The Great January Declutter – Tips to Tidy Your Home (Part One)

January brings with it the opportunity for fresh starts and new beginnings. With grey days and a post-Christmas bank balance to contend with it’s the perfect time to start getting your house in order, literally! If you’ve been contemplating a good spring clean then we have some great decluttering tips to share with you.

Too often our cleaning and tidying aspirations get bogged down by all the stuff we have. We start trying to sort out a room and it takes so long because we can’t decide where to focus or what to get rid of first. Well, we’re going to take you through it room by room, so that you can get organised and start living in a clutter-free zone. In today’s blog, we’re going to focus on tips for tidying your lounge and kitchen, before we tackle your bedroom and bathroom next week. Let’s get tidying!

Lounge

For most people, the lounge is the heart of the home (some people say it’s the kitchen, but if we’re honest we probably spend more time on the sofa than anywhere else). You want your primary relaxation space to feel calm and comfortable so let’s get cracking with some tips to make it feel like an oasis of clean tranquility.

  • Remove the Dumped Items – Before you can begin to properly reinvent your space, go around the room and pick up all of the stuff that has been dumped there. We’re talking trainers that should be in the hallway, jumpers that have been placed on the back of chairs, books that should be in a cupboard or bookcase. Anything that doesn’t have a home in the lounge needs to go back to the room it actually belongs in.

  • Find Homes for Lounge-Based Objects – If you have things that belong in the lounge but always seem to get moved around, like the TV remote for instance, then it’s time to give these neglected items their own designated space. Find a space where they will always ‘live’ so that whenever they get moved around, they always have a place to go back to at the end of the evening.

  • Get Rid of Broken or Unused Things – If you have a lamp with a wonky shade or an ornament that someone gave you that really isn’t your style then don’t be afraid to throw it out or donate it to charity. Look around the room, be ruthless and box that stuff up and get it out of your house. This is your space, not someone else’s. Make sure that you only have things you actually use or enjoy looking at in your room.

  • Declutter the Junk Zone – We all have that one cupboard or shelf in our lounge where everything that doesn’t go anywhere else gets tidied away to be forgotten about. Make sure that you go through it and clear out all of those things that you haven’t looked at for 3 years. There’s a reason they are in there – you really won’t look at them ever again, we promise!

  • Clean Under and Around the Sofa – Once you’ve removed all the erroneous and unwanted items from your lounge, it’s time to shift that sofa out of it’s spot and give it, and the area underneath, a good clean and hoover. Be prepared to find a few layers of dust and dirt and maybe that odd sock you lost last Christmas.

  • Time for a Deep Clean – Now that you’ve cleaned under the sofa, it’s time to tackle the rest of the room. Get those windowsills and skirting boards washed down. Take everything off the shelves and out of the cupboards and clean them inside and out. When you put it all back, make sure that all the items are properly organised and sorted. Don’t forget to clean the things you normally don’t think of like light switches, curtain rails and remote controls.

  • Find Neat Storage Solutions – If you find that after decluttering your space you still have quite a lot of stuff that you can’t or won’t get rid of then make sure you have some decent storage options available. Consider options such as built in storage units or shelving – keeping as much stuff as possible off the floor will help to make the room feel more spacious. Use boxes, trunks or baskets to tidy away bits and bobs whilst still giving a stylish, neat feel to your room.

  • Create the Illusion of Space – Adding mirrors to your lounge walls will help to create the illusion of space, particularly if you hang them facing a window or a view you want to reflect. It will help to add natural light to your room and make the space feel brighter and airier.

Kitchen

It’s amazing how often clutter can build up in our kitchen. From postcards and to-do lists stuck to the fridge to cookbooks overflowing on the shelves, it’s time to whip your cooking area into shape so that it’s neat and organised again.

  • Clear Your Worktops – If you have biscuit tins or containers stacked on your worktops, it’s time to give them another place to live or get rid of them altogether. You want to aim to only have items or appliances that you use on a daily basis and create as much space for you to be able to work with as possible.

  • Declutter Your Crockery – We’ve all got the odd plate or mug left from a previous set. It’s time to get rid and only keep the ones that match. Take the opportunity to clear out items that you have too many of and duplicate utensils that you don’t need. Match your tupperware lids to the right containers and get rid of the ones that no longer have a use.

  • Clear Out Your Cupboards – Take the opportunity to go through all of your cupboards and check the sell by dates on your tinned and dried goods. Arrange your remaining tins facing forward and grouped together by type so that they are easier to find when you need them.

  • Defrost the Freezer – Make sure that you check all of your frozen products for freezer burn and then prioritise eating whatever remains. Once the freezer is either down to a few items or empty then it’s time to start defrosting.

  • Clear Your Fridge Surfaces – It’s time to take all of the magnets of your fridge and get rid of those old to-lists and bin collection timetables. Invest in a folder to keep any really important documents and recycle the rest. If you have broken or faded magnets then chuck those too. Try and keep only a few, favourite magnets so that you can keep the fridge door as clear as possible.

  • Deep Clean Time – Once you have cleared your surfaces and decluttered your cupboards then it’s time to get cleaning. Make sure that you get to the jobs you usually wouldn’t get to such as disinfecting your bins, cleaning the inside and outside of your washer and dryer and cleaning the oven and microwave.

  • Storage Solutions – If you find that you need to look at extra storage solutions for your kitchenware then consider items such as cutlery organisers, hanging racks and expanding shelf organisers. Make your space work for you.

We hope that the above tips will help you to start organising and decluttering your living areas. Join us next week as we go upstairs and help you to tackle that overflowing wardrobe and the limescale in your bathroom… Happy cleaning!

SJB

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