Top Tips to (Finally) Declutter Your Home
Did things get a little crazy, and you know it’s time to declutter your home?
You have probably been so busy with life. Then you sit down for a few seconds and look around your home, you realize you’re completely surrounded by… STUFF. Mountains of documents, paper, electronics (I forgot I had this Kindle device!!), or clothes.
It feels overwhelming, doesn’t it?? And it’s hard to know where to start.
Our Readers’ Favorite Tips for Decluttering:
If you read my blog, you know that I’m all about keeping things simple. So I’ve listed below my top 8 articles about Decluttering Your Home (one article was even saved 20,000 times on Pinterest!) AND summarized the top learnings from each.
Here’s a map on how to get started to successfully declutter your home:
1. Start with a Small Win: If you’re already feeling overwhelmed because of the clutter, don’t start with a huge endeavor (For example, all of your basement or garage). Watch my video on containing your enthusiasm and starting small:
2. Focus on What will Make a Difference: Think about the most stressful part of your day at home. Is there a place that would make your day a little better if it was decluttered? When you see how decluttering can help your life, you will become more motivated to tackle big projects.
Continue to read Where to Start When You’re Drowning in Clutter.
Start by Discarding “All at Once, Intensively and Completely”
One of my favorite tips from expert Marie Kondo is that discarding must come first. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed between discarding, re-organizing or finding a new place for items that you don’t have a place for. When I try tackling everything at once, I end up overwhelmed and it takes sooooo much time to get one area cleaned up. I often feel like I haven’t achieved anything at all.
You should start by discarding, all at once, before moving on to the next step (deciding where to put things you want to keep). When you are done discarding, you can think about organizing your space better.
The 5 Boxes You Need to Declutter
When getting ready to tackle a large decluttering project, it is very helpful to get 5 boxes ready ahead of time. This will help speed up the process dramatically and make your project easier and more fun.
The boxes are for items to 1) sell, 2) trash, 3) recycle, 4) donate, and 5) re-organize. Once your boxes are ready, you can start decluttering your home much more efficiently.
With your 5 boxes ready, you should also prepare a Task List: decide precisely which areas of your house will be tackled. A task list will help you stay on task! It’s too easy to get distracted and do little bits of decluttering all of over the place without really making an impact on one area (which can be highly unmotivating).
Continue to read more about our tips to Plan & Execute A Large Declutter Marathon.
As much as it sure can seem like it, your stuff is not secretly multiplying overnight. It’s all gaining access to your house in one way or another.
Before decluttering, ask yourself this key question to prevent future clutter from invading your life again: “how did I accumulate all of this clutter in the first place?” We are always going to need to get rid of tons of extra stuff until we figure out where it’s all coming from and why we’re accumulating it. Once you have figured out the answers, you will be in a better position to STOP future clutter. Continue to read, or watch my 2- minute video below:
The Game-Changing Question to Get Rid of Stuff
We’re about to dig in and start decluttering, but I want to get something stuck in your head first. It’s the game-changing question when it comes to decluttering:
It’s easy to get rid of an item that is broken or incomplete, but it is very hard to get rid of an item that could, perhaps, be used again one day! I found that this one question really helped me and my husband finally let go of things. Watch my 2-minute video to find out what it is:
Get this question good and stuck in your head so that it constantly runs through your mind when you’re working through piles of stuff. Decluterring your home can be a mental challenge. Using this simple question will help you make those hard decisions to finally discard your things.
I can do a lot more decluttering when having fun (Duh!). These tips really helped me:
1. Take Before and After Pics: It’s more fun and exciting to see the full transformation, and is super-motivating! I share the pics with my husband and a close friend.
2. Do it with a Friend: Socializing while you declutter automatically makes it more fun!
3. Do a Challenge. A quick search for “declutter challenge” on Pinterest will give you no end of options. Most declutter challenges tell you to focus on decluttering a certain area of your home each day.
4. Listen to a Great Audiobook or Your Favorite Podcast: The time flies when you’re listening to a good book or podcast.
Read more ideas to make decluttering fun.
Ok, so you have decluttered your home, but how can you get rid of your “sell/donate/trash” boxes that are full of things? A big stumbling block to decluttering is actually getting the stuff out of your house! How many times have you gone on a big decluttering spree, only to have the pile of unwanted stuff sit in a corner for months? It has certainly happened to me. Continue to read to learn the 10 best ways to get rid of stuff.
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I find it easier to figure out a maintenance routine for keeping up with clutter. It’s not too hard to spend a few hours here and there to stay on top of things. It’s when procrastinate that things get completely out of hand it and it turns into a huge, time consuming, and overwhelming project. Here is my routine:
- The Spring & Fall Big Purges. I like to go through most of the house twice a year.
- The Tub: Throughout the rest of the year, I keep a tub or crate of things to get rid of. Whenever something doesn’t fit anymore or I notice we don’t need it, I simply put it in the tub. I’ve noticed it makes it easier.
- The Small Projects: I’ll tackle small projects here and there as needed through the year. Right now it’s our office. It’s looking crazy in there, so I’ll spend a few hours decluttering and organizing soon.
Free House Decluttering Checklist
Snag our free “House decluttering checklist“:
How to Declutter Your Home, One Room at A Time
I find that it’s especially important in the bathroom to go cabinet by cabinet and actually empty everything out of each space. This way, you can clearly see if you have multiples of something and can organize it all in a way that makes better sense. Continue to read.
Getting dressed should not be difficult, amiright?! But trying to simplify my closet so that it all fits and works together is not as easy as it seems. Here are my top tricks to declutter your closet:
Purge The Closet: You saw this coming, right? If you’re going to have a more streamlined and functional closet, some things gots-ta-go.
Ask Yourself the Hard Questions:
Does It Fit? If no, it needs to go. It probably is not flattering and doesn’t make you feel good in it.
Do I Feel Good in It? I had a skirt that was very cute, but every time I put it on, I would end up changing into a new outfit before leaving the house. I just didn’t feel good in it. As cute as that skirt was, I let go of it. I want to feel confident in my clothes.
Continue reading the Minimalist Wardrobe.