5 Practical Tips to Help You Declutter Your Home

Updated on April 21, 2019
Even nature declutters.
Even nature declutters. | Source

The Need to Declutter

It is easy to accumulate many things over many months and years, from clothing we buy on a whim and never wear, to things other people give us. From time to time, we all need to take stock of the things we want to keep and those we do not.

It can appear daunting to embark on the decluttering journey, but it need not be. Approach the job with enthusiasm and a positive attitude, and you will be surprised how rewarding the experience can be.

Tip 1: Pick Your Time and Place

Much has been written on the topic of decluttering. When you start out, start with something easy, something you will be able to complete. Once you have made a start, the feeling of success will spur you on to keep going.

Remember that old saying that Rome was not built in a day? It is good to remember when you start your decluttering project. If you are a list-making person, you may want to start with making a list of areas to declutter. Put the smallest and easiest areas first—and those requiring more time (and energy) last.

Next to each area on your list, write when you are going to tackle them. You can be general and simply nominate a time, like morning, afternoon, or evening, or you can be more specific, like Tuesday afternoon.

My list usually starts with drawers: kitchen drawers and laundry drawers. They do not take too long to go through and are surprisingly easy to tackle once I put my mind to it.

When you start with smaller areas, you will have success—and success spells a sense of achievement. It will motivate you to keep going and move onto other, larger areas in your home.

Tip 2: Make It Fun

For your bigger areas, like clothes, knick-knacks, and things we put away in wardrobes, chest of drawers, or other places, try a different approach. You can use the method of getting four containers. Label them as follows:

  1. To keep.
  2. To sell.
  3. To give to charity.
  4. To throw in the trash bin.

Now you will have a place for each item. Not sure which container to put something into? As you look at each item, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. When was the last time you used it?
  2. Will you use it in the future?
  3. Do you really need it, or is it just taking up space?

Sometimes we tend to hold onto things for no apparent reason, and getting rid of those things can feel invigorating.

You can also use numbers to help you minimize your things. Remember it is your decluttering process.

You can play a game called 10-10-10. You will put 10 things in each bin in each area you clean up (you can change this number to whatever you want it to be). Get the rest of the family involved, maybe even the kids. If you are competitive, you will enjoy doing this with family members.

With clothing, there are lots of different ways to declutter. There is the coat hanger method, or the minimize method, or one you invent. Bottom line is, don’t hang onto clothing you might wear one day. Be decisive and brave and clear out what you are not wearing and what you don’t want to wear. Try owning fewer clothes altogether, get rid of synthetics, and stick with natural fibers.

Tip 3: Be Inventive

You don’t have to be all clinical when you declutter. Be inventive. Be creative. You could set yourself the task of giving something away every day, once a week, or once a month, depending on how determined you are.

Visit your local preschool/primary school and see if they are interested in some of those toys your kids had when they were little. Don’t stop there. Women's shelters may need things like clothing and kitchen items (pots and pans and all that Tupperware you bought at all those Tupperware parties you went to).

Attend one of those trash and treasure markets and make some money out of the things you no longer need. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Be inspired by nature.
Be inspired by nature. | Source

Tip 4: Declutter With Someone

If your spouse won’t be involved, invite a friend over to help you with the job. Sometimes it can be a good thing to have the opinion of an independent third party when working out which pile or bucket an item should go into.

Nothing beats the clearheaded, non-emotionally attached, unbiased truthful opinion offered by a true friend. Remember how Donkey says to Shrek, "Wow only a true friend could be that cruelly honest?" Just think of those words if you feel slightly hurt when your friend tells you that you do not really need the chipped mug even if someone you once dated gave it to you. And you may be able to reciprocate the favor.

Tip 5: Just Do It

Just like you take out the garbage regularly, take the buckets/bags you have filled for the op shop, second-hand store, or some other charity to their destination. Don’t let those bags become more clutter in what should now be a harmonious, clutter-free home.

Take what needs to be thrown out to the bin (or the tip, depending on the size of your rubbish pile), and sit back and relax. Enjoy your achievement.

Don’t forget your computer, tablet, and phone, as well. No doubt those devices are also due for a declutter. I know mine is.

Don't forget to smell the roses along the way.
Don't forget to smell the roses along the way. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      Great advice, succinctly put. Funny, I've started today to do the de-clutter I need before we move - always a great time to get rid of excess. Trouble is, I'm a hoarder and so is my partner so it's not easy but I like the feeling of tidiness and freshness that follows so I'll do it.

      Thanks for the follow. Looking forward to reading more of your hubs.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)