If you want to simplify your home, but don’t want to spend hours decluttering, today’s post is for you! I’m sharing 20 easy ways to declutter and simplify your home.
These decluttering tasks are easy to fit into your day because they are all things you can do in 10 minutes or less. But doing little decluttering projects like these, consistently, will add up to big decluttering progress over time!
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Simplify your home: slow and steady
Sometimes life is busy and it feels like there’s no extra time to fit decluttering in. But there are easy ways to add decluttering and simplifying into your days, even if your days are already full.
In fact, the more you simplify your life and your home, the less busy and full your days will be simply because you’ll have less “stuff” taking up your time, energy and attention!
Simplifying your home doesn’t need to mean spending hours at a time decluttering and organizing. Instead, slow and steady progress is often a great way to make significant and lasting change.
It’s easy to put decluttering off if you wait until you have a big chunk of time to devote to it. But if you can devote just 10 minutes to decluttering, overtime, all those minutes will add up and you’ll see big progress!
In fact, taking small steps to clear the clutter and simplify your home will often add up to quicker progress than waiting until you have several hours to declutter at once. Simply because you may never find those free hours to declutter!
Not only that, but when you make a big change to the way you live all at once, sometimes it can be hard to maintain that change. It’s a lot of habits and tendencies you’re changing all at once.
But when you make small changes one at a time, by doing a little decluttering more often, it can feel easier and less overwhelming to maintain those smaller changes moving forward.
Consistency is key
This list of 20 simplifying projects can be done in any order and at any time. It may help you stay consistent by doing them at the same time each day. Or you can use it as your go-to list to refer to whenever you have a few spare minutes and want to declutter.
The key to these projects is consistency. Try to do some decluttering often. Then get in the habit of maintaining the spaces you’ve decluttered so they continue to simplify your life.
Some of these tasks may take you 2 minutes, some may take you longer, depending on your home and what you’re starting with. Decide what will work for you each day.
Do you want to work on the task for 10 minutes, then move on whether you’re finished or not? Do you want to do one task a day and be done, even if it only takes 3 minutes? Or do another task that day if the first one is quick?
20 projects to simplify your home in 10 minutes or less
1. Create a spot for incoming paperwork
Paperwork can be a big source of clutter in many households. In an ideal world it would be best to deal with paperwork right away, then file or discard it. But sometimes this just isn’t possible.
As much as possible, sort through incoming paperwork right away and get rid of anything you don’t need. Then, have a designated place to put paperwork that still needs attention. This will keep it contained instead of it ending up as clutter all over your counters, table, etc.
2. Schedule a time to go through paperwork
Now that you have your paperwork contained to one basket/folder/drawer/etc. the next step is having a regularly scheduled time to go through and deal with it. Without a plan to deal with paperwork, even if it’s contained in one place, it will still get out of control.
Figure out what will work best for you, whether it’s sorting through paperwork daily, weekly, monthly, etc., put it in your calendar and follow through!
3. Find 10 things to get rid of from anywhere in your house
Look around and find 10 things to get rid of from any space in your home. It could be things to throw away, donate, sell, return, etc.
It may not seem like much, but if you do this a few times a week, you’ll be removing a lot of clutter from your home over time!
4. Make a decluttering box
When you’re decluttering gradually, a little bit at a time, having a place to gather and hold anything you’re decluttering is essential to make it easy to get rid of clutter.
Keep a box, bag or basket to gather donations and things you’re decluttering somewhere accessible, but not too visible. You don’t want you or other family members second-guessing your decluttering decisions!
As you declutter, add things to the box. Then either when the box gets full or on a weekly/monthly basis, drop it off at your donation center and start again.
5. Get rid of duplicate items in your kitchen
Getting rid of duplicates is a great way to simplify your home. And the kitchen is a place it’s easy to accumulate duplicate items.
How many spatulas/measuring spoons/mixing bowls/etc. do you actually use and need? If you have duplicate items, keep your favourite one or two, then get rid of the rest!
6. Clear out expired food from the pantry
Go through your pantry and get rid of anything past its expiry date. If there is anything that’s unopened and still fresh but you know you won’t use, donate it to your local food bank.
While you’re in there straighten things up, take note of what you have and try to plan meals around what you have instead of buying more.
7. Clear off your kitchen table
Not only will clearing the clutter off your table instantly make your kitchen look tidier and less cluttered. But it will also make it easier and more likely for your family to sit down and share a meal together!
8. Clear your countertops & put things away
Clutter-free countertops make cooking and cleaning up easier. And also, reduce the visual clutter in your kitchen.
Aim to keep only the essentials on your countertops, such as the things you use on a daily basis.
You can also try experimenting with what is actually “essential” for you. Try putting things away in cupboards and drawers to see how you like less stuff on your countertops instead.
9. Make a meal plan
Not only will meal planning simplify your life, but it can also help simplify your home as well.
When you plan your meals, you can buy the food you’ll use and need. Rather than bringing home a bunch of random items you may or may not use, adding clutter to your pantry and fridge.
Reduce food clutter and food waste by planning your meals before grocery shopping.
10. Make your bed
Making your bed only takes a few minutes, but can completely change the look and feel of your bedroom. It immediately makes your room feel tidier and more put together.
And sometimes it can be the catalyst to inspire you to keep the rest of your bedroom tidy and clutter-free as well. Which may even inspire you to carry those same habits into the rest of your house as well.
And if nothing else, you’ll have a nicely made bed to climb into at the end of the day!
11. Clean out your sock drawer
Decluttering doesn’t always have to be big projects. Taking a few minutes to clear the clutter from small spots in your home will add up to make a big difference.
For example, take a quick look through your sock drawer and get rid of any socks with holes, no match, you don’t like, etc. It may not seem like much, but you’ll be making decluttering progress and making your life easier!
Next time you have a few minutes, declutter another small drawer or space in your room. It adds up!
12. Find 3 things from your wardrobe to donate or get rid of
Stand in your closet or open a drawer and try to find 3 things to get rid of. Don’t worry about decluttering and simplifying your whole wardrobe. Just start small and find 3 things you don’t like, don’t wear, don’t fit, etc.
If you do this once a week, you’ll be making great progress towards simplifying your wardrobe.
13. Toss any makeup that’s old or you don’t like
When you’re getting ready in the morning, instead of just grabbing your favourite products and ignoring the rest, take a look and find things you never use, don’t love, are old, etc. and get rid of them.
When you can add decluttering tasks into the things you’re already doing every day, it’s a great way to simplify your home with almost no extra time or effort!
14. Set a timer and see how many items from your bathroom you can find to get rid of
Bathrooms are places clutter loves to hide.
How many times have you tried a new product, not liked it, but instead of getting rid of it, shoved it in the back of the cupboard “just in case”? Or maybe you started using a new bottle of lotion or shampoo, but never got rid of the old one with hardly any left?
Set a timer for 10 minutes and try to find as many things as you can to get rid of. Look for easy things you know you won’t use, need to be tossed, etc. Removing this layer of surface clutter will simplify your bathroom and your mornings!
15. Find 3 books to pass on
Many people struggle to declutter books. But taking it slow when it comes to books is a great way to make the project seem easier and less overwhelming.
Find 3 books you’ve read and won’t re-read. Or 3 books you haven’t read yet, but don’t really want to.
If you struggle to let go of books you haven’t read yet, give yourself a deadline. If you haven’t started or finished the book by the deadline, get rid of it!
And don’t forget, if you donate the books you’re decluttering to your local library, you can always borrow them if you ever want to read them again!
16. Clean out your purse
Cleaning out your purse or wallet is a great way to lighten your load…literally!
It’s amazing the things that end up in your purse over time. Dump out the contents and clear out any garbage, deal with any receipts, sort through your cards and get rid of ones you don’t need, etc.
17. Sort through your junk drawer
Most people have a junk drawer of some kind in their homes. Junk drawers can hold a variety of things from important-looking screws you find around the house, to tape, scissors, pens, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with having a drawer for all the miscellaneous items households need, like pens, tape, scissors, etc. But the clutter comes from filling the junk drawer with unmade decisions in the form of random items you don’t know what to do with.
First, get rid of anything you don’t use or need (or don’t even know what it is!). Then give everything you’re keeping a designated place to help keep clutter and unmade decisions from filling the space moving forward.
Drawer organizers or repurposed boxes can be really helpful in keeping the junk drawer purposeful, instead of full of clutter.
18. Challenge yourself to see how many things you can find to get rid of in 10 minutes
Sometimes a little friendly competition is a great way to declutter and simplify your home quickly. Even if it’s just competing with yourself.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how many things you can find to get rid of. Each time you do this, challenge yourself to find more things to get rid of. Or get your family in on the challenge and see who can find the most things to get rid of.
19. Get in the habit of resetting your spaces
A reset is simply taking a few minutes to tidy a space in your home and reset it back to neutral at designated times during the day.
For example, you might reset your kitchen after each meal, by clearing the counters, loading dishes into the dishwasher, wiping the counters, etc.
Another example of a reset might be quickly doing a tidy of your whole house each evening. It’s not a deep clean, it’s just a quick tidy to keep your house more under control.
When you get in the habit of resetting your spaces regularly, each reset takes less time and effort because things don’t have a chance to get completely out of control.
20. Make one clutter-free spot in your home
If you’re in the process of simplifying and decluttering your home, giving yourself one clutter-free spot is a great way to stay motivated and keep your momentum going.
For example, you could have a cozy, clutter-free reading spot in the living room. Keeping your bathroom counter clear and clutter-free could be your clutter-free spot. You could keep one section of your kitchen counters clutter-free. Or keeping your nightstand clear and clutter-free could be your spot.
When you create and maintain one clutter-free spot it gives you one space to retreat to and enjoy while you’re working to simplify the rest of your home.
It allows you to experience and enjoy the benefits of simplifying and decluttering. This helps you stay motivated to continue creating more clutter-free spaces in your home!
Simplify your home one small step at a time
I hope this list gives you some easy ways to start and continue simplifying your home, even when your life is busy and full.
Remember, you can do these tasks in any order and I encourage you to repeat them as well. Decluttering doesn’t have to take hours at a time. Each time you spend a few minutes removing clutter from your home you’re making progress to simplify your home and your life.
What’s your favourite way to declutter when you only have a few minutes? Leave a comment and let me know!