So, you’ve finally decided to declutter your house. Maybe it’s a New Year’s resolution or maybe it’s the everyday frustration of having a disorganized, messy house. Whatever the reason, this guide will help you through the whole process step-by-step.
Preparing to Declutter Your House
The first thing you need to do is set goals.
- Prioritize the rooms in your house. Which ones do you use the most? Which ones will take the longest? It’s best to take on the bigger projects first, so it gets easier as you continue.
- Finish one room at a time. Focusing on one small area will save you time because you won’t be moving things all over the house.
- Make a schedule. Give yourself completion dates for each room and set a timer on the day you are decluttering to keep you on schedule.
- Stay organized. Use “keep, toss, and store” boxes to speed up the decluttering process.
Keep, Toss, Store
For each room, put everything into one of three boxes. One box is for items you want to keep in the room, one box is for items to remove from the room and store somewhere else, and one box is for the items you are getting rid of.
Deciding What to Toss
If you’re someone who likes to hang onto things, you will need to learn to let go of the items that you don’t use. You won’t be able to completely declutter your house if you refuse to get rid of the possessions that no longer serve you.
Of course, it is normal to hang on to a select few items that have sentimental value. But when it comes to clothing, movies, kitchen utensils, tools, etc., you should ask yourself if you have used it in the past year. If not, throw it away or donate to a local charity. This doesn’t count for those items you might need in an emergency, but otherwise, be vigilant.
Decluttering Room By Room
Bedrooms: Focus on clearing off the flat surfaces as much as you can, and try to keep them clear in the future. It’s is tempting to let clutter pile up on dressers and night tables. You should only leave things on these surfaces that belong there, like lamps and clocks.
Clean out every single dresser drawer and only keep clothing items that you wear often. Put clothing that is not in season in clear storage bins and label them. It is a good idea to go through your clothing and continue to get rid of things you don’t use every time the seasons change.
Closets: Use the one-year rule for your closet. Unless it is formal clothing, if it has been an entire year since you have worn it, then you don’t need it.
Cleaning out your closet is much easier if you focus on one type of clothing at a time. Go through all of your bottoms, all of your tops, and then your shoes. It’s likely that you don’t wear the vast majority of your clothes. Give them to someone who needs them!
Bathrooms: Go through the medicine cabinet and throw out any expired products. Then tackle the drawers and look under the sink; is there anything that doesn’t belong? If so, throw it away or put it back where it goes. Toss any bathroom products that you don’t use.
Kitchens: Kitchens are challenging just because you have so much stuff to go through. Just like with your closet, you should first separate everything into categories and then sort through them. For example, you could start by going through your flatware, utensils, and glassware.
Use the one-year rule for the things in your pantry, cabinets, and under the sink. Then clean off the flat surfaces and keep only what you use daily on the countertops. For other kitchen appliances that are used every week or so, find a cabinet or shelf where you can store them.
The key to decluttering is to focus on one area at a time and once that area is finished, move to the next. It might take you several weekends to declutter your home, but you will feel more relaxed and organized once you’re finished.