Here’s a quick guide for when you’re not sure how to declutter your home.
How many times have you come home to a mess?
Do you always feel embarrassed by all the clutter when you have guests over?
Do you wish you can just rip your place apart and start all over again so your home would look all neat and tidy?
There is a solution for your dilemma…
I know that this may be an overwhelming task – especially if this is your first time and you know you have mountains of junk to deal with.
But with a good amount of discipline and a lot of determination, I can assure you that you will be able to see this task through!
To help you out, here are eleven easy decluttering tips that you can apply when you start decluttering your home.
1. Plan it out.
Do not dive into the act right away – plan it out first!
You may think this is a waste of time but its actually a time saver!
With an organized plan, you can tackle one area or one category at a time without feeling pressured or lost.
Go to the room where you need to declutter. For instance, it’s the kitchen.
Make a list of the items that you think are cluttering your kitchen space – dishes, coffee mugs, bakeware, etc.
Then give yourself time to tackle each category. Which one should you throw out and which ones can be donated or given away? How much do you need to keep?
By creating a simple list of your items, you will be able to declutter with confidence because you have it planned out. It won’t be as overwhelming as when you are just tackling things at random.
To help you start at this, here is a straightforward checklist of 50 things you can declutter today. These are common sense items. No deep thinking required.
2. Think of your lifestyle.
When you declutter, you should keep your lifestyle in mind.
For instance, if you work from home and you want to be more productive, then, you should check your home office or your work desk and get rid of non-work related items.
When you are surrounded only with things that you use to work, you will have a better time concentrating and therefore become more productive.
On the other hand, if you work outside the home, usually having a long day at work, then you probably want to go home to a relaxing environment.
Make sure you have a lot of comfortable pillows in your living room and in your bedroom or give your bathroom a spa-like feel so you can relax in the tub after a long day.
3. Make less or no room at all for maybe’s.
This might be tough for indecisive people, but it helps to have a strict Keep or Discard pile.
The items that have to stay obviously go to the Keep pile while the items that need to go goes to the Discard pile.
Now this is hard especially when you’re a beginner, so I would suggest having a Maybe pile. Put this inside a box – I call this the Undecided Box.
This is for the things that you are reluctant to let go of.
Now you will probably end up having a lot of items in the Undecided Box. This can put you in a dilemma and it only delays your goal to declutter.
So just allow yourself one Undecided Box.
Yup. Just one!
You can choose whether that’s one box per room, or one box for your entire home. Nevertheless, just one box.
When the items start overflowing, don’t get another box! You’ve got to be really ruthless this time and remove some stuff in there until the overflow is gone.
Whenever you need an item from the box, take that out, and give it its own place in the house.
Revisit your box after six months to one year. Anything that is left untouched has to go.
4. Store your seasonal and formal items.
Seasonal and formal stuff are things that we barely use every day.
It could be costumes, decors, formal clothes, winter clothes, etc. Most of them take up a lot of space in our homes.
To make more space, the best thing to do with these items is to store them properly in appropriate containers.
Then you can store them in your garage, attic, or basement. You also have the option to rent out a storage space in your local area if you live in a tiny home or apartment.
But make sure you are storing items that you know you will be using when the right time comes. There’s no point keeping an item that you won’t really be using anymore.
5. Invest in multi-functional tools and items.
A key to keeping things neat and to a minimum is to buy multi-functional tools and products.
For instance, instead of having a lot of remote controls, invest in a universal remote that can control all your appliances, if not most of them.
There are now lots of multi-function products for the kitchen as well, such as a cooking appliance that can knead, whip, and cook your food.
When it comes to cleaning, there’s a lot of multi-functional tools too, like a vacuum cleaner that can double as a steam floor mop.
These are items that seemed to be impossible before but today, there are a lot of these innovations in the market and most of them come at an affordable price.
Now I am not telling you to get rid of all your tools and appliances and go out to buy new ones. Just keep this tip on your next purchase.
With these tools, you will be having less items occupying space in your home. That would also mean, less things to declutter later on, and of course less time needed to declutter, organize and clean.
6. Assign a specific spot for each of your things.
Let’s admit it – our homes look like a mess because we place anything anywhere.
Some of the usual items that get dumped anywhere, and are a nightmare to find after are keys, the remote control, mail, hats, and dog leashes.
Having a designated spot for certain items will help lessen the mess, and minimize the time and effort needed to declutter again.
The best part?
It gets easier for people to find things!
When you know already which items should stay in your home, give them their permanent place, then start organizing.
It helps to get a few containers to help you arrange your stuff in a neat and organized manner.
Put the things you use all the time in plain sight while the items that you seldom use can be stored in hidden locations.
7. Clear out flat surfaces.
Shelves, countertops, and other flat surfaces are like the dumping grounds of anything that does not have a designated space. They can be real clutter magnets!
To solve this, make it a goal to regularly declutter these surfaces. And do some tricks to prevent clutter from piling up again.
For example, you can place a pretty indoor plant on top of your shelves and tables to discourage anyone placing just about anything on it.
Then when you need to put some things on a flat surface, make sure these are items that you use all the time so that the space is not wasted.
8. Digitize your paperworks.
Paperwork clutter is real, but it is often overlooked.
Is your wallet or purse stuffed with receipts? Do you find mail in the living room and in the kitchen?
All the receipts that we gather for our taxes, bills, letters – they all occupy a lot of space. When you are not the type who finds the time to organize your paperwork, it could end up as a chaotic mess on your desk.
To declutter your paperworks, it helps to digitize the important papers that you need to hold on to. For instance, you can scan your receipts or take a picture of them with your phone. That way, you just keep the files in your computer.
For important documents such as birth certificates, contracts and deeds, store them in envelopes or folders and keep them in a safe place.
9. Don’t rush it!
Decluttering and organizing your home will not happen in just one day unless you live in a really small space or you are just aiming to declutter a single room.
It is important to take your time. Getting rid of stuff is not as easy as it looks – otherwise, everyone would have no problem decluttering.
Start from one space to the next, or from one item to the next. Make a schedule. In fact, you can declutter in just 15 minutes everyday, focusing on one item or one area at a time.
Taking your time will mean less stress and you will get to appreciate your effort and progress more.
Plus, it gets to build the decluttering habit in you. When decluttering has already become your habit, it won’t be as hard as when you started.
And you will be mindful whenever clutter is starting to pile up again.
10. Label everything.
If you want your decluttering efforts to last, it helps to label everything – especially if you are not living alone.
A label maker is your best friend when you declutter and organize your home. This way, your family or housemates will also be able to find things easily and know where to return an item after using.
11. Ask God to help you declutter.
You will not find this tip in almost every decluttering blog out there. You’d probably say it’s not needed, or not that important.
Yet, you can’t deny – we always need help from God. It’s just us who think we don’t.
Perhaps this is why it takes extra hard for you to declutter. You’re not asking for help from above.
We are so used to asking God for help only when the situation turns to desperate and we feel like we’re in a worst case scenario.
Why wait for things to be so extra hard when help can be readily available if you ask for it?
If you haven’t been thinking about God in your decluttering challenges, then it’s about time.
After all, all that you have – all that stuff – all of that are God’s blessings! Might as well ask Him to help you on how to declutter and take charge of it all.
With these tips in mind, I have no doubt that you will be able to declutter your home more easily.
Believe me, you will barely think about the items in your Discard Pile or Undecided Box once you see the results of your decluttering efforts – a cleaner and a more organized living space.
After you declutter, you will be able to be more efficient at home, feel less stressed, and have a healthier overall well-being.
Remember, decluttering is the key to maintaining a tidy and organized space. It does not only give you a cleaner environment but it also gives you a chance to be the best version of yourself!
More importantly, you are not the only one who can benefit from a clutter-free home. It’s your entire family!
Declutter with fun and make it an enjoyable learning experience!
Hi Em! Thank you for your post.
I think decluttering is a concept that came way too late. Now everyone has to get rid of stuff they’ve been keeping for years or even decades!