You’ve made the decision to declutter your home. You want less chaos and more clarity and calm in your living space. But where do you start?
Clearing out your entire living space can be overwhelming to say the least. So here are some simple tips to get you started on decluttering your home right now.
1. Create an action plan.
Decluttering your home is no easy feat, especially if you’re a busy bee who’s already juggling work and family life. It won’t be easy, so having a plan in place will help you stay on track and give you the push you need when the going gets tough.
Maybe you don’t have time to start cleaning today, but you can get ahead of the game by thinking up your unique action plan now. Here are a few things to plan out before starting your decluttering journey:
- What is your main motivation to declutter? Take a second to think about why you want to declutter your home. Keep these reasons in mind as you start your journey.
- When can you work on this goal? Think of a day of the week that works best for you, and commit to using that time to clean out your home.
- Which rooms do you need to clean? Write down every room you need to tackle and plan out which spaces you will declutter first.
- What will you do with your unwanted items? Deciding what to get rid of is only half the battle. Getting the items out of the house is the crucial part. You don’t want to end up with a pile of junk collecting dust in the corner while you decide its fate. So do a little research and come up with a few ideas for parting with your unwanted items (ex: give them to friends, drop them off at a donation centre, sell them on Kijiji etc.).
- When will you finish the decluttering project? Write down a deadline for when you’d like to finish decluttering your entire home. Circle this date on the calendar.
2. Clear out one room at a time.
Clutter tends to gather in all areas of our homes, hiding in drawers and sneaking behind closet doors. Decluttering can be a long process, so here’s my advice – don’t try to clean out your entire home in one day.
The trick is to focus on one area at a time. You might commit to doing a small section of your home every day, say, cleaning out the kitchen drawer today and the cabinet under the sink tomorrow. Or, you can choose a day of the week to tackle an entire room, like cleaning out the bathroom this Sunday and the living room next Sunday.
Either way, set aside a couple of hours when you can concentrate on one area of your home and get rid of anything you don’t love, use or need. Little by little, your living space will transform right before your eyes.
3. Be thorough – leave no drawer unturned.
This isn’t surface level cleaning where counters are cleared by shoving bits and pieces into drawers or under the bed (we’ve all been there!). You’ll never get to a cleaner and calming living space this way. You’ll only create more chaos and more mess.
Instead, set yourself a good chunk of time to go through each room from top to bottom. Empty out every drawer completely and consider each item you come across. Ask yourself: Do you need this fifth pair of scissors that doesn’t cut well ? Do you need this old cellphone charger you were using three phones ago? Hint: If you don’t need it or absolutely love it, let it go.
4. Make a decluttering checklist.
There’s nothing like checking things off a list to keep you feeling motivated and inspired to keep going. A list will keep you organized and on track to clearing out your home in no time.
You can write your own list or follow the one below. A checklist should guide you through decluttering your home room by room, every step of the way. Just follow along and your home will be clutter-free sooner than you think!
Check it out below or click here for a free printable version of this checklist.
Dispose of expired medication.
Toss empty bottles.
Throw out old makeup you don’t wear.
Get rid of hair products you don’t use.
Toss nail polish that has dried up or isn’t being used.
Remove old towels and facecloths and store as rags.
Sort through all bits & bobs (hair ties, jewellery etc.) and get rid of what you don’t need.
Clear counters and store all products away.
Clear coffee tables and other surfaces.
Toss or store away extra coasters – you only need one or two!
Donate books and magazines you’re not reading.
Remove picture frames and paintings you don’t love.
Store or donate pillows and throw blankets you aren’t using.
Clear shelves by donating knick knacks you don’t love.
Sort through your DVD collection. Donate movies you won’t watch again and get rid of empty DVD cases.
Sort through any boxes of mementos and only keep items you love.
Go through all bags & purses. Toss any that are overly damaged and donate those you don’t use regularly.
Go through accessories (scarves, belts, hats etc.) and donate what doesn’t fit or isn’t being worn.
Sort through shoe collection and toss those damaged beyond repair. Donate any shoes that don’t fit you, are uncomfortable, or or simply aren’t being worn.
Empty clothes from your dresser and closet and sort through all of them.
Get rid of socks and underwear that you don’t like.
Donate clothing you haven’t worn in the last few months (excluding seasonal items).
Donate any clothing that doesn’t fit or is uncomfortable for you.
Toss clothing that is excessively stained or damaged (or keep as rags).
Sort through jewellery collection and donate rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that you don’t love or wear regularly.
Clear bedside table of anything that doesn’t need to be there.
Remove decorative pillows from your bed and donate what you don’t love. (See how I decluttered my bedroom here)
Donate any extra cutlery.
Remove old/worn out dish towels and store as rags.
Empty and sort through any junk drawers. Recycle old batteries and any instruction manuals you’re keeping that are available online. Go through pens and markers and throw out those with no ink left. Toss or donate things you don’t need.
Donate dishes you don’t like or use.
Sort through Tupperware and toss anything mismatched or stained.
Donate pots and pans you aren’t using.
Remove holiday-themed dishes and store away.
Donate novelty items such as oddly-shaped glasses you aren’t using.
On The Fridge:
Toss magnets you don’t love.
Recycle flyers and business cards that are online anyway.
Toss any photos, postcards or other decorations you don’t love.
In The Fridge and Pantry
Sort through spices and throw out what is out of date.
Toss any expired food.
Donate or toss food items you aren’t eating.
Good luck on your decluttering journey. P.S. Click here for a free printable version of this checklist!