Being stuck in the house for a few weeks could be the ideal time for a spot of spring decluttering.
In fact, it’s already wildly popular: the hashtag #decluttering has nearly 300,000 Instagram posts.
Khloe Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow have taken to the platform to show off their perfectly organised pantries, thanks to the help of professional organisers, such as The Home Edit, which has 1.5million followers on Instagram and a sell-out range of products in John Lewis.
Keeping trim: Habitat’s coffee table, £130, features storage space to hide clutter
‘The trend for decluttering started by Marie Kondo last year shows no sign of slowing,’ Gabrielle Anderson, storage buyer at John Lewis says.
‘Social media has opened up areas of our homes which have often been kept ‘behind the scenes’.
The recent glimpse into Khloe Kardashian’s pantry on Instagram showed a meticulously organised space which inspired many people to copy.’
It’s not just confined to the stars, though, we’re all at it. John Lewis has reported that sales for modular storage are up 45 per cent, with decluttering products in general up 57 per cent over the past four years.
The recent collection in collaboration with The Home Edit, sold out in mid-January, but is now available online (johnlewis.com).
Meanwhile, Lakeland (lakeland.co.uk) has seen some items, such as its storage boxes, increase in sales by nearly 90 per cent. Now, more than ever, we need the mental boost that a good spring clean can give us.
‘Decluttering is a massive cleanse, physically and visually around your home and that has an enormous effect on your wellbeing,’ Vicky Silverthorn, from youneedavicky. com says, who is now offering online consultations with clients.
‘Plus, with the gyms closed, it’s a great way of keeping fit.’
Select a method
There has been an explosion of experts advising us about the best ways to declutter, from the KonMari Method, popularised by Marie Kondo on Netflix, to döstädning, the Swedish idea, where you purge the house using the four-box method, categorising everything in a room according to ‘bin’, ‘gift’, ‘store’, ‘use’.
But Silverthorn thinks that actually, we should ‘throw the rules out of the window and be kinder to ourselves.
‘It’s not always realistic to do a whole purge in a day, or perhaps if you haven’t worn a dress in a year, it’s because you haven’t seen it behind all your stuff — that’s not a reason to bin it.’
Where to start
Silverthorn says the best tip she has is to ‘start with your sock drawer; it’s manageable, straight forward, and gives you a buzz the next day when you open it and see how tidy everything is’.
The Home Edit Perspex storage containers, to keep your kitchen tidy
To help whip your socks into shape, try the Honeycomb multiple compartment organiser (£8.95, amazon.co.uk).
The next step, according to Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit, is to tackle a whole room.
‘First you need to remove everything from the space. From there, group the items by category and pare them down to only the items you want or need, and purge the rest.
‘With a pared-down supply, it’s easier to decide on a functional system that fits the space and your specific lifestyle,’ they say.
Try their Perspex deep storage basket so you can see what you’ve still got (£20, johnlewis.com). Finally, furniture with integrated storage is key to keeping your room tidy.
‘We’re talking about beds with drawers underneath, coffee tables or ottomans with built-in storage,’ say Athina Bluff and Amy Brandhorst, founders of Topology, who run occasional decluttering workshops at Habitat.
Try the Emil charcoal grey upholstered dressing table storage stool (£70, habitat.co.uk).
‘A basket in your living room is also a great solution to hide electronic devices and items such as cables and wires — the sight of these disrupt our feeling of calm,’ they add.
All the experts agree that staying on top of your tidy space is key to an organised life. Shearer and Teplin recommend a daily tidy-up and ‘a ‘mini-edit’ every few weeks.’
Far from being feared, Bluff and Brandhorst say that we should have a clutter drawer.
‘Storing these items in one place still enables them to be easily accessible, yet removing them from sight and helps restore calm in your home,’ they say.
Silverthorn says that this is a great way to maximise our athome time during the current crisis.
‘I am starting video consultations and giving Instagram followers decluttering advice,’ she says.
What your home really needs is… a casserole dish
This week Liam Gallagher, former Oasis lead singer, tweeted that he was preparing boeuf bourguignon, illustrating that home cooking may just be the new rock ‘n’ roll.
As Liam, or any other pro or self-taught chef will tell you, practically anything looks better served in a large casserole dish.
That’s why your locked-down home really needs this piece of kitchen kit, whether you are making boeuf bourguignon à la Liam, or a stew from tins you have found at the back of the cupboard.
A Le Creuset cast-iron oval casserole (quintessentially French and thus guaranteed to upgrade any culinary effort) comes in 11 sizes and any number of shades.
Prices start at £165 (lecreuset.co.uk), pictured left. Argos also offers a cast-iron range (in fewer colours) with prices from £35 (argos.co. uk). Marks & Spencer’s five litre cast-aluminium casserole (£45, marks and spencer.com ) is more contemporary in style, above right. Let’s call its design Cool Britannia — in memory of Oasis’s 1990s love-in with Tony Blair