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A professional organiser shares her top tips on how to declutter your home (and make it stick!)
Image / Living / Interiors

HAY

A professional organiser shares her top tips on how to declutter your home (and make it stick!)


by Megan Burns
02nd Apr 2024

Hazel Burton, a CPD certified professional organiser, decluttering expert, and founder of The Home Reset shares her expertise on how to make your home more organised.

Spring is often a time when we look at our homes with fresh eyes, wanting to go into the season with a fresh, clutter-free space. However, it can feel so overwhelming to know where to start, and the best way to tackle your home’s organisation. 

This is why Hazel Burton founded The Home Reset, helping people not only to organise their homes, but to create functional systems that will help them keep their space clutter-free long term.

We asked her for some of her top organising tips, to help us all embrace a more clutter-free home.

What are some of the most common areas in the home that people need help with organising and decluttering?

The space I am asked to reset most often is the kitchen. It is the place where everyone gathers and it is a multi-use area. It is the true heart of the home. It is only natural that clutter will appear here. As we are eating, cooking, doing homework, everything is “dropped” here. Implementing an easily maintainable system in a kitchen is so important.

Playrooms are probably a close second – we tend to feel overwhelmed in playrooms as there is often too much stuff – if you feel overwhelmed in the space, it is likely your kids do too. Less is more when it comes to toys!

It can feel overwhelming to begin decluttering, do you have any advice on how to get started?

It is so important to allocate enough time to complete the job, so starting small is my top tip! Don’t underestimate the time it takes to get organised. Pick one drawer; one corner, one part of your home and you’ll get a good sense of how long it takes. That will motivate and spur you on to keep going. Remember to include the exit strategy – so identify where the items you declutter will go – charity, sell, pass on to family. Include the trip to the charity shop in your declutter plans, donations will leave the house immediately and won’t hang around in your car boot for weeks on end.

When it comes to implementing organised systems, we tend to leave ourselves until last. We generally focus on kitchens, playrooms, kids’ bedrooms, but really this is an example of when we should put ourselves first. Tackle your bedroom – make it a place for you to fully relax and switch off. A clutter-free, calm environment to aid restful sleep is crucial.

Could you share some organising tips for the most common problem areas you see in homes?

For every space you must ensure you follow the steps:

1. Empty
2. Categorise
3. Declutter

When decluttering, with each item, ask yourself:
i. Do I love it?
ii. Do I need it?
iii. Where will it live?

4. Reset

Don’t make the mistake of buying the fancy storage before the declutter. Also ensure you measure up before investing in expensive containers that may turn out to be inappropriate.

Some top tips for common problem areas:

Kitchen
Ensure food items are visible and accessible – that will ensure you know and use what you have. This will also help avoid overbuying and food waste. Ensure high-use items are close to hand.

Playroom
Obviously, volume can be a huge issue so if you have the space, consider implementing toy rotation – but remember if you feel overwhelmed in a cluttered space, it is likely the kids do too. Use picture labels if kids are too young to read – encourage tidy-up time! Lastly for playrooms remember; big toys need big storage, smaller toys need smaller containers to avoid huge, heavy baskets of doom!

Wardrobe
Again, space can be an issue so implement seasonal rotation. Slimline hangers and drawer dividers can all help enhance the systems.

Do you have any tips for keeping a space organised once it has been decluttered?

The are three rules I follow to maintain a reset space:

1. One in, one out. This is self-explanatory, but such an important rule to follow, whether it’s your wardrobe, toys, books – consider letting something go to stay on top of the clutter.

2. Love it, or let it go. Decluttering is a forever job. If you find clutter is building up again, it may be time to take another look at this rule and if you no longer love the item, let it go.

3. Put back, not down. My clients often have issues with a counter or drawer becoming a dumping ground. People come home, throw keys here, phones there, gear bags here, homework there, lunchboxes here, junk mail there. By following rule three and putting items back where they belong, this is how we stay on top of the organised system.

What are some of the benefits of organising and decluttering your home?

There are endless benefits to living in a clutter-free space. A reset space is a reset mind. My clients often tell me how the resets have helped to refocus them on their goals – often the clutter was almost holding them back.

It makes your home easier to maintain. The less stuff we have, the easier it is to stay on top of tidy spaces. It’s also quicker to clean, as there is no time wasted moving things when it is time to clean.

Cluttered spaces are stressful spaces to live in. This may be subconscious but it is a “job” to be done and dealing with the clutter, finding a home for everything you love and need and letting go of the rest, will have a hugely positive impact on your stress levels, your productivity and your health in general.

The feeling of accomplishment following a big declutter is also hugely impactful for our mental health. You will feel like a weight has lifted and you can love living in your space again.

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