Interiors therapist reveals the biggest mistake people make when decluttering - are you guilty?

Decluttering mania has taken over our homes this last year, but are you setting yourself up for failure with this common mistake?

Having a clear-out can be a daunting task. It's hard to know where to begin and there's always that moment midway through when you look at the mess you've created and wonder what on earth you've done.

Related: Organisation experts reveal the one thing you must do before investing in new storage solutions

But, there's nothing better than the post-declutter feeling, when you light a candle and sit back and enjoy your spotless home. So if you've been thinking of having a day of organising, put on a podcast and channel your inner Monica Geller, but don't fall foul of this common error.

Interior therapist decluttering tips

living room with wooden flooring and white door

(Image credit: TI Media)

Suzanne Roynon, Interiors Therapist and author of Welcome Home says the biggest trap we fall into when having a good old clear out is failing when it comes storage ideas. So how could we be getting it so wrong?

'The biggest mistake is not finishing the job by consolidating the changes you’ve made and organising what you have decided to keep with clever storage options. Homebase have some fantastic solutions,' Suzanne explains.

'Many people throw themselves into decluttering and weeks later, the clutter is back, along with the associated frustration and tension. It can be so demoralising,' she adds.

bedroom with printed bedsheet and pillows

(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

'Clearing the clutter is just one part of the process. By understanding how to create a home in which you thrive rather than just ‘cope’, it’s an easy route to a happier, more connected lifestyle.'

Scaling things down and getting rid of what you no longer need is one thing, but you still need somewhere to put stuff away. Purchasing storage solutions that you love will make you more likely to use them, so it's worth hunting down pieces you enjoy looking at rather than purely functional plastic boxes and crates.

However, before you set your heart on a velvet ottoman, ensure it is the right size for the things you want to store in it to avoid any messy overflow. Storage needs to tick two boxes: attractive and functional.

room with blue wall and white wardrobe

(Image credit: Simon Whitmore)

In the hallway invest in some wicker baskets to keep shoes in order. If you're struggling to keep your kids coats and shoes in order take a look at these clever hallway storage ideas.  In other clutter hotspots, when storing spare towels and bedsheets consider investing in felt baskets to sit in an airing cabinet or on top of a wardrobe.

Suzanne also advises starting with your own clutter or your own 'domain' rather than your housemate or partner's stuff, as one person's clutter is another's treasure. Once they see you living clutter-free, they'll probably want to get in on it themselves.

Homebase discovered that a quarter of us in the UK have fallen out of love with our homes due to excess clutter and a lack of space. So it has launched the Love Your Home campaign to help us come up with ways to organise our things and start enjoying our homes again.

Related: Bedroom storage ideas that are smart, ingenious and versatile

So next time you're due to give you home a declutter, make sure you have the right storage solutions ready in place to finish the job.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.