Having decluttering tools ready to go when you are is a great way to clean out the excess when the urge hits. And let’s face it, those urges do not hit us very often. Setting up a container of tools that you can use and add another skill on how to declutter as you work your way towards creating a home you love.
Have you ever seen that television show Hoarders? It’s about ordinary folks that struggle beyond measure, with letting go. They have more than clutter, they have an illness and a full team is there to help them through the struggle.
And the team does not come empty-handed either. They have trucks and shovels, bags and boxes, cleaning supplies and hammers and paint, and more. I often wonder if they need all those things but as I watch the show I realize that they most definitely do.
Each person has a particular skill set along with a collection of tools that they use to help the person on the show see their home, their things, and their lives in a different light.
Just about every activity that you do requires a selection of tools. Whether it be cooking a meal or putting on makeup for the day, you cannot do either without pots and pans or a set of brushes and a mirror.
The same is true with decluttering.
You need to have tools, a specific set of items that will help you make decisions, gather up, put away and donate the extra stuff in your home. I have learned over the years that the more you have things ready to go the easier it is to do a task. That is basically the core belief behind organizing. To keep like items together so you can do an activity more efficiently.
The same is true here as well. The trick is knowing what you need so you don’t overprepare gathering up more items than you will have the use for.
What decluttering tools do you need?
To determine what tools to have on hand, it is best to go over the actions that you will be doing when you declutter a room in your home.
Each action brings with it a list of gear that will help to make it less intimidating to get through. Keeping that thought in mind, I am going to break things down by the action that you will be doing as you work your way through your home turning it into a neat and organized space, you love to be in.
The Best Decluttering Tools
Choosing Where to Start and Creating a Plan
It is always best to pick a room to work on rather than trying to tackle all the things at once. This is the start of what I call, the Declutter in Minutes formula. An easier way to make a plan of attack that you can actually use to make progress without giving up halfway through.
When you are deciding where to begin it helps to choose a spot that is, what I like to call the heart of the home. The rooms that you and your family will benefit from the most once it is freed of the extra things.
Once you have a room chosen you will need to create a plan. I suggest you go into the room you are going to work on so you can better see what the main areas are. Armed with a clipboard and a pen take a look at the room. Make a list of 4 areas that you can work on in this space.
Once done, you can then focus on one area at a time removing 3/4’s of the stress in one step.
My Favorite Decluttering Tools
These are the go-to tools that I use every time I am working on decluttering an area in my home. Give a few of them a try and see which ones belong on the list of your favorite tools.
This might just be my favorite decluttering tool to have. Clothes baskets or laundry baskets work better than any box for sorting. They are super sturdy, can hold a surprisingly large amount, and are easy to carry even when full.
These baskets are found at Walmart and can be purchased for less than $5 in most areas. Not only are they great for sorting, but they work well doing a room reset too.
The bigger the better. I love these chunky markers and find them a huge asset when labeling things while decluttering.
Small Trash Cans
These are great to use as sorting bins for smaller decluttering projects. A drawer in a kitchen does not always hold a large amount. Having a stack of 4 trash cans is a great way to sort and go quickly.
You can find these trash cans at the Dollar Store in both white and black colors.
An obvious addition, I know, but important to include just the same. The key here is to use black trash bags when decluttering. Why does it matter? Black will hide what is inside of the bag discouraging you from revisiting the items you so carefully placed inside.
The biggest distraction when decluttering is sorting items more than once. Trust your decision and once you have placed an item into the donation bag or box be confident that you made the best choice and move on.
Trash bags are great to use for donations, trash, giveaway items, and more.
When you have your sorting bins set up and ready to go, you will find the decluttering much easier to do, maybe even enjoyable. I know, enjoyable is not a word that is often associated with declutteirng but hear me out.
The more you clean out the more you will realize what you were missing in all the stuff and mess. Open and clutter-free space.
Open space is a huge motivator and once you get a taste of it, there will be no turning back.
Grab your FREE sorting labels inside of my Decluttering Made Easy Guide. Click the box below to get access.
The trick to things staying organized is remembering what belongs where. This is why I am always making labels. Not only do they remind me of what belongs in what bin that same label reminds my family as well.
I have a label maker that I use each time I set up a new bin or basket or shelf in my home. They do not make the exact one that I use but I feel that any Brother label maker will work great for you.
Knowing you have a finish line coming up quickly will help you to make progress with the clutter without wearing yourself out.
I like to keep work sessions short so I do not get overwhelmed by a huge job. Ten to twenty-minute sessions are a good time to shoot for. Long enough to make progress yet not too long to burn yourself out.
For me, decluttering is not fun.
I need to have a distraction that will help me to want to get into a room and clean things out. That means headphones and my smartphone are going to be a part of my decluttering tools list.
What do I use my headphones for?
A playlist of upbeat music that will motivate me to move. For me, the Bangles or any rock music from the 70s is going to work perfectly. This is my favorite music and my go-to for cleaning and decluttering.
I also like to listen to audiobooks. I have a membership to Audible that allows me to download audiobooks onto my phone. A book is a great way to get lost in a project that you might not be willing to do.
Post It Notes
I love to use Post-It notes because they work great in so many situations. Shopping lists, reminders, short messages to my kids, to-do lists, and yes, decluttering.
Labels will help you to ensure that your get the clutter all the way gone and Post-It notes will work great as that bright label.
How can I use Post-It notes in decluttering?
If you are working in a room and you have a few pieces of furniture you want to donate or relocate to another room, moving them may be more than you can physically handle. A Post-It note will allow you to label the piece so you remember later when you have help to do the heavy moving.
Gloves and Lotion
I don’t know what it is about decluttering but it really can do a number on your hands. For that reason, I like to wear gloves when I am decluttering.
I also like to have a bottle of hand lotion as well. I love Dr. Teal’s lotion. Not only do I have it in my decluttering tools kit but next to my bed, in my bathroom, and in my office as well.
Not all areas are easy to reach and that is why I am including a step ladder in this decluttering tools list. One of the biggest reasons why most decluttering projects do not get seen to the end is frequent distractions. By having as much in your decluttering tools kit as you feel you will need you will ditch the distractions and get more of the stuff out for good.
Success and Motivation
And that brings us to our last decluttering tool.
Success and Motivation.
Success is a win, no matter how small because having a win under your belt can be enough to keep you moving forward. I remember the first drawer I cleaned out. It was our silverware drawer in the kitchen. Yes, an easy drawer to declutter and organize but once it was done I felt amazing.
I realized I could do any decluttering project after all. And it lit a fire under me that lead me to another drawer and another and another.
Even today, I smile each time I open that drawer. It reminds me of where I was when I first started this journey and how I was able to get where I am today. That drawer is now my anchor and it is there any time I need proof of what I am capable of.
When you are faced with a messy home that is full of more stuff than you need it can be an overwhelming task to face. By having the decluttering tools you need ready to go you can feel confident that you are ready to go when you get the urge to declutter and organize your way to a home you love and deserve.