It’s just over one month until the official start of British Summer Time. So get your spring cleaning hat on and get ready to give your home a whole new lease of life… we’ve got some room by room tips to help break down your epic spring clean…
Make the most of wall space
Some people make the mistake of thinking that everything needs to be hidden away for your kitchen to look clutter-free. Often, this just leads to chaotic cupboards where you can’t find anything. Add hanging space on kitchen walls for saucepans and install a magnetic knife block. You’ll have less stuff to riffle through in your cupboards and your kitchen utensils will be better organised.
Invest in a stylish spice rack
Is your spice cupboard packed with ancient bottles? Not even sure what you’ve got in there, lurking at the back? You’re not alone. First, have a massive clear out – throw away anything out of date. Then invest in a stylish spice rack. Online retailers like Etsy have literally hundreds to choose from, including clever space savers that go on the kitchen work surface, and wall mounted racks.
Reorder your cupboards
Everyone’s favourite tidying expert Marie Kondo has some excellent advice for making your kitchen clutter free and practical. Simply reorder your cupboards so every day items are easier to reach than things you only use occasionally. For example: that giant punch bowl that’s always in the way? Put it in a high cupboard, or move it out of the kitchen altogether. Mugs, everyday glasses and plates; move them to lower shelves or drawers. Simple.
Ditch duplicate items
Got three wooden spoons for no reason? Too many knives but never enough forks? We feel you. Start by getting rid of duplicate stuff. Donate it to your local charity shop, or use the app Olio to get your unwanted items collected for free by people who can use them. Then, buy inexpensive matching items that will make your drawers feel more co-ordinated and less cluttered.
One of the best ways to deal with clutter the rooms you spend the most time in, is to categorise. Make your categories based on things you like most, not things you have a lot of. For example, your categories could be: books, plants, photographs. Or: movies, gadgets, magazines. Put the things that fit into the categories together first. Next, look at what you’ve got left over. Are these miscellaneous items things you really need? If so, can they be stored in a cupboard, or in storage elsewhere in your home? Stuff that isn’t something you like, or something you need: toss it!
Add trunks, boxes and baskets
So you’ve sorted out the things you like and the things you need from the stuff that’s just annoying clutter, but now what? Add some storage to your living room easily with stackable trunks. These can be picked up for a few pounds from vintage shops and car boots sales. Or, if that’s not your style, add wicker baskets, or simply boxes that can slide under tables.
Donate old books, CDs and DVDs
Running low on shelf space? Got dozens of old DVDs that have been gathering dust since you signed up for Netflix? Don’t be afraid to donate stuff to your local charity shop – you’ll be amazed how much you don’t miss things when getting rid of them makes your home feel cleaner and more spacious.
Make personal items into a feature
Got nick nacks around the room that have sentimental value? Ornaments and photographs that remind you of a certain holiday, or a special time in your life? Group these together and make them into a particular focal point in the room. Dedicate a space on a shelf to items from your travels, or momentoes from your wedding day, or whatever it might be. Collecting items together like this will make that part of your toom look like a considered style choice, even if the types of items themselves are very different.
Ditch old and expired products
Spice cupboards and bathroom cabinets: the dumping ground of every home. First thing’s first: clear out all the empty bottles, all the old expired products, all the crazy lipsticks and nail polishes that you impulse bought before realising they don’t suit you.
Tidy those towels
Whether you live alone, with a partner or family, or with housemates, keeping towels tidy is a great way to make your whole bathroom look more organised. If more than one person uses your bathroom, why not try designated baskets or hangers for each person’s towel. If you live alone but store spare/guest towels in your bathroom, be sure to fold them and stack them neatly in size order. Or, for smaller storage spaces, roll your towels and place them on shelves or in baskets.
Add some greenery
Adding a plant to a decluttered surface will help motivate you to keep it neat and tidy. Aloe vera grows well in bathrooms (and you can use the leaves as a great moisturiser and after sun). Other good bathroom plants include bamboo and Boston ferns.
Divide his and hers
Living with a partner? Feel like they’re the one who always messes up your nicely ordered bathroom? Why not create boxes for each of your stuff, labeled with your names. That way you’ll both have responsibility for keeping your own toiletries tidy and there won’t be any more arguments about who left that empty shampoo bottle in the shower (hopefully).
Try the wardrobe clearance trick
Want to have a clear out of your old clothes, but not sure where to start? Here’s a great technique to help you decide what to ditch. Over the next few months, make a habit of hanging clothes you have recently worn back into the cupboard with the hanger facing the other way. Do this every time you put back a jacket, or when you tidy away something you have recently worn and laundered. After a while, you’ll start to see which items of clothing you genuinely wear, and which ones just sit there gathering dust. After a length of time that you decide, take out everything that hasn’t been worn, and head down to the charity shop. Ta-da, decluttered cupboard.
Add under bed storage
A brilliant storage solution for smaller bedrooms is under bed storage. This can be as simple as inexpensive plastic boxes to house your shoes, or as fancy as a bespoke made bed with built in storage (like this one from Made). By adding under bed storage in your guest room, you can get rid of items that you want to keep hold of, but only use occasionally.
Organise jewelry using bowls
Shallow bowls and plates are an attractive way to keep your jewelry neat. You can buy trinket dishes from homewares shops and boutiques, like this one from Anthropologie or this one, available on Trouva. Or, if you’re a fan of upcycling and shabby chic, you can pick up vintage crystal plates at flea markets for a few pounds.
Create fun storage for kids
Getting kids to tidy up their bedrooms can feel like an impossible task. But there are lots of fun and creative storage solutions that make tidying up seem less boring. One idea is to turn a toy kitchen into a storage area (and combine tidying up with playtime). Stylish homewares company Stackers make these great kid’s laundry baskets too.. sharks like to eat socks, right?
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