How to declutter your house and keep it permanently tidy

There is no denying that cleaning takes a lot of effort. Who can bear the idea of ​​devoting whole days to the task? Surely there are far more interesting things to do with your time.

But unfortunately it has to be. So if you think this bank holiday weekend is an excellent time to declutter your home and consider a reorganization, we’re here to help.

Whether it’s a wardrobe makeover, a major bathroom sort, or a complete kitchen clean, there are many ways you can organize your home, mind, and life for summer 2022.

“Cleaning up is my therapy,” says Vicky Silverthorn, a professional organizer who has worked with celebrities like Lily Allen. “There is a tremendous connection between a tidy home and reducing stress.”

There’s scientific evidence to support this, too: A 2019 study published in the journal Current Psychology found that clutter increases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, while a 2019 Harvard University study found that those with clutter-free workspaces were more productive.

But Silverthorn says “people still need a little nudge”. With that in mind, here’s a two-week guide to decluttering your home in easy, bite-sized chunks that fit work and childcare commitments.

So if you want to get a little more organized for the rest of the year, follow these expert tips and tricks.

How to declutter your home

Start with your sock drawer

Yes, you want everything to be sparkling clean, but don’t be too ambitious at first, says Silverthorn. “You won’t get discouraged until halfway through,” she explains. “Instead, I always recommend starting with your sock drawer because it’s a small, achievable goal. Start by removing everything, then categorize, discard what you don’t need and put the things you use most at the front and the things you use less at the back. This is how you will micromanage everything else in your house

Take another look in your closet

While you’re buzzing from your success in the sock drawer, it’s time to tackle your wardrobe. Take it all out and find a place to dispose of it (the spare room is good for that if you have one) and then spend the next few afternoons sorting it all out.

Charlie Collins, founder of Creative Wardrobe, suggests making 10 action cards by writing on separate A4 sheets: Love, Reflect, Remodel, Sell, Donate, Pinch, Fix, Store, Swap and Rent. Next she says, “Find a sorting spot where you have room to form piles. Work through your wardrobe, starting with “Love,” then progress through the rest of the action cards until you have 10 decks. Check out the items in Think, try styling them in different ways and see if you can fall in love with them all over again. If not, add them to the Sell, Donate, or Chuck decks.’

Pack clothes that are destined for the charity shop (keep them in the guest room or stow them in the trunk), take time to fix those that need fixing (or pack them to put them in to take to a tailor in the near future). And as for the things you want to sell, Collins suggests posting them on Instagram.

Organize bathroom products

We all have too many products in our closets. Beauty expert Alison Young suggests starting by throwing out anything that is outdated or that you no longer use, and then grouping the rest into categories like face creams, body lotions, and so on. She also suggests rewarding yourself at the end of the task by using your “fancy products” for an at-home treatment. “You could even invite friends over and have a pamper party.

Arrange photos in neat albums

We all have too many photos on our phones that we want to arrange into neat albums. Now is the time to do it. First, go through your camera roll and delete duplicates. Then create folders like “Holidays” or “Birthdays” and archive them. From there you can plan photo books via app (try Cewe Photoworld). Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the journey into the past.

Clean out the utensil drawer

Start the second week by tackling the kitchen. Just like in the bedroom, you can start small, starting with the utensil drawer. “For the rest of the month, put all your kitchen supplies in a box and only put the used ones back in the drawer,” suggests interior designer Vanessa Arbuthnott.

Establish the pantry

“Check sell-by dates and organize your grocery cabinets so that the things most likely to become obsolete are at the front,” says Silverthorn. Food writer Rosie Birkett invested in plastic storage containers for dry goods like pasta, rice and flour: “This way I don’t have half packages hanging around and I know at a glance what I need to buy.”

Clean refrigerator

Proceed in the same way as you did with your pantry. Take everything out and give the fridge a thorough clean, throwing away anything inedible and rearranging the leftover categories.

Recycle food and beverage containers

“I did a kitchen decluttering with a couple whose closets were overflowing,” says organizer Sue Spencer. “When we emptied everything from the cupboards, we found 15 branded water or thermos bottles. They had no idea they had so many and only used one at a time, so we recycled the rest.’ The same goes for Tupperware or other plastic tubs—match containers with lids, and if you can’t find the lid, throw it out.

Top tip: let the kids help. The best way to get children involved is to explain to them what you do, especially when they are quite young. “Talk about how tidying up (like they do at school) is part of the playtime routine,” says Spencer. If you throw their things away, it’s only fair to let them help, adds Silverthorn. But she suggests starting ahead of time so you can present them with a box with 10 to 12 things in it for the child to sort through. Personalized baskets from home goods store Edit58 might inspire them to keep their things in order.

Sort mail and paperwork

Try to get through the paperwork. “Break all your mail and papers into three categories: recycling, to-do, and file,” say organizers Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer of The Home Edit (whose book The Home Edit is full of useful tips) . “Objects such as paper files, children’s artwork and home manuals can be scanned and stored digitally, reducing clutter and making access much easier.

Clean up the hallway

“Gather all the coats in the house and decide which ones you love and which ones don’t fit or don’t want, and then repeat for the shoes and bags,” says Spencer. Pick up the ones you rarely wear, store others and bag the unwanted ones. “The goal is to limit hallway storage to things that you use regularly.

Donate unread books

Yes, we all love books. “But you shouldn’t look at them as a whole category,” advises Silverthorn. “A trashy airport novel doesn’t have the meaning of a classic, so sort those out.” Box up what you really won’t read to donate, and spend some time organizing what’s left on the shelf (search “shelfie” on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration ).

This article will be updated with the latest advice. How to declutter your house and keep it permanently tidy

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