5 decluttering tips to get you started

1. Declutter regularly

Tackle clutter a little bit each day or when you're doing another task at home. For example, when the kettle's on, clear the kitchen worktop. When you're waiting for a delivery, tackle an overful drawer or cupboard. When you're cleaning the bathroom, sort out your toiletries. 


Identify a regular time slot when you could tackle a particular area. For example, Filing Friday or Tidy Tuesday, so the idea of decluttering or organising sticks in your mind and you think of doing it on a regular basis.


Always put stuff for the charity shop straight into your car boot or in your hallway ready to be delivered when you're next passing. 


When you've done some decluttering, always think about what needs to change so that you can keep the area clutter free. For example, developing a new habit, starting a routine or asking for help.


2. Paperwork

Have a specific place where you put post and papers as they arrive through your door. For example a table in your hallway or kitchen with enough space to sort them and have supplies to help you deal with them. Have a bin right there.


Open the post every day. Recycle the envelopes, flyers and unaddressed mail straight away.


If you can, file paperwork to keep immediately or keep a shallow tray to store until you can file. Have a place to put things requiring your attention.


Keep reading material in a rack near to where you'll read it and clear the rack every week or at least when the next edition comes out. Regularly go through your action tray.



3. Storage Solutions

Sort through your things before you buy storage. Rationalise what you have and group similar things together. Decide what type of storage you would like for them and what would fit the space you're going to use. If you buy storage first, you may find you don't need it all and it just becomes part of your clutter. 


4. New stuff

Before you buy another gadget, dress or book, picture the exact spot in your home where you are going to store it. Do you really need it right now? Could you let go of one or two things before you buy it?  


Store out of season clothes in storage bags under the bed or in the loft. Label everything you store clearly so you can find it when you want it. Use your wardrobes and cupboards for things you want to use now and get your hands on easily. 


5. Give everything a home

Designate a landing strip for things like your keys, wallet and phone. Always put them in that place when you come home, so you know where to find them when you next need them. 


Have a space for things that need to be taken out of your home, like a box for things to be given back to people.


Clutter Quiz

Try Sue Kay's Clutter Quiz (Author of No More Clutter):


How long does it take you to find these 5 every day items:

1. Passport

2. Spare front door key

3. Doctor's phone number

4. Last bank statement

5. Envelope and stamp


Sue says, 'if it takes you more than 5 minutes then the chances are you are already wasting time on a daily basis looking for things you've lost'.