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Declutter your home, declutter your life

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Vicky Silverthorn, known as the queen of decluttering, says a tidy house can help calm the mind

Summer is the perfect time to have a go at tidying up your home.  Start small, and before you know it, your home will look and feel so much better!

Vicky Silverthorn is used to making sure the homes of the rich and famous look perfect, and is of the thinking that if your home is orderly, the rest of your life will follow suit.

So much so that Vicky believes that being free of chaotic clutter can help calm your mind and make you happier: ‘Mess and clutter can have an enormous effect on us emotionally. Organisation can make you a calmer, less anxious, less tense, less frantic, less weighed-down and more productive person. The connection between our minds and our clutter is a very strong one.’

Vicky reveals her stress-free guide to getting your house in order, quickly – so you can enjoy the rest of the summer…

* Only own stuff you actually use and love – ‘want’ and ‘need’ are two very different things! 

* De-cluttering is a big project to take on, but start small and you’ll be fine.

‘Despite de-cluttering being a big project to take on, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. The key is getting in the right headspace before you start and during the process don’t forget to keep asking the most powerful question of all “Can I live without this?”

‘The key is to start small. Never look at it as one giant task, something you must get done all in one go or you will overwhelm yourself and more than likely put it off or fail before you’ve even really started.

‘With this in mind, choose one room (perhaps the one that bothers you most) and then just a small area, like a cupboard or drawer (this is the perfect way for anyone who is time poor – in other words all of us!). Once you’ve sorted it, feel the success and stop yourself before carrying on the next day, chipping away at your space slowly but efficiently.

The bedroom

‘Your bedroom should be a sanctuary of calm, so you need to make sure it’s clear of clutter’ Vicky advises

‘Aside from your wardrobe, don’t let your essential bits and bobs clutter your bedroom.

‘Fold your clothing vertically to save space and enable you to see each item easily. When it comes to culling items from your wardrobe, you must go with your gut feeling. You are the only one who knows if you wear something and if it’s taking up space when it shouldn’t be.

‘Any seasonal clothing or holiday clothes don’t need to take up precious space in your wardrobe or drawers.

‘Neatly fold them, put them in a box, label, then store ensuring they are accessible for when you need them.’

How should you store sentimental items?

 * If it’s clothing, wrap in acid-free tissue and store in a moth safe container and away from sunlight

* Sunlight will always fade and age items so be careful

*If you aren’t displaying your sentimental items then ask yourself if they are going to simply live their life in a box taking up precious space forever more?

*If there’s a high value to an item seek advice from experts and perhaps you could sell and use the money for something you would use more, or for an adventure.

The kitchen

‘When tackling your kitchen, it’s best to store your food like it is in a shop so you can see everything you have.

‘Never overload your cupboards with unnecessary spares and endless supplies. Keep surfaces as clear as possible and always go through your drawers and cupboards and get rid of any useless gadgets that aren’t useful or are too gimmicky.

‘If you have items such as dinner party crockery that is only occasionally used then store them in something clever.

Vicky suggests treating your kitchen like a shop and storing food in a way you can see everything. This larder storage unit from B&Q makes the most of your kitchen cupboards

The bathroom 

‘I think one of the biggest culprits of cluttering is simply having too much stuff! People have way more toiletries than needed – less choice isn’t a bad thing yet we are obsessed with having loads of items in our homes.

Get simplistic systems in place – ones that mean it takes one step to tidy up and no complication, Vicky suggests. This super-smart wall-mounted vanity basin cabinet from B&Q is the perfect place to keep your pampering products - B&Q's ranges are all about making spaces work for your lifestyle

Get simplistic systems in place – ones that mean it takes one step to tidy up and no complication, Vicky suggests.

‘If you do have multiple same-brand products, make sure you position the newer ones further back in your cupboards or shelves so you use up the older items first.

‘Don’t buy too many spares because realistically you will not get through them by their use by date. Remember makeup can harbour bacteria so probably shouldn’t be kept as long as you may think. Only keep items on your shelf or bath side that are currently being used to ensure you clean properly (water collects around the bottom and may cause unsightly marks and dirt).

‘Get simplistic systems in place – ones that mean it takes one step to tidy up and no complication. With so many storage solutions in place, there’s no cluttered bathroom surfaces. Grab a rubbish bag and a recycling bag and lay out what you want to keep, throw and recycle.

‘Designate an area for your favourite products, careful to keep them out of direct sunlight, and then store any spares out of sight. Not only will it feel like a relaxing haven, but your decluttered bathroom will be easier to clean and maintain.’

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