From starting the day with a beautifully curated wardrobe to stepping into a clutter-free environment, putting your space in order affects all aspects of your life and can be totally transformational. With over 15 years as a stylist and creative director, Jacqueline Nelson from BLANCHE ROSE brings the professional eye and a fresh perspective to lifestyle curation for work, home, and play.

The 8 Steps to Decluttering | Blanche Rose | Opinion | Travelshopa

"Make room for what you love and space for what you need."

Jacqueline Nelson is a Kiwi who has called Sydney home since 2000. With a keen eye for elegance and a head for practicality, she brings a down to earth, playful clarity that creates an immediate bond with each client. She ensures it’s a collaborative process, one that’s effortless and fun. Jacqueline’s approach brings equal measures of ‘good for you’ honesty as it does indulge the individual’s personality in the finishing touches to a wardrobe, home refresh or special event.

If her name sounds familiar, it’s because Jacqueline was instrumental in the growth of her iconic family brand – HouseHold Linens – for over 15 years. Through designing and creating linen ranges, styling shoots, her role as Creative Director spanned Director of Merchandising and Styling flagship stores, to offering bespoke consultations at client homes to make sure they got ‘the look’ right. Discretion and a genuine love of creating calm from the chaos have helped Jacqueline establish trusted personal bonds with her many high profile clients.

Here she shares her top tips on decluttering.

Know what you want to achieve

  • Make decluttering positive
  • Focus on what you love, makes you happy and what you are gaining by decluttering rather than obsessing and stressing about what you are losing
  • Be grateful for, care for and treasure the things you are keeping, that you love and that bring you joy
  • Changing your thinking on the decluttering experience will help you maintain momentum and get this job done in one go
  • To begin, begin!

Declutter and tidy by category (ie clothes, books, linen, kitchen items, papers, photos etc.)

  • Start with the things that you find easy to discard
  • Generally, clothes or books are the easiest categories
  • Leave the sentimental things till last as these are the ones that are the hardest to sort through and get rid of (e.g. photos and papers)
  • Keep a photo if you know there are sentimental things that you need to get rid of but hesitant to

Pull everything out of the cupboard, draws or and stack it up on the floor/bed

  • Look around the whole house for the one category and bring this category into one spot. Make sure you check the laundry and hot water cupboard so that you don’t miss anything
  • Once everything is pulled out into a pile wipe down walls, shelves, ceilings etc to make the space you are going to put things back into beautiful and clean

Go through the pile touching each piece asking yourself does this make me happy

  • Keep only the things that you love and make you happy
  • Discard anything that you do not love or make you happy
  • Things that no longer serve you should be discarded
  • Don’t hold onto things for sentimental reasons if you do not love it or use it anymore then it is time for it to go

Sort the throwing pile into rubbish, sell or donate

  • If things have holes in them or cannot be reused they should be thrown
  • The clothes or other items that are brand new that no longer serve you may be able to be sold, so look for a store that sell these on your behalf or sell directly online
  • Donate to charity the clothes, books etc. that others may find useful

When putting things back, store so that they are visible

  • Take pride in your beautiful clothes and linen by folding them neatly
  • When hanging clothes hang from left to right to longest/heaviest to shortest/smallest. This draws your eye up to the right
  • Colour co-ordinate items i.e. keep the same coloured items together
  • As you place items on a shelf put the lightest at the front and darkest at the back. Or smallest at the front and largest at the back. This draws your eye to the back

Clothes need room to breathe so leave space between

  • All the same size and colour coat hangers make the wardrobe look tidy and organised
  • Leave space between clothes so that they have air to breathe and are easily accessible
  • With jumpers/cardigans pop a moth protector in with all your woollens

Once you have everything in order

  • Celebrate your achievement
  • Now that you can see what you have and what you need you will only purchase what you need

Having less clutter around you will be amazed how much lighter and brighter you will feel. You’ll now know what you have and be able to buy things you need and love. The beauty of decluttering and tidying is that it simply makes you feel good and energises you!


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