When working to create a home that is organized and easy to keep that way, knowing how to start decluttering your home is crucial. So many times, we can get overwhelmed with starting; my hope is to remove that struggle and get you on your way to cleaning out the excess stuff.
This approach on how to declutter without getting sidetracked will help you to make progress like never before!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the mess and stuff that has taken over your home, knowing where to start can really help you get on track. Use these simple tips on how to begin decluttering your home so that you can jump-start your progress.
What does it mean to declutter?
Decluttering is the process of dealing with all the stuff you see lying out. Whether that be putting things that have a designated home away, tossing broken or used-up items into the trash, or getting excess things out of your home altogether.
Deal with each item that is lying out so you have less stuff cluttering up the areas in your home.
What are the benefits of decluttering?
Once you start decluttering, the benefits are clear. Decluttering can help free up space and make it easier to keep a home organized. It can also reduce stress and anxiety levels as you’ll no longer be overwhelmed by piles of stuff everywhere. Finally, it can help increase productivity as you’ll have fewer distractions in your environment.
How to Start Decluttering Your Home
When you have a plan, decluttering becomes much easier. This is my approach for any decluttering project in a home. Start out easy so you can see fast results and keep making progress without getting burnt out.
Step #1. Get rid of the trash
The first step in decluttering is to gather up any trash you find and get it out of your home for good. This one step alone can have surprising results in a messy room. Many times clutter is buried under random things that you can easily toss into the trash can. Get rid of the trash and watch the clutter decrease significantly.
How it works:
- Grab a large trash bag and walk the room you are working in.
- Look for any obvious trash. Things like empty food bags or boxes, crinkled-up papers or napkins, anything broken, and finally, any junk mail or papers.
- Don’t overthink it. This step is meant to be easy so you can get quick results.
- If your room is particularly messy, you may need to do this step a few times.
- Take the trash out to the trash can.
Step #2. Get rid of the Recyclables
Just like in step one, recyclables can overwhelm a room. Take a few minutes to gather up the things you normally recycle in your area.
How it works:
- Grab a bag and walk the room you are working in.
- Look for any items you normally recycle—things like water bottles, soda cans, and newspapers.
- Again, don’t overthink it. This is another easy step that will give you big results.
- Take the items you gather up out to your recycling bin.
Step #3. Stuff that Belongs Elsewhere
Look for any items that belong in another room.
How it works:
- Use a box or laundry basket, and walk the room you are working in.
- Look for any items that belong in another room. Things like laundry, dishes, office supplies, toys, or shoes.
- Put anything you find that belongs in another room into the container you are using for this step.
- Once you are done, walk your home and put these things where they belong.
Step #4. Put Things Away
At this point, the stuff you have lying out should be just a fraction of what it was when you started. You should now be able to clearly see what needs to be put away in the room you are working in.
How it works:
- Start working through the things you see that have a specific spot and put them away.
- Work clockwise around the room.
- If you see any items while you are working that do not yet have a specific home, skip over those things.
- Keep working until you put away all the stuff meant to stay in this room.
Step #5. Work on the Rest
Congratulations on making it this far! Now, what you have left is anything that doesn’t have a specific home. Focus on one item at a time until you have touched all the remaining things.
How it works:
- Pick up an item and decide whether to keep it or donate it.
- If you do not want it, or need it, put it into the donation box.
- If you want it or need it, find a home where you can keep it and put it away.
- Continue working on one item at a time until you have removed all the stuff that was lying out.
Step #6. Get Rid of the Excess
With the visual clutter gone, you may feel as if you are done in this room. Actually, the most important steps remain, and this is where decluttering really does its magic. Remember, just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean you should keep it.
Here’s what I mean.
Just because you have room in a drawer for 150 mismatched measuring cups and spoons doesn’t mean you should keep them all. An organized room is one that is efficient and easy to keep put away. By removing 1/2 of your mismatched collection, you will still have enough tools for cooking while creating a much neater cabinet.
How it Works.
- Choose an area to work on. This can be a drawer or a cabinet.
- Look to see how much of an item you have.
- Ask yourself if you need all of those (fill in the blank).
- If the answer is yes, move to the next area.
- If the answer is no, remove the excess items and put them into the donation box.
- Continue working until you have touched every drawer, cabinet, and shelf.
Now that you have a straightforward plan for decluttering your home, let’s go over a few extra tips that will help you to be even more successful.
Tip #1. Have a plan in place for decluttering
Having a plan in place can make the decluttering process less overwhelming and help you to be more successful in creating a home that is organized and easy to keep that way.
I like to use the calendar to help create a plan that is easy to stick too.
Each month focus on a new room. This will give you 4-5 weeks to make progress without getting overwhelmed or sidtracked. By the end of the year, you will have worked on 12 rooms in your home. How’s that for making progress?
Tip #2. Make decluttering a regular task
Decluttering can be an ongoing process, so make sure to set aside time each week to dedicate to the task. This will help keep your home clutter-free and free up more space in your home for items that bring joy or are truly needed.
Tip #3. Have a place for everything and put things all the way away
Having a designated spot for items can help keep your home clutter-free in the long run. As you’re decluttering, make sure to have a place for every item, and remember to put things all the way away. This is the secret to many organized homes. Always be sure to put the things you use away, and you will eliminate clutter going forward.
Decluttering your home can be an overwhelming task, but by following these steps, you can make the process easier. Start by getting rid of the trash, donating what you no longer need, and designating homes for what will stay and you will have a room that is organized and easy to keep that way.
Use these tips on how to start decluttering your home and create a space you love to be in.