Decluttering tips for low periods

Mental Health

With help from a decluttering expert, we explore tips for tackling mess when you’re going through a difficult time

When we’re going through periods of low mood and depression, it can be easy to let clutter build up in our homes to the point where it becomes overwhelming. As our motivation wavers and things start to slip, we can get caught in a clutter cycle – our mood only made worse by our chaotic environment.

Here, decluttering expert Dilly Carter explores five tips for breaking the cycle and creating a soothing environment:

1. Create a corner of calm

It’s important that we have at least one area in our home where we can sit, relax, and unwind, without being surrounded by clutter. So focus on that first – even if you move the clutter to another spot for now – so that you have an area in your home where you can unwind from the stress of the day, free of mess.

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2. Work out areas that are most valuable

What space do you need to reclaim the most? Maybe it’s your bedroom? Any good therapist or doctor will tell you that sleep is vital for wellbeing. So, if you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, could the chaos in your bedroom be contributing to that?

If you are working from home, simplifying your WFH space can help you feel more motivated. A dedicated home office space is the dream, but even if you only have a corner of your kitchen, you can still create a space that is clear of clutter – and unwashed dishes! If you try to work surrounded by disorganised paperwork, it’s harder to focus and concentrate. Maintaining an organised space and a healthy work-life balance is vital to your productivity, creativity, and wellbeing.

Now ask, what tools do you need to reclaim it? Do you need help from someone else, be it a professional or family member? Write down the steps you need to achieve your goal.

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3. Set aside dedicated time

Time is our most valuable commodity. Where you can, set aside time to make your vision become reality. Often, when we’re struggling, jobs get started but are not completed. So think about the time you need to complete the task ahead. Is it achievable in the time frame you have set yourself? How can you make it work?

4. Try a ‘Dolly Dash’

A ‘Dolly Dash’ is a quick 15-minute challenge to change something in your home (you’ll find lots of suggestions for these in my book).

You might give your sock drawer a whirl, and once you have finished the sense of achievement might drive you on to declutter the chest of drawers. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to tackle the whole room!

When did you last ‘Dolly Dash’ your cutlery drawer? Are you keeping excessive numbers of knives, forks, and utensils in one drawer? What can be moved out? What can be recycled? Do you have a ‘good’ cutlery set that only comes out on special occasions? Why not use that every day? It’s amazing how just a small change can make a big difference to your day.

If all else fails, put a load of washing on or set the dishwasher going. I guarantee you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something just by doing that.

5. Don’t give up

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or unmotivated, but keep going until you reach your goal. These things take time. Don’t put yourself under pressure to achieve everything at once. Be kind, forgive yourself, and just keep that end vision in mind.

To speak to a counsellor about managing low periods, visit www.counselling-directory.org.uk

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