There is no denying the power of a tidy home. Belongings are easy to find, surfaces can be cleaned quickly and the family can coexist with a lot less drama than in a house overrun with unnecessary possessions.

However, thinking about decluttering your entire house in one go will undoubtedly leave you terrified, running for the hills or hitting the wine for moral support. Take it from me, the best way to get started is to sit down and make a plan before you do anything.

Grab a cuppa, a notepad and take a few minutes to break down your house into manageable areas. Your bedroom for example might be broken into a)dresser, b)wardrobe and c)under the bed. Your kitchen might be split into a)upper cabinets, b)lower cabinets and c)fridge freezer. The key here is to make a list of small areas that don't seem too daunting and take no longer than 1-2 hours. When you're ready to start decluttering you can simply pick an area and you won't get carried away ripping the whole house apart in the process.

When tackling each chosen area you should grab three large baskets or boxes and label them keep, charity and dump. Simply go through all of your belongings and get rid of as much stuff as you can bear Anything that's in the wrong place e.g.utility bills on the coffee table or jewellery in the kitchen, should go in the keep box so that you can find the correct place for them later. Anything that can be given away should go into charity and anything that's unusable can go into the dump box. Once you finished each area take one last look through and try to purge at least two more items. Be ruthless. If you haven't used it in the past year then it's time to get

Take all of your charity shop items to the car so that you actually remember to drop them off, instead of letting them hang around too long and creating even more clutter. Aim to reorganise the keep box as soon as it's full and get the dump box out in the bin before you can change your mind.

Now if you’re stuck on where to start, let me suggest beginning in the kitchen. This can be especially helpful if you're about to embark on a new eating plan, or if you just want to make space for more healthy food choices and encourage yourself to spend more time cooking from scratch. When you come to the kitchen part of your decluttering plan, work on one section at a time again to make sure you don't make too much mess; it’s important that you feel able to step away from the task if required without needing to cordon off the area with police tape!

Throw away anything that's out of date and take anything unopened that you don't want to your local food bank. Then spend some time reorganising where everything should go to make your daily life easier. Put all the things you use regularly in an easy to reach spot. For example if you cook with olive oil then store it on the counter next to the cooker. Other regularly used items could be salt, pepper, honey, spices, dried fruit and oats. Again, place these in an easy-to-reach spot. You may want to have a chopping board laid out in that area and your favourite knives and utensils in a jar on the worktop. Anything that you don’t use regularly - e.g. tinned goods, baking powder, flour, spare condiments - can live at the back of the cupboard out of the way.

If you're still feeling like the task at hand is too great for you and you need some motivation, try the 10 minute challenge. Set a timer for 10 minutes and go round the house with a bin bag and throw out as much junk as you can find; if you start in the kids’ rooms it should be pretty easy! If you have time left spend that time reorganising anything that’s in the wrong place, and make a pile of goods for the charity shop. Try this 10 minute task on a daily basis and you’ll be surprised how much you can get done in a week!

This week's blog is written by Fiona Thomas at 

Fiona's blog focuses on talking about mental health, anxiety and depression and is updated regularly with short, simple and helpful advice for those suffering from mental health problems. Go take a look at Fiona's blog - click here.​

About the Author

"All in or all out" Rachael is a vibrant, no-bullshit-talking Scottish nutrition geek and coach helping women to lose weight without giving up their confidence OR their favourite foods.

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