How to declutter your home when you feel overwhelmed

By Sarah Stewart

The Power of Decluttering

Clutter can feel chaotic and stressful, whereas when your environment is clean and clear, it feels peaceful and at ease. This is the power of decluttering.

Here I share with you how to declutter your home when you feel overwhelmed as the impact it can have on your life can feel life-changing. 

Decluttering can be applied to all areas of your life

You might think of the word decluttering, and immediately jump to thoughts of your home…maybe your utensil drawer in your kitchen that can very quickly become a problem area that you have to wrangle with each day (just me?)… or the overflow of kids plastic tat that seems to accumulate everywhere. However, decluttering can be applied to not just your physical space but also your digital environment and your mind.

Three ways to start decluttering your home when you feel overwhelmed


When it comes to my house, I subscribe to the approach called Döstädning, which is Swedish death cleaning and it hails from the same Scandi shores as major lifestyle trends, hygge and lagom. It sounds morbid, but somehow this felt right for me. The premise is that you are essentially decluttering your home to make it easier for your loved ones when you die… (eep, hopefully not yet at least!)… but it can be done at any time and it’s not intended to draw attention to death, rather more it’s to celebrate life. 

This approach involves holding onto items that have meaning to you (& subsequently will be meaningful to your loved ones when you pass).

Most items that I have out on display in my home are things that have a story behind them. I have a lot of antiques and ornaments that were my late mums and a few pieces from my gran that I was gifted when she moved into a care home.

Dostadning works for me; it’s allowed me to curate a home that has meaning and it’s been a gentler approach than true minimalism. I don’t think I would be able to get rid of all items in my home that don’t serve a purpose.

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Marie Kondo’s decluttering methodology

With my number one decluttering approach sussed, what’s the next step? Every so often, I will go round a room and consider what brings me joy (this is the basis of Marie Kondo’s decluttering methodology), as well as those items that have a meaning or story that I want to cherish, and then start putting things aside that I can let go of. 

I enjoy the Marie Kondo method because of its simplicity. An easy enough question to be considered with each item, Does this spark joy?

My ‘make use of your nice things’ method

Another thing I’ve been doing recently is making use of all my things – not saving things for the best – whether that be ‘the good crockery’, or a special dress or item of clothing. I love this way of being as it makes you feel extra special when you start to use your nice things – it’s a whole vibe of treating yourself – you are worthy of nice things, so why tuck them away for special occasions?

How to give new life to your old things

I try and be mindful about how I let the things go… using Gumtree, or eBay to sell things on… or make donations to the local charity shop. Last year I put a whole lot of stuff to charity. It was crockery and glasses that had been wedding gifts. I’m 10 years separated from my husband, and the stale energy associated with these items wasn’t serving me! It felt good to buy a few new plates and bowls that I love, and start creating my own stories.

Final thoughts on how to successfully declutter

I hope you enjoyed these ideas on how to declutter your home when you feel overwhelmed. Decluttering, and the process of being mindful about what I then choose to bring into my clean & clear space, has given me more time, more money and more energy.

Decluttering your whole house may seem like a daunting task. But take it slow, and break down the task into manageable chunks. Even a room might feel overwhelming, so you can break that down into drawers or cupboards. Treat yourself with compassion as you work through the decluttering; it can be difficult to make decisions and let things go.

I hope this article has given you some food for thought. Is there something you’ve been holding onto, that you’d like freedom from – it’s an amazing feeling when you let it go – try it…

I have some free resources available on my website here,, including a series of printable ‘Get Organised’ templates.

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