Having clutter might seem just a euphemism for being messy but it’s a problem that can affect mood and health. Studies have shown that living in disorganised surroundings can increase stress and anxiety, so it’s a subject that’s worth taking seriously.

Living a clutter-free lifestyle gets easier the more you do it, and could help to transform your outlook in more ways than you might expect. There are endless ways to approach the subject but here are a few to get you started.

Find a place for everything

One of the most common causes for clutter and untidiness is the lack of a space where something belongs. When possessions have a home, it makes tidying up much quicker and can minimise the chance of something just being left on the side.

You don’t need to have a large home to have space for everything; it’s often just about storage. Whether you need more cupboards, shelving or even just some transparent boxes, getting organised will make staying clutter-free much simpler.

Once everything has a home you don’t need to dither when you’re tidying up, and it will take far less time to banish the clutter to its rightful place.

There will inevitably be a few bits and pieces which don’t really seem to belong anywhere but here’s a secret: the best organised homes all have a clutter drawer. This is where you can put all those tiny knick knacks that you need to keep but don’t belong anywhere else.

Put things away as you go

Clutter tends to accumulate because you’ve cast things aside throughout the day, creating more work for yourself later on. Just a small tweak to your habits can help you to become naturally more tidy and reduce the clutter.

For example, if you change your mind about the shoes you’re wearing, put the first ones back. Don’t leave them on the floor to be cleared away later. Having a glass of wine? Pop the bottle opener straight back in the drawer and the wine back where it belongs too.

Another good habit is never to leave a room empty-handed. If you’re walking into the kitchen, take something with you that needs to be tidied away. Look round for opportunities to tidy as you go about your day and before long it will be second nature.

Storage that’s smart

While any kind of storage is useful, how you use it can be key. Where possible creating storage where you need it rather than on the other side of your home can help to reduce clutter.

If you’ve got to walk upstairs to put away your spare tea towels and tablecloths, the chances are you won’t. It will end up piled on the side in your kitchen instead, creating unnecessary mess and chaos.

Organise your home so your storage is closer to where you need it and you’ll find a lot of the clutter magically melts away.