Decluttering your home can seem like a daunting task, especially if you need help figuring out how to declutter.
But don’t let your fear of decluttering stop you from getting started. These are seven things to do before you declutter to make sure you stay motivated and get everything in your home organized.
1. Take pictures of your space
It’s really hard to have an objective opinion when you don’t even notice your clutter. After time, clutter and stuff start to blend into the background.
To get an objective idea of how your home looks, take pictures of every room in your home.
Then, study the pictures. What do you see? Does your home look the way you had hoped and imagined?
Look at the pictures as though you’re seeing your home for the first time through someone else’s eyes.
- Are there things that don’t belong?
- Does the room seem messy or overwhelmed?
- Does the furniture fit?
- Does the room have a welcoming flow?
2. Declutter your mind
Now that you’ve taken pictures and thought about what you need to declutter, it’s time for some mindset work!
Before you go running for the hills, take a second to think about WHY you want to declutter.
Your pictures probably showed you which areas to declutter and gave you a better idea of how your room looks to others, but even after you’re done decluttering, your home won’t stay clutter-free unless you change your mindset.
Think about why you started gathering things in the first place. What purpose did your stuff have?
Look at the pictures again. Do you see unnecessary items? What made you buy/acquire them? Why are you hanging onto them?
A lot of times, clutter has sentimental value. Also, if we’re feeling down or depressed, we tend to try to fill the void that we’re feeling with stuff (aka clutter).
By understanding what makes you acquire clutter, you’ll be able to keep your house organized and prevent more clutter from accumulating.
You’ll also be able to declutter and get rid of items guilt-free when you understand your reasons for keeping things.
Related reading on Organized Motherhood:
7 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Mind
3. Decide HOW you’ll declutter
Think about your personality. Decluttering methods will work differently for each person.
Do you need a lot of hand holding to take on a big project like decluttering your entire home? Do you like to take baby steps or will you be able to use your initial motivation to keep going?
Will you involve your family or declutter by yourself?
Will you declutter a little each day, a little each week, or all at once on a long weekend?
If you plan to declutter slowly and over a long period of time, I love the eCourse Clutter: Sorted, which will hold your hand with worksheets, videos, and lessons as you declutter your entire home over the course of 20 weeks.
However, if you’d like to move faster, sign up for my free 30 day decluttering challenge.
These resources will also help you declutter your home and your life:
Best decluttering books to organize your home and your life
4. Clear your calendar
Decluttering takes time, especially if you’re easily distracted. After you’ve decided how you’ll declutter, mark it in your calendar.
Block time every day to finish your decluttering.
Also, consider that it will take you longer than you think. Especially if your clutter has emotional baggage or if you’re easily distracted, you might want to double your estimated time.
Regardless of the time that you think it’ll take to declutter, take a ruthless approach to creating a clutter-free environment. As you declutter, remember your purpose for wanting a clean, clutter-free home.
5. Get your decluttering essentials
What do you need to declutter?
Start with four boxes, bins, or bags: one to donate, one to sell, one to trash, and one for things that don’t belong in your current area.
Carry the bins from room to room as you declutter.
If you plan to deep clean, you may want to also carry around a multipurpose cloth (I like this e-cloth because it only requires water to remove dust and bacteria) to dust and wipe things down once the clutter is removed.
6. Make a plan for your clutter
What will you do with your clutter once you’ve “decluttered?”
Will you sell the items that are in good condition? If so, where, when, and how? One option for gently used clothing is Thred-Up, which will even send you a bag to mail your clothes.
Will you donate your items? Where and when will you donate it? If you can, schedule a donation pickup so that you can put the bags and boxes on your front porch. If pickup is not available in your area, put your donation boxes in your car and plan to donate them immediately.
If you’re going to trash some items, make sure that you have enough room in your garbage can.
As you’re decluttering, the last thing you want to do is hang onto boxes of clutter. Make a plan for how you’ll get rid of your clutter (and stick to it!).
7. Get started!
Now that you’ve handled the mindset and planning issues of dealing with your clutter, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
The longer you procrastinate, the less likely you are to finish the job.
Use your decluttering plan and get started!
If you’re looking for more decluttering inspiration, check out these posts (but don’t wait too long – get started now while you’re motivated and inspired to declutter your home).
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