How to declutter your home in one weekend: A 9-step guide
With spring arriving, there's never been a better time to shake off the winter blues and reset your space with a good declutter. Keeping control of clutter can feel like a big task – especially in busy rooms like kitchens and hallways – but approaching bite-sized chunks can have big results.
"Think of decluttering as a steady and sometimes even slow process, rather than a quick blitz of your home followed immediately by the inevitable acquisition of more items," Catharina Björkman, Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura, tells Country Living.
"It's about creating lasting change and scheduling in regular little-and-often decluttering sessions. This will reduce the risk of feeling overwhelmed and increase our likelihood of completing the task at hand."
The good news is that you can declutter your home in just one weekend (or less). To help you make a start, we've made a list of everything you need to do on Saturday and Sunday. If time allows, get ahead of the game by tackling a few tasks on Friday night.
DECLUTTERING TIPS: WHAT TO DO ON SATURDAY
Step 1: Decide what you want to declutter
The first step is to make a list of what needs organising. Focus on contained spaces such as a drawer, cupboard, nook or shelf, rather than whole rooms.
"List all the areas you want to clear out and refresh; paying extra attention to the areas that may have been neglected during those winter months," say the interior experts at Hiatt Hardware. "Planning ahead will help you identify the key parts of your home that will make you feel more refreshed once you have given them some TLC."
Decluttering top tip: Photograph the rooms you are planning to declutter. Your perspective will change when looking at the room through a screen. This will also hold you accountable and provide a satisfying before and after.
Step 2: Plan your day
Jump-start your decluttering process by mapping out a step-by-step plan in detail, targeting those areas that have been left unloved.
Kate from Fantastic Removals suggests writing specific times for each tasks, while Elaine Penhaul from Lemon and Lime Interiors advises jotting down things you plan to tackle: "Walk through your house slowly with a notebook in hand, identifying the strengths and problematic areas that you want to improve in each room. Take notice of bookcases that are overflowing or wardrobes that are bursting at the seams."
You may want to start by decluttering a kitchen drawer, before moving to your wardrobe in the afternoon. Kate tells us: "Plan out the weekend in detail, including specific times for each task, and ensure that they are all done on time. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you have enough time to complete everything you want to accomplish."
Decluttering top tip: Declutter in bite-size chunks of between 30 minutes and a couple of hours. And don't forget to pencil in much-needed coffee breaks
Step 3: Sort items into three piles
Once you have decided where to start, sort items into three piles: keep, donate/sell, and discard (such as old products that have expired). You may also find items that can be repurposed into something new, but save that DIY project for another weekend.
Decluttering top tip: "Start with an area that will give you a quick win, such as a small closet or drawer. This will help you build momentum and keep you motivated to continue decluttering," says Kate
Step 4: Choose what to pass on
Letting go of things, even if you no longer need or use it, can be tough. However, many of us fall prey to hanging on to items that have outgrown their utility, especially more sentimental belongings. You don't have to part with everything: create a box of 'memories' with your favourite things and donate other items.
Vlatka Lake, storage expert at Space Station, suggests: "Do you have numerous pieces of clothing in your wardrobe that you never wear or are you struggling for room on your shelves due to the amount of candles and ornaments you have accumulated over the years? When looking at getting a grip on your hoarding, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself which things you actually need, and which ones are taking up unnecessary space."
Decluttering top tip: Donate any unwanted items to your local charity store or refugee donation centres around the UK
Step 5: Decide what to keep
Decluttering isn't just about throwing items away – it's about looking for opportunities to organise everything you want to keep. As you work your way through each room, think about things that are useful, bring you joy and spark happy memories. "If you're struggling to decide what items should stay or go, think about whether they bring you joy or conjure up a happy memory. If the answer is no, then it needs to go," says Catharina.
"Once you've decided what items to keep, you just need to find a place to put them on the Saturday," Lisa Cooper, Head of product & Home Expert at Thomas Sanderson, tells us.
"Bedside tables and kitchen worktops can frequently get cluttered so it's important that everything has a home (or you find everything a home). Use a decorative bowl for accessories you want quick access to like keys and phone chargers and place all your toiletries into a box in a drawer once you have finished using them so they don’t crowd your surfaces."
Decluttering top tip: "All family members can be helpful around the home, and this extends to decluttering and keeping shared spaces tidy," adds Catharina
DECLUTTERING TIPS: WHAT TO DO ON SUNDAY
Step 6: Get rid of items quickly
Clearing the clutter is all well and good, but don't let sorted items pile up again. Once you've done your organising, use Sunday to pop items back, drop things off at recycling centres or advertise anything you are selling online. Don't put this off or you might find belongings migrating back into those tidy drawers.
Decluttering top tip: "When it comes to organising your home and keeping surfaces free from clutter, decorative baskets are lifesavers and can store anything from toys to toiletries," says Elaine
Step 7: Utilise storage solutions
Smart storage doesn't mean everything has to be hidden away. To maintain a clean look, utilise stackable drawers, beautiful baskets and pretty boxes around the home.
"Go through each room to decide what can be stored away, including books, electronics, magazines, clothes, shoes, toiletries, bedding and towels, and toys. Amp up storage wherever you can and make use of every nook and cranny. You'll likely find underutilised space under the sink, under the stairs, under beds, and in kitchen or bathroom cupboards," continues Catharina.
Decluttering top tip: Built-in storage that can be fitted exactly into alcoves, under eaves, or under stairs to make use of every inch
Step 8: Create a system
Kate tells us: "Sorting through items and creating an organisation system for them is important as you sort them out. Use labels or colour-coded boxes to help you remember what's inside each container."
Decluttering top tip: Create a new decluttering routine, making these tasks part of everyday life
Step 9: Celebrate your progress
And finally, celebrate your progress with a well-earned glass of bubbly. "At the end of the weekend, take a moment to celebrate your progress and the accomplishments you've made. Enjoy your newfound space and appreciate the benefits of a decluttered home," concludes Kate.
Decluttering top tip: Do a little decluttering each week to help you stay on top. Even just a bathroom cupboard, box of belongings or children's toy box is a task ticked off.
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