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How to easily Declutter your Home

Created: 19/12/2014

The New Year is fast approaching, and while many use the dawn of the next 12 months as a kick-start to get fit or rid themselves of a niggling habit, it’s a fantastic time to declutter your home so homeowners can fall back in love with their humble abode.

Here at Handywork Solutions we understand the necessity of this all too well, and it’s why we’ve created this handy guide to help you declutter your home with ease.

Create Piles and be Ruthless

In the majority of cases, the main reason for clutter in the home is because people simply have too many items in the home – and aren’t too keen on throwing them away. It’s usually stuff you don’t need and are unlikely to use in the near future, but the thought of throwing it away seems unbearable.

If you have a large amount of items that are proving a nuisance, a good method of overcoming this is separating them into three distinct piles of importance: items you don’t need, items you may need in the future and items that are detrimental to your lifestyle. To do this, you need to be ruthless about parting with your items and think hard about how much you need something. 

We spoke to a Customer Ambassador of Lakeland about the idea of creating piles:

“Put things into two piles 1. Keep, 2. Other. Pack away all the 'keep' items and leave the rest until you have completed the room (if you start to agonise over an item, throw away now or you will never get finished!) Once everything is neat and tidy you can tackle the 'other' pile - just experiencing a clutter free zone will encourage you to get rid.”

As a helping hand, we’ve created some labels you can use to tackle your ‘Other’ pile – you can download and print off our declutter pack by clicking here.

Handywork Solutions Decluttering Kit

Little jobs make light work

Decluttering the home effectively is all about knowing you have made a difference, and taking on too much at once could remove any motivation you had to get it done in the first place. With this in mind, it’s recommended by many to complete your job in short bursts rather than one big job – among the most effective being the ‘20 minutes a day’ method.

Vicky Silverthorn, founder of You Need a Vicky, speaks very highly of the method. When we spoke to her, she said it’s best to focus on a single aspect, such as a cupboard, a drawer or even a room if they aren’t that messy:

“By focusing on a single room or feature of the home for just 20 minutes a day, it won’t seem like you have such a big task on your hands when decluttering your home.”

-          Vicky Silverthorn

Make some storage space, or buy some instead

As well as having too much in the home, another reason why the homes of so many are swamped with possessions large and small is because there is nowhere for them to be put away.

Whether it’s for the kitchen, bathroom, lounge or other area of the home, Lakeland has the perfect item to aid in the battle against clutter.

Lakeland Handy Shelf

For the kitchen, why not consider the handy shelf? Offering stacking solutions for everything from cups and plates to jams and preserves, they instantly double the amount of storage space in a cupboard. They are also foldable and can be stored completely flat when not in use.

Another is the Caddy Stack Storage Caddy, a great method of stacking all your kitchen essentials neatly in one place. Perfect for stacking things on high shelves, the caddy features a sturdy handle to allow for safe movement.

If you are stuck for space in the bathroom, the 3-Tier Shower Caddy is the perfect tool to help keep everything from razors and shaving foam to shampoo and conditioners neat and tidy, meaning you will never have to worry about anything slipping into the bath again.

Lakeland Shower Tidy

Lakeland also sells storage units of all shapes and sizes, and from the garage to the office they will have all your storage solutions more than covered.

If you are after any cupboards or storage units that need fixing to a wall, you can use our London handyman services to get then up and installed in no time.

Hire an expert

If there is far too much to tackle and you don’t know where to begin, or perhaps don’t have the time, it might be best to call in a decluttering expert to really help kick-start your cleaning regime. Should you want to call on such a service, it’s worth making sure that the person you call upon is registered with ADPO – the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers.

You Need a Vicky

Just one member of APDO is Vicky Silverthorn from You Need a Vicky, and with testimonials from the likes of Eliza Dolittle and Sophie Dahl, she’s a name that you can rely on to get your home in tip top shape.

You Need a Vicky

While she’s already recommended the ‘20 Minutes a Day’ method, here are some of her other tips she recommended when we got in contact with her:

1)     Always have your tools to hand

In order to make your decluttering quest as efficient as possible, Vicky says that you need three essential tools at all times: an empty bag for rubbish, an empty bag for recycling and an empty bag for charity. This way everything can be organised in quick time and you will start to see results straight away.

2)     Look beyond the mess

It’s easy to say that mess is the source of your decluttering nightmare, there’s also a chance that the mess could keep returning if the layout of your furniture isn’t arranged in the best way. Look at your furniture and ask yourself, does it attract clutter? Is it a place where you put things and forget about them? If so, you might consider moving it around.

3)     Declutter before the handyman arrives

If you have already called our team for any electrical work in Bromley, Vicky says that it would be better to complete your decluttering – or at least the bulk of it – before our guys turn up. Not only will not doing this cause all sorts of other issues with dirt, it means that you will be able to see the finished result instantly once we have tidied up.

Organise your House

Another expert worth considering is Ingrid Jansen, president of Organise Your House and the current President & Conference Organiser of apdo-uk, the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers here in the UK.

Ingrid has been helping her clients be more organised since 2010. She covers nearly all of the areas where our handymen work: Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, Beckenham, Dulwich, Sydenham, Greenwich, Lewisham and parts of Kent, East London and Central London.

Organise your House

Here are her 10 top tips on how to declutter your home:

1. Start with a small area instead of trying to do a whole room in one go. Set the timer for 20-30 minutes on a daily basis. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this can make!

2. Clutter clearing takes time, so don’t be disheartened if it takes you a while to improve your current situation.

3. If it’s broken or not working and not worth fixing, let it go.

4 .Charity shops take nearly everything these days (even socks with holes) so unless it’s broken or dirty bring it to them.

5. Clearing clutter makes you feel really good, so just get started!

6. Start with the easiest and not the hardest clutter! Decluttering family heirlooms should be the last thing on the declutter list and not the first. Start with something you know will give you success.

7. Make a list of all the rooms that need decluttering and describe every room in detail. (i.e. bedroom/chest of drawers/drawer 1). Create a list so you can tick of every job you have done. It’s a great motivator.

8. Stick within the season: a garage or shed can be decluttered in the spring, while a loft is better done in the autumn and not when it’s very hot in summer or cold in winter.

9. Only 20% of clothing is worn, while 80% gathers dust in the wardrobe. Be realistic in what you wear and only keep what makes you feel good!

10. Start with you own clutter first and set a good example for the people around you. Never throw away someone else’s belongings.


Image Credit: Lakeland, You Need a Vicky, Organise Your House, Ingrid Jansen

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