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How to declutter your home: room by room

From busy bedrooms to crowded kitchens, these expert tips will help you declutter your entire home in no-time

declutter home room by room
Chloe Best
Chloe BestLifestyle Features Editor
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The New Year often inspires many of us to get organised and plan to make big changes in our homes, and what better way to start than by decluttering?

Whether you're looking for ways to clean up your kitchen, find clever storage solutions for everything from toys to clothes, or transform your wardrobe into a streamlined space even Marie Kondo would be proud of, we've rounded up all the expert tips you need to declutter your entire home, room by room.

Before getting started

cluttered living room© Photo: iStock

Taking photos of clutter can help you focus on problem areas

It's important not to rush into your decluttering without creating a plan first, identifying problem areas and the rooms you need to tackle.

Elaine Penhaul, interiors expert and director of national award-winning home staging company Lemon and Lime Interiors, recommends photographing the rooms that you are planning to declutter, saying it can change your perspective and help to keep you accountable.

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"In reality, the eye tends to overlook what we have become accustomed to; we skim past the pile of old magazines and the wilting house plant in the corner because we know they are on our to-do list," she says. "Taking photographs before decluttering is a great morale boost when you finish a room. You can look back at what you have achieved already, which will help you conquer the next room."

Tidy organised living room© Photo: iStock

Start decluttering with a deep clean

Meanwhile, doing a deep clean of your home can also help you to get started. Yvonne Keal, Senior Product Manager at Hillarys, says: "Start with a thorough clean, a deep clean can improve the floor space and visual appeal of your home. Removing unnecessary clutter from exposed surfaces, dusting lights and blinds and cleaning floors are simple tasks that can make a real difference."

How to declutter your kitchen

If your kitchen cupboards have turned into a chaotic mess of long-forgotten foods, an assortment of random mugs and plastic lunchboxes with missing lids, it's definitely time for a declutter – and it doesn't have to be too difficult or time-consuming.

Sarah Savery-Smith, Brand Director of ProCook, says that you can get your kitchen cupboards tidy in as little as an hour, if you plan storage and organisation in advance.

Organised kitchen drawer pans© Photo: iStock

Look for smart ways to stack pots and pans to keep your kitchen organised

"With a little more time, you can delve deeper into your kitchen storage by bringing everything out and reorganising it in a more streamlined fashion. Keen bakers may want to spend time organising their baking accessories such as storing measuring cups and scales neatly into a box, so everything is conveniently in one place," Sarah says.

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"The less room bulky items can take up in your cupboards, the better. Look for smarter ways you can stack pots and pans, such as sets of roasting tins that nest within one another. When packing it all away again, remember to place everything back in order of need, with the most frequently used at the front – you'll be thanking yourself later."

Meanwhile, interiors expert Elaine Penhaul shared her creative solution to tidying up cleaning products and the often-cluttered cupboard under the sink. "We are all prone to storing a surplus of cleaning products under the sink," she says. "Remove everything from your overflowing cupboard and sort through it – you'll be amazed by how many half-used bottles can be consolidated and save you from buying new ones."

How to declutter your living room

KING Living Max Ottoman

Invest in a sofa with hidden storage to keep your living room free from clutter

Living rooms are one of the most-used rooms in our homes, so it is little surprise that unsightly clutter can quickly build up due to our busy day-to-day lives. One of the easiest ways to keep your living room free from clutter can be to invest in specially-designed storage furniture that will keep your surfaces and floor space clear without sacrificing on style.

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"Your living space is the heart of the home where you spend countless hours with friends and family. Creating a look and feel that is calm and orderly is quite a challenge in most homes so designs which incorporate storage are a precious commodity," the experts at KING Design Studio explain. "Perfect for effortlessly stashing away throws and extra scatters, modular sofas with hidden under-seat storage provide valuable capacity without compromising the floor space."

Meanwhile, Ferris Caldwell, Creative Lead & Home Stylist at Aura Frames, suggests finding a modern and more minimalistic way to display your favourite photos in your living room - helping to keep surfaces free from clutter.

Aura photo frame

A digital photo frame can be a great alternative to lots of frames

"One of the best ways to make a house feel like a home is to have your favourite memories out on display, however, lots of picture frames can leave shelves, mantles, and counters looking cramped (and make for a painful dusting experience)," she says. "Consider condensing down the chaos to one sleek, WiFi-connected picture frame — you can enjoy all of your photos in one place, showing off hundreds of memories throughout the day."

How to declutter your bedroom

A cluttered and unorganised bedroom can have a big impact on our sleep and ability to unwind, so it should be a key focus when decluttering your home. From messy wardrobes full of clothes you rarely wear to cluttered bedside cabinets, there are lots of ways bedrooms can get out of control, but these simple steps will transform your bedroom into an organised and streamlined sanctuary in no time.

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1. Start with your wardrobe

Your wardrobe is one of the biggest problem areas for clutter, and one where Catharina Björkman, Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura, says you should be "ruthless".

keep. donate and discard piles from wardrobe© Photo: iStock

Sort your wardrobe into piles of clothes to keep, donate and discard

"Opening the door to an organised wardrobe will give you an instant boost as you can see all your items, making it easier to pick an outfit even if you’re in a rush. Go through your clothing and be ruthless with what you keep: any every-day clothes you haven’t worn in the last two years, anything too small or large, or items that are simply not to your taste anymore need to go," she says.

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"Donate clothes to charity shops, give items away to friends, or sell on eBay or Depop. Keep only your best-loved items and things you keep re-wearing. Hang everything facing the same way and invest in new hangers if necessary."

2. Update your wardrobe seasonally

Furl Illusion storage bed

Take out clothes you don't need each season and store them elsewhere

An easy way to keep your wardrobe from getting overcrowded is to update it seasonally, taking out coats and jumpers during the summer, and finding somewhere else to keep summer clothes in the winter.

David Norman, Founder of Furl, suggests: "Clear out seasonal clothes and keep only those you need in storage beds and sofas ready for next year. Airtight bags are great for this you can fit an extensive amount of clothes in airtight bags and store them away in your storage sofa and/or sofa bed. Rehome and donate clothes and shoes that are old or do not fit."

3. Organise your drawers

Neatly folded clothes© Photo: iStock

The way you fold your clothes can make a big difference to the space you have in your drawers

Don't forget oft-neglected areas such as your chest of drawers when tidying your bedroom; even changing the way you fold your clothes and store accessories can make a big difference to the space you have.

Kelly, a professional organiser at Declutterwithkelly, says: "Fold clothes vertically so that when you open the drawer you can see every item you have. This should be used for all your items, even small pants and socks. It is amazing how much easier it is to find items and how much less space it takes in the drawer when you fold them vertically. You can even organise these in colour sections, light to dark.

"For smaller items like pants, socks, ties and belts consider using containers/draw inserts or dividers. For this, you can buy some really lovely dividers or you can use whatever little boxes/containers you have already lying around the house. "

4. Invest in storage furniture hardy bedside chest of drawers

Storage furniture can be a wise investment to keep your bedroom clutter-free

To keep your bedroom organised and clutter-free long-term, investing in storage furniture such as an ottoman bed or footstool could be the way to go.

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"When it comes to bedrooms, a clutter free space should be a priority when looking at layouts. Your bedroom should be a cosy room designed for relaxation and winding down - avoid having too much furniture and make sure you have multifunctional pieces that work extra hard to keep the clutter at bay," Patricia Gibbons, Design Team at, says.

"For smaller items, look to storage benches and ottoman footstools sat at the end of the bed to quickly stash away laptops and chargers if your bedroom is now your home office and reclaim the space as one fit for relaxation in the evenings."

How to declutter your bathroom

Villeroy and Boch bathroom

Start small when decluttering your bathroom

Decluttering a bathroom can help to ensure that the space feels like a relaxing oasis, however, the task itself can feel daunting to begin with. The experts at Villeroy & Boch suggest starting small, explaining: "Start small, by organising one corner or one drawer at a time and work your way around the room. This will help to stop you from feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead of you."

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They add: "When organising, think about how you utilise the space currently. For example, ensure that bath products are within easy access of the bath and likewise that dental care, face washes and hand soap are all close to the washbasin."

Meanwhile, you should utilise all the space available to you for storage, especially in smaller bathrooms. "If there are already alcoves in your bathroom, you should make as much use of them as possible. Small alcoves are ideal for made-to-measure built-in cabinets or shelves," the experts say.

How to declutter your home office

Tidy home office© Photo: iStock

Follow the six steps below to keep your home office organised

Many of us will have created our own home office or workspace since the coronavirus pandemic, but they can be one of the areas of our homes that easily get cluttered, with paperwork quickly piling up. Jacqueline McLeod, APDO's Communications Director & Founder of Bancrofts Organisation Services, has shared her six-step process to decluttering your home office and keeping it organised going forward.

1. Remove everything and put them into another space or room if you have the space. If you don't, do it in sections by dividing the room and doing one section at a time.

2. Put what you remove into piles and go through items in each pile and either keep, recycle, donate or bin it. This may take a while but will make all the difference. Remember the 12-month rule.

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3. When going through paperwork where you can go paperless, at worst keep no more than three months' worth of paper bills. Categorise your paperwork, put them in electronic folders preferably if not then folders and label them. Review them every quarter and do a purge of out-of-date documents.

4. Any highly important documents such as passports or a will should be stored in a fireproof container where possible. File and store all confidential and sensitive documents safely and securely.

5. Once you have decluttered everything and the room is like a blank canvas, consider the current set up of furniture and existing storage. Think about reconfiguring the space to make it function better and offer a more efficient use of the room.

6. Buy the right storage supplies including folders, zipped folders, pen holders etc.

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