5 Easy Steps to Declutter Your Home Now
If you're new to decluttering, in the middle of decluttering (and feeling a little overwhelmed), or just wanting a bit of a tune-up, it's always a good idea to get back to basics.
1. Remember why.
There's a reason you decided that you want to live with less. It's different for everyone – what is it for you?
- Some people want more space, time, freedom, or money.
- Others are looking for less stress and frustration.
- Maybe you want room to entertain, paint, do yoga, let your kids play – or simply to rest.
Knowing why gives your decluttering a purpose, and keeps you going when the job seems overwhelming. If you aren't sure about your reasons, this and this will help.
2. Be clear about your goal.
Remember that this isn't a mission to organize your stuff. If organizing worked, you'd be organized by now. Change your focus from getting tidy to getting rid of the stuff you don't need, want, or love. If you can't identify the value something adds to your life, let it go.
3. Start with what's easy.
For now, don't worry about the sentimental items, the ones with all the memories attached. Start with the easy stuff, like warped storage containers with no lids, kitchen gadgets that only do one thing, and gifts you received from people who don't know you very well. Get rid of stuff in your junk drawers, out-of-date paperwork, and cords and chargers that don't work or belong to anything. Remove the big box store knickknacks, the broken toys, and the dollar store finds. Weed out the books you don't read, blankets you don't use, and that uncomfortable chair in the corner that you've never really liked.
Getting rid of the easy stuff gives you more room and clarity right away, and also provides momentum and inspiration to consider the more challenging items.
4. Set some boundaries.
Now's the time to remove all of the duplicates and the "just in case" items. Figure out how many cooking spoons, water bottles, baking tins, pots and pans, and place settings you really need and get rid of the rest. If you've been collecting place mats, tablecloths, napkin rings, candle holders or anything else for years, keep what you use and give the rest away. Set some limits on what you keep, such as two sets of sheets per bed or two mugs for every coffee/tea/hot chocolate drinker in your household. When you're struggling, read this.
5. Enjoy the results.
Yes, there's more that could be done. But first, it's time to celebrate what you've accomplished. If you decluttered your kitchen, host a small dinner party. If you decluttered your kids' play area, use the space to help them build a blanket fort and play in it for a while. If your idea of celebrating is playing some music and dancing in your newly decluttered living room, or grabbing a good book and relaxing in your clutter-free bedroom, do that. This is the result you were working for, so enjoy it!
If you're feeling overwhelmed as you contemplate decluttering, remember that your home is for you, it's not just a container for your stuff. It's meant to be your place of shelter, rest, connection, and happiness. I can't think of a better reason to declutter than to make more room for all of that.
The Minimalist Challenge,* contains ideas for 36 mini- and not-so-mini activities to help you find out what's hard, what's easier, what works or doesn't work for you, and what you might like to make permanent in six life areas:
- physical clutter
- digital clutter
- your mindset
- your schedule
- your finances
- your personal well-being
Big changes comes from tiny steps taken over and over. One or more of these challenges is sure to make a positive difference in your life!
* This blog is reader-supported. If you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission.
Updated June 2023