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How to Start Decluttering: 3 Easy Ways to Take the Plunge

How to Start Decluttering: 3 Easy Ways to Take the Plunge

Decluttering and simplifying your life have many awesome benefits and can give you so much more time, space, freedom and peace. But it can be a lot of work in the beginning. If you’re ready to start decluttering your home but aren’t sure where or how to start, this post will help!

Even if you’ve already started decluttering, but need a little extra motivation to finish the job, today’s post will help! Here are 3 easy ways to take the plunge and start decluttering and simplifying your home and your life!

How to start decluttering: 3 easy ways to take the plunge
Photo by Kara Michelle on Unsplash

Remember: progress is progress

If decluttering your home feels completely overwhelming, my first tip is to be patient with yourself. Remember that your home didn’t become cluttered and stressful overnight. You’re tackling years worth of clutter. Any work you put into decluttering your home is progress. And any progress towards your goals of simplifying your home is important. Baby steps are still helping you move forward!

These 3 easy decluttering projects will help you start decluttering, even if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed or aren’t even sure where to begin. Not only that, these 3 simple ways to start decluttering will build your enthusiasm and motivation to keep decluttering. Fueling your excitement to declutter by giving you a boost of confidence and some decluttering “wins”.

Start with your why

Before getting to the 3 easy ways to start decluttering, I want to share an important decluttering preparation step.

As I said, decluttering can be a big project and a lot of work. Most of us feel discouraged, frustrated or overwhelmed at some point during the process. A great way to move past those kinds of moments is having a clear vision for your simplified home and life that you want to achieve.

Think about why you want to simplify and declutter. What is motivating you to declutter your home and your life? Check out this post for 15 awesome benefits of decluttering and simplifying your life to give you some inspiration. Figure out what you want to achieve by clearing the clutter, the distractions and the excess from your life.

This becomes your “why” – the goals or reasons that are motivating you to make this change and start decluttering. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated or discouraged while decluttering, having a clear vision and a clear “why” can help you stay motivated to keep working towards your goal.

Get an immediate decluttering “win”

When you start decluttering or want to regain your decluttering motivation, giving yourself a decluttering “win” right away is helpful. By that, I mean decluttering somewhere relatively quick and easy to give you results and progress right away.

Giving yourself a decluttering “win” boosts your confidence. It proves to yourself that you can be successful at decluttering. And also shows you that it will make a difference in your home and your life. Seeing these results and boosting your confidence keeps you motivated to continue decluttering.

3 easy ways to start decluttering

Today I’m sharing my 3 favourite ways to start decluttering to give yourself some decluttering “wins” right from the start.

You can do all 3 of these decluttering projects to get you started, or just one or two. If getting one decluttering win is enough to give you that boost of confidence and motivation to continue, that’s great. If you want to complete all 3 projects, that’s great too. Do what works for you! Each of these projects will not only inspire you to keep going but will also give you awesome decluttering results. It’s a win-win!

1. Quick decluttering sweep through the whole house

A great way to start decluttering is doing a quick decluttering sweep through the whole house. Grab a box or laundry basket and quickly move around your house looking for anything you see that you don’t use regularly or love.

This decluttering task helps you remove a layer of surface clutter from all around your house. You can look for things like garbage to throw out, décor items you don’t love that are just filling the space, things you no longer use regularly, need or love, etc. Look for anything that’s only adding clutter to your home but no value to your life.

It’s surprising how quickly and easily you can find lots of stuff you don’t use, love, notice or even care about. Getting rid of this easy stuff gives you the confidence and motivation to keep decluttering. It shows you decluttering doesn’t have to be hard. Just look how quickly you can fill a whole laundry basket with stuff you won’t even miss!

2. Clear 1 or more key surfaces

The flat surfaces in our homes can quickly become clutter magnets. It starts innocently enough when you set one thing on a surface. But clutter always attracts clutter, and before you know it there’s a whole pile of stuff accumulated on a surface!

When you clear the flat surfaces in your home, it removes a lot of visual clutter. This immediately changes the look and feel of your home. Your home instantly appears less cluttered, less messy and less overwhelming. Which shows you clearing the clutter from your home can and will make a difference. Which of course encourages and motivates you to continue decluttering!

Some surfaces to work on are the kitchen counters, dining table, coffee table, entryway table, bathroom counter, nightstand, etc. Think about where your “clutter catchers” are – the places where “stuff” always seems to pile up and tackle those surfaces.

Clear the clutter by throwing out the garbage, putting things back where they belong and finding or making places to keep whatever is left. Then make it a daily habit to work on keeping these surfaces clutter-free.

3. Declutter somewhere easy

I don’t recommend starting with your biggest decluttering project right from the start. It may seem counterintuitive when you’re excited about decluttering and ready to dive in. But if you start decluttering in a large or more difficult space (like your storage room, tackling all your sentimental items, etc.), it usually takes more time and effort and you don’t see immediate results. If you’re just starting out, or are in a decluttering slump, this can leave you feeling discouraged and frustrated.

Before you tackle a large or difficult area to declutter, I recommend starting with a relatively small and easy space. When you declutter a smaller space first, you’ll be able to get it decluttered fairly quickly. Seeing results right away helps you build confidence and motivation to move forward and tackle some of those larger, more difficult spaces.

Some great places to start are places like the bathroom, the pantry, a coat closet, your linen closet, etc. Pick somewhere you don’t store sentimental items and somewhere that doesn’t hold an overwhelming amount of stuff. Choose a space that you can declutter fairly quickly and easily so you can see results right away and feel motivated to continue!

Once you’ve tackled these easy ways to start decluttering, you’ll feel confident and motivated to carry on with your decluttering. And not only will you feel motivated to continue, but you’ll already have made some great decluttering progress too!

Which of these 3 easy ways start decluttering are you feeling inspired to tackle? Let me know in the comments below!

How to start decluttering: 3 easy ways to take the plunge
Photo by Erik Dungan on Unsplash

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Friday 3rd of September 2021

Hi Melissa, You had me at "a warm drink in my hand", in your introduction of yourself. I am a retired teacher and over the years I have acquired so many things. In the past year I have been slowing decluttering too and it feels good. I loved reading your tips too.

Simple Lionheart Life

Friday 3rd of September 2021

Hi and welcome! Thanks for reading, it was great to connect with you!

Amy W.

Monday 24th of February 2020

I enjoy your tips so much! Thank you! I usually save my pantry, closets, and drawers for those rewarding decluttering projects. They help keep me motivated.

Simple Lionheart Life

Tuesday 25th of February 2020

You're welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful! I agree - those are great decluttering projects to keep your momentum and motivation going! Good for you! Thanks for reading :)


Friday 24th of January 2020

Your article has inspired me to open a cabinet in my desk at home, I can picture myself pulling everything out of the cabinet, putting it all in a box, and only putting back supplies I can see myself needing and using. I will then open the other cabinet, and do the same... which will leave me one drawer and one more cabinet in the lower portion of the desk. I will commit to doing this after work today.

Simple Lionheart Life

Sunday 26th of January 2020

Good for you, Kat! That's awesome! I'm so happy to hear you've been inspired to do some decluttering and I love your plan, it sounds great! Thanks for reading :)


Friday 11th of May 2018

I always have a corner, surface or area in my home that's a magnet for things. So thanks for these tips, I will definitely try them out!

Simple Lionheart Life

Friday 11th of May 2018

You're welcome, Michelle! I'm glad you found the post helpful! I think we all have some area in our home that we have to be a little extra diligent to keep the clutter from piling up! Thanks for reading :)


Sunday 6th of May 2018

I love the way you break it down in easy steps. You always hit the bull's eye when it come to helping us to declutter.

Simple Lionheart Life

Sunday 6th of May 2018

Thanks so much, Karen! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this post. Thanks for reading and thanks for your lovely comment!

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