Today I’m sharing 10 easy steps to declutter your home. These steps are geared toward anyone just getting started decluttering. But they’re also great if you are coming back to re-declutter your home because too much stuff has made its way in. Or because you’re ready to simplify your home even further!
Slow and steady decluttering
Slow and steady decluttering is my favourite way to declutter.
It can be really satisfying and exciting to spend a whole weekend decluttering and have a dramatic before and after to show for your efforts.
But many of us don’t have a whole weekend free to devote to decluttering. Or even if we did, don’t have the energy or motivation to do that much decluttering at once.
When you take the time to work slowly and steadily at clearing the clutter from your home, you might not have a dramatic “before and after” moment. But you often give yourself more opportunities to really learn about yourself, your consumer habits, why your home felt cluttered and how you want your home to look, feel and function moving forward.
In short, it’s often during the decluttering journey where you learn the most about yourself and your “stuff”.
And going slowly, but steadily through that journey gives you more opportunities to learn and absorb those lessons. Helping you make lasting change in your home and your life!
Take the pressure off yourself with these steps to declutter
I hope learning more about a slow and steady approach to decluttering will help take the pressure off yourself. And remind you that little actions and steps to declutter matter and definitely add up over time!
Here are 10 easy steps you can take to declutter your home. Helping you get started clearing the clutter and make lasting change in your home and your life.
10 easy steps to declutter your home
1. Have a clear “why”
This is one of the steps to declutter your home that is often overlooked. But knowing why you want to declutter is so key to making lasting change in your home.
Knowing why you want to declutter and what you want to achieve is the best way to keep you motivated and on track working towards your decluttering goals.
Give yourself something clear and specific to work towards. Know exactly what you want to achieve by decluttering.
Get really clear on how you want your home to look, feel and function. Imagine how you want your days to feel and flow, and how you want to feel in your home.
Identify exactly what feels heavy, stressful, frustrating or like it’s just not working right now. And create a clear vision of how you could address those pain points by decluttering and simplifying.
2. Have a plan
After you have a clear “why” to keep you motivated and focused, the next step to decluttering is creating a decluttering plan.
It can be tempting to skip the planning step too and just dive in and start decluttering instead.
But for most people, having a plan to follow makes it easier to stay focused, on track and make consistent progress in clearing the clutter.
Plus, if you’re using the slow and steady approach to decluttering, a plan to follow can be really helpful. If you only have a few minutes a day to work on decluttering, having a plan to follow makes it so much easier to know where to work and what to do next.
A plan helps you avoid bouncing around from one spot to the next, never really feeling like you’re making progress anywhere. Or wasting your precious decluttering time trying to figure out where you left off and where to work next.
Your decluttering plan doesn’t have to be complicated. I find the most effective decluttering plans break your home down into each space you want to declutter. Then, further, break those spaces down into little steps you can take to declutter each space.
Not only does your plan help you focus on what spaces to declutter and where to work next. But it also always feels really satisfying to track your progress and keep checking things off. Especially if you’re doing a little decluttering at a time and don’t always see quick changes in your spaces.
3. Slow the flow of stuff into your home
This is another important step to decluttering that is often overlooked. While you’re working to declutter, if you continue bringing more stuff into your home, you won’t make progress as fast as you’d like. And might even end up undoing all your hard work if you’re bringing in more than you’re decluttering.
While you’re focusing on decluttering, start being really mindful of the flow of stuff coming into your home.
Aim to stop or at least slow down the amount of stuff coming in so your decluttering efforts will have the biggest impact.
Putting yourself on a spending freeze is a great way to slow the flow of stuff coming in.
You can also unsubscribe from emails from your favourite stores to lessen the temptation to shop. Try to catch yourself when you start browsing stores online because you’re bored, emotional, or just in the habit. Make an effort to stay out of the mall or your favourite stores so you’re not tempted to buy.
This is a great time to find new ways to treat yourself that don’t involve adding more stuff to your home. As well as finding new hobbies or emotional outlets that don’t involve shopping.
4. Start small and easy
Now that you know your why, have a plan to follow and are being mindful of what’s coming into your home, it’s time to start decluttering!
Decluttering is a skill you get better at the more you do it. It’s like you have “decluttering muscles” and they get stronger every time you exercise them.
Starting with your most cluttered space might be too much for your decluttering skills and muscles when you’re just getting started.
But starting with a smaller, easier decluttering project lets you build your decluttering skills and muscles. Giving you some “decluttering wins” to help keep you feeling motivated and confident. As well as building your momentum to keep going.
The bathroom is a great place to start decluttering. It’s usually a smaller space relative to other rooms in your home. And your decluttering decisions are usually a lot more logical, rather than emotional, in the bathroom.
Use these spaces to build your decluttering skills, gain confidence in your ability to declutter and build your momentum to keep going.
5. Focus on consistency
Consistency is often more important than intensity when you’re decluttering. You’ll often make more progress clearing the clutter if you declutter for 10 minutes a day, every day. As opposed to decluttering for 3 hours all at once, but only doing it once a month.
Slow and consistent progress is still making progress and moving you toward your decluttering goals.
And this is why I love a decluttering plan so much! When you break the decluttering work you need to do down into little steps you can take to declutter, it’s easy to slowly, but consistently, work through a space decluttering.
It’s amazing what you’ll accomplish in just 10 minutes a day when you are really consistent about getting those 10 minutes of decluttering in every day.
6. Set a timer
Maybe you want to declutter consistently. But feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have and find yourself paralyzed with overwhelm or indecision every time you try to declutter.
If that’s the case, using a timer is a great strategy to use!
Set a timer for 10 minutes and tell yourself you only have to work on decluttering until the timer rings. Work as quickly as you can and know that 10 minutes will be over soon.
Even if you don’t feel overwhelmed, a timer can be a great decluttering tool. Use the time pressure to challenge yourself to work quickly and efficiently, stay focused and try to clear as much clutter as you can.
7. Focus on one room at a time
Focusing on decluttering one room at a time is a great way to see the results of your decluttering efforts add up over time.
Sometimes, if you’re bouncing around from one room to another, decluttering a little bit here and a little bit there, it can feel like you’re never seeing any progress anywhere.
Instead, pick a room, break the work to declutter it down into small steps you can tackle one at a time. Then slowly and steadily work your way through the space, decluttering it until you’re done.
Because you’re focusing your efforts on one space, you’ll be able to see the results of your work and eventually get the whole room decluttered. This is a great way to motivate and inspire you to keep going and do the same in the next room.
8. Declutter in the margins of your day
You don’t always need to find extra time to declutter. A great way to continue making consistent progress in clearing the clutter is by decluttering in the margins of your day.
The margins are those in-between times that show up throughout your normal activities during the day.
For example, while your coffee brews in the morning, open a drawer or cupboard and find a few things to declutter. While you’re cooking, notice if there’s anything you don’t use, need or like in your kitchen. Open the bathroom cabinets and see what you can get rid of while your kids are in the bath.
When you’re getting ready in the morning, notice if there are any products you don’t use or like and get rid of them. As you’re doing laundry, keep an eye out for any clothes you don’t love, don’t fit or don’t want to keep. When you unload the dishwasher, notice if there’s anything that’s always left in the cupboard and never seems to get used and get rid of it.
There are many opportunities to declutter as you go about your day. You just have to notice them and start using them!
9. Get rid of clutter right away
Another important step to declutter your house is making sure you’re getting the clutter all the way out of your house. Don’t let it hang around in piles in the space you’re decluttering or another area of your house.
Plan to drop off donations and things you’re getting rid of regularly as you’re decluttering.
Letting them hang around in your house not only keeps your spaces feeling cluttered and messy. But it also gives you or members of your family the opportunity to see the things you’re decluttering and start second-guessing your decluttering decisions. Which can undo all of your hard work. Or just snooping through the donation pile, spreading stuff back out in the house. Also undoing your work!
Getting the clutter out of your house as soon as you can also lets you see the progress you’re making. Get rid of the piles so you can see the difference your hard work is making!
10. Get help if you’re completely overwhelmed
And finally, if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed by decluttering, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Decluttering is a lot of work – physically, mentally and emotionally. If that feels like too much for you right now, don’t be afraid to ask for help to make the process easier and less overwhelming.
That might mean asking a friend or family member to help you. Maybe hiring or asking someone in your community to volunteer to help you with the heavy lifting. It might mean hiring a professional organizer to help you get a space under control if your budget allows.
Decluttering isn’t always easy and sometimes we all need a bit of help to do hard things!
Easy steps to declutter
I hope these tips will give you some suggestions to start clearing the clutter and creating a home you love and enjoy spending time in.
Decluttering isn’t always easy, but with a little time, patience and perseverance it can be done!
Which of these tips is most helpful for you? Leave a comment and let me know!