Looking for a simple fix to a cluttered home? You’ve come to the right place. These five easy tips from home organization experts will help you create a more effective decluttering plan. That means no more of those marathon cleaning days you’ve tried in the past.
Follow the advice below to create a plan to declutter your home that will also preserve your sanity.
1. Declutter Room by Room
Decluttering projects often stop before they start because homeowners become so overwhelmed with the idea of cleaning the whole house. Instead, break down the project room by room. This will make it more manageable as a whole and allow you to declutter at least one room right away.
First, make a list of every room in your house that needs decluttering. Then, organize them by priority level, putting your biggest stress point first. This way you’ll see immediate results when you start working.
Next, organize that room by sections as well. List closets, dressers, shelving units and any boxes within each room that you’ll organize individually. Make sure each section is a manageable size, small enough that you can complete it in the time you have allotted (more on this later).
“First, figure out where to start; I suggest with whatever area bothers you most. Then, break it down into chunks: a bookshelf, one box, then another, the desk, one plastic tub at a time and so on. These are much more manageable tasks than telling yourself you’re going to tackle a whole room in one day.”
Amy Trager | amytrager.com
2. Create a Timeline for Your Decluttering Plan
Now you have a list of every room that needs to be decluttered. Looking at this list, create a realistic timeline for completing each project. Give yourself at least one day to complete each room. If you’re decluttering multiple days in a row, give yourself a day off once a week to complete other tasks, relax and avoid getting burnt out. Allow yourself at least 30 minutes to complete the subsections of each room on that list.
“Stacks and piles didn’t appear overnight. It took time to accumulate. Getting organized takes time too! Estimate how long you think an area will take and then time yourself. Remember success breeds success. Start small and experience the joy of being organized!”
Laurie Martin | Simplicity Organizers
3. Have a Place for Everything
While decluttering, you will get rid of a lot of stuff, or at least move it around. When creating your decluttering plan, decide what you are going to do with your stuff as you go through it.
We suggest gathering at least three containers to fill with clutter:
- One container for things you plan to keep.
- At least one for items you’ll get rid of. If you have an extra bin, separate this category into things you’ll throw away and things you’ll donate.
- Another for items you want to store.
Empty the containers between each section or room, depending on how quickly you’re filling them. As you are sorting through items, don’t just think about what container it goes in. Stop to think if it belongs in your home at all before putting it in the “keep” or “storage” containers. What room does it belong in? In what drawer? On what shelf? Don’t know where it belongs in the long term? Rethink keeping it.
“Have a place for everything. It is an adage used by all organizers and might sound obvious but you would be surprised how often people accumulate clutter because they do not have a place for it. Find a place for your stuff and if there is no place for it, why is it in your life.”
Shelina Jokhiya | Decluttr Me
4. Purge Clutter Carefully
Sorting is an important step when decluttering room by room. If you throw away too much, you’ll end up with regrets. Get rid of too little and you won’t reach your goal. As you sort through your clutter, especially paperwork and family heirlooms, think about what you will need in the future and what truly has sentimental value.
Make sure you keep items that mean something to you or your family or will be of use to you in the future. This will help you reduce your regrets and keep you moving forward.
“When we are purging there is a tendency for the pendulum to swing from keeping too much to discarding too much. This often leads to regrets, which not only slow down the current purging process, but discourages future efforts. Nothing slows the purging process down faster than regrets.”
Matt Baier | Matt Baier Organizing
5. Tidy Up Seven Days a Week to Prevent Future Clutter
Eliminate the need for future decluttering projects by tidying up a little bit every day from now on. Building a habit of staying organized is the best way to avoid the need for a decluttering plan. Daily tasks and small wins will provide a sense of accomplishment and can be the key to a clutter-free lifestyle.
“It’s easier to stay organized than to get organized. Set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle one small spot until the timer goes off. Doing that every day will have a greater impact on clearing your clutter than setting aside a full day and then losing steam after half an hour.”
Sharon Lowenheim | Organizing Goddess
With these five tips, you’ll have the declutter plan you need to achieve a clutter-free and fully organized home.
For a more in-depth understanding of how to declutter a home and even more advice from organizing experts, head over to our Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home.