14/03/19 Decluttering

ECP coach Alison talks about decluttering and why she declutters her home at least once a year. To find out more, read this week’s Weekly English Practice!


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Decluttering your home

Decluttering is something most of us have done at least once in our lives, but ECP coach Alison does it at least once a year. Read more to find out why.

Before you read the complete article, look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

crowded: full, covered

clear: empty

the bottom line is: most importantly, fundamentally

go to waste: be unused or unappreciated

to hoard: to accumulate objects

to clutter: to fill with an untidy collection of things

in turn: as a result, consequently

miles more: a lot more, far more

joy: happiness, pleasure

Listen to the audio (refresh the page if it’s not visible)

Decluttering is the act of getting rid of all the things in your home that you don’t need. You can do this by giving them away or throwing them away. Of course it requires a little time and effort, but believe me, it’s completely worth it! Here are 5 reasons to declutter your home today:

1. Cleaning — Keeping your home clean is much easier after you’ve freed up space. Shelves covered in books and ornaments, a messy desk, and kitchen counters crowded with appliances take much longer to clean because you have to lift things up and move them around. You might not believe this, but cleaning actually becomes enjoyable when most of your surfaces are clear.

2. Finding things — Besides cleaning, knowing where things are in your home can save you time and reduce your stress levels. Decluttering provides you with new storage space, making it much easier to remember where you’ve left things. There’s solid advice in the saying “a place for everything and everything in its place”.

3. Reduced visual noise — You might think that the things you own make you happy, but the bottom line is they take up space. People often keep things just because they don’t want them to go to waste, but hoarding is worse than giving things to charity. Not only do objects clutter our physical space, but they also fill up our vision and, in turn, our mental space. When there’s less in sight, there’s less to think about, and this makes room for more creative thinking.

4. Increased motivation — Perhaps the most surprising effect of decluttering is that, once I’ve taken a few bags of clothes to the charity shop and recycled a few bags of old paperwork, I notice a clear difference in my energy levels. This affects my attitude towards work, language-learning, socialising and even exercise! The space around me becomes enjoyable and my days are miles more productive.

5. Saving money — When you realise just how many things you have at home that you rarely use, it helps you to think twice before making your next superfluous purchase. We have a tendency to spend money on things that we think will bring us satisfaction, when what we really need is to surround ourselves with positive people and activities.

Tidying guru Marie Kondo recommends we keep only those things that really bring us joy, and my experience has shown that most of the things I think I’ll need one day are soon forgotten. So why not take a few hours out of your routine to focus on what items you could live without?

Written by ECP coach Alison Keable

Let’s chat about that!

Write your opinions in an email and send them to your ECP coach!

  • On the whole, are you a tidy or messy person?
  • Do you declutter regularly?
  • Which is the messiest room in your home and why?
  • What things could you get rid of today?
  • What things could you never get rid of?
  • What do you think of Marie Kondo’s advice?


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