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21st June 2018
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Decluttering the cupboard of doom

8th July 2018

Juliet Landau-Pope, author of our best-seller “Clearing Your Clutter” writes about how to tackle those scary spaces in your home:

Is there an area in your home that has been cluttered for so long that you dread even opening the door? Have you accumulated so much stuff in the space under the stairs, for instance, that it’s turned into a cupboard of doom? Or do you dread going into the room that you’ve designated the ‘junk room’?

Joking in this way about cluttered areas of your home not only indicates how you think about the physical space; it also reflects a degree of self-criticism that’s built up over time, and – like surplus stuff – is now getting in your way.

As a declutter coach, I’m accustomed to talking to people who use humour to mask feelings of shame, guilt or embarrassment. I remind clients that my role is never to judge or criticize, but rather to share practical skills and strategies that help them to create positive changes, in their home and in their life.

Referring to a ‘cupboard of doom’ is a reminder of the negativity that you associate with clutter. It reinforces the notion that the problem is insurmountable so undermines any motivation you may have to deal with it. Would calling it by a more neutral terms such as the ‘storage space’ make it less intimidating?

By the same token, describing your spare room as the ‘junk room’ is an unintentional way of validating the current state of clutter while devaluing the items that are stored there.

Here are my three top tips to help you face the fear and declutter dreaded spaces:

  • Clarify the purpose that you’d like the room to fulfil. Rename it the ‘guest room’ or ‘art studio’ or ‘writing space’ to remind yourself of your reason for decluttering
  • Visualise the space that you want to create. Instead of thinking about throwing things away, focus on what will be possible with more light, order or clarity
  • Focus on first steps: instead of worrying about the project in its entirety, just identify the very first task to tackle. Setting micro-goals is an ideal way of managing the overwhelm

For more  great decluttering tips, take a look at “Clearing Your Clutter

For info about Juliet, see

Find out more about Juliet’s first book “Being More Productive

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