50 Ways to Declutter your Home


50 Ways to Declutter your Home50 ways to leave your clutter …just get a new plan, and set yourself free…

  1. Before you even begin to contemplate de-cluttering your home, assess your needs and your space. What do you need that’s worth putting on show? What do you not need that can be hidden away?
  2. Clear your living area each evening to stop clutter building up. Always clear plates and glasses from the room and put all CDs, videos and tapes back in their cases.
  3. Use work surfaces to store only those items that you use all the time.
  4. Store your shoes neatly in the boxes they came in! Customise the box with some wrapping paper or old magazines then take a Polaroid of the shoes and stick it to the outside of the box. That way you’ll be able to find your shoes easily and your wardrobe won’t become undtidy.
  5. Reorganise your books with a modular shelving system that allows you to stack books in a variety of ways or at different angles for dramatic impact. Forget about grouping by author and subject, by colour and height looks way more appealing.
  6. Run a simple MDF shelf from wall to wall above your bath for easy access to bathing essentials.
  7. No room for a wardrobe in your awkwardly-shaped bedroom? No worries. Adapt a curtain pole and fix it across a recess. Make sure it’s positioned high enough so that your clothes aren’t trailing on the floor, and leave enough room between the rail and the back wall to fit hangers.
  8. Where possible go for fitted storage rather than freestanding, it’s more space-efficient.
  9. Sort out your cupboard space. Store little used items on the top shelves and more frequently used items at waist and eye level. Create additional storage by hanging cotton storage cubes from the rail in your wardrobe. Perfect for shoes, jumpers and underwear.
  10. Don’t try to sort out years of hoarding and clutter in one day. Do one task at a time and set yourself a time limit. Start with your wardrobe following these tips from Dawna Walter’s book ‘New Leaf New Life’. Sort all your clothes into four piles.
    1. Pile one (for the charity shop or recycling bin)
      • Anything with a stain that can’t be removed.
      • Anything that is ripped or torn. Unless you repair today, give it up.
      • Anything that is too small – you know the truth!
      • Anything that you haven’t worn in a year.
    2. Pile Two (sentimental journey)
      • Anything that you really can’t bear to part with but you never wear. Store these clothes in a less accessible location.
    3. Pile Three (here and now)
      • This is your working wardrobe. These are things that you wear every day. Put your hand to your heart and make sure that this is the truth.
    4. Pile Four (to everything there is a season)
      • These are the clothes that you wore during the last season and you will wear when the weather changes.
  11. Old-fashioned suitcases look wonderful and are interesting alternatives to conventional drawers. Or hat boxes work just as well.
  12. Streamline your CD collection with a sleek, slimline aluminium shelf ladder that works hard as a stunning piece of artwork and as a moveable storage solution.
  13. Store more in your wardrobe. Stand a small chest of drawers on the floor of the wardrobe and hang small clothes above it.
  14. Allow yourself only one week’s worth of papers and magazines and then recycle.
  15. Use a cardboard divider from an old drinks box to organise small items of clothes in a drawer. Just cut the divider to the size of your drawer, give it a lick of paint and push it in place.
  16. Label the front of drawers, boxes, tins etc with details of what they contains. That way you’ll be able to find things easily.
  17. Do a major clean-up at least four times a year – at the start of each new season. Store away all items from the previous season that won’t be used in the next.
  18. Feel good about throwing old junk away. Donate old household furnishings to charity shops or sell them in a car boot sale.
  19. If there is adequate space between a ceiling and the top of a door fit a narrow shelf to display and store ornaments or small objects.
  20. Fix castors on storage units and boxes to make them mobile and even more versatile. Or you could just buy a mobile storage..
  21. Reorganise your home and life with help from one of the many Home Interiors and DIY books available in your local bookshops, which provide expert tips and advice for reorganising your home and essential DIY information.
  22. Make use of ceiling space in a small kitchen. Run a pole the width of the ceiling; attach large sturdy hooks and use to hang pots, pans and even dining chairs.
  23. Choose simple, unfussy, slim-line storage units that suit your needs and won’t jut out into the room. Storage shouldn’t take up space or even appear to take up space!
  24. Wire trays are a practical alternative in the bathroom where conditions are hot and steamy.
  25. Utilise wall space. Consider buying tables, beds and desks that can be fixed vertically to the wall and folded away neatly when not in use.
  26. We’re not suggesting that you sweep all your clutter under the rug, but you could hide really unsightly areas behind a fabric screen, curtain or blind.
  27. Reorganising your home needn’t be a chore. Relieve some of the burden by getting family and friends to muck in, and once the cleaning is done, reward yourselves with a nice meal and a glass of wine.
  28. Customise existing furniture to suit your needs.
  29. It’s worth considering wall to wall, floor to ceiling storage. Have a system custom-made to fit or make your own with a series of MDF cubes.
  30. A little self-discipline goes a long way. When you lift an item off a shelf or out of a cupboard return it to its original place after you’ve finished using it.
  31. In a small bathroom, remove the pedestal from under your sink and replace with a built-in unit for storing towels and bathroom essentials.
  32. Buy a handy lockable ‘home file’ and sort all your bills and personal papers for easy access. As bills arrive file them in your ‘Unpaid File’ and once paid move into the relevant file (Car, Home, Utilities).
  33. Items which are on display or visible in glass fronted units or open shelves should be neatly organised to avoid looking cluttered.
  34. Often overlooked, the backs of doors provide extra storage space. Fix shelves, small cabinets and even notice boards to them. Or you could be a bit more adventurous and transform the back of your door into a bookshelf. Make a deep frame around the door and affix shelving – don’t forget to make room for a discreet door handle!
  35. Get hooked! Those little plastic stick-on hooks or decorative chrome screw-in ones are perfect for storing all manner of things.
  36. Where space is tight choose flexible, multi-purpose furniture – for example, a chest of drawers that doubles as a desk, a storage box that’s also a seat or a washing machine that doubles as a dryer.
  37. Simplify your decor. Fussy patterns and prints can actually make a room look cluttered. Think clean, plain and light.
  38. Double-up on a room’s functions. A stylish home office can double as a guest bedroom with the addition of a sofa bed.
  39. Get your children to tidy up their own room and keep them tidy. Reward them with pocket money or trips to the cinema.
  40. Organise your workspace with an alternative clipboard system. Spray six wooden clothes pegs silver (or use the coloured plastic ones), stick them to the wall above your desk (at least five inches apart), with strong glue or double-sided sticky tape, in a neat row and use to store notes, lists and daily schedules.
  41. Reinvent everyday household objects as interesting storage containers. Vases make great holders for stationery on a home office desk while jam jars are perfect for spices in a kitchen. A canvas laundry basket is perfect for storing files and folders in a bedroom.
  42. When looking for storage containers for all your stuff think in terms of their stackability.
  43. Don’t forget underfoot! It could be worthwhile creating a false floor or a raised platform on the floor to use for storage. You could even fix hinges onto some of the steps on a staircase to enable you to store things inside.
  44. Think up top. An attic is particularly useful for storing items on a long-term basis. Put a simple floor in your attic and invest in a folding stairs, for easy access.
  45. Keep spare bedding, children’s toys and little used items in sturdy cardboard or plastic boxes underneath a bed.
  46. It can be worthwhile creating false walls and reducing room size to increase storage, particularly in an alcove.
  47. Only keep things that are necessary and beautiful and display them in an organised fashion.
  48. How often do you look at your old photos? Put your special selection into frames and hang up around your house. And organise all the rest in photo albums, so they’re easily accessible to your family and visitors.
  49. Reinvent a small chest of drawers. Take the drawers out and nail them to the wall in a neat vertical row, leaving space in between each one. Jazz them up with a lick of paint and use to store and display books or decorative items.
  50. Reinvent an old wardrobe as a TV, video and stereo unit. Add a shelf and drill holes in the back so that cables are not visible. This way you can close the door on your collection of CDs and videos once you’ve finished viewing.

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