How to reclaim your space

Give your home a spring clean, and clear out your clutter, says Rachael Dell


How to reclaim your space

Be honest Who’s really responsible for all the stuff in your home? ‘If you can be honest about who the mess belongs to, then you can start to sort it out together,’ says Beverly Wade of Clutter Gone. Own up to your own untidiness. Your partner is probably just as frustrated by your pile of shoes as you are by their unopened letters.

Share the work ‘Never chuck away other people’s things without their permission,’ says Wade. Even if it seems like the only way you’ll see the living room floor again, you’ll end up causing bad feeling and you’ll resent having to do it. Set a date to go through it together, and plan a reward you’ll give yourselves when it’s done.

Call in a third party Nagging can make people even more protective of their stuff. Before you have a clear-out, enlist the help of a mutual friend or someone who can stay neutral in your battle for space. ‘Having an impartial witness affords people a new sense of confidence and freedom to lighten their load,’ says Wade.

Trial period ‘People can form an emotional attachment to everything they own,’ says Romaine Lowery, author of The Clutter Clinic. If you’ve reached stalemate over certain items, try lending them to someone or putting them in storage for a few months. Usually, you don’t even miss them.