You don't have to be a decluttering expert or spend hours on Pinterest decluttering boards to tidy your cluttered home. You simply need a solid system that will guide you through the process. The decluttering process can be overwhelming. When you're faced with a cluttered home, it's hard to know where to start. We are excited to share our system for proper decluttering so that you can create clean, tidy spaces you will enjoy.
My family recently downsized from our 4000 square foot home to our RV. The very first step in the downsizing process was to declutter every room of our home. The process taught me so much about myself and how much I had accumulated over the years. Read more about how we accomplished this drastic downsizing here.
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5 Simple Steps to a Clutter-Free Home
These are the steps I used to tackle my cluttered house.
Be Clear About Your Goals
Are you desperate to clear surfaces? Do you want to reduce your "stuff" by 25% or more? Maybe you want your living space or bedroom to look like a photo you saw. Sometimes, we need to get rid of things that we no longer use or need. Sometimes, we need organizational systems in place to declutter our objects. Most times, we need both. Look around your home and decide if you have too much, need to organize, or both. When you are clear about your goals, the process will flow better.
Do a Decluttering Drive-By
One of the biggest causes of clutter is that objects either don't have a designated place or aren't put back in their place. If you look into your living room and a bunch of stuff has collected on your coffee table and side tables, this step will give your decluttering process a strong boost. Grab a basket or bin and move through each room collecting objects that don't belong in that particular room. For example, grab the stack of mail from the dining table and move it onto the desk. Throw the spare legos from the bathroom counter into the basket to be put back in the playroom or bedroom. This initial sweep will give you a great start- both physically and psychologically.
Prepare Three Bins- Trash, Treasure, Donate
Before you get started, label three bins with trash, treasure, and donate. These bins will move with you throughout the house during this process. You will make a deliberate decision about each object in each room and place it in the appropriate bin. Some of these decisions will be difficult, but they will ultimately lead you to a fantastic, clutter-free home. Keep the end goal in mind at all times.
Start With One Room
When you view your home as a whole, you will instantly feel overwhelmed. As with any goal, break it into smaller steps. It will feel less overwhelming and you will be able to celebrate small wins along the way, which will keep you motivated. I tend to start with the room where I spend the most time. For me, that is my kitchen. I love a clean, beautiful kitchen and hate when clutter gets in the way of that. I work my way through the kitchen one cabinet at a time and make decisions about whether I need everything in the cabinet. Then I think about how it currently functions and I re-organize the cabinet to suit my needs.
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Organize Your Treasure Bin
Once you have trashed and donated, your treasures remain. Now it is time to organize your objects with a system that will work for you. Creating systems will keep your spaces decluttered for longer. I recommend measuring cabinets, drawers, and storage spaces and purchasing storage bins and containers that fit each space. Label the containers and neatly organize everything inside. When your objects have a place inside of a labeled container, the following occurs:
- You will return your objects to the proper place.
- It is less likely that you will overbuy because you can see what you have.
- Objects that have a designated place are easier to find- no more searching for stuff.
Once you create tidy spaces that you love, it will be easier to keep them that way.