Busy lifestyles combined with the struggle to juggle work, home and family can often mean that tidying is very low on our list of priorities. But if we do not keep on top of it, clutter can quickly spread, making the house extremely messy and difficult to clean. Follow these simple tips to regain control of your living space.

Begin with a blitz
Tackling one room at a time; open all the cupboards and drawers and lay everything out on the floor. It might seem messy but de-cluttering is a process that looks worse before it looks better. This way you can easily go through every item and immediately sort into boxes or bin bags – things to keep, things to give to charity and things to throw out.

Sense and sentimentality

It can be hard to throw objects away but just because you have had them a long time does not mean you should keep them forever. Special treasured items such as baby clothes, photos or other mementoes can be packed into a box and stored safely out of the way. However, be brutal with less sentimental items. Books you will never read again or unwanted DVDs and CDs could be donated to a hospital. Go through your wardrobes and pull out any items you do not wear or that do not fit anymore. You could take them to a charity shop or, if they are good quality, even sell your clothes for some extra cash.

Store smart

Your storage space will work better if you use it logically, so group similar things or those that are used together in the same space, ideally near where they will be utilised. Things you only use occasionally, such as Christmas decorations or suitcases can be stored in the loft. If you do not have an attic, could you partition off some space under the eaves to create some extra room? Think vertically. Most people have space on top of their kitchen cupboards that could be used to store large pans and dishes. Fix wall racks and shelving in utility rooms or garages to safely stores tools and garden equipment. Divan beds are a great place to keep spare duvets and bed linen while shelving units with baskets or crates are perfect for bathroom supplies and toys.

Train the family

There’s no point spending time and energy de-cluttering your house if your partner or children make a mess as soon as your back is turned. Make sure you all get into the habit of keeping things tidy as you go. For example, open post as soon as it arrives, deal with it, then file it or bin it. Provide plenty of storage so all children’s toys can be tidied away at the end of every day. Never leave a room empty-handed. There’s always something to be put back in its place. And if you have a family member who thinks that leaving things on the stairs is tidying, make them think again. Get into a routine of always taking something upstairs with you every time you go.

Follow these simple tips to help keep household clutter to a minimum. You’ll be able to relax comfortably in your freshly-tidied space, making it feel like a brand new home.