Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 31st January 2019


Michael Graham’s top tips for a clutter-free home

Have you had a January clear out and vowed to never let your wardrobe/kitchen drawer/cupboard-under-the-stairs get so crammed full and untidy again? If you’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or Spark Joy you’ll be familiar with Marie Kondo, who advocates sorting through your belongings and ditching anything that doesn’t bring you joy.

The Japanese decluttering guru is also sharing her simplifying and streamlining advice in Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the new series that’s taken Netflix by storm. Here at Michael Graham we all agree that clearing the clutter is rewarding and energising, but what do you do a few weeks later when despite all that hard work drawers are filled to bursting again and surfaces submerged under a sea of stuff? Here are some top tips for keeping your home a clutter-free haven:

  • Bring every room back to “ready”: The brilliantly titled It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul is the inspiration for this tip: Step into a room, spend just three minutes tidying, then leave it again. Take the bathroom for instance. No matter how attractively organized the beauty products on your bathroom sink, multiple bottles on display will make the room look visually cluttered. Put lotions and potions and toothpaste away in cabinets and drawers, hang up towels and wipe around the sink. You’ll never miss those three minutes and you’ll have the joy of a clutter-free room later.
  • De-clutter by stealth: Most of us don’t have the time or the energy to declutter the entire house in one long session. Take it one space at a time. Nominate a decluttering day of the week, Sundays are good, and aim to tackle just one junk drawer, kitchen cabinet, or closet shelf.
  • Be strict about adopting other people’s cast offs: For those of us who can’t resist a bargain, it’s hard to say no when a friend or family member offers you the bedside table or dinner service they don’t have room for anymore. Pause before accepting. Your space is precious. Only adopt things that you love and know you will use.
  • The same rigour should be applied to online shopping, especially the Flash Sale! emails that pop up uninvited when you check your messages. It’s only a bargain if you need it. If you’re tempted, put the item in your basket and wait 24 hours before clicking through to Paypal.
  • Think Feng Shui: When new things come into your home, send the equivalent amount of items out. And when you organise your kitchen cupboards and chests of drawers, always keep 10% of space empty. That’s the gap you’re opening up for positive energy and newness to flow into your life, in the form of jobs, people and opportunities, as well as new things.
  • Surface sweeping: A clean and clear surface emanates calm, especially in the kitchen where countertops are magnets for anything from unopened mail to a pile of loose change and the dog’s lead. Make the most of idle minutes. For example, while you wait for the kettle to boil, target table tops and countertops, removing anything that doesn’t belong there. Put things in a basket to sort out later, or back where they belong. Once the kettle has boiled (or other sort of timer has run out), stop. Make this a daily habit and you’ll be immune to creeping clutter.


Do you feel better in an uncluttered space? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Get in touch with us via Facebook, twitter or Instagram, and for Michael Graham town and country houses to buy or to rent, have a look at our website @michaelgraham.co.uk

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