Has this ever happened to you? You walk through your front door and trip over a pile of treasured books you meant to find a place for, and you fling your keys on the sideboard. The next morning that pile of books is still there, scattered and in your way, and you can’t find your keys anywhere.

When your friends stop by, are you humiliated by all the stuff lying around your home? Your home should be your sanctuary, and clutter can stop it from feeling like a refuge from the world.

Everyone accumulates stuff, it is part of the human condition, but too much stuff only causes a cluttered, unwelcoming home which isn’t healthy.

You don’t need to live with clutter

Don’t try and declutter all in one stage, the task will be too overwhelming and you’ll just quit as soon as you begin.

First, pick a room and then pick a corner in that room to work your way out from. Start with several containers:

  • trash
  • belongs in another room
  • treasures you want but just don’t have space for
  • things to be sold/given away
  • things you’re not sure what you want to do with

Beware of the last container, don’t let it be the dumping ground for everything you’ve got – you‘ll only defeat the purpose of your actions!

Eliminate distractions as you’re working. No phones, computers or TV – but some fun working music is a good idea!

As you finish each room, take a look at the containers you’ve filled. Everything in them needs to find a place to be stored away – don’t take them out of the container to just create clutter again! Pack away the things you’re going to put into storage, put away the items that belong elsewhere and take a good, hard look at your unsure items to determine where they’re going.

Don’t forget your furniture

Even too much furniture can make your home feel cluttered, and you shouldn’t ignore this as you declutter your home. Make decisions about everything – from your three piece suite to the dining table that Great Aunt Agatha left you in her will. If it doesn’t fit, decide what you’ll do with it (and follow through!).

Before you know it, your entire home will be free of frustrating clutter, and you can reclaim it as your sanctuary. Make sure you don’t have any lingering containers of stuff, and anything you’re selling or donating leaves your home within a week. Find a reputable and safe self storage facility to store the items you love but don’t have the space for. Throw out the trash, sit back and enjoy your clutter-free home.

This article was written by Shelley Slater, who works for Manchester Self Store, who provide inexpensive self storage at their modern warehouse near the Trafford Centre in Manchester