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Dr Dulux: Designer Tips for Decluttering Your Home

After Christmas has been and gone, the guests have departed and all presents have been unwrapped, clutter can sometimes creep up on your space. It’s often hard to know where to begin and what to do with all that new ‘stuff’.

We asked interior design experts Clare Morton from Studio Morton and Amelia Carter for their words of organising wisdom.

So, take a deep breath, open all the windows – and take note.

General Decluttering Tips

If you had to pick just one area to declutter, what would it be?

Clare: I always, always work on one room at a time. Don’t try to declutter the whole of your home at once, or you’ll feel like you’re not getting anywhere. My priority is keeping my living space clutter-free because it’s where I go to relax and be revitalised by possessions on display that have meaning to me.

By clutter-free, I don’t mean minimal. I just mean that everything in a room should have a purpose, whether it’s a light for reading or a work of art that reminds you of a favourite place. It's not about getting rid of everything – just highlighting the things you love.

Amelia: Rooms vary in sizes, and the purpose of the room will determine how best to approach the space and storage. I would choose kitchens and living rooms to start with. These rooms can afford to have a bit more going on, with ornaments, books, art pieces and pictures all on display. However, one room you should always keep on top of is the bedroom – this should be a clutter-free zone.

How to Declutter a Room

How do you decide what to throw away and what to keep?

Clare: There is some logic to decluttering, but I tend to take the emotional approach. I am a big fan of Marie Kondo’s decluttering advice. Marie Kondo is a famous Japanese decluttering guru and a household name around the world, thanks to her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. When you’re deciding, focus on one item at a time. Look at it and ask yourself, “does this bring me joy?”. It sounds a bit silly, but you’ll know right away.

For example, if it’s an ornament you found at a great antiques fair in a colour that you love, it will likely make you feel happy. If it’s an old side table with a wobbly leg that you bought because it was in the bargain corner, even though you don’t like the colour, it probably won’t fill your heart with joy. Equally, that gift from your ex is only going to bring back bad memories!

Amelia: If the item has no purpose and you haven’t used it in over a year, I would throw it away. If the item is sentimental, then definitely keep it, but maybe have one draw or box just for these items.

How to Create an Organised Home

Which part of the home should you start with?

Clare: Whichever part of the home that’s stressing you out by the amount of clutter that’s in it. If you tackle the hardest task first, you’ll feel so good when it’s done that you’ll be happy to take on other areas.

Amelia: The kitchen is often the heart of the home and inevitably contains the most stuff. An effective kitchen that not only looks good, but works hard too, requires careful consideration. Storage here is key, and when planning, I find it’s best to work from the cooker out.

Is there an easy fix to avoid clutter accumulating?

Clare: Don’t bring anything into your home that you don’t like or don’t really need. As an interior designer, I do tend to collect things. I also get sent lots of samples, as well as booklets from trade fairs, magazines, and new products etc.

Clutter-Free Home Ideas

Are there any tricks or quick fixes to get a decluttered look or feel in a space?

Amelia: There are some really clever ideas for storage in smaller spaces. Utilising the space under the stairs or the downstairs cupboard is easier than you think and can make a real difference. Embracing decorative storage solutions will help, too. If you have a large book collection, why not make a display of them in an unused fireplace? It’s practical, stylish and space-saving.

Ottoman beds and blanket boxes are a great choice for smaller bedrooms, as these can hide a multitude of items and offer an excellent way to keep a nice, clean bedroom.

Our Spring Clean and Decluttering Tips 

To bring this article to a close, we’ve put together a list of some of our top decluttering tips to help you clean and organise your home this year.  

  • Pick a decluttering method that suits your lifestyle – for example, if you have limited time, try decluttering one room in the house per week. This makes the cleaning and tidying process more manageable.
  • Make sure to keep only the items you actually use – one of the most important steps in the decluttering process is purging anything you have no use for. This leaves more room for the items you do want to keep.
  • Use smart storage to conceal your clutter – it’s a good idea to invest in some stylish storage pieces, such as shelves or boxes, that will neatly conceal your clutter.
  • Create a decluttering checklist – make things a little easier for yourself by mapping out the areas of the house you’d like to declutter, and when. Tick each area off as you go along.

Decorating a Decluttered Home with Dulux Calming Colours

What does switching off mean to you? For some, it might be a desire to completely disconnect and disengage from the outside world. For others, it might stem more from a need to create the space for new thoughts and to indulge in idle creativity. But the common goal is clear: to create a place that encourages us to find stillness and solitude in a frantic world.

You can find this tranquillity in soothing, relaxing colours. Once you’ve finished decluttering your home, why not give it a new splash of paint? Think smoky violet, blue-tinged whites, pinky lilacs and porcelain.

Delicate and ethereal, these calming paint colours can be used as single block shades for a cool, transient look, or pair them with matt and high gloss surfaces for a sophisticated contrast. If dark hues are more your thing, look to burgundy, dark indigo and blue-tinted blacks to create your peaceful place.

For more decorating advice from the experts, check out Dr Dulux: How to Decorate Awkward Spaces or 5 Storage Solutions for Post-Christmas Clutter for innovative tidying ideas.

Giving your home a makeover this year? If you’re thinking of adding a new splash of paint to one or more rooms in the house, download the Dulux Visualizer app and choose your colour with confidence today. Simply upload a photo of the room you want to decorate and select your relaxing paint colours to get all the inspiration you need. It couldn’t be easier! 

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