Declutter your home, declutter your mind, with expert tips from professional organiser

We bring you expert tips on organising your home, from the “4 box technique” and savvy storage solutions.

Plus, your chance to win an exclusive home organising session with a professional home organiser.

Decluttering. A concept we’re all familiar with – thanks Marie Kondo – but one that can easily be ignored. From that stack of laundry and junk mail, to not-so-physical clutter like past memories tied to the old scarf (we’re looking at you, Jake Gyllenhaal), mess is messing up our physical and mental health!

Physical clutter can cause us stress, increase anxiety levels, and affect our sleep, so it’s better to nip it in the bud before it becomes a mental clutter as well.

So, to inspire your decluttering act, we talked to Elen Rivas, a professional home organiser and founder of La Organiser, who gave us 7 easy and simple decluttering techniques & tips to kick off:

1. Make time in your schedule for decluttering

“See home organising as a self-care project, rather than something you do quickly on a Monday morning to make space at the table,” says Elen. “Make time in your schedule and start small to help yourself get into the flow.”

Blast your favourite music, prepare snacks, put some comfy clothes on and make it fun! Pro tip: snap some before and after photos for that extra proud feeling once you’re done.

2. Start with your bedroom

Rather than look around and feel overwhelmed by mountains of paperwork, outdated newspapers and piles of laundry, start with one room. The bedroom is a good place to start because the bedroom should be your haven. And when you sleep well, everything else is more manageable.

“Everyone’s taste is different but less really is more in the bedroom. You want an uncluttered sanctuary that you can come to at the end of the day and fall off to sleep without the distraction of mess,” advises Elen.

 

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3. Structure the declutter process

Every room and space should have a structured approach. Scan your room for cluttered zones: a pile of clothes on your work chair or a corner in the bathroom full of crusty make-up?

Conquer the cluttered hotspots first.  Start by tidying surfaces, throwing rubbish, recycling and giving cleared areas a good wipe down and polish. Place treasured belongings in a pile to use to redress your surfaces and space later…

4. Organise your wardrobe

Order your clothes into sections so they’re easy to find, trousers with trousers, t-shirts, shirts. “Hang clothes in colour order,” suggests Elen, “it’s not only aesthetically pleasing, it simplifies getting dressed. You won’t be rustling around looking for that pink jacket for longer than you have to.”

Empty bags so they’re good to pick up and go. Consider a shoe rack or hanging shoe tidy that you can store away and keep all shoes in one place. Instead of cluttering up your hall/entryway/under the sofa.

“Everything should have a place and it’s good to get in the habit of putting things away in their rightful place. That way you’ll lose things less and you keep on top of distracting and unnecessary clutter.”

 

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5. Embrace the 4 box technique

Tackle your drawers, cupboards, wardrobes. Just one at a time. Take everything out, what do you not wear anymore? What needs to be repaired? What can you donate?

Try the 4 box technique: create piles for mending, charity, recycling and keep and gather items in the boxes accordingly.

If you have space, take out the clothes that are no longer required for the season, package these up into savvy storage solutions that can be stacked neatly in the wardrobe/under a bed – or if you’re lacking in extra space hang these pieces at one end of a wardrobe so that you can discount them when you’re getting dressed in the morning.

Elen comments, “Everyone’s home is unique to them so there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to storage solutions but take your time to think about what need before you buy closet organisers.”

6. Once tidy and ordered: clean, dress - and take pride in it

Once you’re happy and everything is in order, clean the room, change the linen on the bed, clean the windows – it’s unbelievable how much fresher the room looks when windows are bright. Polish, hoover and redress the space with things that you love.

“I usually find that once one room is organised and clean it feels so good that you’re keen to get onto the rest of the home, but you don’t want to do things if you’re tired or half-heartedly, so have a break, go for a walk or plan in another time to tackle other key spots in the home,” advises Elen.

“From experience, the kitchen and main living space can take a while, as they’re the places we exist in the most and clutter is more likely to pile up.”

 

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7. Keep it up! Don’t let clutter creep back into your life

So now you’ve embraced the decluttering process don’t fall back into bad habits.
Reconsider future purchases for your home. Do you really need that accessory? Will it help keep your home tidy? Do you love it?

Buy the best of what you can afford and never purchase anything that you can’t see yourself loving as much in 10-years-time. Instead, try re-organising your favourite things about your place so you can see them and take pleasure in them.

At Get Living, our fully-furnished homes come with coffee tables and side boards – ideal for showing off those treasured items. Many also feature built-in shelving units as well as ample storage, making tidying things away all that more satisfying.

Check out our current available homes – your blank canvas awaits!

 

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But, that’s not all… WIN a 1-2-1 home organising session with Elen Rivas!

Elen Rivas runs a bespoke home organising and streamlining service, one lucky reader can win a free virtual consultation session with Elen, where she will assess your needs, and share her recommendations and directions for a more organised home.

To enter, simply head over to Get Living’s Instagram, like our decluttering post and comment with your favourite cleaning emoji. Competition will close on Sunday 22 May 2022 and a winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday 23 May 2022. Please read our full social media terms & conditions before entering.

About the author

Elen Rivas is a professional home organiser and decorator with more than 17 years’ experience working across the globe.

“Homes and businesses need to run like clockwork,” says Elen. “When they don’t, things can get messy. My strength lies in identifying ways to streamline and organise, fully utilising space to provide optimal living and working conditions for maximum productivity and happiness.”

Check out Elen’s handiwork and some before and afters at La Organiser