Today’s post is all about how to declutter fast!
If you want to get rid of the clutter quickly, these 15 decluttering tips are just what you need. Learn how to make the most of your decluttering time and efforts so you can clear the clutter quickly and start enjoying a clutter-free home!
When you decide you want to declutter your home, it’s common to want to get it over with as quickly and as easily as possible.
Decluttering your home takes time. It likely took years to accumulate all the stuff currently in your home. Most of us can’t expect to declutter it all in one day!
However, there are things you can do to speed up the decluttering process significantly and learn how to get rid of clutter fast.
If you want to learn how to declutter fast, check out these 15 decluttering tips to clear the clutter quickly!
How to declutter fast: 15 ways to clear the clutter quickly
1. Increase the frequency and intensity of your decluttering sessions
The first step in learning how to declutter fast is figuring out when you’ll declutter.
I often talk about consistency over intensity when you’re decluttering. Reminding you that even 10 minutes a day of decluttering will add up over time. But if your focus is on decluttering fast, you’ll need to prioritize both consistency and intensity.
In order to declutter quickly, plan to declutter as frequently as possible. Prioritize decluttering now so you can get rid of clutter fast and give yourself more time, energy and freedom later.
Schedule your decluttering sessions and stick to them. Treat them like any other appointment and hold yourself accountable to make sure you get frequent decluttering sessions in.
Decluttering quickly also requires working for longer chunks of time. Find some time in your schedule that will allow you to declutter for an hour or two at a time if you want to speed up the decluttering process. Repeat these longer decluttering sessions as frequently as you can.
In addition to your longer decluttering sessions, it’s also a great idea to try to do at least some decluttering every day. Even if you can only find 10 minutes to declutter some days, those minutes will add up over time. And the combination of intensity and consistency will be key to decluttering quickly.
2. Set decluttering goals
Setting decluttering goals is a great way to help you learn how to declutter fast. It’s a lot easier to push yourself when you have a specific goal you want to reach.
Some examples of decluttering goals you can set are:
- how frequently you want to declutter
- when you want to complete certain rooms or spaces by
- how much you want to get rid of or how little you want to keep, etc.
Be as specific as possible when setting your decluttering goals. Give yourself tangible benchmarks to meet along with deadlines to complete them by if it will help motivate you.
Try using the SMART goal setting system. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
3. Take action!
Reading and learning about decluttering is great. Making a decluttering plan is also great and a valuable part of the decluttering process to prepare and motivate you. But the key to decluttering fast is taking action and getting started!
When you’re taking on a big project, like decluttering, getting started can often be the hardest part. Once you take the first step and get started, it’s usually easier to keep going.
The benefits of decluttering are definitely worth the time and effort to clear the clutter, but you have to put the work in up front to be able to start experiencing the benefits.
4. Declutter as you go about your day
If you want to learn how to declutter fast, work on making decluttering something you do automatically throughout your day.
Always keep a critical eye out for anything you see that you no longer use, need, love or want and can get rid of.
Getting in the habit of doing this will make it easy to declutter as you go about your day, with very little extra time or effort required. And the results of this constant, automatic decluttering will add up over time.
For example, as you’re getting ready in the morning, look for any products you know you don’t use, need or like and get rid of them right then.
When you’re doing the laundry, look for clothes that are worn out, no longer fit, you don’t like, etc. and get rid of them rather than putting them away. You can do the same thing with cooking utensils as you cook.
This is an especially effective strategy when you’re tidying up the house. Always look for things you can declutter instead of putting away.
Make sure you have an ongoing decluttering box handy somewhere in the house. Whenever you come across something you don’t use, need or like, add it to the decluttering box. When the box gets full, drop it off at the donation center and start again!
5. Be ruthless
Being in the right mindset is really important if you want to get rid of clutter quickly. If you try hard enough you can probably come up with a reason to keep almost anything.
Keep reminding yourself of your decluttering goals. Your goal isn’t to think of every possible way you might be able to use something. Instead, it’s to clear the clutter quickly!
Be as ruthless as possible with your decluttering decisions. The more you get rid of during each decluttering session, the quicker you’ll clear the clutter now rather than having to go back and do more decluttering later.
Use your decluttering time well by being as ruthless and efficient as possible. Making your decluttering time count is key to learning how to declutter fast.
6. Focus on high impact spaces
If your time is limited and you want to declutter fast, work on decluttering the spaces that will have the biggest impact on your home and your life once they’re clutter-free.
Usually, this means tackling the high-use, high-traffic spaces in your home. For example, maybe the kitchen, the entryway, the laundry room, etc.
Focus on decluttering the spaces that will significantly make life easier once you declutter them if your focus is on how to declutter fast.
7. Work quickly and efficiently from start to finish
Using a good decluttering system will be very important if you want to clear the clutter quickly.
Quickly and ruthlessly make decluttering decisions, sorting items into 1 of 4 categories:
- Put away
Then, at the end of your decluttering session, make sure you finish dealing with these items before you’re done.
Throw away the garbage and put the recyclables in your recycling bin.
Put donation items in the trunk of your car (with a plan about when you’ll drop them off) or in your decluttering “holding zone” (again, with a plan about when you’ll take them to the donation center).
Put items you’re selling in your decluttering holding zone, with a deadline for when you’ll get them listed for sale and how long you’ll wait before donating unsold items.
Anything you’re keeping in the space should be put away. Make sure each item has a specific home to keep it so it won’t end up as clutter later.
Then finally, put any items that you’re keeping but belong elsewhere in the house away where they belong.
8. Stay on task
If you want to declutter quickly, staying on task during your decluttering sessions is important.
Don’t let yourself get distracted cleaning, organizing or putting things away in other rooms. Use your decluttering time for clearing the clutter if you want to declutter fast.
Keep a box with you for things you come across that belong in other rooms and need to be put away. Nothing sidetracks your decluttering progress more than seeing something that belongs in another room, taking it to put it away, then getting distracted in that room, etc.
A box to gather items that belong elsewhere lets you avoid spending your whole decluttering session moving stuff around your home, instead of actually decluttering!
9. Recruit help
Making decluttering a team effort is a great way to make the decluttering process go faster. Recruit family members, or even friends, to help you. If it’s in your budget, hiring a professional organizer to help can be a great way to declutter quickly.
You can even get family members more excited to help by making decluttering a challenge. For example, set a timer for 20 minutes and whoever finds the fewest number of items to get rid of has to do the dishes. Adding some friendly competition and a bit of urgency can really help if you want to declutter quickly!
10. Walk away
If something is really hard to declutter and slowing down your progress, walk away from that particular decluttering task and work on something else for a while.
For example, if you’re really struggling to sort through your sentimental items or your kid’s baby clothes, don’t let your entire decluttering session get derailed. Move on to something else and come back to whatever is slowing you down later.
Use your decluttering time wisely if your goal is to learn how to declutter fast. Know when to walk away and work on something else if decluttering in a certain area is slowing you down.
Another great way to deal with things that are slowing you down is to use a “maybe box”. A maybe box is like a decluttering safety net, allowing you to make more ruthless decluttering decisions without the fear of regretting your decisions.
Here’s how it works: if you’re struggling to make a decluttering decision about something, put it in a box out of sight and put a reminder in your phone to come back to it in 1 to 3 (or more) months.
If you haven’t needed (or even thought about!) the item in that time, maybe it’s not as important to you as you thought. Often some time and space away from our “stuff” give us a better perspective about what we really need and value.
11. Don’t underestimate the impact of “easy decluttering projects”
As you’re learning how to declutter fast, don’t forget about easier decluttering projects that can help you build decluttering confidence, momentum and motivation.
Decluttering is something you get better at, and gets easier, the more you do it. Working on some easier decluttering projects lets you build your “decluttering muscles” so by the time you get to the harder stuff, decluttering will be quicker and easier.
My favourite easy decluttering projects are:
- A whole house clutter sweep: quickly walk around your house looking for anything you see you don’t use, need or love and can get rid of. Start with the easiest stuff like garbage, broken items, things you don’t even like, etc. to make it even easier.
- Clear surface clutter from key surfaces: clearing the surfaces in your home will have a big impact on the look and feel of the space, and is a great way to declutter quickly.
- Declutter somewhere easy: working on an easier space to declutter let’s you make progress more quickly and easily. The bathroom, pantry, coat closet, etc. are great places to tackle because the decluttering decisions are often easier in these spaces.
Come back to these 3 easy decluttering projects any time you need to make some quick decluttering progress or get your momentum going again.
12. Get things out of the house quickly
A very important part of learning how to declutter fast is making sure the items you’re getting rid of are actually leaving your house!
Plan and schedule when to get the things you’re decluttering out of your house. Don’t let clutter you’re getting rid of sit too long. Not only will it continue being clutter in your space, but even worse, there’s a good chance it’ll slowly get spread back out over the house undoing all of your hard work!
Plan ahead for what you’ll do with stuff you’re getting rid of. Then schedule regular times to get it out of the house.
Decluttering isn’t done until the stuff has actually left your house. A holding zone is important so you have a place to put things you’re getting rid of as you’re decluttering, but don’t let things pile up and sit in your holding zone too long.
13. Consider donating instead of selling
If your goal is decluttering fast, consider donating most of the items you’re getting rid of instead of selling them. Donating items lets you get rid of the clutter quickly and easily.
Selling things takes a lot of time and effort. Time and effort you could be using to do more decluttering.
Be very selective about what you try to sell, maybe only selling bigger, higher ticket items. Ask yourself if the value of the item is worth the time and effort to sell it.
Give yourself deadlines to get items listed for sale, along with a time limit for how long you’ll let items sit unsold before donating them.
14. Stop the inflow of new “stuff”
No matter how much you declutter, if you keep bringing more stuff in, you won’t see much progress, let alone declutter fast.
First, be a fierce gatekeeper about what you allow into your house, to begin with. Try to stop things you know you won’t use, need or like from coming into your home at all.
Then, focus on being more intentional with your shopping habits to slow the inflow of new stuff. Try a shopping ban, where you challenge yourself to go a certain period of time without buying anything new aside from essentials like groceries and gas.
Or try using the “one in, one out” rule, so every time you bring something new into your house, you get rid of something in its place.
15. Give yourself some grace
As I said before, your home didn’t get filled with stuff and clutter overnight, so it will probably take some time to get rid of the clutter in it as well.
Do the best you can, push yourself and be as ruthless as possible. But be kind to yourself along the way too. Remember that any time you declutter something, you are making progress. Small steps toward your decluttering goals still count!
How to declutter fast!
I hope these tips will help you if you want to learn how to declutter fast. Getting rid of the clutter quickly is definitely do-able if you’re ready to go all-in and begin enjoying the benefits of a clutter-free home sooner!
Thursday 4th of May 2023
This works! I did 1.5 hours in a large cluttered livìngroom. Moving things to a trashbag...donate box out side or stage in nearby kitchen to live elsewhere. Now taking 10 min break then moving those staged items to where they belong... empty trash and start 2nd hour. On a roll! I plan to do 3 hours today with 10 minute breaks to handle the declutter fall out...move things to where they need to be ...trash out and declutter thrift to car! This is working for me. Notes Music helps...I play jazz You find treasures things that "went missing...like seeds that never planted...small gifts never gifted... and an extra set of housekeys i could not find! Any medium to big items you can part with and get out of the house... make a quick huge difference! Two small shelves i liked but never found a home are going in car and off to theft just after my 3rd hour today. Poof! The suggestion to leave emotional or stop the on the roll momentum really helps as well...that was my moms wallet... ok stuffed it in my bureau draw way in back... not dealing with it today...and in 5 seconds on to more declutter.
I started with the floor.. anything in box basket etc needs to go..to where it lives ..or trash or thrift! 2nd hour or part of it will be...dealing with that overspill...then I am moving up to flat surfaces.. coffee table breakfast table low bookshelf with a long surface!
One tip I saw elsewhere... put a pretty something on a flat surface you don't want to recruiter. One simple vase. A pretty seashell or beach rock...or small jar of seamless. Works as visual reminder not to clutter the spot...and it also displays something you love...could be a photo too! ;)
Thank you...just the Jumpstart I needed!
Simple Lionheart Life
Friday 5th of May 2023
Wow! It sounds like you're doing an awesome job. Good for you!! I love your tips about putting something pretty on a surface to remind yourself to keep it clutter-free, that's a great idea! Thanks for reading and sharing your progress. You're doing great!
Thursday 13th of January 2022
How to de clutter fast is your best article yet! Thank you you for the solid advice including links for further details!
Simple Lionheart Life
Friday 14th of January 2022
You're welcome! Thank you for reading and for your kind words :)
Jeffrey M Miller
Thursday 2nd of January 2020
Been doing very well with decluttering, but the more I get it done the more my GF brings more in. I finally got the craft room cleaned out and looks great, just to find mg gf purchasing more yarn and crafts to fill those spaces. Guess we see things differently. Lol oh well a day at a time..
Simple Lionheart Life
Friday 3rd of January 2020
It's definitely challenging when you have more than one person in your household - especially if you have differing ideas of what is enough stuff! I always suggest having open and honest conversations about what your goals are for each space. And also be willing to compromise to find a balance. I love your attitude about it though - you're absolutely right that you can take it one day at a time and figure it out as you go. Thanks for reading!
Monday 22nd of July 2019
This is an excellent article! We can make decluttering far more complicated than we need to. I've been doing some of these things and finding they are very powerful strategies. All your tips are so common sense!
Simple Lionheart Life
Thursday 1st of August 2019
Thanks so much, Nicole! I'm glad you found it helpful! I completely agree with you - it's easy to overcomplicate decluttering way more than necessary. Keeping the whole process as simple and as straightforward as possible has helped me a lot! Thanks for reading :)
Sunday 19th of May 2019
Yes, Melissa! Do it NOW. Be fierce. Be ruthless. Thank you!
Simple Lionheart Life
Sunday 19th of May 2019
Yes! I couldn't agree more! Thanks for reading Succor :)