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Taming My Clutter plus 5 Decluttering Tips!

How to get started with Decluttering

Come on, be honest. Who doesn’t have a pile or two of clutter somewhere? The “I’ll do it this weekend” sort of pile that seems to grow all by itself! Recognise your house?

Well I certainly have at least as much as the next person, what with 3 boys, a husband and a very busy job.

And of course, like most of us Mums, I am only ‘Practically Perfect’!

So when Jo from Klean Freak offered to come and help tame my clutter, I jumped at the chance. After a brief tour of my house, Jo asked me which bit I wanted her to tackle. I decided I wanted to resurrect my kitchen breakfast bar. I hadn’t seen it in a long time as it had become a dumping ground for all the boys things, some of my husbands and a reasonable amount of mine too.

Armed with a cup of tea, we waded in. In what seemed like a very short space of time, we’d set up different piles of ‘stuff’ around the kitchen.


Jo kept adding to a pile of paperwork she suggested I didn’t need to keep and although I rescued a few items, most of it did end up in the bin. While I smiled & reminisced over the boys’ school books and art work, Jo kept me on track by asking me questions like “Do you really need to keep the whole of this half empty handwriting book”  and “Why are you keeping this picture with a bit of pasta stuck on it?”.

Harsh? No, not really. There’s a limit to how many of your children’s masterpieces you can store and with a huge dose of moral support from Jo, I was motivated as I saw the piles of recycling mounting & the mountain of clutter reducing!

Once we’d resurrected the breakfast bar, Jo’s attention turned to my utility room and before I knew it, we’d moved the washing machine, rearranged mops and brooms and found some calcified money! At this point I feel I must mention that I really don’t know where the 100 or so plastic bags came from, but I know where they ended up!

Recycling carrier bags

I even got my drill out and between us we managed to assemble a proper receptacle to hold the now much diminished store of bags!

Before I knew it we’d been working hard at de-cluttering for over 2 hours, so we allowed ourselves a quick break. While we were enjoying a latte and a cake, I happened to mention a unit that I’d been intending to ‘get around to’  . . .


. . . and before I’d had chance to put my cup down, there was stationery, photographs and greetings cards everywhere as Jo emptied its contents out. My carpet, kitchen table and even the newly cleared breakfast bar disappeared under piles of paper, bubble wrap and various other detritus.

At this point I started to panic that Jo might lose enthusiasm,

“Ooh, is that the time? Must dash!”

Start by Emptying

But like me, this girl has stamina and several hours later it was finished. Of course keeping on top of the clutter is a work in progress, but this was a great start. I had an organised unit with places for (virtually) everything.  Equally importantly, my head felt so much clearer knowing that there was no longer the opportunity for important documents to lurk under the paperwork mountain!

IMG_1370Although it took us a solid 5 hours, without a break, I had regained a breakfast bar, had a more organised utility and storage unit and had kept the recycling men in business!

It may sound odd, but at the end of it we both commented, not only on how satisfying the results were, but how we’d actually enjoyed the process. One of my favourite moments was seeing Jo’s smiling face poking out of the utility cupboard as she was almost buried under the carrier bag mountain.

If your house is getting the better of you and you’d like to take charge again, here are some ideas which might help

5 Tips for Taming Clutter

  1. Don’t be over ambitious. Focus on tackling one small area to begin with

  2. Set yourself a timescale – say a maximum of two hours

  3. Start by quickly breaking paperwork down into piles – you might be surprised how much of it you can get rid of quite easily once you actually look at it.

  4. Take a before and after picture so you can see and enjoy your progress

  5. Stop at your allotted time and have a little treat to reward your amazing efforts

Alternatively you could take advantage of Jo’s super-stamina and capacity to enjoy tackling other people’s mess and invite her to come & work her magic on your clutter! I can thoroughly recommend her. Call Jo at Klean Freak on 07546 106058.

If you have any decluttering tips to add to ours, please leave a comment below. I really would love to hear them. 🙂

“Now Jo, if you could just take a look at our playroom . . . “

Klean Freak

Disclosure: I received Jo’s decluttering package for the purposes of this review. All opinions, paperwork mountains and general clutter contained in this post are, however,  my family’s and mine!

13 comments… add one
  • The Funster 27/04/2014, 17:56

    What a great write up! It’s funny how clutter doesn’t just happen but it’s build up over days, weeks, and months. Sometimes managing it all can be a huge challenge. But your article gave me some really practical and useful ideas! Thanks for the great post!

  • Pam Vivian 23/04/2014, 19:23

    I love the comment ‘Well I certainly have as least as much as the next person’. As the next person geographically to you is me, when did you come in and look at my clutter!! It would take a lot longer than 5 hours to sort my study and utility!! Great article Jane!

  • Claire 23/04/2014, 14:15

    Wow! Well done! The before version is me. I have kept every drawing from early mark making to yep, hundreds of pieces of paper with pasta stuck to them. I try now to photograph it all and put i t on the blog instead, then display for a while before the dreaded throw! a

    • Jane Batt 23/04/2014, 22:50

      Love it! That’s the kind of progress I always plan to make Claire! I am impressed 😉

  • Helen Edwell 23/04/2014, 11:28

    I hope its going to stay that way now Jane. My decluttering tip is don’t let it happen in the first place. Deal with it whilst its in your hands. Either chuck it or file it away whilst saying to yourself why am I keeping this, will I ever look at it again, oh OK then I will chuck it!!!!!!

    • Jane Batt 23/04/2014, 11:35

      Excellent tip and you know I’m in awe of your spotless house Helen! If I could only catch up with the backlog, but I guess this clutter thing has to be tackled one step at a time.
      Thanks for the tip.

  • Nayna Kanabar (@SIMPLYF00D) 22/04/2014, 20:22

    I love the pretty boxes and everything looks so tidy.

    • Jane Batt 22/04/2014, 23:06

      Thank you Nayna. The boxes were in amongst all the stuff can you believe?! Yes it’s so much better than it was.

  • Jessica 22/04/2014, 20:07

    I really need to pay attention to this. I’m such a hoarder – all my bedroom needs decluttering. I even have my own makeup room, that is how bad I am haha


    • Jane Batt 22/04/2014, 23:04

      A make-up room. Don’t give me ideas Jessica!
      Thanks for coming over and commenting.

  • Barefoot Mahala 22/04/2014, 19:43

    I need Jo in my life. My house seems to be connected by piles of clutter we haven’t got round to yet

    • Jane Batt 22/04/2014, 23:00

      I do sympathise Barefoot, but selfishly it makes me feel a little better that I’m not alone! Yes many of us need a Jo I suspect!

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