Whether you’ve seen the programme or not, you are likely to have heard of Hoarders: Buried Alive, in which compulsive collectors welcome a TV crew into their homes and families for a short time. These are people who, unlike me, do not spend two hours prior to the arrival of guests dusting every surface and vacuuming up errant bits of dirt from that minuscule gap between the carpet and the skirting board.

It’s understandable: anyone would find it hard to clean with that amount of stuff in your home, and the longer you leave it, the more overwhelming it gets! If you’ve found yourself feeling a little daunted by the sheer amount of belongings in your home, here are some handy tips to help you declutter your living space and get it organised again:

  • Don’t be afraid to start small. Set yourself the goal of clearing just one shelf this evening. By avoiding large goals, like clearing an entire room in one attempt, you give yourself the best chance of success, which will make you more motivated to carry on.
  • Remember that decluttering doesn’t mean throwing everything away; it simply means getting rid of everything extraneous. A great tip to live by is if something doesn’t serve a use or visual purpose, you don’t need it.
  • Sentimental objects: if you find yourself holding on to a lot of items which represent nice memories but take up a lot of space, simply take a photo of the item and recycle the original. Photos are a lot less space consuming – just don’t forget to back up your memory!
  • Keep odds and ends (toiletries, the kids’ toys, the mangy-looking DIY tools…) in a box with a lid. It’s easy enough to throw things in there (maybe don’t throw the tools!) and forget about them for a while, and the clean, contained unit will make you feel a lot more organised.
  • Don’t be afraid to call in the big guns if you need to. Maybe you lack the time to declutter, or maybe you really don’t enjoy it. Fortunately, there are people out there who do!