Northamptonshire's answer to Marie Kondo – a bestselling author whose popular Netflix series launched earlier this year – has revealed her best tips to help declutter your home.
Professional organiser and declutter expert Karen Taylor – founder of Declutter Angel – is home-by-home helping people get their clothes, shoes, paperwork and everything else in order.
Karen, who swapped a stressful corporate job for her new venture, believes there's a strong link between having a tidy home and tidy mind.
"When people are struggling with a lot of emotional stuff going on it's difficult to juggle all the plates," said the 43-year-old.
"Once they declutter they have more headspace to manage things better."
"If you reduce down all those items you can start to feel energised; it clears the mind," she added.
Since the KonMari method hit UK TV screens thanks to Netflix's Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, charity shops have seen an increase in donations. And with decluttering a big trend in America it's starting to catch on in the UK.
Karen said: "Like our friends across the pond, here in the UK, we are accumulating more stuff and in turn, the space around us is shrinking with the clutter preoccupying our minds and starting to take over our lives.
"The need to declutter our possessions is growing and it's time to take back control of our lives and get organised, after all, if we were stuck on a desert island how many chipped old ceramic mugs would we actually need?"
The good news, says Karen, is you don't need to tackle the challenge of getting started on your own.
Based in Wellingborough, Karen works with clients in Kettering and Northampton.
"The most powerful question I find can be do you love it? Because if you don’t, the chances are you are not going to wear it or use it and someone else then could make good use of it.
"I always work with my clients at their pace and would never make them discard anything they didn’t want to.”
To help you get organised Karen recommends the following advice - here are Declutter Angels's top ten tips to tidy:
1) Break down areas so it's a more manageable task, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was all that clutter collected in a day - so why expect yourself to get through it all so fast? Breaking down the task into smaller goals allows us to see the progress we are making.
2) Always start with an area which is bothering you the most. Perfect to get a positive feeling of accomplishment by braving the most irritating area first and seeing the progress.
3) Once you get started, start moving items into logical piles of recycle, rubbish, wrong place but I need it (i.e. should be in the bathroom/kitchen etc), charity and to sell (but only if you are going to commit to selling it soon).
4) Try and only keep what you use or will need in the short to medium term and avoid storage where possible
5) If you are struggling and have a 'not sure' pile really question, when did you last use it? Do you love it? This should help guide you to a decision...
6) Also think, would you buy it now? If you wouldn't, you probably don't need/want it! (this is a great one with trying on clothes you haven't worn in a while!)
7) If you can't manage a whole task at once, then try just 10 mins a day, chipping away makes a huge difference, imagine if you did 10 mins a day in 2018? What would it look like now in 2019?
8) Like the hare and the tortoise slow and steady wins the race, try tackling just a drawer or cupboard
9) Play music to keep you motivated, it might just make the whole experience more enjoyable
10) The Golden Rule: Think more about your purchases next time, every time think 1) do I love it? and 2) do I need it - buy it only if you answer yes to both and you will prevent more clutter entering your life...
For more help getting started you can contact Karen Taylor, Declutter Angel at: www.declutterangel.com or on mobile: 07948 529587 for a free no obligation chat.