How to Declutter Your Home: 6 Best Room-by-Room Methods (2023)

Whether you're downsizing or just trying tosimplify yourlife, figuring out how to declutter your home is a big job. The best way to start decluttering when you're overwhelmed is to do it in stages. Make a "declutter your home checklist" to prioritize clutter areas. Focus on one room, or even one zone within a room (e.g., kitchen cabinets), at a time. And complete each job fully before moving on to the next space.

Before you start to declutter your home, have containers defined for the following purposes to sort items:

  • Put away: Items that have crept out of their designated storage spaces
  • Fix/mend:Items that need something before they're put away, such as a shirt with a missing button
  • Recycle:Items that can be recycled
  • Trash:Items to throw away in the household trash
  • Donate: Unwanted items that are still in good condition and can be donated to a charitable organization or another person

Here's how to put these containers to use while decluttering each room in your home.

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Click Play to Learn How to Get Rid of Stuff With These Pain-Free Strategies

Creating a Decluttering Timeline

If you don't have a lot of stuff, it might be possible to declutter your house in one day or on a weekend. Or you might want to create a longer timeline to declutter your house in 30 days, for example. You can also plan a decluttering schedule just for the weekends you have in a month if you wish.

Keep your goals realistic and attainable, so you can declutter your home without feeling overwhelmed. Break down the spaces you need to declutter, estimating how long each will take. And then organize that into your overall timeline. Give yourself some buffer time in case something doesn't go according to plan.

What you should not do when decluttering is pull out all of your stuff without a plan for how you're going to sort it. If you do that, you'll likely just waste time wading through all of your disorganized items. In addition, it's often best to clean first before you declutter, so your everyday items are tidy and out of the way.

Consider starting in a room or space with only a small amount of clutter. That way, you can get it done quickly and feel like you're making progress on your overall decluttering timeline, which should in turn motivate you to keep going.

  • 01 of 06

    The Bathroom

    How to Declutter Your Home: 6 Best Room-by-Room Methods (1)

    Start with your medicine cabinet. Take everything out, and discardoutdated medications, makeup, and skincare products. Put everything you're keeping immediately back into the cabinet, storing the items you use most often at eye level.

    (Video) 5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Home!

    Next, move onto any cabinet drawers. Remove everything, and do a quick evaluation of what you're keeping and what you're tossing. Put the items you're going to keep back into their drawers, with the items you use most often in the top drawers.

    Now, do the same routine with your shower/tub. Finally, pull everything out from below your bathroom sink,and declutter the items there.

    Lastly, everything that did not have a home can be quickly sorted into the five bins you have staged for the purpose.

  • 02 of 06

    The Bedroom

    How to Declutter Your Home: 6 Best Room-by-Room Methods (2)

    First, make your bed. It's hard to feel any progress decluttering a bedroom while an unmadebed stares you in the face.

    Start with your nightstands. Remove anything on them that doesn’t belong there, and put it in your put-away bin. This may include books you’ve already finished reading, pens and paper,and mail. Throw out or recycle anything that you no longer use, such as empty tissue boxes, pens that have gone dry, or chargers that no longer work.

    Do the same with the tops of your dressers, chests, and/or bureaus. Pay careful attention to any clothing that is strewn about. Anything that needs folding or hanging goes into the put-away bin. If you're afraid it may wrinkle further, you can lay clothes on your bed.

    Go through each bureau, drawer by drawer. Take everything out.Pull out anything that is no longer worn, and put it in your donation bin. Fold and store the clothing you're keeping.

    If you keep a desk or vanity table in your bedroom, tackle that next. Resist the urge to shove things back into drawers; instead, put them in your put-away bin. Toss or recycle any garbage or anything you haven’t used in more than six months.

    Return items to their proper places. Fold or hang and store any clothing. If you're now eyeing your closet, we'll tackle that next.

    9 Bedroom Organizing Tips to Use Right Now

  • 03 of 06

    Closet and Clothing

    How to Declutter Your Home: 6 Best Room-by-Room Methods (3)

    OK, deep breath. It's time to declutter your closet. The easiest way to tackle a closet is to first declutter your clothing by type. That means start with shoes, then boots, then dresses, then denim, etc.

    It’s much easier to decide to toss or keep a pair of jeans if you’re looking at your entire jeans collection at once. So start pulling out different types of clothing, and decide what you'll toss and keep.

    Once you’ve gone through each type of clothing, you will have fourpiles to deal with:

    • Put away anything that was simply in the wrong spot. Example: If you had a pair of socks in your closet, put them in your dresser.
    • Put any dirty laundry into the hamper, or bring it to the laundry room.
    • Anything that needs to be repaired should go to the tailor or dry cleaner.
    • To get rid of clothes, take them to a donation center or consignment store.

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  • 04 of 06

    The Entryway, Mudroom, and Foyer

    How to Declutter Your Home: 6 Best Room-by-Room Methods (4)

    You may not have a traditional mudroom or foyer, but you definitely have an entryway. No matter how small it is, the best way to make an entryway most functional is to declutter it regularly.

    Start with any desk, console, or side tables you have in your entry. Go through each drawer,removing the contents, and make a quick decision to toss or keep each item. Go over the tops of each desk or console as well. Do you have a space for your keys and other important items? Make sure everything is accessible and not too crowded. This will make it easier to leave the house with what you need each morning.

    The hall closet should be decluttered like any other closet: Start with shoes and boots, then jackets,followed byaccessories.

    The entry is another area that picks up a lot of clutter from other rooms. Spend time putting away things from other rooms that have made their way to the entry.

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    Continue to 5 of 6 below.

  • 05 of 06

    The Kitchen

    How to Declutter Your Home: 6 Best Room-by-Room Methods (5)

    Keeping your kitchen clutter-free can be a challenge because so many different activities occur there—cooking, eating, and socializing. As a result, the kitchen has many different types of items stored in it. You can choose to declutter your kitchen by focusing on onecategory of item at a time (cutting boards, glassware, utensils, or bakeware, for example) or going by zone through each part of the kitchen.

    The first step is to completely empty each space, assess each item, and put everything back where it belongs. Start with your powerhouse storage spacesfirst, such as the pantry and upper cabinets. Then move onto the lower cabinets, drawers, and the space under thekitchen sink.

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    Finally, concentrate on your countertops. Move as many items as possible off of the countertops and into storage spaces. Keep only what you use every single day on the countertops.

    Finally, take your put-away bin, and return anything that doesn't belong in the kitchen to its rightful storage space elsewhere in the house.

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  • 06 of 06

    The Living Room

    How to Declutter Your Home: 6 Best Room-by-Room Methods (6)

    The living room is one of the hardest rooms in your home to keep neat on a daily basis. That's because it gets a lot of use, and living rooms don't usually offer a lot of storage features. You may have some bookcases and a TV console, but they don’t hide much. The key is to:

    • Decide on permanent storage spaces for commonly used items, such as remote controls, magazines,and books.
    • Declutter this space regularly.

    Start with bookcases, console, and side tables. Then move on to your coffee table and entertainment center.Empty them, assess the items they store, and then return them to their proper storage spaces. Put books away; reduce paper clutter, such as mail; return remote controls to their proper places; fold blankets; etc.

    Move on to electronics.Remove everything that is not connected to your television or home theater system. Are you using it? Does it work? Store items such as chargers and gaming equipment where you use them.

    Finally, tackle the toys. Assess every toy for wear and tear. Does it still function? Do your kids still play with it? Recycle or store each toy.

    Grab your put-away bin, and return everything that belongs in another room to its proper storage space.

    How to Organize a Living Room

Where to Dispose of Clutter

For the items you aren’t keeping when you declutter your home, you have some options regarding how to dispose of them. This is where it can be extremely helpful if you’ve already sorted appropriate items into recycle, trash, and donate bins.

Make sure you are aware of your local recycling guidelines, as certain items, such as electronics, often can’t go in the regular recycling. Keep a separate bin for those items to bring them to an appropriate recycling center. Moreover, if you know you’ll be undertaking a major decluttering project, you might want to rent a dumpster in advance for unusable items that must be thrown away.

Remember that items in good condition can be donated or sold. Besides a donation bin, you also might want to start a collection of items to sell in a garage sale. Furthermore, if you plan to give away certain items to friends and family, it can be helpful to start bins for each person to fill as you declutter.

Watch Now: 8 Easy Things to Get Rid of Now to Declutter Your Home

FAQs

What should I remove first when decluttering? ›

First, make your bed. It's hard to feel any progress decluttering a bedroom while an unmade bed stares you in the face. Start with your nightstands. Remove anything on them that doesn't belong there, and put it in your put-away bin.

What is the 20 20 rule for decluttering? ›

Then we tested our hypothesis: the 20/20 Rule. Anything we get rid of that we truly need, we can replace for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes from our current location. Thus far, this hypothesis has become a theory that has held true 100% of the time.

Which room to declutter first? ›

The entryway into one's home should be the first space you organize above all others, whether that is a foyer, long hallway, or just an entrance area,” according to Jane Stoller, founder of Organized Jane and author of “Decluttering for Dummies.”

How do I declutter my house step by step? ›

How to Declutter Your Home: 9 Simple Tips
  1. Get in the right frame of mind. ...
  2. Begin with the room that will give you the most satisfaction. ...
  3. Take small steps. ...
  4. Sort your stuff into 3 piles. ...
  5. Find creative storage solutions. ...
  6. Rethink how you use your spaces. ...
  7. Keep a household journal. ...
  8. Declutter your schedule and life.

What should you not declutter? ›

10 Things NOT to Declutter First
  1. Photos. ...
  2. Sentimental ltems. ...
  3. Paper. ...
  4. The Garage. ...
  5. Kids' Toys. ...
  6. Your Partner's Stuff. ...
  7. Drawers. ...
  8. Your Collections.

What is the 80 20 rule for decluttering? ›

Research shows that people use 20% of what they own 80% of the time. The rest takes up space, mostly untouched. Consider the things in your home, the clothes on your body, and even what you take in your luggage on vacation.

Where do you start decluttering when overwhelmed? ›

Here is the best formula for decluttering large, overwhelming spaces:
  1. Remove the easiest things first. ...
  2. Discard larger items next. ...
  3. Donate items instead of selling them. ...
  4. Break your large space into smaller bite-size challenges. ...
  5. Work until your bite-size piece is completed.

What is the fastest way to declutter and clean a house? ›

10 Creative Decluttering Tips
  1. Start with 5 minutes at a time. ...
  2. Give one item away each day. ...
  3. Fill an entire trash bag. ...
  4. Donate clothes you never wear. ...
  5. Create a decluttering checklist. ...
  6. Take the 12-12-12 challenge. ...
  7. View your home as a first-time visitor. ...
  8. Take before and after photos of a small area.
Oct 22, 2019

What is the fastest way to organize a messy house? ›

7 Tips on Organizing a Messy House
  1. Start Small. If you start to think about organizing every room, closet, and cupboard in your home, it's likely to feel overwhelming. ...
  2. Go Through Everything. ...
  3. Toss It in the Trash. ...
  4. Donate. ...
  5. Invest in Good Storage Solutions. ...
  6. Find a Place For Everything. ...
  7. Stay Consistent.
Apr 29, 2021

How do you clean when overwhelmed? ›

How to Start Cleaning if You're Overwhelmed
  1. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  2. Spend those 20 minutes cleaning.
  3. Take a 10-minute break from cleaning.
  4. Repeat.

What are the 7 steps to declutter your life? ›

How to Declutter: 7 Simple Steps to Embrace Minimalism
  1. Start with your “why” ...
  2. Make your decluttering plan. ...
  3. Do a quick decluttering sweep through your whole house. ...
  4. Clear key surface areas and work on keeping them clear. ...
  5. Declutter somewhere easy. ...
  6. Declutter each area of your home, starting with your highest priority area.
Nov 8, 2017

How can I be ruthless when decluttering my house? ›

A great way to encourage yourself to be more ruthless while decluttering is setting a clear goal when you begin decluttering a space. Do you want to get rid of half the items in the space? Or maybe you want to only keep what can fit easily on one shelf.

How do I organize my house full of everything? ›

How to Organize a Cluttered Room
  1. Step 1: Set a Goal for the Room. ...
  2. Step 2: Knock Out Some Logistics. ...
  3. Step 3: Pick a Strategic Starting Point. ...
  4. Step 4: Take Everything Out. ...
  5. Step 5: Sort and Declutter. ...
  6. Step 6: Clean Anything That's Dirty. ...
  7. Step 7: Find a Home for Every Item. ...
  8. Step 8: Snag Any Storage Items You Need.
Jan 31, 2022

What should I declutter list? ›

Room-by-Room List of Things to Declutter
  1. Magazines nobody has read.
  2. Books you're not going to read again.
  3. Bills / papers to recycle, shred or file.
  4. Excess throw blankets.
  5. Figurines or vases you no longer like.
  6. Decorative pillows you no longer like.
  7. Framed photos that no longer suit you.
  8. Artwork that no longer suits you.
May 5, 2020

What does God say about decluttering? ›

Did you know the Bible even talks about throwing things away? Ecclesiastes 3 speaks about there being a time for everything. Verse 6 says there is “a time to keep, and a time to cast away.” (ESV) There is a time to get rid of what we no longer use. It can be a good thing to discard or to recycle.

Do you clean or declutter first? ›

1 – You declutter first, get rid of stuff you don't need or want. Then organize. Then you clean because if you clean while your house is cluttered all you're doing is moving around the clutter. 2 – Decluttering first certainly makes cleaning easier.

How to be a minimalist woman? ›

From changing your attitude to decluttering your home, follow these steps to become a minimalist and live a more intentional life!
  1. Begin with One Aspect of Your Life. ...
  2. Determine Necessities. ...
  3. Get Rid of Excess Clutter. ...
  4. Reduce Technology Usage. ...
  5. Prioritize Relationships. ...
  6. Make a Budget. ...
  7. Try It While You Travel.
Oct 27, 2022

What is the 90 90 rule minimalism? ›

Have you used that item in the last 90 days? If you haven't, will you use it in the next 90? If not, then it's okay to let go.

What is the 333 rule for clothes? ›

The idea behind Project 333 is simple: Wear only 33 articles of clothing for the next 3 months. All clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes count towards your number. Exceptions include wedding rings, underwear, sleepwear, in-home loungewear, and workout clothing.

How do you clean up extreme clutter? ›

10 Clutter-Clearing Strategies that Will Gradually Make Your Life 100 Times Easier
  1. Start with one small area—like your junk drawer. ...
  2. Set a timer for 10 minutes. ...
  3. Try the trash-bag method. ...
  4. Keep it sustainable. ...
  5. Use “habit tracking” to your advantage. ...
  6. Never, ever start with sentimental items. ...
  7. Keep the one-in, one-out rule.
Dec 5, 2018

What happens to your brain when you declutter? ›

“Studies show that people experience a significant decrease in the stress hormone cortisol when items are removed,” helping you to feel more stable, clearheaded, and relaxed as you clean.

Why do I have no motivation to declutter? ›

I think that often, a lack of motivation correlates with a lack of confidence. We don't feel like decluttering because we're worried we won't be able to declutter. The idea of being stressed and overwhelmed isn't very appealing, so we procrastinate or find anything else to do instead.

How do I declutter every room in my house? ›

How to Declutter Any Room in 5 Easy Steps
  1. Get your Clutter Under Control. ...
  2. Step 1: Empty the Space. ...
  3. Step 2: Create a Vision for the Room. ...
  4. Step 3: Sort Everything into Two Piles. ...
  5. The Vision Pile. ...
  6. The Out-the-Door Pile. ...
  7. Peter's Simple Sorting Tip. ...
  8. Step 4: Donate or Trash Items.
Jan 3, 2011

How do I organize my bedroom step by step? ›

How to Organize Your Room
  1. Tidy up. Start your bedroom organization project by doing an initial sweep. ...
  2. Take inventory of your belongings. ...
  3. Put items away. ...
  4. Clear your bedside table. ...
  5. Tidy up your dresser drawers. ...
  6. Decide on a closet organization system. ...
  7. Consider additional storage solutions. ...
  8. Deep clean.
Sep 16, 2021

What does a messy house say about a person? ›

Most often, a house that is so messy that it is unsafe or unlivable is a sign of an underlying mental health issue. While you might judge others for “laziness” when their homes are messy, they often do not want to live this way. They likely have no support to treat their mental illness or any family members to help.

What does a cluttered house say about a person? ›

Clutter in the living room might suggest blockages in your social life, as well as your relationship with yourself, while a cluttered bedroom might relate to issues surrounding your sexual self, fears of intimacy or gender roles.

What order should I clean my house in? ›

Guidelines on the order to clean your house
  1. Start with the cleaning tasks that require chemicals to soak in, or that can be going while you do other things. ...
  2. Clean from the top down. ...
  3. Tidy first, then clean. ...
  4. Clean the 'wet areas' first. ...
  5. Clean the floors last.

Where do I start cleaning a filthy house? ›

Start on the room which will have the best impact on you, if you are living in the home and it's the kitchen which is getting you down more than anything then start there. Once you complete one room it will typically help spur you on to clean the other rooms.

How do you clean your house with little effort? ›

Ways to clean your house with little effort
  1. BASKET SPEED CLEAN. Corral any random loose items and tabletop clutter into baskets for each room. ...
  2. NEXT, WIPE DOWN SURFACES. ...
  3. SWEEP AND/OR VACUUM. ...
  4. EMPTY ALL TRASH CANS. ...
  5. MAKE YOUR BED. ...
  6. HIDE THE HAMPER. ...
  7. CLEAR YOUR FRIDGE DOOR.
Nov 1, 2018

How to tackle chores when you re feeling super overwhelmed and unmotivated? ›

The next time you feel overwhelmed by cleaning or tidying, try setting a timer for 15 minutes (or 10—whatever seems doable!) and tell yourself you only have to clean for those 15 minutes, after which you can stop and do something enjoyable, like watching a TV show or eating a delicious snack.

How do you clean your house when you are exhausted? ›

How to Clean Your Home When You Have No Energy
  1. Start with inspiration. Sometimes when the body feels weak or tired the problem isn't mere exhaustion. ...
  2. Stay fed. ...
  3. Make a list. ...
  4. One step at a time. ...
  5. Use the right tools. ...
  6. Delegate tasks. ...
  7. Establish a 'clean as you go' rule. ...
  8. Clean efficiently.

What are the 4 tips to stay organized? ›

To help yourself relax and stay focused, give these four organizational techniques a try:
  • Make lists. Writing everything down that's on your agenda for the day or week is a great way to prioritize everything you have to get done. ...
  • Keep clutter to a minimum. ...
  • Learn to Manage Responsibilities. ...
  • Download an app.

How do I organize my messy life? ›

To organize your life, you need to understand what you want to get out of it.
  1. Start journaling.
  2. Create a personal development plan and check it weekly.
  3. Create routines for things you do every day.
  4. Schedule your physical activities.
  5. Make lists of everything.
  6. Create time blocks in Google Calendar.
  7. Use Toggl to track your time.

Should you keep clothes that are too small? ›

Yet, it's more beneficial to keep clothes that fit us perfectly and make room for better items. If they are one size too big or too small, they take space in our closet for no reason. It's time to let them go.

When should you throw out clothes? ›

Here are seven signs to consider when getting rid of clothes.
  • It Has Stains, Holes, or a Smell. This might seem like an obvious sign. ...
  • You No Longer Love It. ...
  • It's From an Outdated Trend. ...
  • It Hasn't Fit in a Year. ...
  • You Haven't Worn It in a Year. ...
  • It No Longer Fits Your Style. ...
  • It's Uncomfortable.
Nov 13, 2020

What should be organized first in a house? ›

Declutter Storage Spaces

The best place to start is your storage spaces—closets, a pantry, or any room that's used primarily for storage purposes. This way, they're ready to accommodate overflow items from other rooms in the home.

What order do you declutter? ›

The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.

What are five rules for staying organized? ›

The 10 Commandments of Organizing
  • Keep like with like. ...
  • Think before you buy. ...
  • Everything has a place. ...
  • Honor your memories—then throw them out. ...
  • Put away your clothes. ...
  • Repurpose, reuse, repurpose again. ...
  • Command everything. ...
  • Set a daily routine.
Jan 13, 2015

What are the three basic steps to organize your home? ›

  1. Step One: Declutter & Detach. First of all, you need to get some sorting containers. Four should be enough. ...
  2. Step Two: Donate, Sell or Throw. Donate. ...
  3. Step Three: Organize. Now it's time to tackle the items that you've chosen to keep.
Jan 5, 2020

How do I decide what clothes to keep? ›

Deciding What to Keep

Traditionally, you'll want three piles – keep, donate, and trash. Clothing that's ripped, torn, spotted with bleach stains, or otherwise unwearable should go straight in the trash pile. Your staple pieces that get constant use should go in the “keep” pile.

What a cluttered home says about you? ›

Clutter in the living room might suggest blockages in your social life, as well as your relationship with yourself, while a cluttered bedroom might relate to issues surrounding your sexual self, fears of intimacy or gender roles.

What is the fastest way to declutter? ›

How to Declutter Fast – Quick and Easy Steps
  1. Toss the Trash. In every area you organize, start by tossing the obvious trash. ...
  2. Move Non-Kitchen Items Out of the Kitchen. ...
  3. Tidy Reading Material in the Living Room. ...
  4. Organize the Bathroom One Drawer at a Time. ...
  5. Let Go of Unused Items in Your Home Office.

How do I organize my house with a lot of stuff? ›

How to Organize Every Space in Your House in 8 Simple Steps
  1. Take everything out of the space. ...
  2. Declutter like crazy. ...
  3. Put like items together.
  4. Corral like items.
  5. Label bins, boxes, and organizers.
  6. Refill the space.
  7. Train yourself to put things back in their spot.
Oct 3, 2022

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