An astounding 81% of people say they feel stressed during the Christmas period1. Helen Sanderson MSc is a psychotherapist, interior designer and one of the UK’s most well-respected clutter experts, and she suggests that the accumulation of clutter, both physical and psychological, is one of the leading factors resulting in stress during the festive season.
She has spent the last 15 years providing solutions in the face of clutter, and her book, kit and workshops will help you to clear your home, and in turn clear your mind as well. They will make an invaluable present for those you know who are struggling with clutter in the lead-up to the Christmas holidays.
Buying, gifts, decorations, wrapping materials and Christmas cards are just some of the many ways in which clutter can build up in your living space over the course of the festive season. But in the immediate aftermath of the stresses and excesses of the festive period, the last thing most people want to do is declutter and organise their home. When the season comes around again however, all of those things will still be piled up somewhere and adding to your strain, especially as you are trying to make your place look presentable to visitors.
Why it’s a good idea to declutter
Helen’s solutions revolve around the connection between our living space and our mental wellbeing. She believes that beneath every pile of clutter is a story to be told; a reason within oneself that explains why we struggle to keep our living space tidy. She refers to this as our “Clutter Why”, and once you understand your personal reason it empowers you to make a mental shift and start creating a clutter-free, organised and nurturing home.
A practical solution that Helen suggests is “mindful decluttering”; tidying one’s home in a stress and pressure-free environment. One way in which this can be achieved is by decluttering in advance of Christmas and the festive period, so you have much less to clean and organise on the day itself and you can enjoy it with your guests.
Many of Helen’s solutions to decluttering your home are explained in her book, The Secret Life of Clutter. It was published last year and has received much-deserved recognition and praise for highlighting the profound impact that decluttering can have on one’s mental wellbeing. Renowned film-maker and musician Jamie Catto recommends The Secret Life of Clutter and explains its influence. He said: “Helen Sanderson tells wonderful, moving, and inspiring stories of people whose blocked homes mirrored a blockage in their life. A beautiful read, filled with compassion and understanding.” The book recommends a realistic, simple approach to decluttering and building up to larger holidays and festivities. More information on The Secret Life of Clutter can be found here, and the book can be purchased online on Amazon.
Home declutter kit
Helen’s Home Declutter Kit provides a simple, easy way to clear clutter from your life. Offering a hands-on, step-by-step process to clean your home and wow your family and guests, the Home Declutter Kit is the perfect tool to both kick-start and turbocharge your declutter project. Featuring over 30 beautifully designed action cards and a written guide with easy-to-follow instructions, the kit is a perfect gift for anyone who would benefit from a little more space and order in their lives. It is available for purchase on Helen’s official website.
For those seeking personal consultation over their issues with clutter, Helen’s Getting Clear Workshops can make the ideal gift. Helen will speak to you, getting to grips with your specific situation and finding your “Clutter Why”, and suggesting a personalised decluttering program to suit your needs. She has identified ten different drivers which could be causing your clutter problem and will work through them with you to put you on the path to decluttering your home. Helen’s Getting Clear Workshops consist of a 90-minute interactive online workshop session with her, a bonus live 90-minute Q & A session on a separate day and access to recordings of the workshop. The next workshop will take place on Wednesday October 11th and can be booked online here.
Helen is looking forward to helping more and more people in decluttering their living spaces and aiding them in finding out the hidden reasons for their clutter challenges. She said: “It’s always such a great feeling to help others help themselves; I have received a lot of messages of support and appreciation from those that have read my book and used my products and services for which I am very grateful. The Secret Life of Clutter, my kit and workshops will make a wonderful and thoughtful present for anyone you know that is struggling with clutter, and many of us do.”
To find out more about Helen and look through the various products and services she has on offer, visit her decluttering website here.
Helen Sanderson MSc is a psychotherapist, interior designer and one of the UK’s most well-respected clutter experts, appearing regularly on TV, radio and podcasts. Helen helps people create beautifully organised, clutter-free homes and live more mindful and meaningful lives. She works with her clients holistically to uncover what their homes reveal about their psyches and what is blocking them from letting go and moving on. Helen combines her design expertise with her knowledge as a practising psychotherapist and Enneagram coach to enable clients to make positive steps to clear blocks that stand in their way, starting with the home.
1. Mental Health at Christmas: How to Cope During the Holidays
Helen Sanderson MSc, MBACP, author of The Secret Life of Clutter is a psychotherapist, professional organiser, and interior designer. Her award-shortlisted book has been described as “a love letter to clarity and a recognition that when we create more physical space, we create mental headspace and momentum in our lives. If you don’t want your possessions to possess you, this is a book you must read.” The powerful truths she reveals in her book can inform and inspire anyone who wants to build a better relationship with the place they live.
One of the UK’s most experienced and well-respected clutter experts, Helen has appeared on TV and BBC national and local radio, spoken at events such as Ideal Homes, Mind Body Spirit, CarFest and 100% Design, and been covered widely in the media, including FT, Telegraph, Mail, Readers’ Digest, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Red and many others.
Helen has been helping people to understand what causes their clutter, transforming spaces and transforming lives for over 15 years. An expert in the psychology of clutter, Helen is convinced that ‘your home speaks your mind’ and is an experienced and engaging public speaker and go to ‘Clutter expert’ in the media. She recently researched the relationship between clutter and deep
As a practising psychotherapist, Helen draws on her extensive knowledge of depth psychology, spirituality and personal development to uncover fascinating connections between her clients’ life story and their clutter. She emphasises that the key to change is to work with these two aspects in an integrated process. By doing this, people who have been overwhelmingly stuck are able to make life-changing shifts and transform their homes on a practical and emotional level.
Helen is known for helping people create beautifully organised, clutter-free homes and live more mindful and meaningful lives. She does this though intensive 1:1 work with people in their homes, virtual coaching, a unique group training The Clutter ShiftTM, along with a programme of workshops, digital courses and webinars. Committed to empowering people get into action, Helen developed her Home Declutter KitTM, a practical DIY decluttering solution based on her powerful Getting ClearTM methodology.
Sanderson’s belief is that clutter represents decisions that haven’t been made and actions that haven’t been taken. Her unique three-stage decluttering process is based on the analogy of transforming an overgrown garden through weeding, planting and maintaining. These aspects relate to mindful decluttering; carefully considered organising; and then building new habits and mindset so people can establish a better relationship with their homes. She is a longstanding member of APDO (Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers).
Helen also founded interior design studio Ministry of Calm, working with clients such as the Guardian, 38 Degrees, University of Gloucester and Marie Curie, and describes working on the sacred space for a Marie Curie hospice as one of her peak experiences. She brings this interior design experience to bear on her client’s homes, alongside the organisational skills and psychological insight. This holistic approach combines into an intuitive ability to sense what needs to shift in both the person and their space.
An artist by background, her career has taken twists and turns, but always woven its way between interior spaces and psychological space. She spends her time in her garden and in nature and is a lifelong student of Zen.