A place for everything and everything in its place.

Why January is the perfect time to declutter and regain your peace of mind at home.

The tree’s been taken down and the sparkly decorations have been packed away for another year. Yet while it’s nice to return the home to its usual state, there can often be a residual sense of it feeling overcrowded and running less efficiently than it perhaps could.

This can only mean one thing - time to declutter.

January is a perfect time to re-organise your home, introduce new systems and clear out clutter that’s taking up your physical - and mental - space. Many studies have shown the positive impact of living in an orderly way and the start of a new year is the perfect time to work towards this: lots of us are reining in the spending after the festive period; family and friends are all doing Dry January, and it’s cold and dark outside - what better time could there be to get started? Why knows, keeping yourself busy this month might even support your new health resolutions and make you less tempted to stray back to the biscuit tin in the evenings.

Designer and writer, William Morris, told us long ago  to ‘have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. This is still relevant today and a great piece of advice to return to repeatedly throughout your decluttering process. If something is useful then it has a worthwhile purpose; if you love how it looks then it’s what helps you define and personalise your home.

Whether you’re a committed minimalist or a lover of memory-filled shelves, there are clear benefits to working through your belongings. Here are Jackson-Stops’s top 10 tips for organising your home:

  1. If you live in a sizeable space, take one room at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Make a plan for the order in which you intend to tackle the project and stick to it.
  2. Be realistic: know yourself and have a clear sense of how you enjoy living: if you are the crammed mahogany bookcase kind, then it’s unlikely you’ll morph into a lover of ultra-modern flat-pack designs and start displaying the odd objet d’art. The former can be decluttered to achieve a sense of calm and literary order just as much as more contemporary styles.
  3. Do your research: there are plenty of websites providing great advice about storage solutions, which you might want to consider alongside your decluttering project. If you are a parent then it can be a good idea to involve your children in the process; they can be surprisingly sentimental about ‘things’: what seems like an old scrap of paper to you may hold precious memories of a happy Sunday afternoon playing with friends. Involving them allows them to take ownership and encourages them to ‘buy in’ to a calmer and more organised way of living. For items like this you could consider creating ‘memory boxes’ to look through as they grow up.
  4. ‘I’m bound to need it at some point.’ If you haven’t used it for as long as you can remember then you’re probably not likely to any time soon - best to get rid.
  5. Enjoy giving unwanted or unused objects to friends, family or local charity shops.
  6. Consider selling unwanted objects of value on an online site such as Ebay to make some money.
  7. Take time to fix things that have stopped working or are missing a part - then find their new rightful place in your home.
  8. If you have piles of random ‘stuff’ in various rooms then take time to find a place for each separate item to live - and stay there. Remember that if it’s used regularly you will need to keep it somewhere more accessible than something that only gets an outing every few months.
  9. Take a look around the room at the end of the process to ensure your new systems work on a practical level: is your teenager really going to fold clothes and keep that open-plan shelving system ‘Pinterest perfect’ once the initial enthusiasm wears off?


Good luck!