10 Steps to Decluttering & Cleaning

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Storing in small, nice looking units will make it easier for you to get to exactly what you were looking for in no time and without having to lift heavy items, It’ll also keep your belongings neat and they’re less likely to break.


 Yes, this isn’t done in a 1, 2, 3 I’m afraid. Taking it one step at a time and with a bit of focus and planning, you’ll be flying all the same.

Many think they don’t have the right storage units or boxes and tend to start with a shopping trip. My advice is to stop and see how much you do have before shopping for more. That goes for cleaning agents also – are you sure you don’t have a few drops of vinegar and washing up liquid? Well, you are good to go.


  1. Invite a close friend to help. We are all so capable, but how about sharing? Every time I’ve done the job of decluttering, updating or painting with a few invited friends, it’s been a great day for everyone. Put on a bit of music in the background and have a few treats evenly spread out over the day, and you’ll be amazed how easy it all goes.…..don’t actually know why we don’t do it like this more often, as we all know doing someone else’s dishes or ironing is much more fun than doing your own. When the friend knock on the door there’s also no chance of procrastinating.
  2. Define the task. When we set special time aside to declutter and clean, it could be an indication we have been a bit overwhelmed and not kept it up over the weeks or months. To deal with that overwhelm, stop procrastination, and make sure you get on with it, it’s a good idea to feel more in control of the situation facing you: Define the area to declutter and clean, and split that area into smaller jobs. That way you’ll be energized and motivated each time you finish a little task and not feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
  3. What’s your dream outcome? Are you stuck? Maybe you’ll feel more excited and open to life if you remembered your dreams or found some new ones. Yes, sometimes it’s easier to just do what you’ve always done, but remember – that’s what’s got you here with a bit of decluttering and a spring clean to do. If you look around you everything changes – even a stone change – so have a think about what you dream of and see what you can do to move toward fulfilling it. If no one else has told you you deserve to have all your dreams fulfilled – let me assure you do.
  4. Feel generous. It’s always nice to be able to give someone a treat, so if you find it hard to let go of items, think of the experiences you’ve had and which are visible in your treasurers. Some you’ll have shared and some are lovely reminders of someone no longer here. All the rest you can share or replace, so have a think if maybe someone has expressed a love or connection for some of that, and offer it to them. Remember once you have got rid of an heirloom it’s likely gone forever. Maybe some of that surplus would be good for charity? Feeling generous will help you shift items much more than feeling you throw them away.
  5. Make money. Now that you’ve got friends to help, a good handle on what you need to do, an end dream goal in mind, and even shared your wealth of treasures, it’s time to consider if you can sell a few items to maybe help fund the dream. Ebay is well known, but you might have collected decades of interesting artefacts which is worthy of a local art valuer. How much fun would that be? If it turns out to be a bit costly and defeat the purpose, invite others to bring their items also. Bonhams in Edinburgh visits at £250 for the first hour and advice jewellery is brought to them, as they have equipment to value the items there. Silver prices are going up at the moment, so maybe that’s worth considering.
  6. Create your own cleaning products. If spring clean and decluttering still sounds too mundane to get on with? How about doing a bit of research in your family and friends and see what tricks they have for cleaning using home made cleaning products? When you are decluttering you’ll feel up for doing it, as you have these new products to try out once you get to the cleaning stage.
  7. Safety. Decluttering involves moving stuff around, and the last thing you want to do is to injure yourself in the process. That means the first thing to do is to have a look around for safety issues such as:
    • tall or wobbly items, items not placed evenly or coming apart;
    • electric items and wires;
    • slippery, uneven and bulgy surfaces including cords/wires/ruined carpets;
    • sharp edges and points of not just glass and metal, but also wood and plastics;
    • heavy items and
    • liquids – dangerous to your health, creating slippery surfaces, destroying items.

    You might want to wear a pair of gloves or proper shoes – not slippers – but make sure they are non-slip and fit you perfectly. You might even want to wear your hair out of the way and glasses. Wouldn’t it be a shame to ruin what could have been a promising day with a trip to the A&E?

    Try a few hooks behind a door. Here is one hook for wires, a rack for belts and underneath another row of hooks for necklaces. Never tangled again!

  8. Like with Like. To start getting to grips with a room it’s easier to first get like with like organised. Only when you have all your books, shirts, yarns, vases etc. in one place can you see what space you need for them and only then can you feel safe and calm about getting rid of those items which aren’t helping you move toward your dream outcome.
  9. Zone. Strange word maybe, but it just means you put things where you need them and in various zones. You need your needles next to where you can see to sow and fix things, but also where you’d naturally store items to be fixed. It also makes sense to have your sowing kit next to ribbons, material and pearls. In the kitchen it would be having spices within reach of your pots as you cook. Same goes for a good ladle, whereas tea towels and cleaning agents are better placed near the sink. You’ll save so much time and drop less items moving them around, as you’ll not have to move far, you’ll have a spot to place things and therefore hands free.
  10. Style. Now that you have pared down your items, you can line them up just so and maybe find a couple of items in accent colours to brighten it all up. Accent colours are those items which are directly opposite on the colour wheel to the colour to be accented.


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