Ban­ish the clut­ter with these tidy­ing tips

Life­style guru Deb­ora Robert­son re­veals the se­crets be­hind tak­ing back con­trol of your liv­ing spa­ces


A NEW year is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to trans­form your home by rid­ding it of the clut­ter.

Deb­ora Robert­son, au­thor of De­Clut­ter: The Get-Real Guide to Cre­at­ing Calm from Chaos, said: “It’s the na­ture of mod­ern life that new pos­ses­sions flood into our homes all the time.

“Clut­ter drains you of en­ergy, steals your time, robs you of stor­age space and fills up your week­ends with things that need clean­ing, mend­ing or putting away.”

She prom­ises that, with a bit of plan­ning and a new ap­proach, it is easy to achieve a smart, or­gan­ised haven.


If you get your kitchen right, every­thing else will flow from there. Get­ting this right pre­pares us to work a sim­i­lar magic on the rest of the home one bit, one bite, at a time.

Step 1: Do the 15 Fling. Take a rub­bish bag and set your kitchen timer for 10 min­utes. Fill it with 15 things you don’t love or don’t need.

Deb­ora said: “Don’t think too hard about it, oth­er­wise you’ll re­mem­ber you have some emo­tional at­tach­ment to some­thing that will make you in­de­ci­sive.

“Don’t look back in the bag. As soon as that buzzer goes, seal it, put it in the out­side bin. Do this once a day and do it in other rooms too.”

Over­size ap­pli­ances and gad­gets gob­ble up space, so con­front the truth about who you re­ally are. If you’re not go­ing to make your own yo­ghurt, ice cream or bread, get rid of these giz­mos.


Hall­ways, stair­cases and land­ings can evolve into a lively ob­sta­cle course of ca­su­ally dis­carded shoes, coats, bag, sports equip­ment. They’re also the first ar­eas you see when you come home, so it’s worth mak­ing an ef­fort to keep them look­ing neat, to avoid that just-walked-in-the­door heart sink of doom.

Limit what you keep in the hall to the stuff you’ll use this sea­son. Wellies, boots and heavy coats take up a lot of space, so put them away when they’re not needed.


Liv­ing rooms can eas­ily be­come stuffed to the gills with unloved fur­ni­ture, “it’lldo-for-now” pieces, fam­ily mem­o­ra­bilia and half-done craft projects you’re go­ing to fin­ish one day. Yet this is where you’re sup­posed to slough off the emo­tional pum­melling of the day and re­lax.

Step 1: Con­sid­er­ing what you mainly use your liv­ing room for – is it en­ter­tain­ing, read­ing or re­lax­ing? This will help pri­ori­tise your pos­ses­sions. Re­move what’s no longer needed for other pur­poses.

Step 2: Cut back on sofa cush­ions and do­nate the rest to a char­ity shop. Go through or­na­ments and pho­tos and de­cide on those you want to keep and move the rest on.

Step 3: Choose fur­ni­ture that has built-in stor­age, such as con­sole units with shelv­ing, ot­tomans and foot­stools with re­mov­able tops, or trunks that can dou­ble as a cof­fee ta­bles.


A clean, aired, well-or­gan­ised bed­room with clear sur­faces and a freshly made bed is one of the most soul-pleas­ing and nur­tur­ing places on the planet.

Step 1: Pare back bed­li­nen. Store by fold­ing a full set into one pil­low­case.

Step 2: Have a 10-minute cull of un­der­wear. Put every­thing that’s worn-out into a bag and get rid of it. Next stop is clothes but do not dump every­thing on the bed at once or you’ll give up.

In­stead, set a timer and sort out what you like and wear from what you don’t.

Step 3: Get rid of any item that doesn’t make you feel good when you put it on. Cut down on mul­ti­ples and dis­card any­thing past its best. ●De­clut­ter: The Get-Real Guide to Cre­at­ing Calm from Chaos by Deb­ora Robert­son, is pub­lished by Kyle Books, £12.99 (kyle­

RESTOR­ING OR­DER If your liv­ing room looks more like the one on the left than the one on the right, ex­pert Deb­ora has some great tips for you

CLEAN LINES Paring back the junk in the kitchen will make a huge dif­fer­ence to your home. Pic: Getty Images/ iS­tock­photo

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