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The Complete Guide to Decluttering Your Home

March 4, 2024

The Complete Guide to Decluttering Your Home

Why Declutter?

Decluttering your home can feel overwhelming, but it has many benefits that make it worth the effort. Here are some of the top reasons to declutter:

  • Reduced stress. Cluttered spaces are visually distracting and make it hard to find things. Decluttering helps create peaceful, organized spaces that promote a calmer state of mind.

  • Increased productivity. It’s easier to complete tasks when supplies and items are organized and within reach. Decluttering removes distractions and time wasted searching for things.

  • Improved cleanliness. When our home is clutter-free, it’s easier to clean thoroughly. There are fewer things blocking floors and surfaces.

  • Safety. Clutter can cause tripping hazards and make it hard to navigate rooms quickly in an emergency. Decluttering removes obstacles and clears exit routes.

  • Financial benefits. Decluttering helps prevent buying duplicates when you can’t find existing items. It also makes it easier to identify unused items to sell.

  • Personal growth. Letting go of clutter can represent releasing emotional baggage and making space for new, positive changes in your life.

How to Get Started

Decluttering an entire home may seem overwhelming. Making gradual progress is key. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Set aside time. Schedule decluttering sessions in your calendar so it becomes a priority, not just a vague goal. Start small, like 15-30 minutes at a time.

  • Pick a zone. Focus on one area, like a drawer, closet or shelf. Resist moving onto other areas before finishing.

  • Keep supplies ready. Have trash bags, boxes, labeling tape and permanent markers on hand. Being prepared saves time.

  • Start with trash. Anything expired, broken, dangerous or utterly useless should be the first to go. Easy wins build momentum.

  • Be ruthless. Avoid trying to find perfect new homes for items. If you have not used it in over a year, let it go.

  • Continue daily. Maintain progress by doing quick, daily decluttering tasks like clearing counters or tidying one shelf.

Decluttering By Room

Decluttering by zone helps break an overwhelming task into manageable pieces. Use these tips to tackle specific rooms:


  • Clear counters completely.
  • Toss expired food items and old plastic containers.
  • Organize utensils, pots and pans.
  • Empty and clean the refrigerator and pantry. Toss expired items.
  • Arrange dishes and glasses so the most-used items are most accessible.


  • Make the bed and keep surfaces like dressers clear.
  • Clean under the bed. Toss or donate anything you have not used in over a year.
  • Go through closets and drawers. Remove ill-fitting and worn-out clothing.
  • Put away out-of-season clothing like winter coats to open up space.


  • Toss expired medications, skincare, and makeup.
  • Remove unused towels. Keep only what you need within reach.
  • Clear all surfaces like counters and shower shelves.
  • Organize toiletries and supplies in baskets, bins or drawers.

Living Spaces

  • Remove everything from surfaces like coffee tables, TV stands and mantels. Clean and only replace essential decor.
  • Clear out old magazines and clutter like junk mail from tables and seating areas.
  • Minimize furniture to create open space. Donate unused pieces.
  • Organize kids toys into labeled bins. Limit the number of toys out at one time.

Garage and Basement

  • Discard or donate broken furniture, equipment, and unused sports gear.
  • Organize tools, seasonal decorations, and outdoor sports equipment like bicycles. Label bins.
  • Hold a garage sale to make extra money from high-value items you no longer need.
  • Schedule regular donations so decluttered items don’t just get relocated.

Maintenance Tips

Consistency is key to maintaining a decluttered home over time:

  • Do quick, daily tidying like making your bed, clearing surfaces, and putting items away.
  • Get the whole family involved. Assign tasks based on ability and schedule.
  • Continue regular decluttering sessions to sort through areas, remove unused items, and reorganize.
  • Limit bringing new items into the home. Avoid impulse purchases.
  • Store out-of-season clothing and sports equipment to open living space.
  • Schedule donations at least every 3 months so clutter does not re-accumulate.
  • Coil cables and utilize vertical space with organizing tools like wall-mounted hooks.
  • Designate a spot for keys, purses, masks and other items when entering your home each day.

Overcoming Sentimental Clutter

Letting go of sentimental items can be the biggest challenge when decluttering. Use these tips to decide what stays and what goes:

  • Take photos of special cards, artwork or keepsakes. Enjoy memories without physical clutter.

  • Keep only your favorites like a few souvenir T-shirts instead of dozens. Limit special items to what fits in one bin.

  • Display favorite items like photos or awards. Rotate them seasonally to keep your space fresh.

  • Save just a piece of collections like a single teacup rather than many.

  • Let some go. Release the emotional burden of overly clinging to physical mementos.

  • Focus on memories, not things. No object alone represents your relationships and experiences.

  • Pass some along to family or friends who may value special items, like giving grandparents’ dishes to a child.

Staying Motivated

Make decluttering satisfying, not a chore. Here are tips to stay motivated:

  • Recruit a decluttering buddy like a spouse or friend. Make it social and fun.

  • Put on energizing music to stay upbeat as you work.

  • Focus on how good it feels to let go of clutter and open, peaceful space.

  • Remind yourself of the benefits like reduced stress and improved cleanliness.

  • Take a break if you get burnt out. Come back refreshed and refocused.

  • Celebrate successes! Reward reaching decluttering milestones by meeting a friend for coffee or watching a movie.

  • Take before and after photos of decluttered spaces. Seeing your achievement helps motivate more progress.

With some dedication and adherence to maintenence habits, you can declutter your entire home gradually. Enjoy the peaceful, organized, and inviting environment you create by taking it one step at a time.

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