The New Year is here and we are already well into January. Christmas decorations have long been taken down, the last chocolates have been eaten, and all that’s left from the holidays are the extra inches on our waistlines. We started January full of good intentions; determined to radically declutter our homes without carrying our past around on our shoulders like a Galapagos tortoise. If decluttering your home was one of your goals for 2018, help is at hand! We’ve asked Sarah Bickers, Professional Organiser from Free Your Space to share her top tips.

Clear The Clutter in 2018: A Guide To Decluttering Your Home

Online articles on decluttering are everywhere – whether focusing on Marie Kondo, Swedish Death Cleaning or the Minimalist Movement.  They are full of beautiful pictures of perfectly decorated, sparsely furnished homes in the Scandi-Chic style. These images can be inspirational, but it can often be hard knowing where to start if your own home is in need of some decluttering, even with their tips.

January is all about focusing on our future goals and having a home that reflects who we truly are. However, it doesn’t take long for life to get in the way of our plans, and before you know it, the piles of clutter are building up instead. We start to feel overwhelmed again, despite our resolution to live a simpler, more relaxed life.

So how can we get back on track and break our Clutter Cycle once and for all? Here is my Free Your Space tried-and-tested approach to decluttering:

Less In

  • Get on top of shopping: Try to allow less into your home in 2018, focussing on spending money on experiences or consumables instead of ‘stuff’. Challenge yourself not to buy anything except food and drink for a month and see what you learn.
  • Get fewer emails: installing unroll.me will list all your email subscriptions to make unsubscribing to them a breeze. Trust me, you’ll be shocked by how many emails you’ve been getting!
  • Get out of that skip: stop ‘rescuing’ other people’s unwanted things and accepting freebies. Allowing less ‘stuff’ in will help you to achieve your ambition of an uncluttered home.

More out

  • Get committed: book ‘decluttering time’ into your diary, and then make it happen. Successful decluttering takes dedication and is an ongoing process. Setting a timer for 30 minutes is a great way to start. James Clear has some great tips on forming good habits.
  • Get focused: pick the area that bugs you, and begin there, avoiding the toughest challenges for now. Photos or sentimental items should wait until you’ve strengthened your decluttering muscle! Success with a freshly decluttered space will inspire you with the next area.
  • Get help: it’s much easier to stay on track with company. Enlist the help of a non-judgmental friend to kick-start the process. You could even book an initial session with a professional declutterer via the APDO website.
  • Get going: empty out a space such as a drawer before sorting – you’ll be much more ruthless than if you just ‘go fishing’. Sort into piles of Keep, Donate, Recycle or Bin. Warning: things will look worse before they look better.
  • Get it out: have a plan for removing the clutter from your home straight away. You want to enjoy that newly free space as soon as you can! Many charities will also collect your unwanted goods (try British Heart Foundation/ TRAID).

Organise What’s Left

  • Get it grouped: put things together depending on how they are used. For example cards, wrapping paper, ribbons, gift bags, scissors and sellotape naturally belong together. You already group your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss together, so this will feel familiar.
  • Get organised: this is much easier to do once you’ve decluttered. If something isn’t working take the time to work out why – and then fix it!
  • Get filing: create a paperwork system which fits your needs. If you’ve just done a tax return, think about what was tricky to find and ask yourself what will make it easier next year. You might want to get advice from the experts.

So now you are ready to shed your clutter. No more carrying all that weight around with you Galapagos tortoise-style; instead, you’ll discover how great it feels to live clutter-free and organised!

About Our Guest Blogger

Sarah Bickers is a Professional Organiser who loves working with people to help them simplify their lives by letting go of the clutter and getting organised. She is a member of APDO and helps train members. In her spare time, she loves gardening, art and beekeeping. If you live in South East London, Sarah is the person to call if you need help decluttering your home.

In Need of More Inspiration?

Once you’ve got things how you like them, there are lots of great bloggers and Professional Organisers (including Sarah!) on social media who can help with day to day tips on keeping your house clean, tidy and decluttered! Here at The Assistant Quarters, we love Gemma over at The Organised Mum and her daily tips on Instagram, she also has a great facebook group! Also check out Vicky Silverton, aka Founder of You Need a Vicky and author of Start With Your Sock Drawer also shares easy tips in her book and across social media.

Who Else Can Help?

If you still think this is a job that is too big to tackle on your own (and this is no bad thing!) then there are lots of people who can help you in decluttering your home and living a more organised life.

  • Virtual Assistants – get in touch to find out more about our services or for advice on organising your life admin.
  • Professional Declutterer/ Organisers – for expert decluttering/ organisational advice, find someone local via the APDO website. They will act as the Mary Poppins for decluttering your home!
  • Bookkeepers & Accountants: If you are struggling to keep on top of your finances & accounts then call on expert advice to help manage your money, prepare your tax returns and for tax advice. We highly recommend our own accountants at Kings Mill Partnership in Croydon.