You know what they say – 'tidy house, tidy mind.' Whether you're a self-confessed hoarder or that clutter in the hallway just builds up out of the blue, we've all battled with messiness in our homes at some stage. It may seem trivial, but visual clutter can have an impact on how calm we feel at home. Just as a well-organised space makes us feel content and relaxed, an untidy room can make us feel stressed-out and uneasy.
So if you have five minutes, an afternoon, or an entire weekend, read on for clutter-busting tips from the tidiest in the business – and make your spaces stress-free for good.
1. A well-displayed wall
Take a tip from New York City prop stylist, Erin Swift and organise your everyday dishes against a well-marked blackboard wall. Then, write or draw what goes where so every 'thing' has a designated spot. Not only will open shelving help motivate you to keep things tidy (as everything will be on display), but it'll encourage people to give you a hand unstacking the dishwasher too, as there's no excuse for not knowing were anything goes. Use quick-drying Dulux Made by Me Blackboard Paint to create your clutter-free shelves.
2. Give yourself five solid minutes
Don't know where to begin? Zen Habits' 18 five-minute decluttering tips are your decluttering bible. Tips range from decluttering a single shelf at a time to creating a 'maybe' box, where you can stash that stuff you're not sure about. Another method is to set your phone timer and work for those five solid minutes. Because those baby-steps will eventually add up.
3. Fill one bin bag
One decluttering technique is to simply grab a big bin bag and see how quickly you can fill it – be it with paper or things to give away to charity. TV presenter and decluttering advocate, Anthea Turner’s mantra is: 'If it's not beautiful, useful or sentimental, then get rid of it!'. Brutal, but true.
4. The 12-12-12 Challenge
Turn decluttering into a game. Josh Becker of Becoming Minimalist has set a simple challenge to help kick-start a stress-free space: Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. Easy and fun!
5. Oprah Winfrey's wardrobe saviour
Wardrobe overflowing? This one's for you. Oprah Winfrey brought this one to fame. First, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a great idea of what clothes you rarely wear and can discard.
6. Pretend you're moving
The New York Times suggest tricking yourself. When you pack up to move house, you realise just how much stuff you own that you don't need. They suggest moving everything out of one room to another and slowly piecing the stuff you love / want / need back in.