymore, then you’re in a good place.

It means you’re ready for change and by beginning with the decluttering process you will find it’s also the beginning of other changes in your life. But like everything you must take action. There’s no point saying I can’t deal with this and not do anything about it. Yes it’s difficult to know where to begin sometimes or to get motivated or to find the time but as the Chinese saying goes. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Make that start, you will feel so much better.

Nearly every time I get a call for decluttering I get goosebumps from listening to the person on the other end of the phone.

Because the majority of the time they have gone through something difficult in their life and want to and are ready to make a change in their life. And when we work through the decluttering process and when it’s completed there can be an overwhelming sense of calm, even feeling more confident and sometimes overwhelm but in a good sense in that I’ve done this, I’ve let go! No I’m not saying decluttering in the solution or cure for all your problems but it can be a starting point.

Let’s make it simple by giving some examples. I always say every home is unique along with the client I’m working with. And please please never ever feel embarrassed or guilt. I hear these words so often. Nobody and no home is perfect.
Now decluttering is not for everybody, I would always say happiness in a home is number 1 and yes let the kids get mucky and dirty and leave the dishes in the sink and the washing thrown on the couch, go out and enjoy life! But it’s when it gets on top of you and you get frustrated because you can’t find things and are falling over items or pushing things into presses etc then maybe decluttering is a good idea.

Back to examples, I’ve found lately I’ve worked with a number of separated people. They’re moving into separate houses, items still in boxes, trying to work, mind children along with trying to deal with the psychological impact of it all. I understand very well how difficult this can be. This is a very difficult situation and again each situation is unique but it’s sorting through these items and finding a new home for them can help in the moving forward process. Sometimes it’s calling someone from outside your family and friends with a nonjudgmental attitude to help you get organised can give you the clear space you may need for a while both physically and mentally.

There are so many examples to give. ( I think I’ll start a blog on this topic.) You’re a lover of clothes and they are strewn everywhere, completely unorganised. Your kitchen cupboards have items you haven’t used in years and filled with items you bought because you thought they’d be handy but you never used them. Then there’s the food out of date. Maybe 50 different forks and knives etc etc etc. Then there’s the drawers filled with all sorts. The lists go on and on.

Why would I call Tidy Up Helper to help with decluttering?

If you’ve looking for someone nonjudgmental, who listens to your needs and doesn’t beat around the bush but gets to work straight away encouraging, motivating and supporting you through the process of decluttering and organising then that’s what you’ll get with Tidy Up Helper.

No Time For Decluttering

Change your thoughts and take the first step.

We live in a world of Go, Go, Go. Even in lockdown many still worked from home or created work for themselves be it gardening, cooking or learning a new language, etc, etc, etc. This need to be busy. A busy mind, that endless chatter of what needs doing or the conversations or arguments we have only in our heads. Yes the monkey mind needs quieting and that is a whole different topic and something that requires retraining but for now just remember to acknowledge when that chat starts in the mind, consciously remind yourself, they are only your thoughts, you are in control of your thoughts and you can change them!

Putting it simply. We tell ourselves many negative things. I’ll never loose the weight, he/ she didn’t talk to me, what did I do wrong? ( by the way, nothing you did nothing wrong. You have no idea what other people are thinking or what’s going on in their life. You focus on you and don’t worry what others may or may not be thinking.) I’m going off track again but the point I’m trying to make is…. In relation to decluttering and not having time!!! 

You tell yourself you don’t have time. Ok go on say it… “yes but you’re not living my life, I actually don’t have time”. … keep saying that and you’ll convince yourself you don’t have time.

Try this for a week, each time you say to yourself, I don’t have time, consciously change that thought to yes I do have time, I am making time for myself to do the things I want to do. I am getting this clutter sorted. Sit down and consciously look at your daily routine and be honest with yourself. This in itself is a decluttering of the mind and a clearing of things we can do without to make room for the things we really want to do. Don’t forget to look at time spent on social media, the TV, unnecessary trips to the shop, neighbour calling in for tea, the lists are endless and unique to each individual and that’s why you and only you can look at what you do from day to day and how you can make time for things if you really genuinely want them.

You don’t have to declutter all a once, even though you’d love to have all the clutter just sorted. It’s ok to do it step by step. Begin, no matter how small, Begin! A drawer today, the next drawer tomorrow and so on. Create a new habit for yourself. You will start to feel better just having that one box, one cupboard, that one drawer etc done. It’s to stop procrastinating or telling ourselves we don’t have time.

Yes you do have time.

Change your thoughts and take the first step.

There are many more benefits to decluttering than just clearing some space. Perhaps my next topic to share my thoughts on but for now make the time, it’s worth it.

Why would I call Tidy Up Helper to help with decluttering?

If you’re looking for someone nonjudgmental, who listens to your needs and doesn’t beat around the bush but gets to work straight away encouraging, motivating and supporting you through the process of decluttering and organising then that’s what you’ll get with Tidy Up Helper.

Oh to dream! 

If Carlsberg did your office space and work habits, it would probably be the best office.

So life’s not perfect, we all know this. But for now just dream a little and what’s the first thing that comes to your mind if you wanted that Carlsberg office.

(In case you don’t know, “If Carlsberg did”, is an iconic tagline used in Carlsberg marketing campaigns and the line finishes with, “it would probably be the best….”)


Ok, back to your Carlsberg office and where am I going with this.

 Well take that first thought that came to your mind and ask yourself why is that that the first thing I thought of. I know this could go anywhere but break it down with a lot of brainstorming and it may surprise you how many areas within your office you could make changes to, which if acted upon even if just small changes could potentially have numerous benefits. As crazy as that first thought may have been there’s probably something that’s worth looking deeper into. This really is workshop material, maybe I’ll think about doing workshops! For now, enjoy the thoughts of your Carlsberg office.


Back to reality!

I help people Declutter and Organise but what exactly does this involve in relation to an office. Again every situation is different and unique to your needs so this has to be a generalisation. On that point, part of the process is to understand your requirements and situation. I cannot come into your office and magically have everything decluttered and organised.  You will have to be with me through the whole process as we sift through all items and either find a home for them or discard them. Part of my job is to Support, Motivate, Instruct, Listen and Encourage you through the whole process.

Please note these are general tips and may not be applicable to every office.


General tips

1)   Ask is the item actually required in the office or the space it's in right now. Can it be discarded, or moved to a more convenient location.

2)   All paperwork that is not required anymore needs to be identified and properly disposed of, the best option is to shred. If you don’t have a shredder or there’s too much to shred there are companies that will take your paper away and shred it or at an extra cost they will do it onsite.

3)   If there is paper work that can be digitised then arrange to have this done.

4)   In relation to your devices, it is also a good idea to do a digital declutter every so often. Here is a small list of things you can do.

a)    Unsubscribe from mailing list you do not read

b)   Declutter your Email

c)    Delete unused apps

d)   Make use of the cloud and move photos, videos and Data.

e)    Tidy up your desktop every so often

f)     Check your downloads folder and clear or move as required

g)    Check youronline security and scan for viruses and malware

5)   Any files that are in constant use keep them together, properly labeled and within easy reach.

6)   In relation to files that need to be kept but not used, store these safely away and again properly labeled.

7)   Ensure any equipment in your office is in proper working order, if not either dispose of it or arrange to have it fixed. And think about where the equipment is kept especially in relation to how often it's used.

8)   In relation to arranging your office, keep the items you use most often closest to you.

9)   Your working desk should be kept clear of clutter with only the minimum amount of essential items on your desk

10)  Anything that is not used, needed or should not be in the office then remove it. 

Have you ever felt like theres’s 100 thoughts running through your head and you’ve a million things to do and just don’t know where to begin.

So you’ve just collected the kids from school on a break from work. “ What’s for dinner Mam, I have football tonight, Miss Reidy gave me extra homework just because I wore the wrong shoes to school, can I go to Ann’s party Saturday, ballet is cancelled because Miss O’ Connor has a cough it’s not Covid but Sarah’s Mam said it was unethical to give the class with a cough but Mary’s Mam said that was ridiculous because Miss O Connor has asthma and she gets this cough every year, Mam are you listening “…. You in the middle of all this in your head are saying …. “What is for dinner?, I must go to the shop, I don’t have time, what’s in the cupboards..did I send that important Email, please say I did, I did I must have, I wrote it, did I send it? John will go insane if I didn’t send it, I’ll pull over and check, no where to pull over, oh I did I remember I CC John and Joan then asked about the file for the O’ Sheas…football,  I never put the washing out and the boots are still wet and dirty from last match, I’ve an online meeting later, how am I to get them to football…God my hair is a mess I must book a hairdresser appointment…I must sort the O’Shea file for Joan..that Miss Reidy will be getting a letter from me, I’ve had enough of her….Saturday, party! What day is today?..Has Sarah’s mum nothing better to be doing than confronting poor Miss O Connor, I must give her a call later..Guards up ahead , tax due in car must do online later..there’s Jack the farmer, must call and drop in Mass card.. “Mam Mam are you listening “….. mmmmm yes yes I’ll drop that in later love…”you don’t listen!”

Ok so that’s not exactly everyone’s story but you get the idea.

Our minds are wonderful, so powerful and full of chatter be it negative, positive, insane, questioning, restless, racing, running down rabbit holes, up in the clouds or sometimes so exhausted just numb!

The first thing to remember is we are all human and more importantly our thoughts are  just thoughts.

Why on earth am I writing about decluttering the mind when it’s not exactly a service I offer? I’m not a mental health professional. But let’s just say life has taught me many things and I do know, as do you, without any training that a cluttered mind prevents focus and from getting things done, hence build up of clutter. Yes obviously this in itself is a whole area that could be delved into from impulsive buying to difficulty of letting go of things etc, etc, etc.. I always state that Tidy up Helper is not a professional psychotherapist or counselling service. All articles written and advice offered in relation to decluttering are done so through a lifetime of experience and knowledge. They are solely intended to motivate and encourage and help you begin your journey of decluttering  which quite often includes learning new ways of thinking and releasing past events and habits. If you need therapy you are encouraged to engage the services of a mental health professional.

Now that much is understood let’s list some simple tips and provide some links for decluttering the mind.

Just like learning anything sometimes we have to hear it a 100 times before it’s absorbed. And it’s not just about the knowing and understanding, it’s more about taking action and putting it into practice.

  1. Meditation…. Oh don’t throw your eyes up to heaven, yes it works and I know it’s not for everyone. Don’t knock it until you try it and try it again and again. I hear you, my mind keeps racing when I do it, you can’t just empty your mind. Well there’s misconception number 1 about meditation . To simplify meditation- breathe, breathe and breathe. Allow thoughts to come and go but always return to the breath. There are many great you tube mediations to try. Begin with a 2 min one everyday for a week and build up  to 10 min each day. Here’s a link to one to begin. Try different ones each day if you like. Just search you tube for 2 min meditations.
  2. Grounding exercises… To simplify-you use your senses to bring you back to the here and now. I’ll explain a little more, do it right now as you’re reading this. List 3 things you see right now, focus on one of them and really notice everything about it. Now listen to the sounds around you, really listen and focus on all the different sounds, now focus on how you’re sitting or standing really root your feet into the ground and feel the surface supporting you. The idea is to get your mind out it’s thoughts  and settle you into the now.
  3. Lists, list, list, write it down. Try this for a week, each night before sleep grab a pen and piece of paper and write down everything you want to do for the next day. There’s great satisfaction to be got from ticking things off your list and don’t worry if you don’t get through them all because there’s always tomorrow.
  4. Goals.. yes this helps keep us focused and gives us direction. This takes time and needs us to really focus on ourselves. Write your list of yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals. This in itself is a whole separate article but well worth practicing. You’re really asking the question who am I and what do I want from this life. What will bring me joy in this life. Decide what you want and write down the steps you need to take to get it. You must take action to make things happen.
  5. Affirmations.. Rewire your brain…Ah come on seriously, I hear some of you say. Yes seriously. We are bombarded with negative media, listening to the glass is half full people, no wonder our minds gravitate towards the negative or is it the Irish in us, Ah sure we wouldn’t want to be getting above ourselves, don’t be getting too hopeful it mightn’t happen.. My favourite saying I got from my father and I carry it with me always. “ rise above the knockers”. There will always be people who will try to put you down. Nobody has walked in your shoes and know your struggles like you do. You keep getting back up and don’t listen to the negative voices. I reared my children reminding them of how crazy the notion of man walking on the moon was, but it was done.  And the story of  Geoff Read appearing on the Late Late show with his idea of selling Ballygowan bottled water leaving Gay Byrne RIP to famously comment “Sure who’d buy water”. My son now jokingly says he sees me as the woman sitting on the moon drinking Ballygowan. You’ve got to keep moving forward and realise your worth. Listening to or saying Affirmations is basically telling your subconscious mind to think positively.                                                                                                                                                    This is only a small example of ways to help declutter your mind. Food for thought perhaps. Don’t forget to make time for the things you enjoy. Whatever it is, listen to your favourite music, read a book, climb a mountain, watch your favourite tv show, cook your favourite meal or visit an old friend. And be kind, nobody knows what’s going on in people’s minds.                                                                                                                                                   Do I practice all these? Sometimes , but I do my very best to find the good in every situation and am also grateful for all my blessings. I get days where I feel low and that’s part of being human. I hope you find something useful from this. The very fact you’ve read through this has perhaps cleared your mind for a little while. Decluttering your mind is basically a way of saying make time for yourself and reconnect with what you enjoy. Try to live in the here and now.

    “Yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow only a vision but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope”.


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