Are you struggling to get a sense of calm within your home? Getting organised and having a good declutter can help you to enjoy your home more, find pleasure in hosting, and finally have a sense of order with everything in its place. We talk to the organisational expert Helen Heyns of Love Lifestyle who shares her decluttering and organisation tips with us.
Our environment can impact our mood. Our brains like organisation, so constant visual reminders of disorganisation drain us and reduce our ability to focus. Clutter can annoy us, distract us, or take away much-needed energy, reducing our working memory.
No matter how neat and tidy you naturally are, it is easy for clutter to pile up in your home. If you want to live a happy and content life, clearing away the clutter will bring a calm environment to your home.
As a professional organiser, I am often told how incredible people feel after a declutter, it is like a release and a free feeling. In fact, decluttering has a lot of health benefits.
Helen’s top 10 reasons to declutter
- It lessens allergens – we tend to have a good clean after a declutter so those who suffer with allergies, asthma, and hayfever, will feel the benefit of a decluttered home.
- It creates a happy home – clutter affects the whole family; a tidy home is a happy home.
- It helps to improve anxiety and depression – clutter is stressful so the tidier you are the calmer your mind will be.
- It helps you to sleep better – clutter brings uneasy thoughts, so we especially need the bedroom clutter free.
- Decluttering gets you moving, its great exercise and you can use it for mindfulness time.
- Clutter can cause accidents in the home; it is unsafe and so ensuring walkways are clear is important.
- It has finance benefits too, you save money because you buy less, and you have less debt as a result.
- When you declutter, you can either make money selling items or feel great by donating items to charity.
- You’ll have more energy and time to do the things you want to do, spend time with family, take up a hobby etc.
- You will have less to clean and less to organise!
Helen’s top 10 tips for a successful declutter
- Take before and after photos to remind yourself how it was and how it should be.
- Start with one room and one section at a time; take small steps if it’s a large job.
- Remove anything from the room that doesn’t belong there.
- Pile everything you want to declutter on to your bed or on the floor.
- Use the 6-box method to help you declutter- keep it, bin it, sell it, recycle it, donate it, fix it.
- Ask yourself some questions to determine which box the item will go into.
- When did I last use it? If it was more than 6 months ago, chances are you don’t need it.
- Is it sentimental? If it is, create a memory box of items to keep.
- Would I miss it? If this item was no longer around, could you live without it?
- Colour code everything!
- Use decluttering time for exercise and mindfulness.
- Invest in good storage.
- Schedule time to maintain the tidiness.
Helen’s 3 favourite bedroom organising hacks!
- Tuck your duvet in with a wooden hanger if you don’t want to break a nail; the hanger will also help to smooth the crumpled duvet.
- Don’t use wire hangers because they misshape your clothes, instead use wooden hangers or slim velvet hangers, if you want to save space.
- Store your shoes in clear boxes with a photo on the front to help you find your favourite shoes.
When we declutter, our priority is on our immediate living space, e.g., the kitchen, the lounge, the bedroom, because we don’t have time for everything; but what about other areas of our lives?
Don’t forget to declutter:
- Your handbag
- Your make up bag
- Your garage
- Your shed
- Your loft
- Your digital space
- Your car
- Your paperwork
- Your wardrobe
- Old family photos
Many people have been decluttering over lockdown, you may have piles of unwanted items which you haven’t managed to take to the charity shop yet, however, there are many avenues for your clutter, so if you would like to know where to take your clutter, you can access Helen’s clutter directory for inspiration.
When the clutter has been cleared, you will sleep better, feel better, eat better, and be more productive. Your bank balance will be bigger once you have sold items you no longer need, and you will do your part for charity by donating items you no longer want. Following these tips will help you to create the life you have always wanted, a dream lifestyle.
Are you moving home?
Most people dread packing up their house to move, it seems like a mammoth task, however, I love decluttering, packing, and organising to move, so here are 5 packing tips to help you:
- Pack non-essential items when you declutter and stage for viewings.
- Find free boxes from the supermarket.
- Use your towels and blankets to wrap delicate items.
- Keep your clothes on the hangers.
- Label boxes with the room name of your new home.
Top tip: Count the total number of boxes when you pack, and recount when you arrive at your new home.
Top tip: I love being organised; I keep lists for everything! One of the best tasks you can do to stay organised when packing, is to create an inventory, with a checklist of each item in every box. Take photos of your valuables and sentimental items too. This will help you to unpack in your new home as well as identify items if anything is broken in transit.
Moving day tips
Ensure that the essentials are to hand during your move; keep the kitchen box available in your new property so that you can get the kettle on when you get there, pack an essentials bag for your family to include important documents, a children’s over-night bag, spare clothes, and toiletries.
You have arrived in your dream home, there are boxes everywhere, so after you’ve had a cup of tea, here are 5 unpacking tips to help you organise your new home:
- Ask the removal people to place the labelled boxes in the right rooms.
- Remove every box from the house once it is empty.
- Do a little at a time and take breaks.
- Start with the kitchen and get the kettle on.
- Give yourself a deadline so that you are not living with boxes for weeks.
Top tip: Plan meals before the move, you will need lots of energy to unpack.
Give your home some love!
If you simply want to give your property some more TLC, there are many ways that you can love your home; it’s the little touches that can make it special for you and your family. Here are 10 tips to refresh your space:
- Everything has its place; all items need a home.
- Have fresh clean sheets, pillows, and a throw on your bed.
- Use fresh clean towels to colour match the bathroom.
- Add candles and flowers for nice scents.
- Bring the outside in with plants and decorative sprays.
- Accessorise with colour coded soft furnishings.
- Add art and inspirational pieces to your walls.
- Colour code everything for a rainbow of colour.
- Create ambience with soft lighting.
- Style the outdoors to get the most out of your garden.
Helen’s 3 favourite ‘home love’ hacks!
- Change your cupboard and door handles for a fresh new look.
- Re-arrange your furniture to create a nice flow.
- Use Matching hangers for a pretty wardrobe.
For further information and tips on decluttering, join Helen’s declutter group on Facebook called ‘Love your clutter free life’