Household clutter can build up, almost without us looking. Before we know it, it’s everywhere, spread evenly across the entire home and when it is at that point, it’s difficult to know where to put it or even, where to start and how to clear it.


Household clutter and how to clear it, must be one of the most searched for questions in Google, since the time when “How do I meet my soul mate?” came in as number one!


There are two golden rules which I follow, and I suggest to my clients that they do the same.


A place for everything and everything in its place and putting everything back where it came from. It makes sense to have items in the logical places, mugs in the kitchen, books on the bookshelf, toiletries in the bathroom or your bedroom, clothes put away in the wardrobe. You get my drift.


Clutter can build when you remove something from a drawer or cupboard, but do not put it back. I would say that is the key culprit along with procrastination.


The clutter that I see in many houses, quite often can be easily dealt with, but for many of us, the task can seem insurmountable, especially when it has built up.


I always encourage my clients to start small, never beat yourself up about where you are at, just congratulate yourself that you have got to the point where you are ready to tackle it head on.


You will need black bin liners for general rubbish, a white bag for recycling (which goes straight into your bin), a box or bag for stuff you are going to sell, and another bag into which anything goes you are keeping but needs to be repositioned. You will also need a bag for charitable donations.


So how do you start?


Decluttering is a bit like peeling an onion and you need to look at it like that. Breaking it down into categories or layers will help.


The first layer is normally household recycling, old letters, cardboard boxes, packaging, anything like that can be easily put into your own recycling bins. We can recycle so much more these days, so much better than dumping it into landfill. I always encourage customers to recycle as much as they can.


The next step is to categorise your piles. Putting like with like. It is my favourite way to declutter. That way, you have broken down the project into bite-sized pieces.  It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ we gather and when we start to look at it, it is easy to see that most things can be either disposed of, re-positioned, donated to charity, or if it is worth selling, to be sold via one of the many sites.


Once you have gone through each ‘pile’ it’s time to re-position in the place where it’s supposed to be. You may, at this point, find there are extra items you can let go of.


I use the word extra a lot. Extra is a great word for clutter because that is what it is, ‘extra’ to our needs, taking up space, often hanging around because you have no place for it to be homed. Extra stuff can take over our lives, with us not being able to decide what needs to stay and what can go.


It truly is about knowing your own mind and knowing what you like, and what you don’t.


It could be anything from toys no longer played with, through to a dress that no longer fits, through to paperwork not dealt with, but with the majority destined to be recycled or sold.


If your household clutter is bad, you will need a professional to work through it with you, giving you support. The professional will help you source charities who can collect or put you in contact with local auctioneers or similar. In other words, they come with a little black book of numbers of useful people who can help you move on from your clutter.


I am not a fan of a skip as is goes into landfill. The better way to clear is to find a reliable, reputable, licensed, house clearance person who can take away your bags, but you still need to bag up anything you don’t need.


Never forget, your local tip is a great place to recycle your unwanted items. Metals, batteries, paint cans, wood, plastics, materials, printer cartridges, old electrical items…there is not anything that cannot be re-homed either to someone in dire need or by donating to a charity who redistribute your goods throughout their network. I favour the Salvation Army as they are good at selling through your unwanted items and all donations are received with a joyful attitude.


Finally, if you have bags for charity, I always recommend you leave them by your front door or pop them into your car. That way, you have no excuse for them not leave the home pronto rather than hanging around and causing more household clutter.


Be decisive, it is the only way you will unclutter yourself.