Inside: Use these tips to make decluttering easier in your home so you’ll be more motivated to do it!
Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary. It should be a place that brings you peace, calms you down, and allows you to focus on the things you love.
But if your home is filled with clutter, chances are it’s having the opposite effect.
It’s causing you stress.
It’s making you anxious and disorganized.
And it’s making it hard for you to focus on anything at all – whether or not you realize it.
The thought of decluttering your home might be an intimidating task, but don’t worry – it’s easier than you think to clear away that clutter.
With a little bit of effort and a few helpful tips, you might just be surprised to see how simple and stress-free the decluttering process can be.
Why do I need to declutter in the first place?
Decluttering your home isn’t just about tidying up and getting organized.
It’s about much, much more than that.
You might be surprised to learn that clutter does more than collect dust and take up unneeded space in your home. It actually has a real, tangible negative impact on your overall well-being – in more ways than one.
Eliminating clutter from your home can benefit your physical health by giving dust, dander, and mold no place to hide. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, this can trigger your symptoms in a big way.
By decluttering your space, you can eliminate that trigger and better control your environment in the long run.
Decluttering can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Being in a cluttered space can trigger stress, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm.
Getting rid of that clutter can transform your home into a true sanctuary instead of a spot that’s actually making your mental state worse. Clutter can also make it hard to focus, stifling your ability to learn, create, or get lost in a hobby you love.
Say goodbye to that clutter and you might just find your favorite activities that much more enjoyable.
11 Ways to Make Decluttering Easier
Ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work? Let’s do it!
Keep these tips in mind as you tackle your clutter, and you’ll be surprised to see just how easy it can be to declutter your space.
1. Make it a habit.
It’s all too easy to go months, even years, without decluttering your home. Don’t let that happen. Instead, commit to decluttering your space on a regular basis – as often as you can manage.
The more often you declutter, the less clutter you’ll actually be forced to deal with each time, and the easier the task will feel.
If you can do a quick sweep through your house on a weekly basis and tackle any clutter that’s appeared, great! If not? Setting aside some time to declutter every month, or even once every three months, can make a big difference.
Having an easy-to-access basket or box available will encourage everyone in the home to get rid of unwanted items right away.
Create decluttering habits in your daily life and it will make decluttering easier going forward.
2. Start with the easy stuff.
When it comes to decluttering, you don’t have to tackle the hardest challenge first. You’re more than welcome to, of course, but it isn’t recommended.
Instead, start by decluttering the easy stuff. Get rid of obvious trash, stuff you know you’ll never use again, things you’ve already come to peace with giving up.
By making meaningful progress right away and giving yourself a quick win to celebrate, you’ll be much more motivated to keep it up.
3. Focus on one area at a time.
Once you’re done with the obvious trash, move onto a small defined space. Work on one countertop, shelf, cabinet, or drawer at a time and complete it before moving on to the next one.
One of the biggest mistakes people make with decluttering is trying to do too much at once which can feel overwhelming.
Focusing on very small areas makes decluttering feel much more manageable.
4. Try a decluttering challenge.
If you’re the kind of person who loves a good challenge, why not try a decluttering challenge?
There are all kinds of decluttering challenges you can try.
One popular challenge involves giving one item away every day. Another decluttering challenge encourages you to add one more item to your pile each day – one item the first day, two items the second, three on the third, and so on.
And for a quick and easy one-time decluttering challenge? Try the 12-12-12 challenge, which asks you to find 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to put back where they belong.
If you’re motivated and want to see what you can get done in a week, try the 7-day decluttering challenge. By dedicating just a bit of time each day, you may be amazed at what you can accomplish.
5. Sell or donate your unwanted stuff quickly.
As part of the decluttering process, I strongly encourage you to sell or donate anything you no longer need that’s still in good condition to try and keep it out of a landfill.
Everything from clothes and books to cookware and home decor can be donated to someone who could use it.
Whether you choose to take your stuff to a local donation facility, support a nearby nonprofit, or connect directly with those in need via Facebook Groups or some other method, make it happen fast so you can get it out of your space ASAP.
If you opt to try the selling route, make sure to set a deadline for selling your items. If they aren’t sold by then, donate them immediately.
6. Be decisive and ask clarifying questions.
Sometimes, decluttering is a very straightforward process. Some items are very quickly identified as clutter, no debate needed, and can be disposed of or donated as appropriate.
But there’s plenty of clutter that isn’t so clear-cut. What about that book you read one – that you might read again? Or the figurines your grandmother left you that you don’t really like or have space for?
When in doubt, ask yourself a few clarifying questions.
- Do I love this?
- Do I need this?
- Do I use it often?
- Is it something irreplaceable?
Be realistic about how important each item really is in your life. If you really loved it, would it be sitting in the bottom of a box for years?
Determine if each item is supporting your decluttering goals or keeping you from them. Remember that making decluttering decisions does get easier as you continue to practice.
7. Be more conscious of your purchases.
How did all that clutter appear in the first place?
Unless you inherited a property from a relative, chances are you purchased most – if not all – of the stuff you’re holding onto.
By being a little more intentional when making new purchases and only buying the things you truly need, you can cut down on the amount of clutter in your home, saving yourself time, money, and energy.
8. Set a timer.
One surprisingly fun way to make decluttering a little easier? Set a timer and see how much progress you can make in 5, 10, or 15 minutes.
While you can certainly dedicate a whole day to decluttering, you don’t have to. Working in quick sprints can be a great tactic.
By timing yourself, you turn the chore into a challenge and ensure you aren’t spending hours of your day on the task.
Decluttering feels much less overwhelming when you’re only committing to spending ten minutes per day on it. Start with some of these easy high-impact areas to declutter in your home.
9. Listen to something you love.
The right playlist can transform virtually any activity into a dance party. Don’t believe me? Put on your favorite upbeat playlist the next time you need to declutter and see just how much more fun you have throughout the process.
You can sing and dance along to your favorite songs while making meaningful progress on your decluttering project – and it won’t feel like work.
If you tire of music, turn on that podcast or audiobook you’ve been wanting to listen to. This will help you to look forward to decluttering as you’ve paired it with something you love. And hopefully, you’ll learn to love decluttering in the process too!
10. Enlist help.
What’s more fun than decluttering? Decluttering with a friend. Ask a close family member or friend to come and help you start the decluttering process.
An extra set of hands can be very beneficial. Also, having an outside perspective can keep you from getting stuck so that you make progress more quickly.
You could also consider hiring a professional organizer in your area. If you do that, make sure that you’re on the same page with how you want to approach the decluttering process.
If hiring help isn’t an option for you or you simply prefer to go the DIY route, I created the Your Home Decluttered products to walk you through the process based on my experience working with clients and students.
11. Plan a reward.
While the benefits of decluttering are a reward in themselves, planning an additional reward can help make decluttering easier.
Having something to look forward to once you complete the decluttering process will help motivate you to continue working on it.
The reward can be anything you want. It doesn’t even have to cost anything. Just come up with something that you would enjoy.