Welcome to our first post from the amazing Laura Hussain from All In Order. She shares with us the best way to declutter your home...
People often come to me and say that their houses are cluttered and a complete mess, they want to have a good clear out but they haven’t got a clue where to start. So, I thought I would give you some of my top decluttering tips to hopefully give you a gentle ‘spring’ in the right direction.
First, I want to start off by saying, you might not believe me, but your storage space is perfect for you, you just have more things than you actually need!
My first suggestion would be set aside a weekend in your diary and rope in family or friends to help you. Hire a skip (obviously only if you have that much clutter) so you are tied to a date, commitment is key!
MAKE A PLAN
The first thing I do when I visit a home is to do a rough floor plan of the house and get the person to highlight key problem rooms using traffic light colours.
Red being the first rooms to tackle, these I often find are attic or loft spaces, garages, basements office areas or children’s play rooms.
Next would be orange rooms, these are usually wardrobes, kitchen cupboards, utility rooms, your general day to day type rooms.
Then last, our green rooms, if your house is generally cluttered you don’t often find people have many green rooms but these tend to be bathrooms as there isn’t as much storage space to hoard in these rooms. These usually just need a good clean!
NOW YOUR PLAN IS COMPLETE
Pick your most cluttered area/room, then pull everything out of the cupboards and put it all in a central location. I usually use the bed if it's in the bedrooms or a table in your downstairs rooms. This can often be the most daunting process so please don’t be put off at this stage, you can’t organise everything if you can’t see everything! This is where I would now clean the empty areas, get the hoover out, put your gloves on and give everything a good wipe down. There is no point in putting your belongings back in dirty spaces.
I usually use 3 big plastic storage containers and work on the basis of a) keep b) throw (you have a skip outside don’t forget!) c) sell or charity. Then with your pile of items that you have pulled out of the cupboards start organising into the 3 containers. Remember to ask yourself have I used this in the past 6 months?. Try to be strict with your decisions! The trick here though is to actually take the stuff to charity, don’t leave it in the house take it straight outside or if you are going to sell it, take pictures now and put them on the Facebook buy swap and sell sites.
CLEARING OUT YOUR ALL IMPORTANT WARDROBE
The task we never want to do! Instead of asking yourself cliché question of when you last wore something, ask the below questions instead!
How did I feel the last time I wore this? Is upkeep for this piece a pain? (i.e. do I have to iron this every time I wear it, is it dry clean only? Is all of the hassle worth it?) or will I actually wear it? If the answer to any of these is a negative one, consider purging it from your collection.
‘Geek tip’ – Sometimes when I go out, if people comment about how nice my outfit is or I feel particularly confident in what I am wearing I try to take a picture of myself in that outfit, not to share with anyone but as a reminder to myself of what I looked good in for times like this when I am having a good clear out. I personally tend to clear my wardrobe out every 3 months, but I always keep staple items i.e. Leather jacket, black dress, great fitting jeans, white t-shirt etc.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ROOM
The master bedroom is, in my opinion, the most important room in the house to keep decluttered and organised. We deserve a place to come to at the end of a long day that is a sanctuary, where we can truly relax. It is almost impossible to feel peaceful in a cluttered and chaotic environment. So make this room a priority!
PREVENT THE CLUTTER RETURNING
My moto would be don’t allow potential clutter into the house in the first place - Before you purchase or acquire anything new, ask yourself, “Do I really need it?" and “Where will I keep it?" If you don’t have an immediate answer to those two questions, don’t bring it home. Deal with letters, clothes, toys and other common clutter a little each day. Set aside 10 minutes a day and you’ll avoid having to find hours to clean up messes in the future. If you build this time into your daily routine, you are likely to have greater success. If daily isn’t doable, plan a weekly declutter sweep and be sure to give yourself enough time.
If this all still feels overwhelming I am always here to lend a hand! Don’t put off what could easily change your life for the better.
Laura Hussain is an expert in organising properties. She helps people clear the chaos of clutter in their homes to create a much calmer and welcoming environment.
If you would like Laura to get your home ‘All In Order’, then contact Laura here