Can I have a show of hands if you feel you are drowning in a sea of stuff? That your possessions are getting out of control? Do you open cupboard and 1000s of things fall out? Then this is the post for you. Today, I’m giving you decluttering tips from the latest Secret Styling Club workshop so that you can create a minimal, clutter free home.
Secret Styling Club were asked by storage experts Neville Johnson to run a bespoke workshop at their brand-spanking new store in Guildford where we shared our decluttering tips. This is a fave topic of Laurie and me. We both have different approaches to dealing with mess!
The Secret Styling Club’s De-cluttering Tips
Getting your home in order can help you stick to good habits, have a happier life at home and feel more in control of my life. We all know that outer order contributes to inner calm.
Decluttering can very emotional to start with. Especially when are saying goodbye to things that you have owned for years. It’s estimated by the UK Association of Professional Declutters that 30% of the average home is made up of clutter. That’s an awful lot of things to sort through. So…how do you start?
Firstly, ask yourself these five questions to help you declutter any corner of your home:
Have I used this item in the past year?
Will I use it in the year ahead?
If I was shopping right now, would I buy it again?
If it is broken, is it worth fixing?
Would I keep this if I moved home?
If the answer is NO! then it’s time to get rid.
How to edit your belongings:
Personally, I prefer to do it by corner by corner. I love a clutter-busting afternoon. I’ll tackle a small area in my home and really work out what items I need or want. Start by breaking it down into corners – from the under-sink cupboard in the kitchen, to the bathroom cabinet to the kid’s toys – all these spaces can do with a detox.
While Laurie prefers to do it by type. She advises you take all of your cushions/vases/picture frames/lamps from around the house and think about which ones you really love and still want, and which ones you have simply because they fill a spot or you’ve had them a long time.
This works for her as it means I often look at something out of its original place and instantly see somewhere else it might work better.
By the end you should have 3 piles – KEEP, SELL and GIVE AWAY. With the items you sell, you can put the money towards something you have been daydreaming about for your home, like new built-in storage. It is estimated that there is £32.7 billion of clutter in our homes in re-sale value. Think of what you could put that money towards.
Next, work out what storage your home needs:
Maximise Dead Space! Most cupboards and existing storage is only half maximised. Look for the “dead” spaces in your home – like up above or down below.
Hang It! Pegs and hooks are brilliant for keeping belongings to hand both inside and outside of cupboards. They look stylish and are easy to use.
Put Wheels On It! Wheels on furniture make them easy to move around your home. Bar carts are fab as they can be moved from room to room.
Organise Your Drawers! Cupboards need pull-out drawers and rails so that you can access all your possessions easily. Neville Johnson will install clever compartments in their drawers for each and every belonging.
Find Self-Storage! For those who have bigger fish to fry, getting a separate storage space can do a lot to free up your space. You can find self-storage in Hackney, Guildford, and Brighton. It is readily available across the UK, so there are no excuses if your too-large couch hogs more space than you’d like.
And in the future…
Have one single family junk drawer in your home. Keep belongings – like keys and reading glasses – in a designated spot. The reward should be in seeing more liveable space and not spending the average 15-40 minutes trying to find things each day.
Buy fewer (and better things). Resist the impulse to buy stop-gap purchases. Instead focus on quality and longevity. If you can’t do that, then have regular clear outs.
Steal ideas from organisational masters. Experts such as hoteliers and shopkeepers know how to come up with novel approaches to storage. Blogs and Instagram are also full of storage tricks and ideas – we love the blog Remodelista or My Beautiful Mess for alternative storage ideas. Books like ‘Clutter- clearing ideas for Stylish Shelf Art’ by Martha Roberts. Or for the ruthless… The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo.
Instagram is ideal for seeing how others have sorted and displayed their belongings. Try following hashtag #declutteryourlife which has 35K posts or our personal fave – #clutterfreewithkids
Make incorporated storage your BFF
Fitted furniture will make the most of every single centimeter of space in your home. A dumping ground under the stairs can become an office, an alcove can become a hidden TV unit. You can now have storage built into any awkward space, over doorways, under benches and cabinets.
You’ll want your fitted furniture to complement your decorating scheme and it’s amazing how much extra storage this can offer you. Think you don’t have any space? Think again!
Storage experts like Neville Johnson’s offer a one-to-one design service and the beauty of this is that they are masters at what they do, offering ways to create storage in spaces you’d never even think about.
It’s worth getting an advisor round to your home to see what solutions they can offer – and they often have sales on so it is not as expensive as you think!
That’s our declutter tips. Do you feel ready to tackle cluttered areas of your home. I’m dying to know.
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Photo credits: Alistair Rowe. All thoughts and opinions are my own.