17 Decluttering Tips: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide To Clearing Out Your Home

Decluttering can make you feel like you’re drowning in stuff. But getting rid of your old stuff doesn’t have to be unnecessarily complicated. These decluttering tips can help you get started on clearing out your home and make you feel like your house or apartment is an oasis of calm. 

Learn how to declutter your home the simple way.

 17 Tips for Decluttering to Get You Started

Start Small

A cluttered house creates a cluttered brain, which is why we often get overwhelmed just thinking about clearing stuff out. A clutter-free home is a multi-day or weeks-long process, so don’t worry about getting it done in one Sunday. Instead, tackle one room at a time, and if that is too much, then just worry about one part of a room.

Remove One Thing a Day

This is similar to the start small but takes it one step further. Even on days, we can’t dedicate to true decluttering, we can still take small steps to tidiness. Tossing one thing a day, even if it’s just that pile of mail from last month, will add up to decluttered living in no time.

Use a Timer

Another way to start small and avoid getting overwhelmed involves a timer. This method involves setting up a time limit, usually short bursts of 10 to 15 minutes, and clearing as much as possible. The goal isn’t to finish a space; it’s just to work until the timer goes off.

Put Things in Boxes

One of the best decluttering tips is to put things in boxes. Have a box for all the different categories with labels like donation or toss. Once you’re left with what you want to keep take it a step further with reusable bins for long-term storage items.

Schedule a Garage Sale

If you aren’t into the donate bin idea above, then consider a garage sale! This not only gets rid of your unwanted items, but it also puts money into your pocket. Honestly, anything involving getting money gives us the motivation we need to continue this decluttering process.

Get Rid of Guilt

Inevitably, emotions like guilt and sadness will rear their ugly head as we sell or toss all the junk we’ve collected. It’s important not to let the guilt of how much money you spent over the years keep you from holding on to things that you really don’t need or use. Don’t worry; we’ve all been there.

Use One Space for Only One Thing

This is the number one decluttering tip any professional organizer will tell you. When our office doubles as our craft room, storage space, and library nook, we can quickly find ourselves drawing in clutter. Even in small spaces, creating clear areas meant for one thing means we can become intentional about what we put in those spaces and remain organized.

Only Buy Things You Need

Now that we have clear spaces and have gotten rid of all the extra we can focus on what we need. Minimalists already live by this rule, only buy what you need. Limiting impulse purchases and putting an emphasis on quality goods keeps your house organized and clutter-free.

Declutter Storage Areas First

We know that the attic or basement is usually where we throw all our unwanted goods. However, these are prime storage spaces that we can use for holiday decorations and sentimental keeps. Starting on these areas gives you space when you inevitably find yourself needing a spot for your keep bins later on in the process.

Tackle Your Flat Surfaces

No decluttering tip list is complete without this rule. Flat surfaces are a magnet for our junk that doesn’t have a home. This includes kitchen countertops, nightstands, desks, dining tables, and our coffee table. If it doesn’t have a home, ask yourself if you really need it and work towards clearing those catch-all spaces.

Organize Your Closets

Out of sight out of mind sounds nice, but doesn’t help in this case. Our closets are important hubs for a clutter-free life. If we clear them out first we now can use them as they were intended, storage solutions for all our essentials.

A Basket for Every Room

This is one of our favorite decluttering tips because it helps us stay organized long-term. It’s as simple as this, get some nice baskets and place one in every room. These baskets are your new catch-all spaces. Throw whatever doesn’t belong in that room in the basket throughout the day then return everything to its spot (or toss it) during clean-up time. This keeps your rooms looking neat without constant cleaning.

Think of ALL the Areas

When we first start our decluttering journey, we tend to only think of the main rooms. We already mentioned closets earlier in this list but what about the even smaller spaces? Don’t forget to go through your junk drawers, the medicine cabinet, the refrigerator, and especially the Tupperware cabinet we all have.

Keep Only What You Use

This one might seem obvious, but when we say keep only what you use, we are serious! There are plenty of things we own multiples of but only use maybe 2 or 3. Consider looking at your linen closet for unused towels and blankets. Take a look at your makeup and accessories, and only keep what you genuinely like and use regularly. Unused medications are another thing we can toss.

Decluttering With Kids

Children have a way of taking over our spaces, and while we love spoiling them, it doesn’t work with decluttering our lives. When it comes to toys, less is more. Not only do fewer toys mean less to clean up it is also proven that it encourages longer and more imaginative gameplay. We call this a win-win.

Follow Minimalists

We’re not saying you have to become a minimalist, but when it comes to decluttering tips, they really are the best. Check out blogs or even Instagram for more ideas and inspiration to keep your house free of junk.

Create a Cleaning Schedule

Now that you’ve created a clutter-free space, let’s keep it that way. The easiest way to avoid overwhelm is to create a schedule. You can use premade ones online, like the Fly Lady method, or create your own. The goal is simple daily tasks intermixed with larger tasks that are either done weekly or monthly. Focusing on only deep-cleaning one room a day, in no time, you’ll have your messy home all clean!


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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.