The Occasional Wife

Why Declutter And Why Now?

InsightRachel SanderfordComment

            If you’ve ever decluttered a loved one’s home then you know how overwhelming it can be. The same goes for your own home. The feeling, once it is done, is a great sense of relief. Of course, even just thinking about these things can be too much to handle and that is why sometimes it never gets done. 


            You may have heard of Marie Kondo and her “Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It’s all about clearing the clutter to have a better life. The newest trend is now called “Swedish Death Cleaning.” The forthcoming self-help book by Margareta Magnusson is called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” The Swedish word version, döstädning, is a little nicer to read and hear. The main premise of döstädning is to clear the clutter before you leave this world. All of these trends are exciting to read about but they’re nothing new.

            In both Kondo and Magnusson’s books the emphasis is on what brings happiness. Kondo focuses on you and Magnusson focuses on your family and friends. If you looked around your home right now what could you name that brings you happiness? What could you do without?

"It's a very emotional process."

When the Occasional Wife goes to a home to help declutter we often ask the client when the last time the item was used or could life go on without it? You’d be surprised by some of your answers. Many times we overlook unnecessary items because that’s easier than dealing with them. You tell yourself “I’ll worry about that tomorrow.” Because really who has time?

            That’s where we come in. A stranger’s eyes are also much less biased than family members. We see things for their function instead of their sentimentality. And it’s okay to save keepsakes and heirlooms! No one wants a family history in the trash. But the pile of romance novels you picked up from the airport 10 years ago? Those can go.

Beth Cathey, our Business Manager, was interviewed by Gambit for their article, "Helping an elderly parent downsize," to get more insight on what we do. "It's a very emotional (process), which is often why they hire us, because we don't have the emotional contact with the items," Cathey says. "Both the family and the parents can get caught up in the emotion by sitting there and going back through time, and they don't make progress."

            There’s no rush. If you want to work on only one room then that is okay. There is no set rule on how fast the decluttering needs to get done. If you want to go through every shoebox full of knick-knacks in the hall closet then that’s also okay. We know that these things are a part of your life and you may need to say goodbye.

             We will guarantee though, when you walk into your decluttered room, closet or home you will feel relief. The burden of holding onto all of those things will be lifted. You will know every item has a purpose or meaning. Your friends and family will be able to look at these things fondly instead of being overwhelmed by it all.

            Remember, that your home should always bring you happiness. You should feel joy when stepping inside. If it doesn’t feel this way then there needs to be a change. Don’t wait on happiness.


Check out the full Gambit article here.

For more information on how The Occasional Wife can help and what our services are please give us a call at 504-302-9893 or email