Decluttering Tips – My Experienced Guide to Cleaner Spaces

If you’re looking around your home and wondering what it would look like without all of the “stuff,” it might be time to declutter.  I’m going to discuss some decluttering tips to get you started and help keep you focused in the best way possible.

Decluttering tips can guide you in paring down the stuff in your life to make your space cleaner.  From reducing cleaning and stress to increasing organization, decluttering has many benefits.  Decluttering tips can make it easier to rid your home and even life of the things you really don’t need.

Do you feel like you need to declutter your home but don’t know how to start?  Are you looking for a way to declutter but need some guidance?  Check out these decluttering tips to help you get started reclaiming your space.

What Is Decluttering?

Decluttering is sorting through the things in your living area or office to get rid of stuff you no longer use, that takes up space, or just isn’t needed anymore.  Decluttering is paring down accessories, clothing, toys, electronics, books, and anything else left unused for some time. 

Decluttering is organizing and removing unnecessary or unwanted items from a living space, work area, or any other environment where belongings accumulate. It involves sorting through possessions and deciding what to keep, what to discard, and what to donate or sell. The goal of decluttering is to create a more organized and simplified living space, reducing the physical and mental burden of excessive possessions.

Packing a Simple Box - Decluttering Tips - Gone Minimal
Packing a Simple Box

What are the Benefits of Decluttering?

It might seem overwhelming to think about cleaning and decluttering your home, especially when there’s a great deal of stuff, or it’s just been a long time.  However, decluttering has many benefits when all is said and done.  Here are just a few benefits you can reap from decluttering your living space:

  1. More free space
  2. Less upkeep
  3. Less cleaning
  4. Less stress
  5. More relaxing space
  6. Saves money
  7. Saves time
  8. More organized
  9. Improved health

How to Start Decluttering

Decluttering Supplies

It helps to gather the proper decluttering supplies to get started.  You’ll want a trash can or a trash bag for discarding items.  Boxes for collecting items for donation and sale are also super helpful. 

Decluttering Checklist

If you’re looking for a guide or a way to stay on track, consider a decluttering checklist.  This checklist will include what you want to keep, what you can donate, and what you can sell.  It will have the rooms to be included in decluttering, a good starting place, and any personal goals.  A decluttering checklist can also help you focus and prevent getting off-track.

Decluttering Timelines

How much time do you have to work on decluttering your home?  Using decluttering timelines can also help you stay on track and finish what you can in the time available.  There are methods for decluttering in 30 minutes, one day, 30 days, and even ongoing decluttering timelines.

Writing a Simple Checkslist - Decluttering Tips - Gone Minimal
Writing a Simple Checklist

Decluttering Tips for Rooms

Tips for Decluttering a Closet

When you get ready to declutter a closet, there are some helpful tips to make it easier.  First, remove everything from the closet you want to declutter.  Once you can see everything in there, you can decide better what to keep and remove. 

If you’ve spent the money on elaborate closet storage systems but still find it cluttered, taking everything out can assist in getting rid of the excess and maximizing storage and organization.

Tips for Decluttering a Living Room

A living room should be a space for family gatherings and relaxing, so decluttering means removing things that detract from those activities.  Tips for decluttering a living room include taking away extra furniture or pieces that don’t serve a purpose, paring down distracting décor, and creating storage for unused items.

Tips for Decluttering a Storage Area

When decluttering a storage area, the main tip is to remove everything first so you can see what you’re dealing with.  Discard unused and “just in case” items to create more space.  Organize items in a way that makes sense and eases locating necessary items.  Then maximize the storage space with shelves, containers, and storage solutions.

Simple Boxes on Shelves - Decluttering Tips - Gone Minimal
Simple Boxes on Shelves

Tips for Decluttering a Kitchen

Decluttering a kitchen is easier than you might think.  Tips for decluttering a kitchen include paring down duplicate items like coffee mugs, glassware, and special utensils.  You don’t need wine glasses or bottle openers if you don’t drink wine.  Same with the slow cooker, immersion blender, and other specialty appliances.  Organize items for ease of access and frequency of use. 

Tips for Decluttering a Bedroom

Decluttering a bedroom can be the worst, especially when teenagers are involved!  Tips for decluttering a bedroom include taking out dirty dishes and clothing, trash, and other items that don’t belong.  Remove everything from the floor to free up some space.  Make the bed and organize the storage spaces.

Decluttering Tips for Items

Decluttering Tips for Toys

Decluttering toys can be challenging, depending on how old your children are.  According to Lisa Martin of the University of Canberra, decluttering methods for children should be age-appropriate with regular reminders.  Toddlers and younger children may want to hang on to everything but might participate if you make it a game.  It may take some convincing just to get it done for older children and teenagers, but they’re more apt to let go of toys once they start.

Paper Decluttering Tips

Papers tend to collect everywhere in our homes, but technology has made it simpler to get rid of them.  Junk mail, circulars, and advertisements can go directly into the recycling bin.  Paper bills can be sent electronically rather than on paper.  Tax return documents only need to be held for approximately three years, so shred and recycle those.  Utilize a scanner and save electronic files of keepsakes rather than papers.

Paper Clutter - Decluttering Tips - Gone Minimal
Paper Clutter

Decluttering Tips for Clothes

You probably have clothing items that you haven’t worn in at least six months, don’t fit anymore, and are worn out.  Donate or sell clothing in good shape and discard the old and worn pieces.  Consider how often you wear some items and if they’re worth keeping.  Decluttering clothing may lead to feelings of excitement, relief, and accomplishment, as found by research student Giuliana Heger of the University of Boras.

If you’ve spent the money on elaborate closet storage systems but still find it cluttered, taking everything out can assist in getting rid of the excess and maximizing storage and organization.

Decluttering Tips for Life Events

Decluttering Tips for Hoarders

Hoarding is a difficult situation not to be taken lightly.  Those who hoard items don’t like thinking about decluttering, so they need help.  Finding a support system and people to assist in decluttering can assist the process, but a great deal of patience is also needed.  Most importantly, use sensitivity when working with people who hoard to identify what can be decluttered and how to clean up their homes.

Decluttering Tips for Moving

Decluttering for moving means packing up the things you need and donating or selling the things you don’t.  You may find items that don’t fit your new place, you relate to negative experiences, or just don’t serve a purpose in your future.  This saves money on packing boxes, time on packing, and space in moving trucks and trunks. 

Decluttering Tips for Seniors

Decluttering for seniors may be done for downsizing for safety and retirement.  Some decluttering tips for seniors include recruiting people to help, setting reasonable timelines, and being willing to part with some sentimental items.  Decluttering can make the home a safer space, easier to clean, and easier to pack if needed.

A Woman in a Minimalist Home - Decluttering Tips - Gone Minimal
A Woman in a Minimalist Home

Decluttering for Organizing

It can be difficult to organize your home when you’re holding on to things you don’t need or use.  To maximize storage space and solutions, decluttering can make it much easier.  If you’ve spent the money on elaborate closet storage systems but still find it cluttered, taking everything out can assist in getting rid of the excess and maximizing storage and organization.

Decluttering and Minimalism

Decluttering is a great way to practice minimalism.  Decluttering is paring down those unnecessary items, focusing on the need to minimize clutter.  Minimalism is about practicing “less is more,” which includes household items.  Decluttering clothing and maximizing the wardrobe with fewer items, paring down furniture and décor to only what’s needed or makes a comfortable space, and getting rid of clutter are central to minimalism. 

Decluttering Tips From Popular People

Marie Kondo Decluttering Tips 

The Marie Kondo method is keeping the items that spark joy while thanking the items that don’t and letting them go.  She also has methods of folding clothing and towels, organizing tools and pantry items, and storing collectibles and high-use items that maximize storage space.

Peter Walsh Decluttering Tips

Peter Walsh is a master organizer with tips for decluttering your home and spring cleaning.  He suggests making rooms multitask, using proper storage for items, and even organizing your junk drawer.  He also encourages starting small and creating a system to help you stay on top of things.  Items on counters and bathroom vanities should only be what you use daily and look nice.  And most importantly, never hesitate to ask for help!

This helpful video explains eight decluttering tips and how to let go if you’re struggling with getting started or holding on.

Related Insights

How can I declutter my house quickly?

To declutter your house quickly, it helps to create a plan.  Decide what and where you’d like to declutter, be prepared, stay organized and on task, and you can declutter your house quickly.

What should you not do when decluttering?

When you’re decluttering, don’t overthink things.  Don’t think about the items you might use because you most likely won’t.  Be purposeful in decluttering and think sincerely about what you need and what you don’t.

How do you declutter when overwhelmed?

When you feel overwhelmed, the best method for decluttering is to start small.  A hall closet, a bathroom, a single kitchen cabinet, or a single category can be an easier beginning to decluttering than trying to take on a whole home all at once.

The Items or Spaces That Real People Want to Declutter the Most

I asked friends and family to list three items (clothes, paper, toys, “other”) or three spaces they want to declutter the most. Here is a table representing the percentage of their responses and what I learned from the poll.

Item or Space to Declutter
10% of people polled want to declutter their clothes the most
7% of people polled want to declutter their toys the most
14% of people polled want to declutter their kid’s bedroom the most
7% of people polled want to declutter their office the most
7% of people polled want to declutter their jackets/coats the most
10% of people polled want to declutter their shoes the most
14% of people polled want to declutter their kitchen the most
7% of people polled want to declutter their garage the most
10% of people polled want to declutter their decorations the most
4% of people polled want to declutter their decor the most
10% of people polled want to declutter their seasonal items the most
The Items That Real People Want to Declutter the Most

Other Resources:

Final Thoughts

Decluttering can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task, but decluttering tips can make it seem more doable.  From closets to bedrooms, kitchens to living rooms, there are ways to declutter and organize that won’t take all day or create high-stress levels.  Which decluttering tips did you find to be the most helpful?

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