APDO is supporting the first National Clear Your Clutter day on Saturday March 19, set up by Jasmine Birtles, consumer champion and founder of MoneyMagpie.com, to encourage and help people all over the UK to declutter their homes and lives. Here Jasmine explains why she decided to launch her campaign day.
I set up the National Clear Your Clutter Day in order to help the UK free itself of the imprisoning, burdensome and money-sucking clutter that holds so many of us back nowadays. I know that APDO members do the same throughout the year for their clients, and I’m hoping that this day will encourage people to at least think about moving the mound of materials holding them down.
People in the UK know that they live in an age of consumerism, but do they realise what these consumerist habits are doing to their happiness their freedom and their wealth? Only slightly.
My aim is to help everyone to have more freedom, more happiness, more money and more life this way.
Declutter, make money!
As a financial journalist I am naturally coming at this from a money point of view. I’m encouraging people to make and save money by de-cluttering, largely because we desperately need to in the UK.
When you think of the debt we’re generally suffering it seems crazy not to make a bit of cash where we can. For example TSB estimates that Brits have an average personal debt of £3,598 (not including mortgages). Many could make a big dent in that debt just by selling items they already have around the house.
Different organisations regularly come up with with a figure for the value of the clutter in our homes. It’s usually in the hundreds at least, often in the thousands and eBay said last year that we have £7.5 billion-worth of junk in our homes across the country. Much of that junk is the reason why we have so much personal debt. The first thing we should do is to claw back a bit of the cash we wasted on it!Jasmine Birtles, founder of Clear Your Clutter Day
Getting rid of mental clutter too
But it’s not just the physical clutter that is holding us back and stopping us making – and keeping – money day to day. Mental clutter is the invisible hand that holds us back and stops us enjoying life as we could, and, yes, makes us poorer.
For example, according to Thomas Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, 67 per cent of rich people only watch TV for one hour or less per day. Also, just six per cent of the wealthy watch reality shows, while 78 per cent of the poor do.
What are they doing instead? Mostly reading a good book (often a non-fiction one that is teaching them useful stuff) or they’re out doing sports, meeting people or just generally living, experiencing actual life!
In my eBook I suggest “if you want to keep the TV, try and find a way of hiding it – maybe creating a cupboard in the wall for it or making a cover for it so that you don’t immediately see it when you come in the room.”
This is what I’ve done with my TV and it has definitely helped me free up more time for good stuff. I’m not so disciplined with my emails and mobile phone, though. These are other areas that are cluttering up our lives and need to be put in their place. I know that APDO members are particularly good at this level of organisation and I’m glad they’re helping their clients get on top of the information overload.
Declutter, lose weight?
Another interesting area of thought about clutter is the connection between accumulating things and accumulating weight. I’m sure many APDO members have seen this connection in their work with cients.
Addressing the whole issue of clutter, food, spending and other excesses as symptoms of trying to fill a void can help to transform lives. Dr Pamela Peeke, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland in the USA says she often instructs patients trying to lose weight to at least create one clean and uncluttered place in their home. She recalls one patient whose garage was “a solid cube of clutter. The woman cleaned up her home and at the same time lost nearly four stone.
“It wasn’t, at the end of the day, about her weight,” Dr. Peeke says. “It was about uncluttering at multiple levels of her life.”
The UK desperately needs help to declutter at multiple levels of life so thank goodness there are experts like APDO to help at least some of us make a bid for freedom!
If you need some expert help to kickstart your decluttering, you can find a professional declutterer near you using the postcode search at APDO’s online directory.
Find out more at clearyourclutterday.co.uk where you can also get Jasmine’s free eBook. Join the Clear Your Clutter Day Google+ Hangout on Saturday March 19 to discuss ways to sell, upcycle and generally clear clutter in homes across the country.