By Nancy Rones

Minimalism has arrived, especially in home decor, and it has given rise to companies that actually come and declutter your house, for a fee. They are mainly in the USA, of course. Hands-on decluttering companies offer to help those of us stuck in the aspirational stages. “Clutter drains us, by reminding us of everything that needs to be done,” says Cary Telander Fortin, co-owner of the declutter and design service New Minimalism in San Francisco. “When it’s gone, you feel free.”

Fortin’s starter tips for paring down:

  • Assess the organising helpers you already own. Are they just more “stuff” (e.g., is your footwear swimming around an inefficient shoe rack; is that multi-binder system for recipes too complicated for your dozen go-tos)? Make peace with the money you spent by donating these items to charities or schools.
  • Base your “keeps” on what brings you real happiness and value. Ask yourself, “Am I using this?” or, “Do I truly love it?” If both answers are “no,” it’s clutter.
  • Immediately decide what you’re keeping, returning, donating, or recycling as unplanned items come into the house. Postponing
    action on unwanted gifts, iffy

    purchases, and bundles of hand- me-downs creates piles on the
    floor or countertops, whereas decluttering in real time keeps your space consistently clear.