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5 tips on decluttering your home

In recent years tidying up has gone from being a dull household chore to become one of the world’s hottest lifestyle trends, with special thanks to likes of Marie Kondo and her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’.

While we don’t think you should get rid of every item you own that doesn’t “spark joy” in your soul. We do know that even with the swankiest kitchen renovation or the grandest loft conversion, you still need a little order and sense to be able to best appreciate the room’s aesthetic merits.

So, here are our tips for decluttering and streamlining your home and your life, without taking it to the KonMari levels of extreme.

1. Pick your battles

In our opinion, there’s no sense in hiring a skip and throwing out half of your prized possessions just to get that in vogue minimalist look. Rather, if you get anxiety whenever you think about entering certain closet in your home, or you can’t open a kitchen cabinet for fear of pots and pans crashing down on your head you should probably take that as a sign that some decluttering is in order.

Spend 10 minutes or so to visualise your home and write down any areas that sound like this, tackle these first!

Tidy bedroom

2. Do the Oprah Winfrey wardrobe test

Getting rid of clothes is a tricky business, how do you know that you won’t miss a certain jumper two weeks after you dropped it off to the charity shop?

Oprah Winfrey has popularised the wardrobe test to help ascertain just how much of your wardrobe you actually wear. Put all of your clothes on hangers and push them down to one side of a clothes rail. Whenever you wear an item from the rail place it on the opposite side of the rail.

After six months take another look inside, you’ll be able to tell from where on the rail your clothes sit how much you actually wore them over this period. This should help you evaluate if something is worth keeping or not.

3. Invest in better storage solutions

Decluttering isn’t all about getting rid of the items that are congesting your home, it’s more of a matter of finding the right storage for certain items. Spending money on creative storage solutions is a good idea.

For example, in the summer months, it’s unlikely you’ll get much use out of thick jumpers and jackets, and a brilliant way to store them is in vacuum bags under the bed or on top of the wardrobe. Other must-have storage solutions include hanging racks for the inside of kitchen cabinets and wardrobe doors.

Garage

4. Tackle the attic, garage and shed

Places like the attic, the garden shed and most commonly the garage are all prime suspects when it comes to the accumulation of useless clutter. However, they also serve a vital purpose which is the storage of items that you need but you really get to use. You know, those miscellaneous things like camping equipment, BBQs and Christmas decorations.

Be ruthless in these areas: things like broken garden furniture, boxes of VHS tapes and empty pots of paint should all be evicted from your home. Freeing up these areas of the useless crud ensures you always have space to store the things you actually want.

5. Don’t dump

Finally, once you’ve taken the plunge and decided to say goodbye to some possessions, skip the tip. Your unwanted possessions may be cherished by others and in a world where we are all trying to be kinder to the environment, it is your duty to keep as much as possible out of the landfill.

Charity shops and websites such as Gumtree and Freecycle are all great places to get rid of items in a way that environments both the world and your local community.

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