Whether you do it yourself, or hire in professionals for a one-off visit, spending time decluttering and cleaning your home can be beneficial. Whether it’s because you’re moving out or looking to freshen up your home, we have some tips to help you get started.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to make a thorough and honest assessment of whether objects deserve space in your home.

We suggest breaking your clear-out and clean into three stages: clearing, cleaning and containing.

Clearing your home of clutter

Be strict and honest with yourself when deciding what to clear. Think about what makes an item worth keeping by considering sentiment, practicality, space, and any new interior design goals.

You can sell on or donate items to a charity shop if they’re in good condition. The Charity Retail Association’s guide to donating to charity shops can help you figure out what to pass on. This can include clothing, household goods, furniture, and electrical appliances. Don’t forget to Gift Aid your donations if you are a taxpayer – ask at the shop where you drop the items off.

If you have items that seem too valuable to give away, consider using a selling site such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Keep an eye out for any book exchanges at railway station waiting rooms and in community spaces like parks and supermarkets. This can make it easier to let them go as you know they will be read and enjoyed again.

Once all the surplus has gone, look around at what’s left. It’s worth considering if you have suitable insurance for anything that’s particularly valuable. You can check with your insurer to be certain. If you live in a flat, although service charges typically include buildings cover, check if you also have protection against loss or damage to personal belongings.

Cleaning up your home

Is your cleaning cupboard full of an array of bottles? We are all getting more aware of the need to cut back on environmentally damaging chemicals, but what do we really need? Here are some suggestions:

  • A general-purpose cleaner for windows, mirrors, glazed surfaces, bedroom furniture, windowsills, skirting boards, etc.
  • A general-purpose cleaner for hard floors with the power to remove grease but pH neutral (if you have sealed or laminate floors, check the bottle).
  • A more concentrated cleaner, de-scaler, and deodoriser for acid and water-resistant surfaces in bathrooms and toilet areas.
  • A toilet bowl cleaner.
  • Washing up detergent.
  • Sanitiser spray, especially for food prep areas.
  • Oil or polish for solid wood furniture.
  • A powerful degreaser for occasional use, such as oven cleaning.

Containing what you keep

Do you ever find that when you open certain cupboards, there are so many items stuffed in that they fall out on top of you? Here are some tips to make better use of the storage space you have.

Wardrobes and linen cupboards: Many home stores sell thinner, velvet covered flocked coat hangers. They take up much less space in your wardrobe than most wood and plastic ones and, unlike wire hangers, they are designed to not leave creases on your clothes. They also have good grip, so you won’t find your favourite shirt fallen into a heap at the bottom of the wardrobe.

Get into the habit of folding your clothing, towels, and sheets carefully, as this can leave you with more space.

Outdoor sports equipment: Gym gear and yoga mats are one thing, but bigger sports and leisure items can be hard to accommodate. Make this the year that you finally find a solution. Storing equipment outside the home is one option, but what if you don’t have a shed or garage and you are into mountain biking, canoeing or wild camping?

A heavy-duty, lockable outdoors box can be a suitable solution for those with a secure garden. Just be sure to check that your contents insurance policy covers you for storing in such a way. If you live in a flat in a shared building, check with neighbours and the management company that you can use a trustworthy and secure community space for a shed or lockbox.

Blocks of Flats Insurance from Gallagher

We understand that cover and price are important to you, and we will search our panel of well-known insurers to help find you suitable protection. Use our quote form or call us on 0800 612 8631 for a quote.

The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.