12 Decluttering Tips For The New Year

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to declutter. Decluttering makes us feel as if we have greater control over our lives. Decluttering eliminates the stress of feeling overwhelmed by a situation that is out of control. Practically, it allows us to discard, sell or recycle what we no longer need and to create an environment where only the essentials have a place in our lives.

In this blog we bring you 12 tips from renowned decluttering experts alongside selected products from The House Directory members to help to organise your home this new year.

holloways
Holloways: The classic Eloise ottoman is available in a selection of fine linen fabrics to provide extra seating and storage. The interior is lined in off-white canvas. From a range of storage footstools and cabinetry, visit holloways.co.uk

There are many theories about how to declutter. Some say to devote anything from 5-15 minutes a day or an hour a week to the task. Others say if you haven’t worn something for a year or 18 months, it should be recycled or discarded. Whichever way you decide to go about it, set reasonable goals and ensure there are friends and family to help you to persevere with your resolution.

_conran_string_shelving
The Conran Shop: Browse for stylish boxes, baskets, carts, drawers, jars, racks, shelves, cabinets and design classics including the String® shelving and storage system designed by Nisse Strinning in 1949 for String Furniture. conranshop.co.uk

The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus – American Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and best-selling authors – teach us how to lead a meaningful life with less in their popular, The Minimalists Podcast.

The focus is on making room for “more time, more peace, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom; clearing the clutter frees up the space”.

The Minimalists podcast on Decluttering provides our first tip:

Tip 1. The 20/20 rule. If you are unsure about discarding or donating an item and it costs less than $20 and would take under 20 minutes to replace, then declutter it.

dormy_house
The Dormy House: A one-stop shop for storage drawers, shelving, shoe storage, media storage and footstools, wall shelving units, bookcases, home office filing cabinets, dressers, wine and laundry cupboards, sideboards, wardrobes – everything you need to organise your home – choose from 29 beautiful paint finishes. thedormyhouse.com

The queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo, in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, devised the KonMari Method. Here are some of her tips.

Tip 2. Tidy all at once by category, even if items in the category are scattered in different rooms in your home.

make me something special
Make Me Something Special: Personalised unique gifts and homeware handmade in wood, including a range of useful boxes, in particular very beautiful toy boxes, shoe and welly racks and the coat hooks with hat shelf pictured from makemesomethingspecial.com

3. The best sequence: clothes (off-season clothes first), books, papers, miscellaneous; leave sentimental items and keepsakes for last.

4. The entire process of decluttering your home can take half a year.

_abigail_ahern_storage
Abigail Ahern: The New York Times called it a ‘Wonderland’. With an original selection of furniture, lighting, faux florals, soft furnishings, paint and inspirational books, the Islington shop owned by interior designer Abigail Ahern is a design destination for those in the know. Pictured, from their range of accessories and storage, Almeria Storage Books. abigailahern.com

5. Follow two types of actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Discarding must come first.

6. A once in a lifetime tidying event leads to the task of putting things back where they belong. Designate a space for everything.

oka
OKA: An Aladdin’s cave of decorative storage: from baskets to beds with storage drawers. The Peking Hand Painted Chinoiserie TV Cabinet provides a solution to the perennial problem of where to hide a TV and electrical equipment. oka.com

7. Only things that speak to the heart and spark joy should fill your home.

8. Choose what you want to keep, not what you want to discard.

derwent_house
Derwent House: Home of British craft and makers, Derwent House features the work of Anna Stickland, who grows her own willow for baskets. Pictured, Laundry Basket with Twisted Leather Handles in a variety of natural willow. derwenthouseliving.co.uk

9. Never stack – store items vertically. When you open a drawer you should be able to see everything that is in it.

10. You can use an empty shoe box – or any box or container of the right size inside drawers to organise the space.

kate forman box files
Kate Forman: With an eye for design, Kate Forman established her textile business in 2004 inspired by 19th century French fabrics. These decorative box files are great for keeping catalogues, paperwork and all your odds and ends. kateforman.co.uk

11. Fold rather than hang clothing. You can fit from up to 40 items that are folded correctly into the same amount of space required to hang 10.

12. Arrange your wardrobe from left to right, from dark to light items.

Marie Kondo says, “Tidying dramatically changes one’s life.; this is true for everyone 100%. If you are going to put your house in order, do it now”.

Whether you decide to devote 15 minutes in a day to decluttering or an entire weekend, once you put your house in order it can make one feel as if life is under control. Decluttering creates an environment where only what is essential or what we treasure has a place in our lives and there is a dedicated space for everything. It may help to clear your mind to discover what you really want to do. Can these 12 tips for decluttering change your life in 2023?

cox and cox
Cox & Cox: A unique collection of garden and homeware products, including furniture, lighting, storage and accessories. This is their Round Rattan Storage Bench.coxandcox.co.uk

References:

Books by The Minimalists:

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life

Everything That Remains

Essential: Essays by The Minimalists

Love People Use Things

Books by Marie Kondo:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying

Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life


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