Back to School Special: Decluttering Your Home

How to declutter and refresh your home with five easy tips

Months of home-schooling and working from home have taken its toll on our interiors. Now with academic year beginning again and offices re-opening, there is finally enough breathing space to start a proper declutter. Follow our five easy decluttering tips and learn to refresh and organise you home with our back-to-school special.

1. Display what you already own

"Think about restyling rather than simply decluttering on its own," says Laura Barnard, Buying and Merchandising Manager for Arlo & Jacob.

We've moved on from the simplistic idea of throwing things away, as prescribed by Marie Kondo, and now we want to cherish and display our belongings, plus organise a more functional space.

"There's a big move towards showcasing our curiosities, and this is spilling over into displaying our books, personal objects and art," shares Laura who recently invested in a display cabinet.

"Historically your grandparents would display their precious keepsakes," she adds. "It's a refreshing change from hiding everything away in baskets or cupboards."

Embracing the home-gallery trend is the stylish home of @studiomilne. Her home feels eclectic but still organised by a simple arrangement of her favourite art. It's a more sophisticated way to get organised whilst sharing what you love.

2. Restyle and reinvent

Rather than throwing away everything, restyle your furniture by embracing a little DIY. "A lot of our clients come to us with their upholstery projects because they want to refresh an heirloom and make it match with their sofa," says Laura. "We have an incredible amount of fabrics to choose from and always make sure the colours are on-trend."

"We are also big fans of painting furniture with unique colours from boutique paint companies such as Lick Home."

"Reorganising and changing up your art, chairs, plants, and home accessories will help your living room to feel more spacious."

Take inspiration from @whitehartstudio wand their intriguing wall gallery that embraces the shelf trend and is styled with our Philo sofas in velvet.

3. Back to school means refreshing your home office

It's time to get in control of your work clutter and finally commit to a home office. At first, we made do with decamping on the sofa or at the kitchen table, but now it's time to reclaim that space for living and eating, not Zoom meetings.

"We just moved our home office space and reworked it in a different space, and again our lifestyle is changing," says Laura about the small alcove office she has set up in her one-bedroom apartment.

The new rules of decluttering include investing in characterful furniture that offers storage for your work but doesn't look corporate. "Try and avoid making your homework zone look too much like an office," explains Laura.

"We live in an era where technology and computers are becoming smaller and smaller, and that means you need a smaller space to work from," shares Laura. "But you still need to feel there is some separation between work, study and relaxing."

We're huge fans of stylist Luke Arthur Wells @lukearthurwells who decluttered in style during lockdown and built a small home office that gave him a designated area for working. Decluttering is as much about organising and feeling inspired rather than hiding everything away.

4. Declutter and get organised one room at a time

"The easiest way to declutter is to break down the process one room at a time, rather than being overwhelmed," advises Laura. "Decluttering and refreshing in stages gives us an understanding of what we need and helps you to get organised."

The beautiful living room of @amyjthompson is a perfect example of how to be organised in your home without losing character. By decluttering and creating balance, we focus on her beautiful art collection and our Philo.

"It's not about throwing everything out and starting again and it's been more connected with what you own but making it work for you," Laura adds.

5. Organise with beautiful items 

Sometimes clutter is like the elephant in the room, and you need to address it. Laura agrees "there is nothing wrong with having a lot of things, but when it all starts piling up, stuff takes over." Rather than choosing generic boxes, aim for storage items that also look good. We love how our footstool Rupert has hidden storage and the sustainable @uashmama offers plenty of well-organised and striking storage.

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