If someone peered into your drawers and cupboards, would they be enviably neat and orderly or stuffed full of a spaghetti-style tangle of items that would take hours to unravel?
Most people probably have at least one area like the latter; a "secret" dumping ground where clutter accumulates and despite their best intentions, they never get around to sorting it out.
Identify which type of hoarder you are and then follow a personalised clutter culling plan, with smart storage solutions to match.
- ANXIOUS HOARDER
You feel emotionally attached to your things in a way that's probably inexplicable to others, and the thought of getting rid of things you might end up missing prevents you taking any action at all.
You've probably kept your grown-up children's personal possessions and old toys, have drawers full of paperwork, shelves groaning with books and crave more space. But it can feel impossible to relinquish things which you associate with memories and feelings.
ACTION PLAN: Get a friend to go through items with you so they can talk you through the process and will be dispassionate about making decisions. Make a target to get rid of one box a week so you don't feel overwhelmed and the "loss" of the items will hardly be noticeable. Give to charities so you know your much-loved possessions are helping good causes.
- SECRET HOARDER
No-one would know you had any clutter unless they looked in your cupboards, which are overflowing with possessions.
You're brilliant at disguising it all, and have invested in under-bed boxes, hanging drawers in wardrobes, and filled every cranny in the loft.
As you like to be in control and set yourself high standards, you can't bear to start decluttering until you can tackle the whole house, but that's such a large task, you keep putting it off.
ACTION PLAN: Target the house room by room, but allow enough time to complete the sort-out. Make sure you don't slow yourself down because of indecision by having a couple of boxes marked "Keep" and "Recycle" so you can easily deal with an overload.
- TIME-POOR HOARDER
A family, busy job and/or caring for an elderly relative leave you little time for socialising, let alone worrying about decluttering.
There's a tide of possessions throughout your house that you'd love to sort, and corners in every room that are filled with piles of belongings which make you feel fraught. You fill bags with unwanted goods but rarely find time to take them anywhere.
ACTION PLAN: Storage needs to be easily accessible in every area of your home so everyone finds it easy to help put possessions away. Encourage each member of the family to contribute one large box of clutter on a set date and insist on one room remaining clutter-free so you can constantly see the benefit of curbing that untidiness.
- CREATIVE HOARDER
If you're not busy with at least three projects at once, as well as juggling the rest of your life, you get bored.
You love constant change, challenges and variety, and your home reflects that with an eclectic mix of possessions you gather while on your travels. You don't see it as clutter because you believe each has a story to tell. But occasionally it can get out of hand, particularly if you rarely find time for housework and are easily distracted, even if you occasionally attempt re-organising.
ACTION PLAN: Even if the clutter isn't driving you crazy, it won't allow you to show off those treasured possessions in their full glory. Culling will be tricky for you but you could periodically store away a selection just to give your rooms a revamp, and invest in more tables or display chests so you can group possessions to give them a feeling of harmony.
Do you hoard? If so, what type of hoarder are you?