Learn how to declutter your home like a pro in 2022.
If you're looking for a step-by-step guide on how to declutter your home, as well as the best decluttering tips from the owner of a national cleaning company, keep reading.
Our world has become a consumer society. In our connected world, you have millions of items available to purchase at any one time.
The world of consumerism is a world built on emotion and instant gratification.
Unfortunately, this world has left us with cluttered homes and living spaces that leave us feeling overwhelmed, rather than the peaceful sanctuary that they are intended to be.
If you feel you have too much stuff and it is time to start decluttering some of it, this article will help you get started.
Keep reading to find decluttering tips you can use to declutter your home with ease.
Chapter 1: Decluttering Basics
Before we delve into the process of decluttering and some of the challenges you may face, let's explore what decluttering means and how to begin.
What Is Decluttering?
By its simplest definition, decluttering means simply reducing the number of items in your home or office.
For this article, we are going to concentrate on decluttering your home, but many of the same principles will apply to your office or any other space.
The biggest question you might have is when you can consider your space decluttered. In other words, when can you call the job complete and stop decluttering?
The answer to this is that there are many different views on how much stuff one should have. They range from the complete minimalist who only keeps the bare necessities to those who feel they want a little more artwork or personal items around their space.
How far you go is really up to you and what makes you feel comfortable. The bottom line Is that your space must make you feel happy and relaxed when you spend time in it.
Why Is Decluttering Good for You?
Decluttering can have a tremendous impact on our mental health.
A space that is dirty and cannot be cleaned properly overwhelms us and makes us feel like there is too much to be done and not enough time in the day.
Clutter can be a source of anxiety, and this can be especially detrimental to those who already tend to feel this way.
Clutter affects every part of our life including our relationships, finances, and our ability to enjoy our free time.
Where To Start Decluttering Your Home?
If you think that it is time to downsize a few of your items, I want to let you know that I have been on this journey and walked this road myself. You look at all the stuff in your home, and you simply do not know where to begin.
Many people are tempted to start their decluttering journey in the area that bugs them the most, but that is not necessarily the best place to start.
It is easy to want to start with that storage room where you can barely open the door, but this is not necessarily the best strategy.
A good place to start is something like removing the piles from your dining room table so you can enjoy a meal together with your family.
You could also start with the bathroom vanity so it looks fresh and clean when you get ready for work.
The first area you clutter is not about winning the war, but it is about getting started one battle at a time.
Once you experience the satisfaction of that one small area, it will serve as inspiration for the rest of the house.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Decluttering
Before you begin, you need to ask yourself a few questions to help you know where to start and what your goals are for the project.
Knowing what you want to accomplish and why is an important step in motivation and keeping you on track to see it through to the end.
Here are a few things you might want to ask yourself before you begin.
You might want to try starting a journal about your decluttering journey, and start by asking these questions.
- How do you think a decluttered home will make you feel?
- How will a decluttered home make your life easier?
- How far do you want to go with decluttering?
- What is your plan for keeping your home clutter-free in the future?
- What systems do you need to put into place to accomplish the task and to keep up with it later?
|Questions To Ask Yourself||Best Answer|
|How will a decluttered home make you feel?||Good|
|How will a decluttered home make life easier?||You'll enjoy a clean & organized home|
|How far do you want to go with decluttering?||Far enough to live in a clean home|
|How will you keep your home clutter-free?||Cleaning/organizing weekly|
|What systems do you need to put into place?||Weekly and monthly cleaning|
How Does Decluttering Improve Your Life?
Here are some personal improvements that I found in my life when I decluttered my home and learned to keep it that way.
- More relaxed overall
- Enjoyed time at home more
- More productive when working from home
- Made appointments and gatherings on time
- Had more time to enjoy family and friends
- Found more time to enjoy hobbies and interests
Why Is Decluttering So Hard?
Decluttering is hard for many reasons. Sometimes, it is a result of unconscious habits, such as impulse buys.
If you grew up in a cluttered home, this is the way your mind expects your home to be, and it is an unconscious habit.
Sometimes, there are deep-seated mental health issues behind the cluttering, but this is not always the case.
The clutter can be a result of the inability to say no, such as when someone asks to store their things in your space, or when you inherit additional furniture or items from a relative.
Clutter can be a result of a failure to control impulses or an emotional reaction to the stresses in life.
Many reasons exist for clutter, and you need to get down to what drives you to continue accumulating things or being unable to get rid of them.
This may take some deep soul-searching, and you might want to consider getting help from a professional to get to the root of the problem if you are serious about tackling it once and for all.
Decluttering is hard because it is not about the physical objects, but it is about the emotions that are attached to them that are the true challenge.
Throwing out the physical objects is the easy part, but being willing to part with them and start a new way of life is the greatest challenge you will face.
How To Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter
Sentimental clutter can be the most challenging part of the process. Whether it is a piece of clothing from a loved one who has passed or your child’s Kindergarten drawings, these Items can be difficult to part with.
The reason why they are so difficult to part with is because of the memories and emotions attached to them.
It is almost as if we are afraid that without the object, the memory will fade.
This can take some deep emotional work. The thing that you have to realize is that your memories will remain even without the item.
You will not forget about those special times without the object, as much as you might be afraid that you will. For some items, it may be possible to repurpose them or take a photo of them and place them in an album.
You can keep a picture of the item that you can look back on without the physical item taking up the space.
Sentimental clutter holds us in the past and does not allow us to move forward into the future.
The biggest thing to remember is that letting go of the item is not letting go of the person or the memory.
The pleasure and good memories are not in the physical item itself, but in the precious memories and feelings that it evokes.
Once you separate the feelings from the item, then it becomes easier to let the physical item go. If there are some things that you simply cannot think of parting with, you can have a special box or storage space for them.
How To Get Motivated To Declutter
How many times have you gone to bed intending to get started decluttering in the morning? You are serious about it, and tomorrow is going to be the day.
We all know the story. Tomorrow comes and goes, and our house or garage is just as cluttered as it was when we woke up.
The key to motivation of any kind, whether it is decluttering your house or starting a new exercise program, is to understand why you want to do it. You need to understand how it will improve your life and how you will benefit from it.
One of the biggest reasons why people never get started is because the job looks too overwhelming. If you were to pick up that soda can and put it in the trash, it would likely only take you about 5 or 10 seconds.
However, you know that you have been looking at that soda can for the last three or six months, along with all of the other items around it. If this sounds like you, the problem is more likely that you feel overwhelmed.
You might start with a small goal of throwing away 20 items the next time you take out the trash.
You might set the goal of decluttering one shelf in your closet or one drawer in your dresser.
This might not seem like it is making a lot of progress on the bigger issue, but it will feel like a small win, and this will motivate you to continue with the rest.
For so long, you have been locked in a cycle of negative momentum, and the key is to turn it around and start building positive momentum towards the goal.
How Long Does It Take To Declutter a House?
The biggest thing everyone wants to know is, How long does it take to declutter a house? The answer to that depends on many factors.
The first factor is how big the house is and how much stuff is in it. The second factor is how much time you have and the motivation to devote to it.
Motivation comes from the feeling of accomplishment that you get when you start seeing that space that was unusable transformed into a craft room or a playroom for your children.
I was surprised how little time decluttering took when I got started, and you probably will be, too.
Chapter 2: How to Declutter a House & Get Rid of Clutter
Now you understand some basic principles about cluttering and how to get started. In this chapter, we will get a little bit more into the process and how it works.
First: How NOT To Declutter
The video below will show you decluttering mistakes to avoid:
Decluttering checklist: How to start decluttering your home
Here is a checklist of the things you will need when decluttering.
- A journal with your decluttering reason and benefits
- Boxes for keep, donate, and discard
- Trash bags
- Cleaning supplies
- A plan for which areas to tackle first
How To Decide What To Keep When Decluttering
How to decide what to keep when you are decluttering is one of the biggest questions people have. You do not have to become a strict minimalist to enjoy the benefits of an organized home.
How much you decide to keep and how you like your home to look is a matter of personal preference.
It is all about what makes you happy and not about sticking to someone else’s idea about how you should live your life.
What started as a journey to live a more organized life ended up being a journey to minimalism for me.
This might not be the case for you, but I found living a decluttered, minimalist life to be the key to enjoying other interests and hobbies.
You might not want to take it that far, but you might find that you enjoy it much more than you thought you would in the beginning. There is nothing more satisfying than walking into a clean and organized home without looking at your home as a place of anxiety and stress.
How To Declutter Your House in One Day: Best & Fastest Ways To Declutter
This might sound like a clickbait title, and you might be thinking that this is unrealistic, but hear me out.
You might not be able to accomplish the entire task in one day, but you can make a tremendous amount of progress, and this can motivate you to keep going.
One of the keys to setting a goal is to give yourself a deadline and make it time-bound.
If you set a specific time to do a certain task, it is more likely that you will do it than if you have something ambiguous like next month, next week, or someday.
You are more likely to be able to accomplish decluttering if you say that someday it will be Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
You can make an entire day of it and schedule two or three four-hour sessions with appropriate breaks in between.
This is a highly motivating technique because you know that it has an end. I tend to call this the “blitz” technique, I found that it works as an effective way to motivate you and get you started.
The idea is to work as efficiently and quickly as possible on the day that you said.
Set yourself up for success by having a plan and all of the supplies you need.
Enlisting the help of family and friends can make the job go faster and make it a little easier. Don't forget to take breaks, and pace yourself so that you do not burn out and quit.
Be cluttering using this method uses many of the same techniques that you use when doing it a little bit at a time over a longer period. It is just that you compress the tasks into a shorter time.
How To Declutter Like a Minimalist
Perhaps, you have been enticed to begin your journey by the beautiful minimalist homes featured on blogs and interior design magazines. Maybe you have decided that this is the look you would like for your own space.
You can start with decluttering your home and achieving a minimalist style, but you can also apply minimalism to things like the food you eat, your finances, and your time management.
Minimalism can go beyond having a clean home, and you can choose how far you want to go and what you want to incorporate in the end.
If you decide to go all-in and achieve the minimalist aesthetic, one of the most common principles is to only keep items that make you happy and create a good feeling inside.
Of course, there are some things that you need, like your printer or office supplies, but when it comes to things you do not need daily that are just for aesthetics or that evoke a certain memory, a true Minimalist will only keep what makes them happy and get rid of everything else.
Daily Decluttering Tips & Ideas
Whether you are just beginning your decluttering journey, or you have an organized home and want to keep it that way, the key is in routines.
Daily routines help you make sure that you will stay on track and keep making progress and that it will never be cluttered again.
Before you begin the decluttering journey, it is a good idea to make a list of things you feel you need to do daily, weekly, and monthly.
One mistake that I, and many others, made in the beginning is that they piled up too many things on a daily or weekly basis.
For instance, it is easy to start with a lofty goal of dusting your high bookshelf or the items on top of your cupboards once a week, but when you have too many items like this on your list, you end up getting overwhelmed, and they do not get completed.
This puts you right back to square one with feeling overwhelmed and giving up.
In the beginning, you might think that you want to dust everything once a week, but in reality, it will make you perfectly happy if it is only dusted once a month.
The rule that I like to apply when creating my daily, weekly, and monthly lists is the principle of progress, not perfection.
When deciding what to include on your daily list, perhaps you have this unrealistic idea of how often tasks should be done, but before you began the decluttering process, these items might not have been done at all.
It is unrealistic to think that you will clean your storage room once a week if you had not cleaned it out for the last 20 years before that.
At any time during the process, if you find that you are not keeping up with the list and time frame, it is not a sign of failure. What it means is that you need to reduce the frequency of how often things need done or reevaluate your list and drop some things from it.
Here are a few ideas of some things that you might want to include on your daily list. The key to the daily cleaning list is that the items should be quick and only take a few minutes to complete at most.
- Do the dishes
- Make your bed
- Pick up the laundry and take it to the laundry room
- Clean off the counters
- Spend 10 minutes putting things away
- Sweep the kitchen floor
Weekly Decluttering Tips & Ideas
The key to the weekly cleaning list is that you should not include too many items, and you should try to keep it to things that only take you about five to 15 minutes to complete.
This list should also be prioritized according to what is the most important.
For instance, it is probably more important to clean your stove or clean your office space than it is to clean out the garage or that shed you hardly go into.
Once again, the key is to keep it realistic, considering the other obligations and things that you have to do in your life.
- File all papers
- Take out the trash
- Dust, mop, and vacuum
- Declutter one small area
- Mow the lawn, or other yard chores
- Do the laundry
- Throw away paper clutter
Monthly Decluttering Tips & Ideas
The monthly cleaning list can be items that take a little longer or are less important. Every year, I make a list of what I want to accomplish every month.
I try to limit it to only two or three items on this monthly list for any given month.
Another thing that I do is to break big tasks into smaller items.
For instance, instead of saying that I want to clean the baseboards in the entire house, I might have an item that includes only cleaning the baseboards in the living room, art studio, and master bedroom.
Other rooms would be separate items and get done on different months or as a different item on the same list.
Another thing to think about when creating the monthly list is that you might need to do certain items in some areas of the house more frequently.
For instance, you might want to dust the items in the main living room once a week, but you might not need to dust items in the hardly-used guest bedroom more than once a month.
These are a few examples of how you can use the monthly list to organize items that do not need to be done as frequently.
Here are a few examples of some of the things I include on my monthly list.
- Clean infrequently used areas
- Clean out the gutters
- Wash the baseboards
- Deep clean the bathroom tiles
- Clean out one closet
How To Declutter with a Family
Decluttering with a family can be challenging, especially if not all of the family members are on board. Remember that clutter is an emotional issue, and habits are hard to change.
Other family members might have their own emotional reasons for their packrat ways, or maybe it is that they have never known anything different.
When you begin your decluttering journey, it is a good idea to talk to the other family members about what you hope to accomplish and the benefits that you hope to achieve, because they will benefit too.
Getting your family on board is the best approach, but there may be some times when you need to set boundaries if you are the parent.
In some cases, these differences cannot be resolved, and the answer might be to give the person their own space that they can keep the way they want as long as it does not interfere or migrate into other parts of the home.
One thing to keep in mind when dealing with family members is that positive reinforcement works much better than chastising or creating a negative environment.
Your goal should be to make the process as enjoyable and rewarding as possible for all family members.
How To Declutter with Anxiety
Anxiety and clutter go hand in hand. Anxiety is a source of clutter, and clutter is a source of anxiety, which creates a self-feeding cycle.
For those who have anxiety issues, beginning the decluttering process can be one of the greatest challenges to overcome. The best advice for beginning the decluttering process if you have anxiety is to start small and take it in small increments.
For instance, you might not want to tackle that garage that has not been cleaned out for 10 years as the first task.
Start with the space in your home that will make the greatest impact in making you feel less stressed first.
The biggest key to tackling decluttering with anxiety is to break it down into the smallest task possible. If you have a small surface, like the nightstand beside your bed, this might be a good first place to start.
Another thing to do is to set a timer and only work for five or 10 minutes at a time. Do not overwhelm yourself and try to do too much at once.
The biggest thing with anxiety is that you must reward yourself for small accomplishments. This is a case where having a good therapist can be a valuable resource.
How To Declutter with a Baby
We all know that having a baby takes up a large amount of your time. The best piece of advice for decluttering when you have a baby is to do it in small increments, working in maybe 5 or 10-minute sessions while the baby is asleep.
When you have a baby, the most important thing is to prioritize your self-care. There will be plenty of time for decluttering as the baby gets older.
How To Declutter with OCD
Did you know that OCD's worldwide prevalence is between 1% and 2% in 2022?
If you have OCD, it can be a challenge to the decluttering process. Decluttering is a process of progress and not perfection.
For those with OCD, this can be easier said than done. Once again, the key to success is to set realistic expectations.
If you could not see your bathroom vanity before you began your decluttering process, you must tell yourself that it is enough just to remove the items. You do not need to get a toothbrush and clean every nook and cranny.
Once again, the secret is to reward yourself for what you did accomplish, rather than to chastise yourself for what you did not.
Once the surfaces are decluttered, then it is easier to go back in and deep clean them in a way only someone with OCD can understand.
How To Declutter with ADHD
Have you ever begun decluttering and discovered that craft project that was left undone or that book that you haven't read yet? Instead of continuing the decluttering process and setting it aside, you open the first page and begin reading.
Maybe you started decluttering one room or area and then before you finished saw something else that needed done and moved to that task instead.
The result is that you end up with a long list of unfinished decluttering tasks and no feeling of accomplishment.
This is the challenge ADHD declutterers face.
One tip is to make lists of small items that you want to get done. Keep the list short and include no more than three items at a time.
Another technique is to set a timer for five or 10 minutes and commit to sticking to only one task until the timer is up. It might take you longer to declutter using this technique, but it is better than not finishing it at all.
How To Declutter When Spouse Is a Hoarder
New hoarding statistics show that around 2% – 6% of the global population suffers from hoarding disorder?
Decluttering when your spouse is a hoarder is an entirely different challenge in itself. Hoarding is a specific mental illness that can be linked to trauma or loss.
The problems go much deeper than your spouse’s inability to throw things away. Confronting them is likely to either make them disconnect from you or make the problem worse.
If you or your spouse suffer from hoarding syndrome, it is important to enlist the help of a mental health professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. This is not something that you or your spouse can tackle on your own.
Decluttering and Cleaning
It is tempting to begin deep cleaning an area as soon as you get the clutter removed, but don't fall into this trap. You cannot clean clutter.
If it is clutter, then the only answer is to get rid of it and then clean the beautiful space that is left behind.
Decluttering should be the first step in the cleaning process.
This applies whether you are tackling a big decluttering job that has not been done in years, or when you are doing regular weekly maintenance. One idea is to set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and quickly go around and declutter as many items as possible.
Once the area has been decluttered, then you can get out your cleaning products and give them a good shine.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by too many items to clean, then it is a good time to ask yourself if you need those items in your life or not.
Chapter 3: Decluttering Tips for Bedroom
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary and a place where you feel comfortable and able to rest.
Psychologists agree that a cluttered bedroom affects our sleep quality, and this affects the rest of our life and health.
How To Declutter Your Bedroom
When it comes to decluttering bedrooms, there will be certain items that are higher priority than others.
For instance, picking up the clothes from the corner and taking them to the laundry should be done more frequently than cleaning out the back of the closet.
Your bedroom should be an item that you place on your daily, weekly, and monthly list. Here are a few tips for cleaning specific items in your bedroom.
How To Declutter Under the Bed
Cleaning under the bed makes the space feel larger and more open. In a small apartment, under the bed storage can be a solution for creating more space, but only if it is kept organized.
One of the best tips for cleaning under the bed is getting under-bed storage containers so that it does not become a jumbled pile of stuff.
There are plenty of solutions out there, and this is the best way to keep the area under your bed clean and to be able to find the items when you need them.
How To Declutter Your Closet
The best way to declutter your closet is to remove everything from it so that you can see what you have.
The decluttering stage should be done outside of the closet, and only the things you truly need should be put back.
Another tip for decluttering your closet is to invest in a closet organizing system that is designed for the things you need. A clean and organized closet makes getting ready to go out much easier.
How To Declutter Your Wardrobe
There are certain philosophies in the world of minimalism that say you should only have a certain number of items in your entire home or your wardrobe. The truth is that what works for some might not work for others.
The most important thing is to evaluate your needs. For instance, do you need 30 pairs of shoes and 30 sweaters?
If your wardrobe is so cluttered that it takes you 20 or 30 minutes to find a matching outfit, then it's a good sign that you have too much.
It is time to take a good look at your lifestyle and make a list of what you think you need in a journal.
How To Declutter Clothes
A good rule for decluttering clothes is that if an entire season has passed and you did not wear it this year, then you probably need to get rid of it.
For many of us, this “waste not want not” attitude is leftover from our grandparents and great grandparents who grew up during the Great Depression.
Back then, there was a scarcity of money and other resources.
Now, clothing items are so plentiful and cheap that there is little need to hang on to something that has seen better days.
The best advice when decluttering clothes is to stay in the present. You can always buy more later, but if you don't need it now, then you might find it is causing you more anxiety than you realize.
How Often Should I Declutter a Bedroom?
The best advice on how often you should declutter a bedroom is that you should make sure it is an inviting and restful environment every night when you return to it. People like to stay in a hotel because they are clean and clutter-free.
There is no reason why your bedroom should not feel like a hotel or spa every night.
You might want to declutter your closets and clothing seasonally, but decluttering the rest of it should be done daily.
Chapter 4: Decluttering Tips for Kitchen
We are a gadget-happy society, and our kitchens become collection points for our obsessions. We are bombarded with advertisements for the newest and latest gadget to make our life easier.
The truth is that we collect so many gadgets that we hardly ever use that our kitchens can become quite dysfunctional. This is an important part of the home, and it should be a priority when it comes to decluttering.
How To Declutter Your Kitchen
One of the most common reasons for a cluttered kitchen is that lifestyles have changed, sometimes without us realizing it.
Perhaps you once had a big family and needed those big roasters and oversized baking pans.
Another reason why kitchens become cluttered is that people change their lifestyles.
Perhaps you have moved from the complex types of meals you used to cook to ones that only use a skillet and perhaps a cooking pot or juicer.
When decluttering the kitchen, you need to take a look at your lifestyle now and not what it used to be.
One technique to find out what should stay and what should go is to get a box and every time you use something, put it in the box.
If you go for a week or a month and do not use an item, you have to ask yourself if you need it.
Another tip is to store items that you only use once or twice a year out of the main part of the kitchen, such as in a shed or garage where you can get them out when you need them and then put them back, but they are not cluttered throughout the rest of the year.
How To Declutter Kitchen Counters
Are your counters so cluttered that you can no longer prepare meals without stress or moving items over?
If this is you, then you need to first ask yourself whether you need all of those items in the first place.
How often do you use those items?
If there are items you still decide you need, then perhaps they could be better stored underneath the counter or elsewhere.
A good rule of thumb is to only keep stuff on your counter that you use daily.
Everything else should be put away underneath the cupboard or somewhere else.
How To Declutter Kitchen Cupboards
Decluttering kitchen cupboards can be a little bit like an archaeology project. You will probably discover that you have things you have been looking for and could not find.
The best way to declutter a cupboard is to remove everything first and set it on a table or the counter.
That way, you can evaluate the items holistically and see them differently.
Then, you only put back the things you need. Getting organizers that are tailored to your needs can help keep your cupboards organized in the future.
How To Declutter Kitchen Drawers
The same rules apply to decluttering kitchen drawers that apply to kitchen cupboards. First, take everything out, get proper organizers, and only put back what you need.
How To Declutter Kitchen Appliances
All small kitchen appliances were bought with good intentions. One of the biggest reasons why small appliances accumulate is that you spent too much money on them, and you feel guilty about throwing them out.
Small appliances can be little reminders of New Year's resolutions that never came to fruition. They are that juicing machine that sits in the corner collecting dust or that grilled cheese maker that you used to use before you went gluten-free.
You get the picture and deciding to declutter your small appliances is much like decluttering your wardrobe. The rule of thumb should be that if you have changed your lifestyle and have not used it in a year, then it should probably not be taking up space.
How To Declutter Under the Kitchen Sink
The kitchen sink tends to be a collection point for anything that doesn't have a place in the kitchen. How many bottles of the same cleaning products do you need?
If you haven't looked under your kitchen sink in a while, then it is time to roll up your sleeves and drag everything out.
If there are things that have gone bad or that you no longer use, then you have to ask yourself why you are allowing them to take up space in your home.
How Often Should I Declutter a Kitchen?
Counters and work surfaces should be cleaned daily. Drawers, cupboards, and under the sink are good items to put on your monthly cleaning list.
Chapter 5: Decluttering Tips for Living Room
It is easy for living rooms to become collection points for anything and everything. Items tend to make their way into the living room and then become abandoned.
These abandoned items seem to multiply on their own, and before long, you can no longer find a place to sit your cup of tea. It also makes it easier for the remote to become buried underneath the pile.
How To Declutter the Living Room
The best way to declutter the living room is to realign yourself with what the purpose of the room is supposed to be.
For instance, if it is a place where you watch television and do hobbies, then the pair of shoes beside the couch should probably be moved somewhere else.
The best tip for decluttering a living room is to decide what you imagine the space to be and remove anything that does not fit.
Reevaluate every item, and decide if it really belongs in the living room or if it would best be kept elsewhere in the home.
What Should Be Kept in the Living Room?
What should be kept in the living room depends on what you like to do there. Think about the activities that you do in the living room, or that you would do in the living room if it were not so cluttered.
Do you want to use the space for gathering friends and entertaining? Is it a space where you want to do needlework or practice your guitar?
When it comes to deciding what should be in your living room, you need to evaluate your lifestyle and what you envision the space to be.
How Often Should I Declutter a Living Room?
The best way to enjoy your living room is to declutter it at the end of each day. If items have wandered in that no longer belong there, then it is easier to return them every day than to let them build up and become a mess again.
Chapter 6: Decluttering Tips for Bathroom
The bathroom should be a space for enjoying a relaxing tub or one that makes getting ready for work and other places you need to go easier. Many bathrooms are small, and too much clutter makes them dysfunctional.
What Should You Not Store in the Bathroom?
The same principle stands for the bathroom that stands for other areas of the home. If it is not involved in the activities that go on in the bathroom, then it does not need to be there.
How Do You Declutter a Messy Bathroom?
Let's get real. One of the biggest sources of clutter in the bathroom is collections of things.
How many bottles of fingernail polish, the same makeup, or body lotions do you have in your bathroom?
Do you have some of these items that have been there for more than a year and never opened?
These are harsh realities, but if you want a decluttered home, sometimes, you have to ask yourself the hard questions. If this sounds like you, then it is time to cull the herd.
How Do I Declutter My Bathroom Sink?
The key to decluttering your bathroom sink is having a space for everything, but this space cannot be on top of the bathroom sink.
The question you have to ask yourself is that if you cannot fit it in a drawer or have a container for it, do you need it?
This is an area where it comes down to what is more important to you.
You have to ask yourself whether the item is more important or whether having a sparkling clean bathroom is what you want to achieve.
Should I Leave My Towel in the Bathroom?
If the real question is, Should you leave your towel crumpled on the floor in the bathroom, then the answer is a clear, “No.” If you have a receptacle or bin, then make sure your towel makes it into it.
Perhaps you have a place to hang your towel or hang it over the shower curtain rod. The answer to whether you should do this or not is a matter of lifestyle.
One thing to consider when deciding to leave your towel in the bathroom is whether it will become mildewed.
If you do choose to hang it over the shower rod and let it dry, make sure that it makes it into the laundry regularly.
What Goes in a Bathroom Closet?
The answer to what goes into any closet is always only the things that get used in that room.
There is a caveat to that, and that is if you have a small apartment and do not have enough space for everything.
You should stick to only things that have to do with the bathroom, but if you need to use it as an overflow, then make sure to keep it neat. Maybe set aside a shelf for essential bathroom items.
How Do You Declutter a Small Bathroom?
Decluttering a small bathroom can be a challenge. This is where having bins and special storage containers for certain items is essential.
If you have a small bathroom, then your ability for collecting items you do not need will be limited. The goal should be to have everything either under the sink or in a drawer.
How Often Should I Declutter a Bathroom?
The bathroom sink and surfaces should be decluttered every day so you start the day fresh. Under the sink, drawers, and closets are another good item for your monthly list.
Chapter 7: Decluttering Tips for Garage
The garage is usually not an area of the home that is a priority when it comes to decluttering and is another item where things tend to accumulate.
Having an organized garage where you can find everything will bring you peace, so put it on the list.
How To Declutter a Garage
Before you begin decluttering your garage, it is a good idea to evaluate your lifestyle and think about how often you use the items in it. Did you move to Florida from Wisconsin and still have your snowblower around?
Do you have remnants of old projects that you never finished? Do you have duplicate cans of paint sitting around that have gone bad?
These are a few questions you need to ask yourself, and then you need to ask yourself how you envision your garage in the future. Do you have a hobby that you would like to take up if you only had the space?
Before you begin decluttering, come up with a plan and decide what you would like to do with your newfound space.
How Do You Deal With Clutter in the Garage?
Decluttering the garage is similar to decluttering the kitchen. One of the first things you want to do is go around and look for duplicate items. Do you need 15 screwdrivers all the same size and type?
Once you have pared down your items to only what you need, the next thing you need to do is install shelving, pegboards, and other storage solutions to make it neat. It is a big job, so don't be afraid to break it down into small sections and do one area at a time, even if it is only one shelf.
How Often Should I Declutter a Garage?
Decluttering the garage is probably an item that you do not have to do often. One suggestion is to put it on the monthly cleaning list, but only one section.
For instance, you might want to only clean off one shelf in the garage at a time. Another idea is to put it on a semiannual or yearly schedule, but make sure to put that date on your calendar and make a commitment.
Chapter 8: Decluttering Tips for Basement
The basement is another area that often gets neglected. If you do not go down there often, it is easy to be an out-of-sight space for overflow from the rest of the house.
How To Declutter Unfinished Basement
If you have an unfinished basement, one of the next home improvement projects you might want to put on your list is finishing it.
If it is an area that can be transformed into useful space, then you could consider an unfinished basement clutter in itself.
Even if you do not plan to transform it into a living space, putting in some shelving and organizing systems will help transform it from a cluttered mess into an additional useful space.
You should try to reimagine the space as you want it to be and not as it is now.
How Often Should I Declutter a Basement?
This is another item that probably does not need to be decluttered often. Usually, once a year is enough for most people.
Chapter 9: Random Decluttering
Now we have covered the major areas of your home, but there are probably still random items that you need to address.
Here are some of those special issues you might have in your home.
How To Declutter Toys
It is a fact that children grow and outgrow the toys they once loved. Sometimes they still want to hold onto toys even though they no longer play with them because it brings them comfort.
When it comes to decluttering toys, it is a good idea to let your child be a part of the process.
You might be surprised that with a little encouragement, they are more than willing to part with some things they no longer play with now.
A good place to start is any duplicates or broken toys. As for the rest, it is important to have storage spaces or bins where they can be stored neatly when not in use.
How To Declutter Books
For book lovers, this can be a sticky subject, but in the end, we have to decide which goal we want to achieve.
Do we want to become the local lending library, or do we want a clutter-free and peaceful space?
Unfortunately, decluttering books can mean some hard decisions.
To decide whether to keep or whether to donate a book to your local library or school, you need to ask yourself when the last time you read the book was and whether you have other sources of the same information.
For instance, many people still have cookbooks laying around their house, but now they use the Internet for finding new recipes and ideas.
If you have special heirloom recipes, maybe putting them on your computer or having them in a single recipe file is a better space for them.
When it comes to that unread pile, you have to ask yourself if you want to read the book now, or if it was an interest you are no longer wanting to pursue.
When it comes to what is left make sure that you have sufficient shelving for them.
How To Declutter a Playroom
When it comes to decluttering a playroom, you are likely to encounter some resistance.
Even though your child might not realize it, a cluttered playroom is not as much fun as a clean one where they can find everything.
Keeping a playroom clean is an excellent way to establish lifelong habits.
The first step is to find a place for everything, and make sure you have enough shelving and organizers to keep it tidy.
How To Declutter Shoes
Decluttering shoes is much like decluttering your clothing. It is likely that you probably have shoes in your collection that go with no outfit in your wardrobe, especially after you declutter your clothes.
Most people find that they can get away with fewer pairs of shoes than they need. First off, you should start with any that are broken or have seen better days.
The truth is that if you have not worn them in the past year, you are probably not going to in the future.
If your shoes are still in good shape, and you don't have anything to wear them with, then selling them online can be an excellent way to not only clear your space but put a little extra cash in your pocket.
How To Declutter Stuffed Animals
When it comes to stuffed animals, it is probably the case that your child has many more than they pay attention to. A good rule of thumb is to set a limit on the number of stuffed animals that can come into the house.
Once the zoo has been reduced to a manageable size, then you can ask the child to make a decision about which animal needs to go if they want to bring in the new one.
This hones their decision-making skills and introduces them to the concept of opportunity cost.
One word of caution is that if your child is attached emotionally to a particular stuffed animal, it might be a good idea to refrain from forcing them to let go of it.
Your child should be fully engaged in the process and decision about which animals to keep and which ones to throw away, even those that have a well-loved look.
Chapter 10: Decluttering When Moving
Moving is an excellent time to declutter your home. However, if you declutter your home before you move, the entire process will be much easier.
How To Declutter Your Home Before You Move
If you are moving, then you know that you are starting a new lifestyle.
You need to take a look at what you have now and decide whether you have space for it in your new home and whether you foresee yourself still needing it when you are there.
Where Do I Start Decluttering for a Move?
The best place to start decluttering for a move is to keep your home decluttered in the first place.
Deciding what to purge before a move is not something that a true minimalist has to deal with.
If you have a cluttered mess, the best time to begin decluttering is as soon as possible.
The move may be an excellent way to motivate yourself and give yourself a deadline.
What Should I Purge Before Moving?
Before you move, it might be a good idea to sit down and make a list of the things you think you will and will not need in your new life.
For instance, if you are moving to a different climate, are there things that you will not need in your new home?
Just remember that you can always get rid of more when you get situated into your new life and home.
Decluttering is an excellent way to begin your new life.
Chapter 11: Decluttering When Depressed
Just as with anxiety, depression and clutter seem to go together. The clutter can lead to depression or make it worse, and depression can make it more difficult to get started on the decluttering process.
How To Declutter Your Home When You’re Depressed
First off, if you are depressed, you must get proper mental health care.
Depression can cause physical symptoms, a lack of energy, and a general lack of motivation to do anything.
It is easier to clean your home and keep it decluttered when you have the energy to do it.
If you think that decluttering your home would help ease the depression and stress, then make sure to start small, and do it in little sections every day.
Can Depression Make You Not Want To Clean Your Room?
One of the signs of depression is a messy home or room. The truth is that you simply do not have the energy or willpower to do it.
This does not mean that you are lazy, and the problem is not the clutter, but it often has a different underlying cause. However, having a clean home can make you feel better and uplift your spirits.
What Is The Psychology Behind Clutter?
There have been entire academic books written on the psychology of clutter. People have many different reasons for keeping a cluttered home.
In reading this literature, the common theme is that it is not due to laziness. Sometimes, there are physical conditions that may make it difficult to keep the home clean.
Other times, there can be mental health issues that go beyond the cluttered house.
Regardless of the reason behind the clutter, seeking the advice of a specialist in these types of issues can be an excellent first step and put you on your way to better overall mental health and a clutter-free home.
Can a Dirty House Make You Depressed?
A dirty house cannot make you depressed, but if you are depressed about something else, it can add to it.
There may be many reasons why you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated to clean your house that are not directly connected to the house itself.
A clean home gives you a sense of well-being, but if your house is cluttered, getting there can be a challenge.
Once you start the process, even if it is just a small step, you might find that you begin to feel better.
Chapter 12: How To Declutter Before Holidays
One of the challenges that many people find is decluttering before the holidays. If you are having guests from out of town, you are probably finding yourself in a time crunch.
How Do You Declutter Before the Holidays?
Many times, holiday decorations mean that other items must be stored elsewhere to make room.
One thing to keep in mind is that just piling holiday decorations into a cluttered room will not be the beautiful aesthetic that you want to create.
If there are things that need to be stored to make room for holiday items, then it is best to start making a plan at least three months in advance.
Planning is the key to decluttering for the holidays, especially for items that will be put back into use after they are over.
How Should I Organize My House for The Holidays?
This is a question that depends on your lifestyle and what your holiday plans include. The most important piece of advice is to have a plan.
At least three months before the holidays, it might be a good idea to decide how many people will be coming, what activities are planned, and then, organize your home around them.
The best piece of advice is to start early and break the task into small, bite-sized pieces.
How Do You Declutter After The Holidays?
One of the biggest challenges with holidays is dealing with the aftermath. Holidays are a joyous time, and everyone is excited about their new things.
The only problem is that you need a place to put all of them. The best piece of advice is to pare down as much as possible before the holidays.
The more space you have for the new items, the easier it will be. If you get new things for the holidays, it might be a good time to look at what you do have and decide if you still need it.
Chapter 13: How Decluttering Reduces Stress
After I began the decluttering process, I was amazed at how much less stressed I was. Many people also report this same effect.
Why Is Decluttering Good for Your Mental Health?
Our brains are attracted to things that are organized. When you look at a room that contains a lot of items, your brain must process each one of them.
Even if you are not consciously aware of all of the things in the room, your brain must filter them out.
This makes it more difficult to concentrate and is like having a continual source of visual “noise” that contributes to stress, even if we do not realize it.
Why Does Decluttering Feel Good?
One of the reasons why we get stressed is due to something called “decision fatigue.” This occurs when we have to make too many little decisions throughout the day.
Every time you look at the clutter on your table, your brain makes a decision and might tell you that you should clean it.
It looks like a big jumbled pile, but there could be two or three hundred small decisions within that pile that you need to make.
When your home is decluttered, you feel like there is not as much to do. You no longer have to spend time thinking about when you are going to get all of those little things done.
This is when a beautiful thing happens. When you are not worried about cleaning your home before guests come over, then you find that you have more time to enjoy things like reading, family, and spending time doing something you love.
Can Decluttering Help Anxiety?
Decluttering helps relieve anxiety in many ways. You no longer have to be stressed about company coming over and your house not looking the way you want it to.
Moving house cleaning from the “To Do” list to the “Done” list gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
The amount of anxiety that is reduced when you declutter your home is something that you often cannot imagine until you experience it.
One thing for certain is that once you experience a decluttered, clean home, you will be motivated to never go back. The key is to put systems in place that help you keep it that way.
Chapter 14: How To Declutter Junk Room
The answer to decluttering your junk room is not to close the door and forget about it.
Decluttering your junk room will feel like a big sense of accomplishment and turn it into a functional space.
How To Declutter Junk
First, let's unpack the idea that you just called stuff in the room “junk.” If it is junk, the first thing you want to ask yourself is why it is there in the first place.
The word, “junk” infers that it is something that is no longer useful to you.
The question you need to ask yourself is whether it is junk or whether it is something that needs to find a place and be put back into use.
There is no in-between category for things that are junk and useful at the same time. It is either one or the other, and you have to make a decision.
How To Declutter A Junk Room
The first piece of advice for decluttering a junk room is to start small. Maybe put tape on the floor and declutter only that one small area or stick to one shelf.
You need to make yourself a rule that once it has been determined to be junk, you cannot pull it back out unless you truly made a mistake in the first decision.
The biggest trap you can fall into is that “someday” you will do that hobby again or use it.
This is another place where you need to face the harsh reality of where you are now in your life.
These can be hard decisions, but once you see your new space, you can start dreaming and creating things that have meaning to you now.
How To Declutter Junk Drawers
If you have one of those drawers in your home that you can hardly open because there are too many things in it, then this section applies to you.
Once again, we will return to our definition that if it is a junk drawer, then probably everything in it is not useful.
The question to ask yourself is how many times you go into that drawer to find that one screw you need.
Rather than taking up space, it might be more cost-effective to go to the hardware store and buy the right one you need.
The junk drawer can be a place of hopes and dreams, but they are often forgotten about and do nothing but cause us stress.
One of the best ways to start is to remove the junk drawer and dump it on the table where you can take a good look at what is inside.
Chapter 15: How To Declutter My Life
One of the biggest lessons I learned is that once I had my home decluttered, I started to want to apply the principles to other parts of my life. I started asking myself questions like:
- Was there anything I was spending money on that could be considered clutter?
- Were there any foods that I was eating that were causing “clutter” on the body?
- Is there anything I am “wasting” my time on that could be considered clutter?
You get the idea. You can probably find many areas of your life where you could apply the term “clutter” and do some downsizing.
Chapter 16: Frequently Asked Questions
What Should You Not Do When Decluttering?
The biggest thing you should not do when you are decluttering is to start with too much. Start small, and make a little bit of progress every day.
How Do You Declutter Your Home When You Are Overwhelmed?
The biggest mistake people make is that they start with a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The problem is that they burn out before they even get started.
The biggest mistake you can make is to start without a plan and try to do too much all at once. Make a methodical plan, break it down into small steps, and don't forget to reward yourself for your progress, no matter how small.
What Causes a Person To Clutter?
The two main reasons why people clutter are either that they are unconsciously making purchase decisions or lifestyle changes. Sometimes cluttering is tied to a significant mental health issue, but it is rarely because someone is lazy.
What Are Throw Away Items?
Throw away items are anything that you no longer need and do not see yourself needing in the future. If you are trying to decide on something small, you have to ask yourself what the cost of replacing it would be.
Should I Clean or Declutter First?
You should always declutter first, and then, clean later. It is more difficult to clean when you have all of the clutter, and you can do a more thorough job with all of the junk gone.
Why Is Decluttering So Overwhelming?
Decluttering is overwhelming because it forces us to make many small decisions. Each small decision takes energy, and our brain can only do so much at a time.
Why Is Decluttering So Exhausting?
The small decisions that we have to make when decluttering tax our brains just as much as going to our nine-to-five job. Decluttering can also be physically and emotionally exhausting, as we have to deal with memories and the physical strain of moving all the stuff.
Can Decluttering Change Your Life?
Not only can decluttering change your life but it will. Until you get the job complete, you cannot imagine the ways your life will improve.
Will I Regret Decluttering?
Judging by my own experience and the experiences of many others who have written about it online, decluttering is something that you will never regret. You have many reasons to get started and begin your new life.