How to declutter based on your personality type


  • Google searches for “how do I declutter my house” and “what should you not do when decluttering” have seen a 33% increase and 100% increase respectively
  • To help those looking for a place to start with decluttering, Tall Boy has partnered with an interiors therapist to reveal how to best clean based on your personality type

Google searches for “how do I declutter my house” and “what should you not do when decluttering” have seen a 33% and 100% increase respectively over the last 12 months.

With this in mind, and to help those struggling with where to start with decluttering, home interiors brand, Tall Boy, has partnered with interiors therapist, Suzanne Roynon, to define five different personality types associated with clutter.

‘The Sentimentalist’

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

The sentimentalist will only feel able to act once they accept the impact their clutter is having on the family, and even then, they must be ready to deal with it. Set achievable goals and a timescale rather than making demands it is impossible for them to keep. 

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. It’s often easiest and quickest to have someone detached from the family to support the sentimentalist one to one throughout the project.

It’s vital to acknowledge the need to hang onto some physical memories and a great method is to create a ‘treasure box’ for everyone. Select the best, happiest, and most inspiring memories to keep then release the rest. 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 Evader’

Whether it’s the kids, partner or circumstances causing the clutter, it is definitely not their fault!

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 best way to manage the situation 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 Materialist’

For the materialist, possessions equal security. 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.

How to declutter with the Materialist

Start by acknowledging the value at the time of purchase and ask whether they would pay the same to replace the identical item now.

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.

It’s not so effective if someone owns a home outright. In this situation, ask them to describe their dream home and what they would take with them if they moved… 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.

The ‘Habit keeper’

These are often war babies or boomers. Growing up with rationing and restrictions, they learned from their parents to keep everything ‘just in case’.

This leads to sheds, garages, and attics full bursting with dusty, rusty, musty items which sadly have long since become obsolete. 

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 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.

The ‘High Achiever’

These people travel light and don’t think twice about letting something go if it’s no longer useful to them. Their home and lifestyle has to fit with their status and image of success.

Clutter will only become an issue if things go wrong. They will cling to the evidence of past triumphs, with framed photos, awards, expensive business suits, and branded items, 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

This can only happen if they want to come out of their slump rather than stay in an emotional vacuum of anger and resentment.

When they are ready, the best method is to set targets with a reward or achievable goal. 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. 

James M, Co-founder of Tall Boy comments, “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.

“At Tall Boy we want people to feel proud of their homes and have a space that reflects their true personality and taste in design. We hope these tips help those looking to refresh and take some clutter away from their space!”

Further decluttering tips to make your home look fresh can be found here:

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