No one ever plans to have clutter. Clutter is like age; it slowly builds up over time. We don’t see or recognize it, as it seems to quietly grow as we sleep.

It’s not until we begin to tidy up before company is coming to visit that we suddenly realize that we have all this “stuff” everywhere.

Where did it all come from?    

These extra “things” come to live with us after years of accumulations of impulse purchases – the “must haves,” the “I cannot part with this because it was my grandmother’s lamp,” or “I went to (insert your favorite store name here) just to look around.”

It’s an affliction that haunts many of us. If this is ringing a bell, have faith – you can be cured.

Let’s take this step by step by step. You know the saying: “Keep it simple.” Another phrase to hold close is “less is more.”

To “keep it simple,” begin to tackle just one room at a time. In each room, start with baby steps, and make three areas in each room for the items you need to address. One pile is for “keep,” one is for “throw away,” and one is for “donate or sell.”

If you decide on “sell,” be mindful that others might not think your treasures are as valuable as you think they are.

On some level, all of our stuff is “treasure.” We just need to be particular and weed out some treasures from the past so we be present.

Home is our safe haven, and we have all learned how important the home environment is this past year and a half. Trust that you will improve the quality and peace of your haven by relocating items to others.

If you can bear to get rid of all of your treasures, at least put some of them out of sight for a while. Take all non-essential items, vases, statues, vases, candlestick – you get the drift – and put them in the garage or another room with a door that closes.

Do not take anything out and put it back for at least 24 hours. If you haven’t touched it for more than three days, rethink whether you truly need it or not.

The longer you wait, the more you will see how your energy and mood picks up. This is because you are a happy declutter-er who is on the way to a total cure.

Slowly, put back some treasures.

Over the next days, let your eyes and mind rest on how wonderful and peaceful the space now feels. If you are feeling more relaxed and are breathing easier, you did it!

So, are you going to take the challenge and go for the cure? You can do this!

Remember that giving is the most awesome way of receiving. You will not miss the stuff you give away. You will experience a sense of achievement and satisfaction through your hard work. Own it, and make it fun.

Diamond Riegel is an interior design consultant and owner of Designs by Diamond, Bluffton. diamondbydesign@aol.com