When your home is cluttered, it doesn’t just feel like your living space is unorganized and messy. It also feels like your life is unorganized and messy! In this home decluttering guide, we share useful ideas for cleaning and organizing your home to help you find a decluttering solution that’s manageable for your life!
- Step 1: Figure Out What’s Causing Clutter at Home
- Step 2: Prep for Your Home Decluttering Project
- Step 3: Choose a Home Organization Method to Get Rid of Clutter
- Step 4: Tidy Up Regularly to Maintain a Clutter-Free Space
Why Is Your Home Cluttered?
This is an important place to start when thinking about decluttering your home. Whether your struggle is that you don’t have an effective organization system, your living space is too small, or a combination of reasons, identifying why you have clutter will help you determine the best methods for effectively organizing a clutter-free home!
You Don’t Have Enough Space
One of the unfortunate things about living in a small space is that it makes clutter more obvious. Maybe it’s because you’re buying more items than you have room for at home. Or maybe it’s because your home doesn’t have storage space where you can hide messes. Regardless, it’s time to clean house!
You Don’t Evaluate What You Have
It’s easy to fall into a habit of buying new things without purging items we no longer need. Clothing in particular is an area where this is a common issue, but it can apply to all belongings as well. Not evaluating what you already have before you buy more can lead to more clutter in your home.
You Don’t Want to Let Go of Items
Are you holding onto items you don’t use but that have sentimental value? This is one of the trickiest issues with clutter. Whether it’s because a possession sparks a memory or because you don’t want to throw it away “just in case” you need it someday, this is something you’ll have to face with decluttering.
You Don’t Have an Organization System
Sometimes, you know your home is cluttered, and you want to get rid of that mess, but you have no idea where to start because you don’t have a system in place. Getting clutter-free and maintaining a clean home requires an organization process that you can follow each time you tidy up your home.
Preparing to Declutter Your Home
Now that you’re aware of the issues that are causing clutter, it’ll be easier to figure out the decluttering solution for your needs. But before you dive into organization methods, take a moment to go through your things and create plan that will help you tackle this home declutter project!
Accept That You’ll Have to Let Go
Often, organizing includes getting rid of things, which can be tough for many people. Not everything has to go, but you do need to be honest about which items you actually need in your life. Are you clinging to “someday” clothing that doesn’t fit or books you haven’t read? It might be time to break up with your belongings. Do you have broken items sitting around that haven’t been fixed? Chances are you won’t fix them, so it’s better to get rid of them. Are there sentimental objects you’re struggling to toss? Keep a few favorites, and put them into a keepsake box.
Get It on the Calendar
It’s easy to delay a home declutter project when you’re busy, which is why it’s a good idea to schedule time for cleaning and organizing in advance so you won’t have an excuse to put it off. If you go in with a plan and commit a significant amount of time to purging, organizing, and cleaning, you can make incredible progress. Have a weekend available? Check out these tips for planning a weekend purge!
Practice Time Management
One of the hardest parts of decluttering is that it feels like such a massive task. But you don’t have to spend a whole weekend—or even a whole day—organizing your home. Professional organizers like FlyLady recommend setting a timer and spending just 15 minutes a day to make gradual but significant progress on smaller organizing tasks like kitchen cabinets or desk drawers. Don’t have 15 minutes to spare? Try these five-minute decluttering projects.
Decluttering Methods You Should Try
If you don’t have a go-to organization system that you use to tidy up at home, one of the following methods can help you tackle clutter in a more efficient way and maintain a clean home going forward.
With the 12-12-12 Challenge method, you go into a cluttered room and find 12 items to throw away, 12 items that you can donate, and 12 items that need to be returned to their designated place. This is a great home organizing method for those who struggle to tackle big cleaning projects all at once, as the 12-12-12 system allows you to tackle clutter bit by bit, room by room.
Box & Banish
Box & Banish is a two-step process that starts with you putting everything in boxes and moving them out of your living space, then going through one box at a time to evaluate clutter. If the visual results of seeing a clean, clutter-free living space will help motivate you to get rid of items you don’t need, then this system is ideal. But if you’re someone who will struggle to follow through on the second step, then this system isn’t recommended.
As its name suggests, the Four-Box Method helps you declutter by having you sort items into four separate boxes: one for things to trash, one for things to donate or sell, one for things to relocate (i.e., storage), and one for things to keep. This home organization method is good for anyone who needs clear separation of clutter to see what’s not in the right place, what’s worth keeping, and what should be given or thrown away.
The KonMari method is a decluttering strategy developed by Marie Kondo, Japanese tidying consultant and star of the popular Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. KonMari helps you clear clutter in your home by having you imagine your ideal lifestyle and ask yourself if items “spark joy.” This organization method is perfect for people struggling to declutter by location, as KonMari has you organize items by category instead.
Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment
Oprah Winfrey learned how to declutter clothing using the Closet Hanger Experiment. The method has you turn all hangers in your closet the reverse direction for six months. Each time you wear an item of clothing, return it to your closet with the hanger facing the normal way. After six months, you’ll see which pieces you wear frequently and which ones you don’t. This decluttering system is great for anyone who needs to pare down a wardrobe.
Tips for Maintaining a Clutter-Free Home
After you’ve gone through the decluttering process, tidy up on a regular basis to ensure your home doesn’t get cluttered again. Below are some tips that can help you maintain a clean, organized living space long term!
Embrace a Minimalist Lifestyle
A great way to downsize your belongings is to live a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism encourages you to avoid excess possessions and design a clutter-free living space so that you can focus more on gaining experiences, building personal relationships, and living a stress-free life.
Evaluate Items Regularly
Maintaining the progress you’ve made will require you to evaluate what you have from time to time. Whether this is once a month or once a year, clothing, accessories, books, furniture, home decor, and even food in your pantry or refrigerator should be gone through on an ongoing basis.
Designate a Place for Everything
One of the best home decluttering tips you can follow is to make sure every item you buy or own has a place in your home. Not only does this serve as a good reminder to put everything back where it belongs while tidying up, but it can also help you think twice about buying new items if you know you don’t have enough space to add more.
Get Your Roommates or Family Involved
Maintaining an organized home is difficult if those living with you aren’t on board. As part of your efforts to declutter your home and keep up clutter-free living, get everyone who lives in your home to participate. It could be as simple as creating a household cleaning schedule and assigning chores.
Try the 30-Day Rule
When you see something you’d like to buy, wait 30 days. This decluttering strategy helps you resist the urge to impulse buy. If you see something you really want, take some time to think about how it will serve you and your home. Do you have something like the item already? Will you only use it once? If so, skip the purchase and keep your space free of clutter!
Rent a Storage Unit
One easy way to ensure your home stays clean and organized is to move items to self storage. With a storage unit, you can keep seasonal items like holiday decorations, winter or summer clothes, and lawn equipment out of the way when you don’t need them. You can even store boxes of clutter (i.e., if you’re using the Box & Banish method) that you need to go through one by one so they don’t take up space somewhere else in your home.
Using these decluttering tips will help keep your home organized for years to come. Looking for even more decluttering ideas? Check out our tips for decluttering your storage room for more inspiration!
Need a secure place to store items while you’re decluttering? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facilities located throughout the nation. Find a storage unit near you!