Over the years I’ve read quite a few de-cluttering books and websites. I hoped they would have some magical answer to make de-cluttering easy. They certainly make it sound easy but I’m not sure there are any magical answers. Apparently, all you have to do is get started and in 10 simple steps your home will be a tranquil, clutter free zone.

But where do you start? The advice usually says anywhere will do as long as you start. But starting in itself is perhaps the hardest part and deciding where equally challenging when you’re stuff is surrounding you. There have been times where I’ve sat down next to a pile of stuff I’m supposed to be sorting, looked through it, got up and walked away. I do know that our journey to de-clutter has been anything but simple. 10 steps? Maybe 132 steps and counting….

We know that we’d be happier, healthier, less stressed and able to think more clearly if the stuff was sorted but in honesty, the road to achieving this isn’t always as easy as it’s made out to be. Perhaps if you’re 20, sorting your possessions isn’t so hard. At 20 I moved house every 9 months so my belongings had to fit into a small car. 20 years later, with fewer moves and two small children, our belongings have had an opportunity to build up. I recently sorted through our books and managed to send 90 of them to a second hand, online store. It took days (on and off) and a substantial amount of stamina not to give up. Watching the boxes leave the house was a very satisfying moment.

De-cluttering takes time, something we don’t have so much of these days. And given the choice between heading out to the park with my girls, or getting that box of books listed or dropped off at the charity shop, I know which I’d choose. But to achieve our goals in life the stuff has got to go. And so we slowly work through it, bit by bit.

In essence I’m just trying to say that getting back to basics, getting to a place where possessions aren’t in charge, takes time and commitment and it can be hard. We’ve got rid of a lot, but even with some de-cluttering experience under our belts, getting to the end of our journey is proving a challenge. So don’t feel bad if you don’t seem to be making progress. And don’t give up. It is something you can achieve one step at a time, maybe just a few more than 10…