Decluttering is no easy feat, and everyone has a different way of dealing with it, from the more minimalist Marie Kondos of the world to hoarders who never throw anything away.
But you may be able to make it easier by simply identifying your decluttering personality type, according to multi award-winning British publishing company Tall Boy.
It has devised five main personality types when it comes to clearing out the house, and and thought up hacks to make decluttering easier for each of them.
Among the five types are the sentimentalist; the materialist; the high achiever; the evader; and the habit keeper.
James M, co-founder of Tall Boy, told FEMAIL tips to ensure each of the five types has an easier time when it comes to letting items go.
Evaders often keep postponing decluttering, said Tall Boy, and will let unwanted items overrun their home – but don’t ever take responsibility
For example, people who collect items with sentimental value can create a ‘treasure box’ with their favourite items in order to let go of the others without feeling guilty.
Meanwhile, materialistic people who see their possession as a security should ask themselves whether they would pay the same to replace the identical item now in order to make space.
He said: ‘Our homes are one of the most sentimental things to us, and clutter can build up anywhere. Whether that be old photos or items we’re just not willing to let go of.
‘We hope these tips help those looking to refresh and take some clutter away from their space,’ he added.
Tall Boy describes people who have a hard time letting go of objects as ‘sentimentalists’.
It adds: ‘This is the person who simply can’t let go of anything connected to someone they love.
‘They define themselves by their family, relationship, or friends. They’ll have every picture their children bought home from school, ticket stubs from meaningful events, and endless trinkets, gifts, and mementos.’
How to Declutter with a Sentimentalist
It will be hard for a sentimentalist to part with their belongings, and the only thing that will truly make them budge is realising the toll the clutter is taking on their loved ones.
‘Set achievable goals and a timescale [for decluttering] rather than making demands it is impossible for them to meet,’ Tall Boy said.
‘They believe dealing with clutter is “throwing away” the people they love, so getting annoyed with their inability to part with anything isn’t going to solve the problem.’
People who are ‘materialists’ see security in their possessions, and therefore do not enjoy parting with them.
‘They work hard for their money and hate to let go of any previous purchase because “it cost a lot” and is likely to have been a significant investment for them when they bought it,’ Tall Boy explained.
How to declutter with the Materialist
A pragmatic approach to clutter might be the best way to help a materialist get over the mess.
‘Start by acknowledging the value at the time of purchase and ask whether they would pay the same to replace the identical item now,’ Tall Boy said.
‘For someone paying rent or a mortgage, calculating the cost per cubic metre of storing obsolete possessions can be all it takes to change perspective.’
However, this approach might fail on a homeowner who doesn’t pay rent or who isn’t repaying a mortgage.
‘In this situation, ask them to describe their dream home and what they would take with them if they moved,’ Tall Boy recommended.
‘No one imagines a beautiful new home filled with clutter, so it’s a great way to let go of anything which doesn’t fit their lifestyle now or in the future,’ they added.
If you’re a sentimentalist who’s having a hard time letting go, you might want to ask for the support of someone detached from the family, in order to help you throughout the decluttering project.
One way to ease the pain of letting go is to create a ‘treasure box’ for the most treasured items that the sentimentalist can return to.
‘Select the best, happiest, and most inspiring memories to keep then release the rest,’ said Tall Boy.
It’s a process, and one which can’t be rushed, but when it’s done properly life becomes smoother and happier for everyone in the home.’
The High Achiever
High achievers travel light and think nothing of ditching items that are no longer useful to them, according to Tall Boy.
‘Their home and lifestyle has to fit with their status and image of success,’ the publisher revealed.
So why do high achievers let clutter get the best of them?
‘They will cling to the evidence of past triumphs, with framed photos, awards, expensive business suits, and branded items,’ said Tall Boy.
‘But these, along with boxes of legal paperwork if they are fighting some form of battle for justice, can be a daily reminder of failure.’
How to declutter with the High Achiever
High achievers will need to get out of their slump in order to address the mess in their homes.
‘When they are ready, the best method is to set targets with a reward or achievable goal,’ Tall Boy said.
‘As they work towards it, the tension lifts and they begin to see themselves differently, allowing new opportunities, people, and success to come into their lives,’ they added.
Evaders will keep postponing the moment they have to declutter, and will let unwanted items gradually take over their home.
‘Whether it’s the kids, partner or circumstances causing the clutter, it is definitely not their fault,’ Tall boy explained.
How to declutter with an Evader
‘The evader really hates mess, but are so resigned to seeing it, that they totally absolve themselves of responsibility and have become part of the problem,’ the publisher said.
The best way to help them, is to empower the evader to deal with the stuff they do have control over, whilst treating the possessions of others with respect.
‘By changing their thinking, the evader can reclaim entire rooms and feel better about themselves and everyone else.
‘Interestingly, the new space and fresh feeling within the home has a snowball effect and other members of the household miraculously start decluttering too.’
The Habit Keeper
Sometimes, being ‘best prepared’ just means more clutter.
‘These are often war babies or boomers. Growing up with rationing and restrictions, they learned from their parents to keep everything “just in case”,’ Tall Boy explained.
‘This leads to sheds, garages, and attics full bursting with dusty, rusty, musty items which sadly have long since become obsolete,’ it added.
Habit keepers will often end up surrounded by clutter as they like to keep hold of things ‘just in case’, according to Tall Boy, which added that habit keepers are often war babies or boomers
How to declutter with a Habit-Keeper
‘Enlisting a practical and patient family member or friend to help ease the pressure is the best way forward,’ the publisher said.
You can also rely on a few questions in order to help the Habit keeper realise the clutter they are clinging onto has no practical value.
‘The questions to ask: When did you last use it? When do you think you might need to use it? Shall we let it go?
‘It can be an emotional process, but ultimately a huge relief,’ Tall Boy said.