Long Crendon:  Living room by MailenDesign

16 things you MUST avoid when home decluttering

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton

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Decluttering sounds like the easiest thing in the world, doesn't it? Surely you just grab some bin bags and start throwing things out? 

Well, you'd be wrong to assume that, so we've compiled a list of helpful tips to aid you and the dreaded cull of your belongings. A professional cleaner might be a great call once you've decluttered but the act itself is all down to you.

Read our guide and head into this unwelcome task fully prepared and don't forget… be ruthless, even in your own bedroom!

1. Biting off more than you can chew

Long Crendon:  Living room by MailenDesign

Long Crendon


You might think you can get the whole house done in a day but trust us, you can't!

2. Buying new storage boxes and organisational accessories first

 Nursery/kid's room by homify

Pop storage


You won't know how many you need until you've actually decluttered!

3. Jumping from task to task

The key to a proper declutter is focus. You need to be ruthless, determined and on the ball, so one thing at a time.

4. Not thinking about maintaining

Master bedroom:  Bedroom by Loft Kolasinski
Loft Kolasinski

Master bedroom

Loft Kolasinski

Once the declutter has happened, how do you plan to maintain your newly emptied space? If you don't at least draw up a cleaning schedule, it won't last.

5. Setting unreasonable standards

Scandinavian Bedroom:  Bedroom by Pixers

Scandinavian Bedroom


Be realistic about what you want and can achieve and you won't be discouraged. If you're a hoarder, a Scandinavian look probably won't work for you!

6. Getting rid of everything

Country House in Tomsk:  Bedroom by EVGENY BELYAEV DESIGN

Country House in Tomsk


Ridding yourself of every belonging in the world isn't what decluttering is about. You want to clear your home of useless or meaningless items that bring you nothing.

7. Not planning well

Brixton Pad 04:  Bathroom by YAM Studios
YAM Studios

Brixton Pad 04

YAM Studios

There are certain times of the year and days of the week when a declutter is thought to be more successful. Winter weekends are perfect!

8. Starting without a plan

Brixton Pad 05:  Bathroom by YAM Studios
YAM Studios

Brixton Pad 05

YAM Studios

You need a clear vision of what you want to achieve at the end of your declutter. Are you hoping to reclaim a spare room? Free up a cupboard? Keep that goal in mind.

9. Not adding useful things in

NEW! 2015 Kitchen: PORTLAND + ARCOS:  Kitchen by Schmidt Palmers Green
Schmidt Palmers Green

NEW! 2015 Kitchen: PORTLAND + ARCOS

Schmidt Palmers Green

If it will help to keep you more organised, adding something to your home design during a declutter isn't as backward as it sounds. A drawer tidy, for example, makes perfect sense!

10. Just diving in

The Kew Shaker Kitchen by deVOL:  Kitchen by deVOL Kitchens
deVOL Kitchens

The Kew Shaker Kitchen by deVOL

deVOL Kitchens

So, you know what you want and you've started, but are you sure you know what to keep and what to discard? Remember that anything you love or feel sentimental about can stay.

11. Not using labels

The Scandinavian Kitchen:  Kitchen by Papilio

The Scandinavian Kitchen


It won't make you a geek if you get to grips with labels! They will come in super handy if you do decide to use some storage boxes and will prevent rummaging later.

12. Hoarding paperwork

Design Letters:  Study/office by Design Letters
Design Letters

Design Letters

Design Letters

In a home office, paperwork builds up at an impressive rate. Make sure you're not hanging onto useless items and only keep what you really need and recycle the rest.

13. Removing personal touches

A Ship in Port is Safe But...:  Study/office by Pixers

A Ship in Port is Safe But…


You don't have to remove every personal touch when you declutter. The aim is to remove things that bring nothing to your life. So, if a fun decal makes you smile, leave it!

14. Being a perfectionist

Classical Ballet:  Study/office by Pixers

Classical Ballet


There is no such thing as perfection, not in interior design or home organisation. You simply work with what you have and make it as fabulous as you can.

15. Going it alone

If you live with other people, get them to help you. Give everyone a room or area to be responsible for and you'll be surprised at how much quicker you can declutter. Just make sure they know what to keep!

16. Not committing fully

Yes, throwing things away is hard and nobody likes it but, if you want a cleaner and more functional home, decluttering is essential.

For more home organisational inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 20 Sneaky Ways To Hide Your Home's Ugly Bits!

Do you find it hard to get rid of things in your home?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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