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The Truth About Clutter: Top Ten Tips to Declutter

By on January 12, 2014
Top Ten Tips for successful decluttering

The Clutter Fairy’s Top Ten Tips for successful decluttering

By Lesley Spellman (the Clutter Fairy)

It’s that time again – a New Year means a new you and in 2014 you have vowed to rid yourself of the unwanted stuff that lurks in nooks and crannies all around your home. But that’s easier said than done for most of us – just how and where do you get started? Read on for The Clutter Fairy’s top ten tips for a successful declutter.

Plan your day. Choose a room, drawer, wardrobe and stick to it. Don’t get waylaid putting stuff back into other rooms until the end.

Use it, Need it, Love it? Most objects fall into these categories. If you don’t use it regularly, need it sometimes or love it all the time, it’s time to question whether it should stay.

Be realistic. It’s taken months or sometimes years for the clutter to build and it will take time and effort to sort it out. About 4 or 5 hours decluttering a day is more than enough.

Choose your destinations. Know beforehand where you can offload the things you choose to lose. Choose a charity shop you feel passionate about and where it’s easy to park. Know how your local recycling centre works. Make sure your sister, mum or friend needs, will use or love your cast offs. If you plan to sell, find someone to do it for you or ensure you have the tools and the time to do it yourself.

Get started. There’s no easy way. Tackle visible clutter first on surfaces or the floor to give yourself space to work. Then work clockwise around the room until it’s done.

Colour code. Use different coloured bags for different things so you don’t get confused. You can go through a lot of black bin liners in a day. I use blue for Charity, green for recycling, clear for family and friends etc.

Out the door. Plan to offload everything on the day you declutter. That way there’s no chance of it reappearing. I have never had a client with regrets.

Keep a vision. However you envisage your newly decluttered space, keep that firmly in your mind all day long to keep your motivation high.

Save storage till last. Don’t buy storage until you have fully decluttered and are ready to organise. That way you can get exactly what you need.

Organise for your lifestyle. Choose a system that works with your lifestyle. Be realistic and don’t micro-organise. Then sit back and take it all in!



About Lesley Spellman

Lesley Spellman, The Clutter Fairy, is a professional organiser helping clients all over Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire turn chaos to calm. ( She is also part of the Operations Team for APDO uk –the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (




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