9 tips to help you declutter in 2017

Britain is a nation drowning in stuff. You know, stuff: the things you don’t really need anymore, the objects that sit around your house doing nothing but gathering dust.

Our own research from a couple of years ago found that the average person owns 186 items of clutter, with 93% admitting to having unwanted things in their home.

Stuff doesn’t just take up space though; it’s also worth a lot of money. In that same study, we found that the UK’s clutter is worth a whopping £7.2 billion!

That might explain why people across the nation are slowly but surely turning to decluttering, the process of getting rid of your unwanted stuff and hopefully turning it into cash.

Decluttering is pretty simple and hugely rewarding, but it’s not as simple as just picking up a few bits and flogging them at the market. It takes patience and quite a lot of effort too, which is why we’ve come up with these handy tips to help you!

Set specific goals

Like we said before, decluttering requires more thought than just mindlessly walking around and occasionally chucking something away.

Before you sit down, think about why you want to declutter and howyou’re going to achieve those goals. If you want to own less stuff, think about what specifically you want to get rid of and how you’re going to do it. For example, you could write ”˜My CD collection is out of control and I don’t listen to most of it, so I’m going to go through and sell CDs to musicMagpie’.

The key to effective goal setting is to be realistic. Your goals need to be specific and achievable; ”˜tidying my whole house by tomorrow’ is neither, whereas ”˜reorganise the living room by March’ is.

Break it up

Don’t force yourself through an entire day of decluttering. No-one has the energy, even tidying-up addicts who’ve drank 8 cups of coffee and a couple of Red Bulls.

Instead, take your tasks and assign some time for them across a week, month, or even year. When you’re actually decluttering, work in half hour bursts and take regular breaks to keep yourself focused and relaxed.

Get inspired

There are loads of great books and blogs on decluttering out there, and reading them can teach you new techniques, change the way you think about decluttering or even just give you a bit of encouragement from someone who’s been through it before.

Before you declutter, sit down and read for half an hour. You’ll feel more motivated for it!

Be realistic

Your home is never going to look like an IKEA showroom, so don’t worry if you’re not living in a minimalistic utopia after you’ve got rid of everything you don’t want.

A better barometer for success is how happy you feel after you’ve decluttered. If you’re satisfied with the stuff you own and you like how your home looks, you’re all good.

Make it as enjoyable as possible

Decluttering can be fun, but not as fun as binging on a boxset or going out or one of the many, many other distractions modern life offers.

The easiest way to win the battle against procrastination is to make your decluttering efforts as enjoyable as possible. Stick on some music, make up a game, put someone on loudspeaker and have a chat – use your imagination!

Make time

Like that drink you’ve been meaning to go for with that friend you last saw a couple of years ago, decluttering can become one of those things you’ll say you do but never actually get round to.

The solution is to get out a calendar and dedicate a couple of days to decluttering. Don’t cancel them unless it’s an emergency or something that can’t be done at another time!

Decide what you’re going to do with your clutter

So you’ve decided to get rid of a load of stuff”¦ then what?

If it’s totally useless, recycle it. If it’s something someone else could make use of, like old clothes, donate them. Or, if it’s something you can sell for cash like a mobile phone or games console (hint hint), sell them for fast cash!

Question everything you own

Marie Kondo, the bestselling author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, suggests getting rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy”.

To figure out what doesn’t ”˜spark joy’, Kondo suggests picking it up an item and “holding it firmly in both hands as if communing with it”, which should lead to “…a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising”. If it doesn’t, off it goes.

If you’re more practical than emotional, go through everything you own and question how much you really need it instead.


Decluttering isn’t a one-off task that magically makes your house tidy forever. You have to keep it up (although it’s much easier after the initial sessions) so every month, go through your home and review your possessions.

Are you planning to declutter in 2017? Find out how much your stuff is worth as you go with the musicMagpie app, which turns your phone into a handy barcode scanner! Simply scan your stuff for an instant price.

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Wondering “how can I sell my phone for cash?” Look no further than musicMagpie! We’ll give you an instant valuation sell your iPhone, CDs, DVDs, Games, Books and Tech by clicking below. Why wouldn’t you?

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You can also buy refurbished phones and tech from us too. Enjoy great value products with a FREE 12 month warranty – it’s smart for you… smart for the planet!