Clutter is a consequence of the modern, consumerist lifestyle that we lead. Impulse purchases, a feeling of emotion towards our belongings and a general sense of “need” can lead to hoarding on all sorts of scales, making us uncomfortable in our own homes. Getting rid of our clutter, or at the very least storing it away, can help to balance our minds and refresh our living space, as well as making our homes a lot easier to keep clean and tidy.

If you are planning to begin on a quest to rid your home of unnecessary clutter, there are a few common mistakes to avoid which can see you stumbling at the first hurdle:

  • Buying boxes straight away

It can be very tempting to invest in some pretty storage boxes, vintage suitcases and other containers straight away, but until you’ve started the decluttering process, are you not just bringing more ‘stuff’ into your home? Before you decide on what storage you need, you need to go through your house and minimise the amount of ‘stuff’ you have to store, so that these storage pieces are able to do their job. If they don’t fit in the place you need them to go, if they don’t hold what you need them to hold, they will quickly become clutter in their own right!


  • Doing it all in a day

There are very few people in the world with the energy, enthusiasm and focus to really spend a whole day organising their home. It’s much better to spend an hour or two on one specific project so you feel motivated to continue rather than burnt out by the process.


  • Not finishing what you’ve started

A successful decluttering project will involve making piles of stuff. A pile to throw away, a pile to donate, a pile to go into storage etc. However, once you’ve made these piles, don’t then bag up the stuff and put it somewhere to take to its final destination later on. Take them right away to the charity shop, tip or to the storage unit. You’ll be rewarded with a clear space and the sense that you have really achieved something with this activity.


  • Aiming for showhome status

When you’re decluttering, you need to realise that no house is really like the ones you see in catalogues and magazines. Nobody has perfectly organised cupboards or drawers with only the Bible in it. In real life, there will always be pools of untidiness in our otherwise tidy lives. What you should be aiming for is a space that works well, has plenty of storage, a clear system of managing incoming and outgoing items and one which works for you. If you are trying to achieve a look that rivals those created by a team of stylists and marketers for a magazine, then you will always be bitterly disappointed.

Read more about decluttering and moving home