Want to get organized but don’t know how to declutter? These three easy steps to declutter are perfect to get some quick wins and motivation to start (and keep going) with your next decluttering project.
Walk the room
One of the easiest ways to get started decluttering is to grab a box (or bag or laundry basket) and walk through your house. Toss all the garbage, everything that isn’t necessary, and anything that’s broken, almost empty, or doesn’t “spark joy.”
I first learned about this concept with FlyLady’s 27 Boogie, but whether you have more or less than 27 items, doing a quick walk around the perimeter of each room in your home will help you earn some quick decluttering wins!
Walking the room also helps you create a plan for larger decluttering projects.
As you move through your home, you’ll start to see things from a new perspective. You’ll naturally start to make choices (“yes, I like that” or “no, we no longer need that”) and you can decide how you want your home to look.
For more design help, get The Confident Designer ebook to get ideas about how each room should flow and exactly how many decorations are considered “too much.”
Change your mindset
Decluttering is more of a mindset game than anything else. It’s so easy to hang onto clutter because it was a gift, because we “might” need it, or because it has sentimental value.
But honestly, clutter just causes stress.
It’s harder (and takes more time) to clean when you have clutter. Your home will always look messy when you have clutter. And clutter gives you no breathing room.
You want your home to feel like a sanctuary. There’s a fine line between being cozy and being cluttered.
You can achieve that cozy feeling with a blanket or a candle without overwhelming your house (and yourself) with stuff.
If, even after you’ve “walked the room” and decluttered everything that doesn’t belong, you still feel overwhelmed in a room, take a picture.
Look at your room with fresh eyes.
Sometimes, the clutter starts to blend into a room. Take a photo, wait a day, and then look at the photo. What do you see? Remove anything that looks out of place or doesn’t give your room the look you had originally hoped to create.
Create blank spaces
For years, we had a chair near our back door. The chair was meant for the kids to sit on to tie their shoes. However, the chair quickly became a dumping ground for mail, coats, my purse, and everything else under the sun.
Removing the chair was one of the best decisions I could’ve ever made.
Look around your room. What surfaces are clutter magnets? Could you remove them?
If you have surfaces, like your kitchen counters, that can’t be removed, think about how you can clear them.
One rule of thumb is to have no more than three items on your counters. That includes your coffee maker, knife block, toaster oven, and more.
How many items are on your clutter catchers?
If you have a clutter catcher that can’t be removed, could you create a better system to prevent clutter from entering your home?
For example, after I moved the chair from my back door, I needed a new way to deal with mail (and my purse, coats, etc.).
I hung a coat rack on the wall and put a bench with bins for shoes (and my purse) by the door. It immediately made everything look more organized.
Then, I started sorting my mail before I even entered the house. We have garbage cans in our garage, so I would open our mail over the cans. All envelopes and junk mail were immediately thrown out and then I would immediately file bills and important papers in my planner to deal with once a week on a designated day (Friday is my “bills” day).
Could you create a command center or clutter-free way to deal with the clutter that enters your home? Paper clutter can be especially tricky to deal with, but if you can prevent it from even entering your home, you’ll make your decluttering process much easier!
Getting rid of clutter can be a long, emotional process. But with the right mindset and some quick wins to get you started, you’ll be able to find the motivation and energy to get started (and keep going) on your decluttering journey.