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The joy of decluttering

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > Interior Design

Author: Kate Saunders, Posted: Wednesday, 26th June 2024, 09:00

I recently had two birthdays within three weeks in my house – my two young children are both May babies and every year it seems to be a month where we gain lots of new stuff. Toys, craft sets, books, clothes, anything with sparkles and sequins … you name it, we had an influx of it.

If you have children who seem to get inundated with new presents from enthusiastic family members during their birthdays, or perhaps you want to get things in order during the summer before the festive season starts to peep over the horizon (yes, I know it’s July and I’m raising the spectre of Christmas already!), decluttering and updating your storage solutions can have a big impact on your home.

Keep, donate or bin

A semi-regular cull of what you already have is a good starting point for keeping things tranquil around the house. My usual method of decluttering could, if you caught me halfway through the process, resemble a tornado that has swept across the building and back out again, but it is eventually effective!

While you’re busy sorting, have three piles – keep, donate and bin. If you have the inclination (and patience), you could also add a pile for items you might try to sell. The further in advance you can do this before a birthday, or any celebration where you know you’re about to get gifts aplenty, the better – trust me, you’ll be glad you did it.

Mountains of toys

As any fellow parent to small children will know, toys can invade all areas of your house. I’m even tidying up two kitchens nowadays – my own and the toy one my children have!

One of the best solutions for toy storage I have found are storage baskets and cubes. It sounds counterintuitive, but because my children were able to get them out for themselves and look into them, they were far less likely to just pull everything out onto the floor.

Great Little Trading Company have some gorgeous options that will not only blend into both kids’ bedrooms and your living room, but will also go the distance when they’re constantly in use.


I’m very much of the opinion that you can never have too many books in your house. But when space is at a premium, you may be struggling to figure out how you can keep them proudly and neatly on display.

Floating shelves could be the answer if you don’t quite have the room for several bookshelves. IKEA to the rescue, as their Bergshult/Pershult wall shelves are very cost-effective and look great. You can also mount the brackets above or below the shelves, making them a versatile addition to your living space.

I’m an advocate for sorting your books according to colour – I think it adds a cool aesthetic to a room and you can even coordinate with your wallpaper or paint shades.

Taking the time to get organised about the house can not only make your home look wonderful, but I also notice the positive impact it has on my mood when it’s all done.

If you find yourself at a loose end over the summer, why not stick on some music and lose yourself in creating a calmer living space? After all, who knows what your children might turn up with from their grandparents next time!

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