Can you really reclaim your space, calm your mind and improve your wellbeing by de-cluttering? As the owner of a cleaning and de-cluttering business, Ingrid Knowles knows a thing or two about how to de-clutter your home – even when you have no time. We asked her to share some super-simple tips for getting started.

De-cluttering. What’s the point?

Have your friends and family been urging you to de-clutter your home?

“Throw out the stuff you don’t need anymore” they say, “Give away good things which you don’t use”. “Find space for the lovely things you have not paid attention to for some time”. “Create a space you can enjoy”.

You might agree with them and may even have felt the desire to create more space and order in your home, but how can you find the time to do it? And where on earth do you start? There always seem to be more important things to sort out. Perhaps you are busy with work, volunteering or family.

And anyway… If everything is going reasonably well, what’s the point of de-cluttering anyway?

Let me ask you… Do you enjoy being in your home? Maybe you love to travel and prefer being away in the world, rather than in the same space? Perhaps… even though you might not admit it, when confronted with the mess, clutter or disorganisation in your house, you might even feel a little uncomfortable in your home.

What are the benefits of de-cluttering?

Well, there are some immediate benefits, like:

  • more space;
  • more cleanliness; and
  • quicker access to your things.

All of which make de-cluttering worthwhile.

However, the long-term benefits – whilst subtle – are much more important. Once you gain some control over your living space, ease and then pleasure usually follow; after time you may realise that your mind is clearer, that you experience less stress and you have that incomparably pleasant feeling of ‘coming home’ after you have been away.

You might even be tempted to start sharing, even showing off your space, inviting friends and family round more often.

Getting started with de-cluttering

The good news is that you don’t need make major changes to feel better about your home, just a few easy steps will have you and your house feeling fresher in no time.

Start in one room and ask yourself:

  • How do I feel in this place?
  • What do I do (or need to do) here?

Giving purpose to a room helps you to focus clearly on what does and doesn’t need to be present. Maybe you want to create a space where you can entertain family and friends or perhaps an area where you can be inspired to work.

Eight simple steps to de-cluttering

  1. Find three sturdy boxes the size you can carry and mark them:




  1. Decide where you want to start: a drawer, a shelf, under the bed.
  1. Take one item out and ask it: Do you enhance my life? Why are you useful to me? Why do I want to keep you?
  1. Put the item in the relevant box. If you are not sure put it in the ‘NOT SURE’ box. If you find too many things end up there, be more rigorous.
  1. Once your chosen place is empty, take a dry cloth to dust it, especially in the corners and remove marks with a slightly damp one.
  1. Clean all things from the ‘KEEP’ box and put them in the right place.
  1. Take the ‘OUT’ box straight to the charity shop or gift the items to people who want them. The rest goes in the bin immediately.
  1. Leave the ‘NOT SURE’ box somewhere out of the way and look at it again in 4 months. Make a note in your diary! You may find you haven’t missed anything and can let go of it all.

You have started. It has made you feel better.

And THAT’s the point.

Ingrid Knowles runs Clarity-Clean in Oswestry, Shropshire and helps customers to enhance their space. Visit her website at


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