Most of us, when we buy a coffee table, imagine we'll be using it for coffee. Maybe a vase of flowers, perhaps even the odd slice of cake. But we all know this isn't how life goes.

Eight magazines, a laundry basket and a spread of unopened post later and your living room centre piece is fulfilling a slightly different role from what was originally intended. Of course, these sorts of things happen to all of us over time. And not living in a show home just means your home is lived-in and loved.

But, if everything is looking a little like it could do with a tidy up – don't worry.

Below you'll find our guide for helping you to de-clutter your home, quickly and easily. Not only that, but we've also got some great ideas for helping you keep it that way!

Ready to get started?

1) Storage is key

One of the major parts of having a tidy home is having lots of clever storage solutions. This means that whenever you need to have a tidy up, you have always got places to put things so the house is left looking lovely and tidy.

Cube furniture is great for this as you can hide pretty much anything away in the fabric boxes as well as organise everything into different compartments. It takes hardly any time at all. And the best thing is, you can keep adding to it. So whether you want to start off with a two cube piece and build up when you need more storage space. Or you would rather have a nine cube piece and clear all your surfaces at once.

They were are helpful for keeping surfaces clear and clutter-free.

stunning living room with neutral finishings and lots of light

2) Charity shops all the way

Of course, there's only so much that your clever storage solutions will hold. If you simply have too many things for your home, then it's going to be quite difficult keeping on top of it all. The best thing to do is to take a Saturday and start filling some bin bags. It's actually really surprising just home much you have that you don't need.

Even clearing out a few clothes you no longer wear and taking them to the charity shop will help give you back some wardrobe space.

And it's so easy to let things sit.

Remember, this doesn't have to be one huge job. Make a list of all the things that have been bugging you for a while and try and plan them in. If it helps, work out how much time you'll think each task will take. And then if you have a spare hour or so in the evening, you can tackle one of the jobs on your list and get things sorted bit by bit – simple!

3) Prioritise

Clearing out the cupboard under the stairs might feel great when it's all done but it might be more beneficial to start off with the smaller jobs that are going to have the biggest impact. Just so you can really feel the difference. Especially if your frustration is high!

Clear the surfaces, recycle old magazines and get some small, easy-to-use storage pieces for around the house for anything you're definitely keeping. That way, it's not only instantly tidier, but it's also much more obvious what you're going to keep and what might be best to recycle, sell or giveaway.

a checklist for the day with a pen and notepad

And once your surfaces are clear, you'll feel much more inspired to brighten things up with a few vases of flowers and you might even be using that coffee table for coffee!

Looking for ideas and inspiration? Head over to our Instagram and Facebook pages @HartleysDirect.