Decluttering Your Home Reduces Stress And Makes You Happier

Shelina Jokhiya
Founder of DeCluttr Me

In a cluttered world, we like to keep things simple. As part of our mission to make everyday life at home better, we aim to design simple and smart solutions that help people stay organised. And because we value research, we asked the opinion of people working in the field of home organisation to see what are their needs are in this regard.

So we sat down for a chat with Shelina Jokhiya, founder of DeCluttr Me, a Dubai-based professional decluttering and organising company for both home and office, to find out what brings people to the point of requesting the services of a professional organiser, how decluttering changes their lives for the better, and what role does the furniture play in the home organisation system of principles.

According to Shelina, most people realise they need help when they finally open the cupboards, say in the kitchen, and realise they have no room to store new items. That being said, the rooms that usually need decluttering are bedrooms with wardrobes, walk-in closets, kitchens, pantries and storerooms.

When it comes to the correlation between the way the house looks and the mental state of the owner, the two definitely go hand in hand: ‘For the majority of clients, there are psychological explanations for the clutter and over accumulation of stuff in their lives. The majority are stressed and unhappy, but for other reasons. The clutter just increases the stress and unhappiness in their lives’, says Shelina.

She also notes that in the majority of cases she can see a mood improvement in people after she finishes organising their space.

‘Some people go into shock at losing their things. I advise them that we should take the sessions slowly, as there will be psychological repercussions to decluttering so much, so fast. But at the end of the day, it is their decision whether they would like to work quickly or slowly through the process. For nearly all of them, I see a very big difference in attitude after the session. I take before and after pictures to show them the difference and it always shocks them that they have done so well to declutter and organise their lives. I have received lovely testimonials and messages from previous clients saying how happy and light they feel after the sessions’, she says.

The difference is noticeable even in the way people talk about their house before and after the decluttering. If the main words used at first are ‘messy’, ‘untidy’, and ‘cluttered’, when the process is over they usually use words such as ‘feel lighter’, ‘feel organised’, ‘know where the stuff should go now’.

For decluttering, the main items Shelina is using are bags in black, green and grey. Black is for trash, grey is for recycling and green is for donation: ‘For organising, I use a lot of SAMLA boxes to put items in there and store them. The boxes are labelled using my super label machine. I also use RATIONELL VARIERA white boxes often. I tend to bring the material with me to the session to quicken the organising process for the client. I occasionally go shopping with them to purchase organising products. That is always a fun part of my job.’

Speaking of the process, according to Shelina, it is important for people to participate in the decluttering of their own home: ‘We work together to declutter the items, we decide together what stays and what goes. Nothing can go unless they agree to it. There are always people who will regret the decision later and start going through the bags, so I make sure that they decide, and that it is for their own good. Once we have decluttered, I will then create simple, organised systems and label the areas so they know what is in each area. Usually the client can take a rest whilst I organise the area, but some like to get involved and advise their ideas of how they would like to organise.’

As for the furniture, it can be good or bad depending on its type or how much there is. Some people have many storage units, such as wardrobes, bookshelves and tables with storage space, but don’t really use them in an efficient way.

You do need good pieces to hold your stuff, but if you have to buy 5 wardrobes to store all your clothes in a 1 bedroom apartment with fitted wardrobes, then we have a problem. I have seen some great storage pieces from IKEA that are useful for neatly hiding the stuff, but clients have to build the habit to use their pieces for storage and not to use them as a dumping ground‘, Shelina explains.

The good news is that her system is effective. The majority of people she works with are able to maintain the house organised, but some of them contact her every few months to organise their homes again. ‘It is a habit, and if you do not spend time being organised, then you will need my help to build that habit every few months‘, she concludes.

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