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?

  • John Lewis Jewellery Stand
    John Lewis Jewellery Stand
  • Oliver Bonas basket
    Oliver Bonas Basket
  • Oliver Bonas Hooks
    Oliver Bonas Hooks