Interiors therapist shares her foolproof decluttering secret that will help you let go of the mess

Suzanne recommends thinking about your dream home while clearing out your clutter

living space with large dining table and stairs
(Image credit: Ercol)

For many, the arrival of a new season is the perfect opportunity to refresh their wardrobes and living spaces. Donating unwanted belongings helps to clear out our minds as well as our homes. 

But no matter how much Marie Kondo we watch or how many clever organization ideas we try, decluttering can feel endless. Some recommend we imagine we're selling our homes - we asked an expert what she makes of the trick.

living room with yellow armchair and side unit

(Image credit: Ercol)

Pretending you're selling your home and preparing it for viewings is a great idea. By framing your tidying sessions in this way, you'll find it easier to look at your belongings more objectively. 

Detaching yourself from the process a little will make it easier to see what needs to be given a new home and what has earned its place. By imagining how we would make our home as visually appealing and inviting as possible to a total stranger, we're able to be more ruthless than when tidying for ourselves.

Suzanne Roynon, Interiors Therapy Expert and author of Welcome Home, How Stuff Makes or Breaks your Relationship, on Amazon says she uses a similar technique.

storage closet

(Image credit: Dunelm)

'This is one of the methods we use with Interiors Therapy when clients are living surrounded by clutter,' she comments. 'They know it’s causing problems with their health, relationships, sometimes even their weight and finances, but they simply don’t know where to start.

'I ask them, “Imagine you’re moving to the home of your dreams, what would you actually take with you?”' Suzanne explains that by encouraging her clients to be honest about each item; will they use, need or love it, and how it will serve them in the future, it’s much easier to identify what really matters amongst piles of amassed stuff. 

'It’s immensely cathartic – especially if things have been a bit of a struggle recently,' she continues. 'By the end of the process, everything has justified its presence in their home.'

storage in containers in a wooden unit

(Image credit: Orthex Group)

We love this idea because it frees us up to let go of anything we feel lukewarm about. It gives us more storage space for the things we love and, as Suzanne explains, it can totally change how we feel.

She adds that giving yourself the space to see a room differently is a superb way to notice the negative impact some possessions have on your emotions. 'By creating a fresh, clear and inviting space to live in, it’s much easier to shift your mindset into a more positive and enjoyable place,' she says.

A supportive home environment is so important to our well-being - if you're battling a cramped space, check out the best storage ideas for a small house for inspiration. We all deserve a space that welcomes us home at the end of the day, that houses our treasured belongings and gives us a place to unwind.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.