How to Declutter Your Home (A Step-by-Step-Guide) – Decluttering 101
Learn how to declutter your home and where to start decluttering with this detailed step-by-step guide. You will find this guide very helpful, especially if you are saying, “my house is so cluttered I don’t know where to start”.
Are you afraid to open that hall closet door for fear that piles of objects will come tumbling out?
Does your kitchen counter look like you are auditioning for an episode of hoarders? If so, then it is probably time to think about decluttering your home.
It happens to all of us sooner or later. We buy new jeans but aren’t quite ready to get rid of that favorite old pair.
We buy the latest kitchen gadget, try it and don’t like it so into the back of the cupboard it goes never to see daylight again until it seems like everything is bursting at the seams loaded with clothing, toys and objects that we no longer use, want or need.
Something has definitely got to go or there won’t be room for you and your family in your home anymore. And that is where knowing how to declutter your home comes in handy.
(Find out how to keep your home clutter free after decluttering).
Related Decluttering Articles:
- How to Declutter without Getting Overwhelmed
- 11 Practical Declutter Motivation Tips
- How to Declutter After Christmas
- How to Declutter Before Moving
When is the Best Time to Declutter Your Home?
Honestly, anytime is a good time to declutter your home when the clutter gets more than you can bear.
However, the very best time to declutter your home is while you are doing a major cleaning such as spring cleaning so that your home is truly cleaned and organized from top to bottom.
My House is So Cluttered I Don’t Know Where to Start
Start from one Area
Although there is no one spot that is best when trying to declutter your home I would suggest that you start from one area/room and work your way through.
Resist the urge to declutter the entire house all at once because that will add to your overwhelm and stress you out the more. I personally do one room at a time and it has worked well for me all these years.
Another trick is to not think about how long it will take you to finish. You can stop whenever you are tired and continue the next day. After all, you are not in competition with anybody. All you are trying to do, is clear out the clutter and keep your home neat and tidy!
(You may also want to read this article on rules of decluttering for more tips to help you keep clutter under control in your home).
Here is a 15 minute declutter challenge you may find helpful. It helps you declutter your home 15 minutes a day, one day at a time, removing the overwhelm.
Get Your Boxes/Bin Bags Ready
You also need to get somewhat organized before you actually dig in. The best way to get started is by getting large bins or boxes you will use to collect things you no longer need. These bins should be labelled:
- Throw out
- Give to Relatives
- Sell Clutter for Cash
Then simply go room by room decluttering while you clean.
How to Declutter Your Home Room by Room
Decluttering the Bathroom
When decluttering a bathroom it is best to start with the medicine cabinet. Remove everything in the cabinet sort it out and organize it throwing away all outdated make-up, medicine and skin care products.
Then move on to any cabinet drawers and again remove everything, discarding all objects you don’t want or need any more, then put back everything you want to keep.
Then clean out under the sink and finally the countertops, putting everything neatly away. In fact, decluttering makes organizing your bathroom quite easier.
Decluttering the Bedroom
To declutter your bedroom, start with your closet and pull the clothes out according to category. Shoes first, and decide which shoes you want to keep and what shoes you want to donate, sell etc. and place them in the appropriate bins.
Then go through the other items of each kind. By sorting items by type such as t-shirts, jeans, etc. you can really see how many you have and then determine how many you need.
Then decide which items you want or need to keep and which ones you need to donate, throw away etc.
Once you are done decluttering your closet, you can then tackle your nightstand. Clean the top of your nightstand, putting away objects that go into other rooms of the house.
Then remove everything from the drawers and either dispose of the objects, put them into one of the other bins, or put them back in the drawer.
Next do the drawers, in the same manner as you did the closet. Then clean off the top of the dresser and any other stands in the room.
When doing the kids room, sort through their toys, throw any broken toys away, then place any toys your children no longer need in either the sale or donation bin.
The living room is perhaps one of the hardest rooms to keep decluttered since the entire family uses this room regularly for a variety of different activities.
Adults and children snack in this room sometimes leaving dishes and cups behind.
Children snuggle up under blankets and leave them on the couch at bedtime. Magazines get tossed around, toys get left on the floor and there are times when it looks like a hurricane has gone through this room.
However, your living room also normally does get filled up with items that need to be tossed or given away.
Decluttering your living room simply entails picking up items and putting them away where they belong.
It also means keeping only the most current magazines and finding a permanent home for various items that belong in the living room such as the remote, and other such items.
Decluttering Your Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of most homes. It is the place where food is prepared and shared, where both serious and light-hearted conversations take place and often where games are played and so much more.
It is the kitchen drawers that also seem to be a catch-all for rubber bands, bread ties and other items leaving your drawers a tangled mess.
For most families, the rest of your kitchen cupboards don’t fare much better since we tend to collect kitchen utensils and small appliances we use once and then find their way to the back of the cupboard to never see daylight again.
Decluttering the kitchen can seem overwhelming, but it is actually doable if you declutter your kitchen one zone at a time.
Start with Your Pantry
Straighten out your food pantry and any canned or boxed goods that you purchased, but don’t really like should be removed and donated to a local food pantry. Once that is done, then move on to your upper cabinets.
Go Through All of Your Kitchen Drawers
If you plan on keeping all of those bread ties and rubber bands, place them in a zip lock bag to keep those items altogether.
Toss out those items that you no longer need. For those utensils that you have several of, decide how many of each you need (Do you really need 4 carrot peels and 6 ice cream scoops?) Put the other objects up for donation.
Declutter Your Cabinets
Straighten your upper cabinets, removing anything you no longer want or need and then move on to lower cabinets.
Really consider whether or not you really need that second blender or juicer, or that large electric roaster you never use.
Put back any items you plan on keeping and then place the other items into the appropriate bins to take care of once you have completed decluttering your home.
Under the Sink
Now it is time to declutter that under the sink area. In most cases, this will simply be a matter of organizing your cleaning supplies rather than having to dispose of any items.
Simply remove everything, take note of those supplies that are almost gone, get rid of any cleaning products you don’t really use and put everything back.
Clean off Your Countertops
Finish off decluttering your kitchen by cleaning off your counters and other flat surfaces. Put anything away that you don’t use on a daily basis, take that mail you’ve dropped on the counter and put it where it belongs and leave your countertop looking neat and tidy.
Storage Closet or Room
If you are like many families, you have a designated storage closet, room, or crawl space. Here is where you keep such things as that camping gear, parts for those skateboards, skis, bicycle tires and other items.
Decluttering this space can be a real challenge since these areas are often packed floor to ceiling with things you’ve saved to use later.
You’ll need to remove everything from this room and sort those things you really want to keep, those items that are still good that you no longer need and those items that you really need to dispose of. Place everything else back in your storage closet or room.
Decluttering Your Garage
Decluttering your home is not always an easy task. Some areas of the home tend to be catch-alls for everything that doesn’t have a place to go. The garage is one of those places.
Decluttering your garage can be intimidating, but with proper planning and determination, you can get it done.
The garage is where everything in your home that doesn’t exactly have a place to go in the house or you simply do not have time to put away the right way goes.
The first thing you should do when you go to declutter your garage is to hunt down these items.
From boxes of Christmas decorations to books and clothing, taking the time to remove these from your garage will help get your garage back under control.
Here is a more detailed guide on how to declutter your garage.
How to Declutter Your Home – Conclusion!
If you take your time and declutter one room at a time, you can reduce the amount of non-essential or useful items in your home and leave your home looking cleaner and making it easier to find those items you need.
Did you find the tips on how to declutter your home and where to start decluttering helpful?
Tuesday 21st of July 2020
printer friendly ? would be wonderful, i need all the ideas i can get! during a storm a tree fell into my house. local fire company, bless them,came into the two back bedrooms & loaded up boxes of "stuff" to carry to a rain free room. then my son, another blessing, came from Pittsburgh, to start the repairs. so you can imagine the messes i have every where. i decided to organize & become a "mytidyconer" follower - get motivated - to do it. i kind of fall into your pack-rat person, because i also have medical problems (getting better, but put it on a to-do list, and spend more time looking for ideas, than doing) any help you can advise - simple - for me to start, while i'm in a "well" period", i need help. love your site.
Thursday 19th of January 2023
@Carol, Thanks for the tips. Can you believe I save cards- birthday, Christmas, etc. That is really bad. I am trying to pare down, but it is so difficult. Going to try the bins. I have so many shoes and clothes that someone else could use. Also, need to get rid of old window treatments and rugs I no longer use. Just found out that Goodwill will take them.
Wednesday 22nd of July 2020
Hi Janet, I'm happy to hear that you love my website and that you find the information very helpful. I'm really sorry to hear that a tree fell into your house and made a mess.
Decluttering can be daunting sometimes. However, when you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start decluttering, I would suggest you start from one corner or room. And don't try to do it all in one day or even one week. Take it a step at a time.
You can do this Janet, just start from anywhere you feel comfortable. It could be your closet or kitchen cabinet, it doesn't really matter. Even if you are able to declutter only a portion of the closet in a day, it is still progress. Celebrate that progress and do a little bit more the next day.
Taking a before and after photos of the area you are decluttering will help motivate you even more.
I hope you find these few tips helpful. Wishing you all the best.