Our favourite decluttering tips from the clean queens on your screens

The ultimate tips from the experts for a decluttered home, ASAP.

Decluttering tips experts

by Eleanor Weaver |

Whether you’re looking to spring clean your wardrobe, eliminate a bit of chaos in your life, or shift the ever-growing amount of stuff that fills your home (we’ve all got that one ‘Monica from Friends’ cupboard or drawer, right?), we’ve taken tips from the cleaning gurus to help you declutter your space.

We’re talking Queen of Clean ‘clean-fluencer’ Lynsey Crombie, Marie Kondo, The Home Edit, and Dilly Carter, all serving some seriously helpful advice to help you manage your home and create that stress-free haven you deserve at last. Because tbh, this has been on the to-do list for a while.

First things first, meet the organisation queens who have the knowledge and expertise to help you transform your home.

Meet the decluttering pros

Lynsey Crombie

Lynsey Crombie is one of the nation’s favourite experts for all things cleaning and organisation – as well as a champion for the benefits of cleaning to mental health and general wellbeing. With over 70 appearances, you've probably spotted the TV's 'Queen of Clean' on This Morning or Channel 4's 'Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners' as one of the key cleaners. She's a bestselling author, blogger, and influencer on Instagram where she shares her cleaning tips and tricks that also make housework less boring... yes, please.

Marie Kondo

Have you been living under a rock? If you haven't already watched 'Tidying Up with Marie Kondo' on Netflix, we'd definitely recommend it for some decluttering inspo. Japanese organisation expert Marie Kondo has transformed people's homes, teaching them her KonMari Method to process their belongings. Focused around gathering, categorising, and filling your home with joy, she's a bestselling author with 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' published in more than 30 countries.

Dilly Carter

Dilly Carter is a professional organiser and founder of the Declutter Dollies, an organisation service designed to turn your home of chaos into a calm and curated oasis. She's even gone into the homes of A-List actors, authors, and fitness influencers to help transform their homes and approach to life for an aesthetically pleasing and practical abode. You'll have seen her on BBC One's 'Sort Your Life Out' alongside Stacey Solomon where they help families to declutter, upcycle, and recycle - how do we apply?

The Home Edit

Clea and Joanna, professional organisers for A-listers and the power team conquering clutter in the Netflix show 'The Home Edit', have helped people from all walks of life to organise their spaces. Their approach is to contain the chaos to bring back function and beauty into your everyday life - picture those gorgeous colour-coordinated bookcases. Got it? You can achieve that too.

Decluttering tips inspired by the experts

Make the time

If you really want to do a proper declutter, you need to set the time aside to do it. It's not really something you can do on a whim and trust us, we're talking from experience.

Lynsey Crombie told us, "If your home needs a big declutter, clear some time in your schedule and ask other household members to do the same. If you work as a team, you will declutter so much quicker. Hire a skip/Hippo bag as this could save you endless trips to the dump or charity shop which take up a lot of time.”

It's Marie Kondo's first rule for her KonMari Method too. Having a declutter isn't a quick fix, you need to set the intention to seriously tidy up, and "when you approach your tidying festival with a clear vision and a can-do attitude, you’ll find the energy and motivation you need to tidy all of your belongings in one go."

And we hate to say it but step away from your phone - whether you stick it on airplane mode or leave it in another room, having your phone around is guaranteed to distract you from the task at hand. Just five more mins on TikTok? It's WAY too easy for that to turn into a couple of hours.

Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Visualisation is a powerful tool that you don't just need to reserve for New Year's. Before you get going, Marie Kondo recommends that you imagine your ideal lifestyle to clarify exactly why you want to tidy and to help you envision your best life. Don't just consider "What does your dream home look like?" but also, "How do you want to feel after this declutter?"

You might want to write these thoughts and feelings down in a journal to capture these thoughts to reflect on and keep you feeling inspired.

Make a plan of action

Something all our organisation queens agree on is you need to make a plan of action when decluttering. But how you go about it can vary.

Lynsey recommends going by room: “Start at the top of your home and work your way down. Plan what rooms you are going to tackle and stick to it, once in the room plan again. Write a list of what areas need doing and mark off as you go. If you stick to a plan, you won’t miss anything.”

Alternatively, you could try tidying by category i.e. clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items, as recommended by Marie Kondo to understand the overall volume of each thing you have.

What's important, no matter your approach, is that you finish your planned area before moving on to the next.

Don't stress

A key reason to get your clutter under control is the benefit it'll have on your mental health, and so you don't want to be getting stressed in the process. All the pros agree that, yes, it may get worse before it gets better, but the last thing you need is to feel overwhelmed.

If you are feeling a little swamped and you're not sure where to begin, Dilly Carter recommends doing her 'Dolly Dash' where you take 15 minutes to declutter and organise a space in your home. It might be the sock drawer or cutlery drawer, or you might feel inspired to tackle a whole room. Either way, it's a win and a step in the right direction.

Lynsey Crombie says, “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, if you are struggling for time, do what you can in small bursts – e.g. split the wardrobe into sections and do one section when you can and the same with drawers.”

Her 30-day Challenge on Instagram might prove to be just the guide you need to slowly but surely declutter your home, or you could try The Home Edit's 14 Day Mini Edit to help you start small.

Get it all out on show

For your planned day of decluttering, Clea and Joanna from The Home Edit recommend taking everything out of the space you’re organising (and we mean everything) and then grouping like items together so you can see exactly what you're dealing with.

The KonMari Method takes the same approach; by piling everything you have of one item category together, you'll be able to see how much you have before you begin to declutter. Seeing it all in front of you may make you realise what you have an excess of and what can go.

Question each item

This is the tricky part. When it comes to paring down your belongings, start by getting rid of expired products (we're always surprised by the amounts of out-of-date bits and bobs we have lurking at the back of cupboards or at the bottom of make-up drawers), anything you no longer use, or anything you just don't like.

Lynsey says, "During the process ask yourself these key questions:

• Do I need it?

• Do I use it?

• Do I like it?"

Marie Kondo also recommends asking yourself "Does this spark joy?". At the end of the day, you want to create a new, calm, happy environment after all. Joy is personal, so everyone will experience it differently, but in the process, you'll learn precisely what items you love and want to keep. Ready to give items a send-off? Do so with gratitude and say 'thank you' for how each item served you, even if it, well, didn't. We all have items collecting dust that we thought were a good idea at the time.

And don't just think small. Lynsey says, “Don’t just focus on the small stuff like books and clothes, focus on the big stuff too, if you have furniture in a room that you no longer need then move these larger items out first.”

Organise items in a particular order

If you're ready to put back items now you've done a serious declutter, you might want to think twice before putting things back where you found them. While it might have felt right at the time, the accumulation of stuff may have been a result of where you'd stored your clutter in the first place.

Marie Kondo recommends storing items based on their frequency of use so the things you use most often are easy to access and use.

If you want to create an Instagram-worthy, aesthetically pleasing home, you might instead want to try The Home Edit's method to ROYGBIV your life. Display items in rainbow order (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet - see?) to create visual flow that'll make things easy to find and be calming on the brain.

Just look at it - SO dreamy...

And you can even do it on your phone to declutter that, as well 😍

Give every item a home

The best way to keep your home clutter-free is to give every item its own home. You should store items by category so they're unlikely to be lost again but in the early process, feel free to stay flexible while you find the best spots for everything.

Marie Kondo advises against storing items on top of each other and instead recommends dividing storage spaces into square boxes – when things are jumbled together and not compartmentalised, it’s harder to remove what you need and you're more likely to be lazy when it comes to putting things back. We're all about making things easier and more streamlined here, people.

Within this process, you should try not to add more clutter or 'stuff', even if that feels easier said than done. Lynsey says, “During your decluttering process, resist bringing into your home new items until the process is complete and you know you have a space for the new item!”

Use clear storage containers

While it might be tempting to keep things out of sight, out of mind, that'll just result in things getting lost and more clutter being brought in.

The Home Edit recommends using clear storage containers and turntables to offer a functional solution for containing your stuff and keeping it accessible. The Home Edit and iDESIGN have even created some gorgeous and practical storage bins to help organise everything in your home, from your kitchen to the bedroom.

Smartening up your storage is something Dilly Carter recommends too, though you don't need to spend big £££ getting flashy containers. Stay within your budget and use old boxes, cheap storage containers, and most importantly, DON'T buy storage containers unless you know you'll need them. Otherwise, a) you'll just be adding to the clutter with boxes and b) you won't be buying the right size containers fit for purpose.

Using opaque containers or want to make sure the family doesn't forget where things belong? Use labels so everything can find its way home.

Maximise your wardrobe space

Okay, let's be honest, the wardrobe is probably the toughest place to tackle not only because it's limited on space but like us, you probably have way too many clothes.

Let's start with the declutter.

If you want to do a quick edit, The Home Edit recommends choosing one category that can use some paring down and then tossing or donating items you no longer want or need to help maximise your space. Whether that's your jeans (RIP those skinny jeans), knickers or drawer full of t-shirts getting rid of these will give extra space for the items you really want.

Ready for a proper declutter? Dilly Carter gives us a wardrobe declutter chat that'll help you be ruthless in your clothing cull.

Next up is how you store your clothes.

Dilly recommends hanging as much as you can and organising by the style of clothes from heavy to light, grouping together blouses, dresses, skirts, etc. For jeans and leggings she recommends rolling them, or if you feel like trying something a little different, opt for Marie Kondo's KonMari fold.

The KonMari fold is a way of folding your clothes in vertical stacks instead of horizontally in your drawers so you can see all your clothes, and it's become so popular, it's been picked by other clean-fluencers like Mrs Hinch, too.

Want to give it a try? This video shows you exactly how to do it.

Edit your subscriptions

Decluttering isn't limited to the home - it's a lifestyle change that'll help declutter your mind too so you should consider doing a tidy of other areas of your life that'll benefit your wellbeing.

For starters, The Home Edit recommends a purge of your inbox. We are all used to receiving a bunch of newsletters and marketing emails every month, but do you ACTUALLY want these, or do you stick them straight in the Deleted Folder? Guilty. Set the time to unsubscribe from those emails clogging up your inbox and set up folders to neatly categorise the ones that matter so you know exactly where to find the important stuff.

We'd recommend doing the same for your social - over the years you've probably followed a LOT of content creators, many of which might not suit where you are in your life right now. Do a little unfollowing spree to help create a feed that inspires you again and brings you joy.

That being said, Dilly recommends that you also think about the physical subscriptions you receive into your home, especially beauty boxes where you receive new products every month. What do you actually use? Work out which subscriptions actually serve you or consider pausing a subscription until you use what you've already bought or have piling up in your drawer.

Tame your cords

A tangle of messy cables to your TV, laptop, lamps, and so forth is enough to put anyone on edge but luckily there's an easy way to hide those ugly cables and plugs. The Home Edit recommends using a cord wrap to collect your cables together and keep everything looking streamlined and less cluttered.

There are plenty of other hacks you can try; you can use cable holder clips to control cables in your miscellaneous electronics drawer, try a cable tidy box to keep plugs and extension leads neatly out of sight, or organise your cables with an old box and cable labels:

And remember...

• Don't worry if things don’t stay picture perfect - we don’t live in show homes after all

• Organisation is about being in control of your home and making your space work for YOU

• Containers will help make things neater and create structure but don’t think you can’t organise without them

• Do it at your own pace and don’t stress.

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