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How to De-Clutter Your Home

Author: Lisa Soeno

I am one of these people that can only work if I have a spick and span desk space. I can’t relax if there is clutter on the coffee table. And don’t even get me started on kitchen work surfaces.

However I’m a walking contradiction because I’m also a massive hoarder and can’t bear to throw away nostalgic things like birthday cards and holiday mementos. You remember that Friends episode where Monica’s secret cupboard-full-of-crap is revealed? That is the situation in the top drawer of my bedside table right now.

So it’s time for a clear out. Here’s some rules I follow when it comes to clutter, and some ideas that I’ve come across whilst researching for this post which I thought were pretty clever.

1. Have A Charity Bag On The Go

This is something that is constant operation in my garage, particularly so with two kids who are growing out of their clothes like there’s no tomorrow.

I pretty much jump for joy when one of those huge charity collection carrier bags drops through my letterbox as it means I don’t have to lug it all down to my local Oxfam. But you don’t need to wait for that to happen: I was pleased as punch to learn recently that if you call the British Heart Foundation you can arrange for them to come and collect your unwanted items.

2. Don’t Impulse Buy

Rich laughs at me because I’m constantly preaching Martin Lewis’ money saving mantra of “Will I use it? Is it worth it? Can I find it cheaper elsewhere?” when we are out shopping. However, I reckon it’s saved me a pretty penny…since the invention of Google it’s nearly always possible to hunt down a thriftier alternative.

3. Stop Keeping Stuff ‘Just In Case’

Yes, GCSE poetry anthology, I’m talking to you. And you, carrier bag full of miscellaneous cables. (On that note, we once sold a similar bag of wires at a car boot for £1. The things people buy!) The chances are, if you haven’t used something in the past couple of months, you’re not going to use it in the next couple of months.

4. Take Photos of Sentimental Items

If you’re holding on to an item just for nostalgic reasons, then by taking a picture of it and saving said picture in a ‘Nostagia’ file, you may be able to give away or chuck that item without the emotional pull on your heart strings. I reckon this is a tip which will help me clear half my loft.

5. Use Clever Storage

I’m talking baskets behind sofas, hooks in the hallway, nails in the garage. And if you have an attractive storage solution, even better: don’t hide it away. For example, one of my favourite parts of Jenson’s room is his shaker style peg rail as it’s not just functional, it’s also beautiful enough to be a decorative feature and hang proudly amongst his prints and pennants. Similarly, I’ve got a Stackers jewellery box which is luxe enough to adorn my bedside table, but it’s also clever because it can be added to with new compartments if my jewellery collection grows. (This isn’t currently happening. Because, you know, babies and bracelets don’t mix).

Have you seen any pretty storage solutions that I need to know about? Do you have any tips for de-cluttering? Any other Monicas out there?

{DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME}
  • John Lewis Jewellery Stand
    John Lewis Jewellery Stand
    SHOP NOW
  • Oliver Bonas basket
    Oliver Bonas Basket
    SHOP NOW
  • Oliver Bonas Hooks
    Oliver Bonas Hooks
    SHOP NOW

 

{Contributors}

Image by Adam Crohill.

Author
Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
This post may include affiliate links.

28 thoughts on “How to De-Clutter Your Home

  1. I would love to have a decluttered hpuse. I’m trying really hard. I gave 3 bags of clothes to charity and sold some bits on eBay a few weeks ago – some pieces which I really didn’t want to let go of (think Vivienne Westwood shoes!) but I’ve had them 6 years and worn then twice so what’s the point?! They sold for a pretty penny so I was ok about it.
    My issue is a small space in the kitchen where ‘stuff’ gets dumped, like bits that don’t have a specific home, but don’t live in the kitchen. I bought a little wooden drawer set to try and store it away but they are now full and it’s creeping onto the worktop again.
    Maybe I need a ‘basket of crap’ basket hidden in a cupboard to throw it all in?

    1. Claire, everyone needs a drawer or basket of crap! In our old house though we had about seven. My top tip for keeping on top of clutter is just to have one area you allow to accumulate the homeless crap and to sort it out regularly, otherwise it just continues to breed 😉

      1. Your ‘basket of crap’ makes me shudder 😣 No need for it at all. If it’s in the crap drawer it doesn’t have a proper place. Things that are useful and you want should have a place, and then there’s no such thing a crap drawer.

        1. Ha ha, maybe I need to rename it to be the ‘drawer of useful things that aren’t attractive enough to be put on display?!’ Ours has batteries, keys, pens, screen cleaner and the like in there.

    2. YES we have this issue in the kitchen too. As long as it’s not the first thing I see when I walk IN to the kitchen I don’t mind too much. You have made me start hunting for a nice wooden box to plonk it all in though.

  2. 🙋GCSE poetry anthology!! 😂 Did a chuck out of boxes of school work that my parents brought round and kept this amongst quite a few other books. I’m a hoarder too… my current strategy is to deal with it when there’s no more space in the loft?! But in all seriousness, I usually find it easier to chuck things after a good period of time. Can’t chuck if I’ve not used in a few months, have to wait a few years! And massive respect for decluttering with a new baby around, you’re a superwoman x

  3. We have a Drawer of Doom in the kitchen and a growing pile of charity/car boot/mending/loft crap taking over our bedroom 🙈 It was my goal to return to work after maternity leave with an organised, decluttered home – turns out all the cute baby paraphernalia has increased my hoarding habit! Maybe today will be the day I tackle the pile, great ideas Lisa!xx

  4. I am ask similar questions when I am shopping to reduce ‘stuff’ but I avoid the ‘can I get it cheaper?’ because I think that is what has led to the rise of slave trade, the decimation of our high streets, poor working environments, and a throw away society – none of which have positive impact on humanity but things that we are hopefully getting more aware of. I do like your flow chart – one I will definitely be using!

    1. Oh Mandy I’d never thought about it like that however I will think twice the next time I go to buy something. Glad you like the pin. X

  5. We’ve just managed to send one of the boxes of charity shop stuff to the charity shop – it’s only been sitting there 5 months waiting for us to actually get it out the door!

    Like the rest of you we have places in the house where the stuff gets dumped until it becomes too much and we have to sort it out. And I’ve found that if there’s a box there to keep it tidy then I’ll tolerate it for much longer – which only means there’s more to do when I get round to it. I really wish I could get into better habits and find homes for the things that don’t seem to have one, and also about putting things that do have a home back. (Because I’m always losing scissors, despite the fact that we have about 6 pairs in the house, they are never where they are supposed to be!)

    1. Meant to say also that we’ve become a bit too used to living with chaos recently, whilst the kitchen is being done. Looking forward to being able to finally get things a bit calmer once all new cupboards and shelves are in place.

  6. I have a conversation with my husband about 3 times a day about putting things back in their home, the amount of times I find the coffee in the fridge or he is looking for his tools and starts shouting that he can’t find it and have I moved them. Probably darling… but if you put them back in their home then you would know where they were. However my big issue is the post!! It sits by the microwave for weeks! Why do banks insist on sending so much guff! Do we actually need to keep all this paperwork???

  7. I found the Marie kondo book really helped me (I’m sure you’ve done a post on it before), especially with the clothes situation and the number of books I owned. Our books now all fit into one wall cupboard which has made a big difference. I’m currently pregnant so my wardrobe is chaos again, full of clothes that I can’t get into, and then I’ve unpacked all my maternity clothes into the wardrobe and it’s now overflowing again which stresses me out!

    We have a kitchen windowsill which regularly gets paperwork dumped on it. The family business is run from a small office off the kitchen, so I’m constantly battling paperwork overload. But until I can get my mother in law (who does the paperwork) to tidy the office I just have to live with her overspill! We’ve got overflowing walk in cupboards full of baby toys etc that we know we’ll need again, but I’m desperate to sort through them as it’s so stressful trying to get in there! Maternity leave starts in 2 weeks so I’m hoping I can sort through some of it before no 2 arrives (wishful thinking! I will most probably loaf about while son is at nursery!). 😂

  8. I am terrible at hoarding and but have no idea how stuff just seems to multiply. We are planning on selling our house in 18 months and I’m conscious that putting in the work to declutter now would make it easier nearer the time. My hubby has done amazingly well at clearing out the cellar – apart from a few tins of paint it’s empty, the garden shed, and unused stuff in the kitchen, but I can’t seem to make a noticeable dent in my things. I’ll want nice new things in a new house so I need to keep that mind!

  9. Taking a photo of sentimental items is an amazing idea!! I’ve heard of that before for children’s artwork, but never thought to apply it to my own little keepsakes.

    To take it one step further, you could use the photos to create a photobook of special talking point memories.

    Thanks for the post – it’s really inspired me! x

  10. Oh and thanks everyone for your honesty…I’m forever feeling like I’m not quite a “proper adult” (despite being a mum of two in my 30’s) for not having my house together and de-cluttered. Somehow knowing everyone else has things haphazardly stashed away to deal with later makes me feel a little better! x

    1. The Rock My readers are the best ❤️

      I know exactly what you mean. I still feel eighteen and often wonder how I’ve got TWO KIDS?!

  11. Why does the kitchen end up being the place where unopened post comes to die?! Bane of my life despite trying to get it organised before filing it just never gets there! Blame the husband! We are quite good at being ruthless with things, think it helps living in a tiny house! I do have allocated spaces for things ie. recipe books, if I get a new one and theres no space, one has to go! Don’t go thinking we’re that perfect tho, having just sold said tiny house, things were thrown into random cupboards (think allen keys with the crockery!) to get it looking clutter free and ‘oh how lovely, can’t you just imagine living here’ I dread what we’ll find when packing it all up!

    1. Ha ha sounds like another cupboard-full-of-crap situ!

      EVERY weekend I tell myself I will sort out the paperwork pile in the kitchen. I guess it collects there because it’s the heart of the house?

      Congratulations on your house sale x

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