After 12 months staring at the four walls, now is the time to tidy up and declutter for a fresh start. With restrictions easing, the stuff that accumulated over lockdown may no longer be needed. If you are not sure where to begin, ease yourself in by watching one of the many TV tidy up shows.
Sort Your Life Out on BBC1
Hosted by TV personality Stacey Solomon, this one off show is the first taster into what is going to become a new series. With 4.3million Instagram followers, Stacey Solomon has a loyal band of supporters who particularly love her ‘Tap to tidy’. In the first of the series, Stacey is joined by home improvement gurus Dilly Carter, Iwan Carrington and Robert Bent to help a family seriously declutter. Known for her love of upcycling, Stacey and the team show how to give furniture a makeover on a budget and add clever solutions for keeping the mess at bay.
Stacey Solomon’s home hacks
- Upcycle with jam jars to help keep cupboards more organised. A great way of seeing exactly how much product you have to stop over-buying. Extra points if you have a label maker to clearly label each jar.
- Drawer dividers can help keep your clothes neatly folded and makes grabbing stuff in the morning much easier.
- Keep your beds hotel-style tidy by taking a coat hanger and running it along the side of the bed to neaten up and tuck in all the bedding.
- Make the most of the kitchen space by using hooks, tiered racks and plate stands. This allows you to utilise all the space, especially at the top of cupboards which are often dead areas.
- A lot of furniture now comes with secret storage spaces. Stacey is a fan of this and has sofas with a hidden space underneath them and drawers beneath her kitchen cabinets.
Get Organized with The Home Edit on Netflix
This show should come with a warning because one minute you are binge-watching it on the TV and the next you’re buying containers for every inch of your home. American home organisers Clea and Joanna have amassed a huge celebrity following for their unique method of home organisation. By using colours, the duo help viewers to edit, categorise and contain their clutter to create functional and beautiful spaces. If you want inspiration on how to store the children’s toys or how to create a zen-like home office, this is an unmissable show. The Home Edit even get to work their magic on celebrity homes including Khloe Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria.
The Home Edit’s top tips
- Step 1: start small and edit – tackle specific small spaces to declutter one area at a time. Take a drawer to start and move to the bigger areas, such as a wardrobe. Have piles for the bin, piles to give to friends and a donation pile.
- Step 2: categorization – lay out the contents and group items into specific categories. Label specific containers and place items in accordingly.
- Step 3: containment of items – use containers that are designed to fit together to make the most of the space. In the kitchen, pour cereal, pastas, rice etc into their own containers, which will make storing them much easier. It’s impossible to get odd-shaped boxes to sit together and you will have a much more aesthetically pleasing cupboard with matching containers.
- Step 4: focus on how the room is used – there’s no real need to stick to what the room was originally built for if it works better as something else. Consider if it can also be multi-purpose. For example, a laundry room with a utility room, a family room with a playroom or office. This will give you a better set up for home organisation if you properly create zones and systems.
Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix
If you need something this is a bit more zen to assist with the tidying up tasks, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up may have just the thing for you. Marie Kondo helps families declutter and reorganise after years of living in chaos or after big life events. Her USP is that every part of her home organisation is done in the name of sparking joy via the KonMari Method. Watch as people transform their spaces, learn to fold socks and start living in a completely new way.
Marie Kondo’s tidying up rules
- Commit yourself to tidying up. You need to put time and effort into the job but once you have decided, simply follow the steps to apply the right method to each job.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle. Write, draw up create a Pinterest board for the kind of home that you want to live in. Identifying your ideal lifestyle will help to clarify why you want to tidy and give you the motivation to continue.
- Finish discarding first. Don’t start to tidy and reorganise until you have got rid of all the unwanted items first. You can only plan where to store your things once you’ve decided what to keep because only then will you understand how much actually needs to be stored.
- Tidy by category, not by location. According to Marie Kondo, tidying room by room doesn’t work. The more efficient way is to tidy by category. So for example, when considering clothes, the first step is to gather every item of clothing from the entire house in one spot. This allows you to see exactly how much you have and probably how poorly you’ve been treating them.
- Follow the right order. The KonMari Method has a set order in which to do things; clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany) and sentimental items. The last category is a difficult one to do and if you start with sentimental items first, it is likely you will just spend hours looking back through things and give up on the job.
- Ask yourself if it ‘sparks joy’. The way in which to decide whether to keep something or not is to ask yourself if it sparks joy. When deciding, it is important to touch it and pay close attention to how your body responds to it. Remember, you are not choosing what to discard, but rather what to keep. Thank anything that you are getting rid of to foster gratitude and a desire to cherish the things that you truly love.