Clutter, disorder and a house full of junk is the reality for many people and as much as you may want to, getting rid of your stuff is hard! Especially if you’re a mom whose kids won’t let you throw anything out…

Getting the basics right can help you get on your way to a decluttered house and a home you can fully enjoy.

Related: Cleaning tips to revolutionise the time you spend on housework

1. Don’t be afraid to throw things out

The fear of throwing things out is real. We see it on every episode of Hoarders where a harmless collection becomes a life-consuming mess and takes over your entire house. Do not to be afraid to throw things away.

Top tip: Your children’s art is beautiful and special but the collections can take up a lot of space. Scanning your children’s work and keeping it in a tidy folder on your computer lets you hold on to their progress and share their work without it taking over your house.

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2. Weigh up your options

Deciding whether or not to keep something is likely to end up with you keeping it.

Rather think about what keeping something would mean for you and your space. This will give you a clearer perspective on whether you need it or not. If you aren’t sure whether to keep your extra laundry basket, think about what you could do with the extra space and whether the extra basket contributes to your home in any way. If there are no immediate benefits to keeping something, throw it out.

3. No ‘in cases’

Don’t keep things ‘just in case’. It’s either you need something or you don’t; if you don’t need it right now (or in the next month), you need to get rid of it. Making excuses for holding onto things you don’t need builds up useless clutter and sets you on a pattern of collecting things that take up space and don’t benefit you or your family.

Related: 13 easy cleaning hacks for your home

4. Set limits for your family

You aren’t in this alone, so don’t do it alone. Your whole family contributes to the clutter in your home and should help with the decluttering.

Set limits together. You need to decide how much stuff each family member can have and how to keep and store their stuff.

Telling your children they can only have one yellow truck toy and can have a new one if they give the old one away is a great lesson that can be applied to adults too: no new red shoes if the old red shoes are still in good condition.

5. Stop shopping

The worst thing you can do while trying to declutter your home is bring more clutter into it. Take time off shopping and spend more time figuring out what is already in your home and if you really need it.

Taking stock of what you have and deciding whether or not you need it can either create room for the things you need to buy or help you realise how much money and space you waste on things you don’t actually need!

Now read: 5 reasons why you’re happier in an organised home