How to Declutter Your Home Room by Room

If you have struggled with How to declutter your home room by room without the overwhelm, the stress, or the frustration that usually comes with a project this size no worries.

I have an easier way to clean out the extra stuff in your home here at Declutter in Minutes. We are going to break it down room by room and step by step so you can finally see just how to declutter your home for good.

How to declutter your home room by room

Decluttering is nothing new. It’s actually been around for decades.

As the size of the average home began to grow, we began to get busy filling it up until what started out as simply setting up a room with a few pieces of furniture and some pretty pictures as morphed into a vast array of nick-nacks, and stuff, and things that pretty much cover every open surface in our homes.

And maybe, for a time, you never even noticed it.

As your things kept multiplying the space in your home kept shrinking until you suddenly found yourself in a cluttered mess.

But the good news is, that cluttered state of affairs is now all in the past. You are here and that means you are ready to declutter your home once and for all.

And since making the decision to declutter is a big step, I want to take a minute to recognize that. To tell you how proud I am that you are ready to give this a try. And how honored I am that you are going to allow me to help you do it.

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But hold up. Before we get busy let’s just recap a few things first. A few important things that will help solidify that your decision to declutter your home is absolutely the very best thing to do.

There are some pretty big perks that come with a clutter-free home. A few benefits that I want you to remember when the getting busy part turns out to be, well, hard.

Happiness is a place between too little and too much

Old Finnish Proverb

Why is it so important to declutter your home?

#1. It is easier to keep your home tidy.

  • When there are no piles on the floor it is quicker to sweep.
  • When you have fewer things to move on a shelf it is easier to dust it.
  • Fewer cooking tools in the kitchen make it easier to keep counters clutter-free.

Let’s face it, cleaning our homes is hard enough so my number one bonus of decluttering is making our homes easier to keep clean.

two empty boxes, one labeled keep and one declutter

#2. Less debt.

All those things that are now clutter were once something you paid for. And just the thought of that may stop you in your tracks.

But remember this. From this day forward you are going to only keep things that are worth the price you paid for them. And that right there is a truly liberating side effect of keeping a clutter-free home.

3#. Less stress and anxiety.

It’s amazing how having too many things causes stress and anxiety while at the same time getting rid of those things does the same thing.

Just the sight of clutter can make our heads spin and even though letting go at times will be hard, the end result will be so worth the work it will take to get there.

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#4. Easier to find things.

Oh boy, this might just be my number one perk of a clutter-free home.

Wasting time looking for things is actually a top stress trigger for women. Luckily when you have fewer things you will, in turn, make it easier to find what you need right when you need it.

woman putting cans in a basket in a pantry copy

#5. A home you love.

This is it, isn’t it? The main reason we all want an organized and clutter-free home.

To create a space we truly love to be in. A space that holds memories and not stress. A space that allows us to unwind and not freak out. A space where we can open the door to uninvited guests at any time of the day without ninja diving behind the pile of boxes in our family room hoping they will give up and just go leave already.

Okay, now that we got that dose of reality, let’s put on those shoes, roll up those sleeves and get busy creating a home you love.

How to Declutter Your Home Room by Room

Now is the hard part. The roll up your sleeves, pull your hair back, getting started part.

But, before we even get to the actual decluttering you first need to ask yourself a few questions.

What is your goal for decluttering?

Are you looking to clean out your entire home or are you just looking to get rid of the stuff that is lying out?

Knowing this will help you to make decisions and keep your focus in check.

Where is your goal for decluttering?

Again, are you aiming for your entire home or just your main living area?

quote_ love and laughter

What are your expectations for decluttering?

Are you hoping for a full home transformation? Or are you just looking to make a path from the family room to the kitchen?

When you have a good idea of where you want to be, it will be easier to come up with an easy and simple follow game plan.

What tools do you need to declutter your home?

Luckily not many. Just a few boxes or baskets, a couple of bags, tape, and a big black magic marker. The good news is, that you probably already have every single one of these things in your home right now.


I like to have my decluttering supplies ready to go so that when the urge hits, I can grab my kit and get started.

a woman putting a green shirt into a donation box

What is clutter and what is not? 

Before you start decluttering you will first need to uncover the clutter.

More often than not, what we think is clutter is not always so. There may be trash, dishes, and papers scattered in the mess as well. By removing that layer of stuff you might just be surprised with what you have left. A much (much) smaller clutter pile than you originally thought.

Step #1. Trash – Arm yourself with a large bag and start grabbing anything you see that is trash. Keep this easy, don’t do a lot of moving around of your things. Just move around the room a pick up the paper plates, crinkled paper, napkins, empty shopping bags, and wads of tin foil. Whatever you see that is obviously trash.

Step #2. Recyclables – Again, arm yourself with a large bag and begin gathering up anything you see that is recyclable. Empty water bottles, pop cans, empty food boxes, and newspapers. As much as you can find, put it in the bag.

woman gathering up trash and clutter

Step #3. Put away – I like to use a laundry basket for this part. A laundry basket is my go-to decluttering tool because of all that it can hold. It is also very easy to carry and keeps the little things from falling out as well. Grab an empty basket and start gathering up anything you see that belongs in another room. Dishes, clothes, toys, pens, mail, food, whatever you can easily recognize as something that simply needs to be put away.

Now that you have those big three (and surprisingly easy) steps out of the way, take a minute to see what you have left.

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That is your clutter. The things you will need to go through one by one and decide what you will do with each. Hopefully what you have now is much less than what you had when you started.

Setting up a sorting area.

This is one of those tips that often get overlooked but can be a huge help with you are decluttering.

white baskets labeled keep, give away

What is a sorting area? 

A sorting area is a collection of labeled containers where you will take things temporarily until you are ready to put what is staying back in an organized way.

You can use boxes, plastic totes, bags, or laundry baskets as your sorting containers. Whatever you have available will work just fine.

I suggest having the following containers set up along a wall in the space you are working in. Your goal is to make it easy to get to so you can put all of your energy into decision-making.

Containers to Have in Your Sorting Area:

  1. Donate
  2. Give Away
  3. Toss
  4. Put Away
  5. Keep

Now, I am sure you are wondering what the difference is between DONATE and GIVE AWAY.

Donate is for items that you know for sure you do not need, want, or use. These things can go into your car so you can drop them off at the center the next time you are out.

white baskets labeled give away and donate

Give Away is for anything that you want to pass on to a friend or family member. This can be a sentimental item or something you know is wanted by the person you have earmarked to receive it.

By having these two boxes out you will lessen some of the stress that can come when you are faced with getting rid of your things.

D/M PRO TIP: Be sure anything you have earmarked to give to someone else is labeled before you put it into the box. You do not want to have to make a decision twice on an item, once is hard enough. Put a post-it note on the item with the name of the person you hope to give it to.

Some ideas are:

  • Baby clothes to a neighbor who just had a new baby.
  • Kitchen supplies to a teen who is headed off to college.
  • DVDs to your nephew who is also a movie buff.
  • Yarn to your mother who loves to knit.

Remember to ask before you give. You do not want to pass your clutter on to someone else. Be sure they actually want what you are offering before you hand it over. This is just one of those unspoken clutter rules.

Now that we have the basic pre-steps out of the way let’s go over each room to better help you map out a plan of attack. Remember to always do the pre-steps before working on any room.

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How to Declutter Your Home Room by Room

I find when faced with a large project, breaking it down into smaller steps removes most of the overwhelm. Focus on just one room at a time as you work your way through your entire home.

How to Declutter Your Bedroom

I believe the most important room in the home is the bedroom. Since sleep is essential for health it is important to create a space where sleep is easy to get.

If your bedroom is full of stuff that doesn’t belong, then it can be a lot to ask your mind to shut off so you can get ample rest. Make a promise to yourself to only keep the things in this room that will help you to get a good night’s sleep.

Things to remove:

  • Papers/receipts
  • Boxes
  • Workout equipment
  • Toys
  • Random craft or home improvement tools/supplies

Things to keep:

  • A favorite book or magazine
  • Hand/foot lotion
  • Extra pillows/blankets
  • Sound machine
  • Alarm clock
  • A few family photo favorites

More Bedroom Clutter Resources:

a bed in a room with a window seat and bench

How to Declutter Your Closet

It can be quite shocking to see the amount of clothing we have. And if your closet is crammed full of things to wear you might not even realize the size of your collection.

By downsizing the clothes that you have and only allowing the things you absolutely love to remain, you will create a space that you love to be in. And a collection of clothes that you love to wear.

declutter your home quote

Things to remove:

  • Clothes that no longer fit. (and let’s face it, probably never will again…gasp.)
  • Torn or stained clothing.
  • Shoes that hurt your feet.
  • Clothes that are overly stretched out.

Things to keep:

  • Clothes you need for work
  • Clothes you simply love to wear.
  • Clothes that make you feel amazing.
  • Clothes that are perfect for special occasions.

Once you have some of the clutter removed from your closet you can use this tip to help sort out the rest. I call this the hanger trick and it is one I use at the start of every new season.

How to declutter your home. How to declutter without overwhelm.

How the hanger trick works for decluttering clothes.

  • Turn all the hangers in your closet in the opposite direction, AKA backward.
  • Each time you wear an item, turn the hanger in the correct direction.
  • At the end of the month, any hangers that are still backward are things you haven’t worn in 30 days and a good sign you do not love them.
  • Repeat this tip every three months for a clutter-free closet.

More Closet Clutter Resources:

How to Declutter the Kitchen

For most families, the kitchen is the center, the hub, the heart of the home. It’s pretty much where all the action happens.

From cooking to eating. Homework to game playing. Budgeting to craft projects. It’s no wonder that this room tends to get messy with so much happening all the time.

Things to remove:

  • Random papers
  • Toys
  • Supplies for crafts or repairs
  • Boxes of things

Things to keep:

  • Anything you use to cook a meal.
  • Anything you use to eat a meal.
  • Anything you use to store a meal.

By creating a few rules in this room you can keep the action happening without turning your kitchen upside down in the process.

Keep baskets out to corral things that commonly end up here.

By having a dropping spot where you can toss things quickly, you will keep that clutter off of your counters for good.

More Kitchen Clutter Resources:

a neat white kitchen with a green plant on the counter

How to Declutter the Pantry

Another costly area of our homes is food and for that reason tossing out spoiled, stale, or outdated items is something we really should avoid as much as possible.

By decluttering and organizing where you store your food you will, in turn, keep things easier to find so you can use it all up before it goes bad.

An organized pantry will also help you to create a better shopping list so you are not constantly buying things you already have.

Things to remove:

  • Outdated food
  • Opened and stale food
  • Food you know your family will never eat
  • Food you know you have way too much of

D/M PRO TIP: Fill up a box with any food you no longer want or you have too much of and donate it to the food pantry. What a great way to help others while you are creating a pantry you love.

Once you have the excess food removed you can then set up your organized and streamlined pantry.

Use sturdy bins to hold foods in a way that makes it easier for you to find things. You can do bins by categories or by item.

Which way is the best way? That all depends on how you see things.

Organizing bins for the pantry. 

  • Theme – Italian, Asian, Mexican, American
  • Type – Soup, pasta, rice, beans
  • Style – Cans, jars, bags

More Pantry Clutter Resources:


How to Declutter the Family Room

The family room one of those areas that is used by every person in the home. It’s a place to relax and put your feet up. A place to cozy up for movies or settle in with a good book.

And since no two families are alike what you do in your family room will be completely different than what we do in ours. For this reason, it is important to get a little input before heading into this room.

Ask your family what they love about this room. What activities do they enjoy doing in this space? Once you have those answers you can better decide what items need to be put in another room and what items can stay.

Things to remove:

  • Clothes
  • Random toys
  • Pet toys
  • Ratty blankets
  • Old torn pillows
  • Damaged DVDs
  • Old newspapers and magazines

Things to keep:

  • Cozy blankets
  • Extra pillows
  • Games/Toys/Puzzles/Books – if this is something your family uses in this room.


Once you have only the items in this room you are going to keep here, look for clever ways to store things that will keep this room full of what you use yet free of clutter at the same time.

Organizing Hacks for the Family Room

How to declutter your home. How to declutter without overwhelm.

More Family Room Clutter Resources:

Decluttering the Bathroom

The bathroom really only has one main purpose, a personal one, and that should make it a black-and-white easy room to declutter. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case since this room also requires quite a few supplies to keep it running smoothly.

This can make it easy for this room to get out of hand with clutter and mess so quickly.

Things to remove:

  • Old and outdated makeup
  • Old medications
  • Torn or overly stained bath towels
  • Broken bath toys
  • Personal supplies you do not use
  • Broken combs/picks/brushes
  • Stretched out hair bands and ties
  • Duplicate cleaning supplies

For any items you choose to keep, you will want to find an easier way to keep them contained together.

Bathroom Organizer Options

This room is all business so it is important to set it up that way. Use the space you have to keep commonly used items close by. You can also install shelving to give you extra space if needed.

How to declutter your home. How to declutter without overwhelm.

More Bathroom Clutter Resources:

How to Declutter the Office

The home office is a bit tricky since not everyone has a room in their home that is just for handling paperwork, doing homework, or working. And even if you do not have a set office space in your home you do still have paper and plenty of it.

By setting up a way that will help you deal with the paper as it comes into your home you will remove possible clutter piles from all the other rooms as well.

It’s funny how paper seems to multiply every day and if we are not careful we run the risk of misplacing important papers. It’s true that clutter costs us money and nowhere is it more evident than with papers.

brown desk with a green plant in a home office

Before you can declutter the papers, however, you first need to find a hub for your office. This can be a full room, a corner in a family room, or even a closet. You can also use a drawer or cabinet in your kitchen or even a plastic portable office that you can bring to the table. The trick here is to pick a spot and stick with it.

Things to remove:

  • Old or outdated papers
  • Old newspapers
  • Junk mail
  • Old magazines
  • Old coupons
  • Old recipes

Things to keep close:

  • Any financial papers that are current for this year – set up a filing system to house these papers.
  • Current medical records
  • Current receipts – set up a simple organizing system for these
  • Current manuals and warranties – use binders to keep these together
  • Addresses – A simple binder will work great here
How to declutter your home. How to declutter without overwhelm.

Things to keep stored away:

  • Anything financial records from the last 5-7 years.
  • Past medical records

Once you have things cleared out and organized there are a few more things you can do to keep those papers from getting scattered.

  1. Set up a mail system. This is a great way to keep the mail front and center so no important items get buried or lost.
  2. Set up a family command center. This is a great way to keep tabs on all the things for each of your family members.

More Office and Paper Clutter Resources:

How to Declutter the Garage

This normally is one of those spaces that often get overlooked. Maybe it’s because many people do not have a garage or maybe it’s because it was originally meant to house our cars and not much else.

Whatever the reason, if you have a garage odds are you are using it for additional storage as your cars sit out in the driveway.

The best way to organize this area and get those cars back inside is to decide just what you plan to keep there.

Things to keep:

  • Outside toys
  • Lawn equipment
  • Car cleaning supplies
  • Tools
  • Trash/recyclables
  • Pet supplies
  • Home improvement supplies

Things to remove:

  • Anything that is broken, dried out, used up, or no longer needed
  • Anything that does not belong in the “things to keep” list above.
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Once you know what is going to stay you can then get busy setting up areas for each activity.

More Garage Clutter Resources:

When learning how to declutter your home it is important to work with how you think about your things. Do not force yourself to remove anything you love. Give yourself simple rules to follow.

Partner that with a small list of smaller steps that focus on one room at a time and what you have is a formula that will help you to declutter your home room by room and step by step.


  1. Wow! I read this whole article. Today my clutter hit me hard. It’s given me stress and anxiety. I can’t tell you how much this has inspired me to get my home in order. I’m a working full time (50-60 hours week) mom of two boys and wife to an amazing supportive husband. I’ve always taken pride in how well my home is maintained but over the last year things have been placed everywhere. Seems like every drawer and cupboard is packed. I even asked my husband today if I could hire an organizer to help me.
    Thank you so much for helping me focus on one room at a time to hopefully get my home back in order. ♥️

  2. Thank you for this article! I am in the decluttering process and I need any form of encouragement loll.
    I am sooo overwelded that I can o ly do litle by little. It is so true that clutter is causing stress and unhappiness. But knowing how to have a place for everything is just a mistery to me…
    Looking forward to reading more of your articles.

  3. Hi Tracy,

    Love this guide on decluttering! Using laundry baskets to declutter is such as great idea – never thought of that. It’s a lot easier to use what you already have (laundry baskets) instead of going out and getting boxes. Additionally, laundry baskets are great because as opposed to throwing stuff in garbage bags, you can actually see what’s in them.

    I also love your point about giving away and donating. While it’s exciting to donate stuff we don’t need and clean as quickly as possible, it’s important to ask before giving it away.

    Donating stuff is a great way to help others in need. When you donate your used goods to a thrift store, those who cannot afford to buy retail can purchase them. Additionally, most thrift stores’ profits go towards a worthy local charity. Helping others all while enjoying a cleaner space is a win-win in my books!

    If someone is new to decluttering, which room should they start with first and why?

    – Jani, Frugal Fun Finance

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jani!
      For someone brand new to decluttering I usually suggest their bedroom for a few reasons.
      1. Most, if not all, of the items in that room are theirs so they can make all the decisions.
      2. They will get to enjoy the rewards of a clean and organized area.
      This will hopefully give the motivation needed to start in another room.
      Tracy Lynn

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