DeClutter Tips with Peter Walsh

Clutter has become a part of many of our homes, and despite our best efforts, the mess seems to be growing! Peter Walsh is here to help you figure out the best approach to ditching the clutter in your house. The first step? Figuring out which one of Peter's five "clutterers" you are.

1. Hidden Behind Closed Doors Clutterer

Does your home look neat and tidy, but has clutter spilling out from behind closed cupboards and drawers? Then you are what Peter calls a 'Behind Closed Doors Clutterer'.

Peter suggests to stop avoiding the clean-up - no more procrastination! Start small and work your way through it, organising the mess into categories to help you process what you need and what can get thrown out. Once your cupboards are organised and clean, you'll be asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner.

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2. Knowledge Clutterer

Knowledge is key, but keeping every book or magazine you've ever purchased is definitely not. Do you really need to keep a whole magazine when you only really wanted one recipe? Will you really read that book again? If the answer isn't a definite yes, it's time to start throwing things out.

Start by limiting your magazine subscriptions and restricting yourself to having just two older copies of your magazines. When it comes to books, look into going digital; a kindle is a great option for book lovers and saves you a tonne of room around the house! Once you've finished sorting, donate items kept in good condition to your local library or op shop.  

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3. Sentimental Clutterer

Do you feel it’s your responsibility to archive all of the family history? Are you paralysed by guilt when it comes to letting these items/ heirlooms go? Then you’re undoubtedly a 'Sentimental Clutterer' and it’s easy to feel overcome with guilt when thinking about having to get rid of these items.

Hiding these items away isn’t the answer – they deserve to be put on display or given to someone who will cherish them. Think creatively about how you will display the treasured items, but keep in mind that you can’t honour everything. Rather than just throwing these things out, try turning it into cash – you’ll often be surprised by how much you’ll get. 

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4. Techie Clutterrer

Do buy all of the latest technology but still hold onto all of your old technology or cables? Peter labels you as a 'Techie Clutterer'.

Sort through your wires and unused tech items and responsibly recycle anything that looks unsafe or has no use. Once your chords are sorted, it's really important to label them so  you know what they are used for in the future. Use small containers to create clear categories and keep similar items together. You could even think about donating old phones to places like women's centres for people who could really use and value them. 

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5. "I Might Need It" Clutterer

This clutterer is the person who loves a sale, who chases a bargain and who stocks up on items in anticipation of imagined futures, including being able to fit in clothes that are too small.  This is the most common of all the clutterers - so you're not alone!

Ask yourself - do all the clothes fit you or make you feel good? Do they get worn enough to justify keeping them in your wardrobe? If not, they don't belong in your closet and need to be sold or donated. 

Avoid buying clothes just because they're on sale, and get rid of things that haven't been worn for 6 months or more. Your wallet and your wardrobe will love you for it. 

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Learn more about Peter Walsh's DeClutter tips in Episode 19 of The Living Room

The Living Room airs 7.30 Fridays on TEN and tenplay