When your home is cluttered, it can make you feel unorganized in other parts of your life, too. Decluttering and organizing your home can give you a sense of accomplishment and makes your space more inviting. Add these four useful steps to your home decluttering checklist to find a cleaning solution that’s manageable for you!
- Step 1: Figure Out Why Your Home Is Cluttered
- Step 2: Prepare to Declutter Your Home
- Step 3: Try a Home Decluttering Method
- Step 4: Maintain a Clutter-Free Home
1. Figure Out Why Your Home Is Cluttered
This is an important place to start when thinking about decluttering your home. Whether you struggle to find an effective organization system, your living space is too small, or you have too many items, identifying why you have clutter will help you determine the best decluttering method to achieve an organized home!
You Don’t Have Enough Space
One of the challenges of living in a small space is that it makes clutter more obvious. Perhaps clutter is piling up because you’re buying more items than you have room for at home. Or maybe your home doesn’t have adequate storage solutions. Regardless, it’s time to prioritize home organization!
You Don’t Evaluate What You Have
It’s easy to fall into the habit of buying new things without purging items you no longer need. Clothing is a common problem area for this, but it can apply to other belongings as well. By evaluating what you already have before you buy more, you can start to reduce clutter in your home.
You Don’t Want to Let Go of Items
Holding onto items you don’t use? One of the trickiest issues with clutter is saying goodbye to possessions that have sentimental value or items you don’t want to throw away “just in case” you need them someday. You don’t always have to part ways with belongings close to your heart, but if you’re ready to make the purge, consider getting outside perspective from family and friends to help you make cuts.
You Don’t Have an Organization System
Maybe you know your home is cluttered and you want to get rid of the mess, but you have no idea where to start. Maintaining a clutter-free space requires a home organization process that you can follow each time you tidy up your house. When choosing a home organization system, remember areas that are often neglected like the pantry, closet, or bedroom nightstands.
2. Prepare to Declutter Your Home
Now that you’re aware of the issues that are causing clutter, it’ll be easier to figure out the best decluttering solution for your needs. But before you dive into organization and decluttering methods, take a moment to go through your belongings and create a plan that will help you tackle this home decluttering project!
Accept That You’ll Have to Let Go
Organizing often involves 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. Recognizing the sunk cost fallacy can help remove the thought of past investment from your mind before you make a decision on whether an item stays or goes. Do you have broken items sitting around that haven’t been fixed? Chances are you won’t repair them, so it’s better to let them go. Are there sentimental objects you’re struggling to toss? Keep a few favorites and put them into a keepsake box that you can refer back to.
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. Creating a timeline for your project can help you declutter over the span of a day, weekend, week, or month. If you go in with a plan and commit time to purge, organize, and clean, you can make incredible progress on your decluttering checklist. Have a weekend available? Check out these decluttering tips for planning a weekend purge!
Practice Time Management
One of the hardest parts of decluttering is that it can feel like a big task. But you don’t have to spend a whole weekend—or even a whole day—organizing your home. Set a timer and spend just 15 minutes a day making gradual but significant progress on smaller organizing tasks like kitchen cabinets, closets, or desk drawers. Don’t have 15 minutes to spare? Try these five-minute decluttering projects.
3. Try a Home Decluttering Method
If you don’t already have a go-to home organization system that you use to tidy up at home, use one of these decluttering methods to help you tackle messy spaces efficiently and maintain a clean space going forward.
The One Method is a decluttering strategy that helps you get rid of one item every single day for a period of time. Tailor this strategy to your goals by getting rid of one item, one full box, or one full bag each day to start clearing clutter from your home. This decluttering method is great for building decluttering into your daily routine.
30-Day Minimalism Game
The 30-Day Minimalism Game turns the decluttering process into a game. Start this challenge at the beginning of the month, so the number of things you declutter each day corresponds to the date. You’ll get rid of one item on the first day, two items on the second day, three on the third, and so on. This game often works best when you challenge a friend or family member to see who can keep getting rid of clutter the longest.
With the 12-12-12 Challenge, you go into a cluttered room and find 12 items to throw away, 12 items you can donate, and 12 items that need to be returned to their designated place. This is a great decluttering method for people who struggle tackling big cleaning projects all at once, as the 12-12-12 system allows you to declutter bit by bit, room by room.
The Four-Box Method lets you sort items into four separate boxes: One for things to throw away, one for things to donate or sell, one for things to put into storage, and one for things to keep. This home organization method is good for anyone who needs a clear separation of clutter to see what’s not in the right place, what’s worth keeping, and what should be donated or thrown away.
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 for you!
The KonMari Method is a decluttering strategy developed by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organization consultant who is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and the star of the popular Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. To help you clear clutter in your home, the KonMari method has you imagine your ideal lifestyle and ask yourself if items “spark joy.” This decluttering method is perfect for people who prefer to declutter by category rather than location.
Oprah Winfrey’s Reverse Clothes-Hanger Trick
Oprah Winfrey popularized the Reverse Clothes-Hanger Trick, a decluttering strategy for clothing. This method has you turn all the hangers in your closet in 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 direction. After a while, 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 or organize a closet.
A packing party is a useful decluttering style for anyone looking to live a simpler, more minimalistic lifestyle or for people who are actually moving. is a decluttering method that involves packing up all of your possessions as if you’re moving. As you go about your daily routine, you can gradually unpack items as you use them. By the end of the month or season, you can donate or sell what’s left in the boxes.
4. Maintain a Clutter-Free Home
After you’ve gone through the decluttering process, it’s best to tidy up on a regular basis so your home doesn’t get cluttered again. Below are some decluttering tips that can help you maintain a clean, organized living space long-term!
Put Items into Storage
With a self storage unit or home storage room, 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 that you need to go through one by one (like when you’re using the Box & Banish method), so they don’t take up space in your home.
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 you can focus more on gaining experiences, building personal relationships, and reducing stress in your life. Investing in quality items, instead of overbuying on fast-fashion and other cheaply-made goods, can help you embrace minimalist decluttering.
Evaluate Items Regularly
Maintaining the progress you made will require you to assess what you have from time to time. Whether this is once a month or once a year, make sure you’re evaluating clothing, accessories, books, furniture, home decor, and food in your pantry or freezer. Going through your items regularly and checking if electronics still work can also help to declutter your home. After evaluating items, you can donate any unused household goods, clothing, or shoes.
Designate a Place for Everything
One of the best home decluttering tips you can follow is to make sure every item you own has a place in your home. Designating where things go can help you avoid dumping items on tables, counters, and other surfaces where clutter tends to accumulate. And if everything has a home, you can streamline the process of regularly tidying up. Plus, it can help you think twice about buying new items if you know you don’t have enough space for them! Investing in smart storage solutions like mail organizers, hooks for coats and bags, and bins for toy storage can help give everything a place in your home.
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 it clutter-free, get everyone who lives in your home to participate. This could be as simple as creating a household cleaning schedule or assigning chores to ensure that your home is organized.
Try the 30-Day Rule
When you see something you’d like to buy, wait 30 days. This preventative 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 use it just once or twice? If so, skip the purchase to save money and keep your space free of clutter!
Stick to the “One In, One Out” Rule
To keep your items from piling up, the “One In, One Out” rule allows you to buy something you need in exchange for donating an item you already own. For example, when a new shirt goes into your closet, an old one should come out. This decluttering strategy puts a limit on the number of your possessions and helps ensure you don’t accumulate more than you remove.
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!