Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 5th January 2018

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The Secrets of Decluttering Success

Not to sound ungrateful, but it can’t just be members of the Michael Graham team who have received the odd unwanted Christmas present. The question is do you write a thank you note and then hide the gift in the back of a cupboard, consign it to the present drawer for re-gifting, or donate it to a charity shop?

If the amassed unwanted items has inspired you to have a January blitz here are our top tips for clearing the clutter.

Organize first, buy second. The sales are tempting, but resist the urge to invest in storage solutions before you’ve decluttered your home. Those attractive wicker baskets and storage boxes at The White Company and other homeware suppliers may be calling your name, but they won't be any use unless they fit the space on the shelf, under the bed, or in the wardrobe, and hold what you need them to hold. Tackle the chaos first. The last thing you need is to be tripping over empty storage baskets.

Don't go too big too early. Devoting an entire day to organizing your whole house is a mistake. Very few of us have the energy or focus to spend eight hours organizing. It’s much better to spend two or three hours on one project or space. Then you'll feel motivated to do more, not be burned out before you’ve got properly started.

Complete each task before moving on to the next. Unwanted items are destined for the rubbish bin, the recycling bin, a charity shop, a friend, or a storage container if you think they may come in handy later. But here's the crucial part. Never keep charity bags or boxes for friends in your home to deliver later. Put them in the car and drop them off as soon as possible. And take rubbish or recycling out straight away. Finish the job.

Have realistic expectations. Decluttering is like any tidying and you just have to keep on top of it. Your underwear drawer may be organised into neat compartments now, but three months down the line if is likely it will once more be a jumble. That’s okay – all you need to do is repeat what you did before when it starts to bother you.

Most of us prefer our homes when they’re clean and tidy, but don’t forget, your home is exactly that, a home, not a stage that has been set by a team of stylists for a magazine shoot. Very few of us live in a perfect world where our cupboards and drawers can be opened and immediately photographed for Ideal Home.

Is clutter the bane of your life or do you have useful tips for keeping on top of it? We’d love to hear from you via our Facebook page.

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