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Nov 16, 2022

How To Declutter Your Home - with Top Tips From Professionals

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Clutter can creep up on all of us. One minute you have a lovely, tidy home and then all of a sudden it feels like you’re living in a jumble sale.

Oftentimes the problem seems so far gone that it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to declutter your home, including decluttering tips from some of our favourite professional declutterers.

After all, the benefits of decluttering can include a boost to your mental health and well-being.

'Being surrounded by mess and clutter can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or frustration. A tidy home free from clutter is known to reduce stress, anxiety and depression and improve happiness. Knowing that everything is there because it adds value to your life, saves time and improves efficiency.'

- Kate Ibbotson, A Tidy Mind Founder

Find out how to declutter your home below and remember, small progress is better than no progress!


1. Start small

One of our best decluttering tips is to start small! Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, so break it up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Set a timer for 5 minutes and see how much you can get done in that time. It’ll get your adrenaline going and add a bit of excitement to what can otherwise be a very dull, dreary job.

This is also a good trick to get kids involved! After all, a bit of competition never hurt anybody. Give them a bin bag and a charity bag, and challenge them to get rid of as many broken toys and tatty teddies as possible in that 5 minutes. If you’re lucky, they might not even realise they’re tidying!

Or, instead of decluttering for small amounts of time, you could focus on decluttering small spaces. When we asked Katie The Clutter Fairy how to declutter your home, she advised,

'Try decluttering one drawer, cupboard or perhaps just your handbag; build up your decluttering muscle before you tackle the bigger jobs.'

- Katie, The Clutter Fairy.

It’s all about the quick wins! Once you start seeing a difference from these small bursts, the bigger tasks will seem easier to tackle.


2. Clear off countertops

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Want to know the quickest way to make your home seem less cluttered? Clear all the items off any countertops. Kitchen counters, coffee tables, drawers and dressing tables; these are all areas that draw the eye, so clearing them of any clutter will instantly make your home seem tidier.


3. Take it room by room

Focusing on one room at a time will ensure you do a thorough job, so you don’t have to come back to it in a few months time. Identify clutter hotspots in the home and prioritise these first. Here’s how to declutter your home, room by room:

Living Room

The living room should feel nice and homely, not overcrowded. First, focus on clearing surfaces like the coffee table and TV unit. This will instantly make the room feel tidier. Then sort through items and decide what to keep or not. Be ruthless. Do you really need the Friends box set when they’re all on Netflix? Get rid. Keep a few key items to use as feature pieces in the room.

Kitchen

It’s easy for the kitchen to become cluttered, with various pots, pans and appliances building up over time. The first step to decluttering the kitchen is to do an audit of the items you have and decide what you do and don’t need. If you don’t need it, or you’ve got too many of the same item - get rid. Next, decide where everything should be stored. Once everything’s got its place, it’ll be easier to keep on top of.

Bathroom

Is your bathroom overflowing with cleansers, body washes and lotions - most of which are out of date? The first decluttering tip for the bathroom is, again, to do an audit of everything in there. If you’ve got lots of the same items or they’re out of date, recycle or donate where possible. Then implement a strict one-in-one-out policy.

Bedroom

The bedroom can quickly become the messiest room in the house. The first thing you should do is make your bed - it’s surprising how much of a difference this can make! Then, pull everything out from under the bed. That way, there’s nowhere for clutter to hide. Sort your stuff into piles: keep, donate, sell and recycle.

**Bonus tip! **Create a timetable for when you will tackle each room. Set a day and stick to it!


4. Decide what to do with your ‘decluttered’ items

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It’s often hard to get rid of your unwanted items because you can’t bear the thought of a perfectly good item ending up in the bin. Come up with a plan for what to do with your items and it’ll make them easier to part with. We recommend coming up with 4 piles for donate, sell, recycle and bin.

You can donate your unwanted items to your local charity shop. Just check which items they accept and make sure they’re in good condition. You could also donate items directly to people in need, like giving clothes to a women and children’s shelter.

Sell

Selling your unwanted items is a win-win: items find a new home and you get some extra cash. You could sell your items in person at a car boot sale or online on sites like Depop, Vinted or even Facebook Marketplace.

You can sell your unwanted books to us here at WeBuyBooks. This year, the average seller has made £28.62 by selling to WeBuyBooks. And when you sell over £25 worth of books to us, we’ll automatically increase your offer by 10%. Start selling here.

Recycle

If you can’t find a new home for your items, the next best thing is to recycle. Most items probably can’t be recycled at home (unless they are paper, plastic or glass), so you’ll have to take them to your local recycling centre. Most recycling centres accept furniture, domestic appliances (like ovens and washing machines) and TVs.

Bin

Is there really no way anyone could use your items again? Or no other way you could reuse it? Even a ratty old T-shirt could become a cleaning cloth. If there is no alternative, put your unwanted items in the bin.


5. Stop being over sentimental about stuff

It’s nice to have a few keepsakes from special moments in your life, but do you really need roughly 1,000 drawings by your kids? Probably not.

It’s easy to give items more meaning than they actually have, as we try to cling on to those precious memories. But the important thing is that you have the memories, not the things. Hold on to a few special items, but there’s no need to keep your child’s entire artistic portfolio.


6. Storage solutions

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When you start thinking about how to declutter your home, it’s easy to try and think of new ways to hide your stuff, instead of actually getting rid of things. You might find yourself ordering new storage baskets off IKEA. However, Katie The Clutter Fairy warns,

'Declutter, organise and then consider storage ideas, always in that order. We often see clients who have purchased storage solutions hoping they will solve their problems, only for them to add to the clutter as they aren't fit for purpose.'

That’s not to say storage can’t help! Once you’ve decided which items you definitely want to keep, here are some handy storage ideas that can help get all your stuff out of the way.

Vertical storage is a great way to clear floor space and provide more places to put your items. A shelving unit could be used in the living room to display photos, trinkets and magazines, keeping other surfaces clear. In the bedroom, it could be used to store makeup, toiletries and jewelry. Use storage baskets to make this appear neater.

A hanging shoe organiser on the back of cupboard doors is another great way to increase storage space. You could use it to clear up stray shoes left in the hallway, or to store toiletries, or even arts and crafts items.

And if you’ve got a drawer crammed full of all sorts of stuff, Amanda Biggs at Professionally Organised recommends using small containers to keep it tidy.

'Empty chocolate or sweet tins, jars, mobile phone boxes and gift bags all make useful free storage containers and can stop these areas becoming a free for all.'

If you need any more storage tips, check out our home organisation blog.


7. Interior decor

Yes, there is such a thing as too many pillows and throws! You don’t want your decor to become part of the clutter. It’s easy start compulsively buying items that would look good in your home, even if you don’t need them. Take inventory of every room in the home and identify the items that you don’t need.

Can’t see the couch for cushions? Donate them to a dog’s home. Neverending photo frames in the living room? Buy a multi-photo frame to hang on the wall. Piles of magazines on the coffee table? Recycle old copies. And most importantly, put yourself on a buying ban!


8. Forget about the cost

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It’s hard to let go of items you’ve spent money on - especially if it was expensive and you’ve never really used it. This means we tend to hang on to items for much longer than we should, in the desperate hope that we’ll suddenly find use for it.

However, this is a flawed way of thinking. Ultimately, you’ve spent that money - it’s gone. You should only decide to keep an item based on the value it can add to your life right now. Will it be something that you use and enjoy, or will it sit in the corner gathering dust for the next 5 years? If you really want to declutter your home, you have to only keep things that add value to your life.


9. Make it fun!

Want to know the secret to declutter your home? Make it fun! Don’t underestimate the power of a good cleaning playlist! It’s easy to see decluttering as a chore, but by adding some music and games into the mix you can make it enjoyable.

Time yourselves and see who can get rid of the most clutter in 5 minutes. Or see who can put together the weirdest outfit from clothes you’re donating. Or challenge your cleaning buddy to see who can find the most expensive item to sell. All whilst bopping to your favourite tunes.


10. One-in one-out rule

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Now that you’ve finally decluttered your home, keep it that way! Establish a strict one-in one-out rule, so you don’t end up in the same position again. Overbuying robs you of space, money and time, so now’s the time to put a stop to it.


SSo there you have it! Now you know how to declutter your home, with tips from professionals. And don’t forget, if you need to get rid of any books, you can sell them to us here at WeBuyBooks. Start selling your books below.

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