6 tips for decluttering success

Laundry room organizing

6 tips for decluttering success

Decluttering has become a growing trend in the last few years. In fact, it was this growing trend that got me started on my own decluttering journey. Because of this, I was able to take my house from a cluttered mess to a home I was proud to live in. These 6 tips for decluttering success will help you get started on decluttering your space and see you through to the end. Whether you are just getting started or have been decluttering for a while, these tips are sure to help you out. Finding the starting point for decluttering is the first step and getting rid of those first few items sets the ball rolling.

6 tips for decluttering success

Find a decluttering method that works for you

There is no one right way to declutter. Though there are plenty of different methods when it comes to decluttering, such as the KonMari method or the room at a time method, you need to find the one that works best for you. How it gets done doesn’t matter. What does matter, is that you finish what you start. I found that a combination of the room by room and the KonMari method worked for me. Basically, I went through each room and then as a follow up did KonMari on what remained or on those items I wasn’t sure about initially. Doing this, I was able to thoroughly declutter my kitchen, bathroom, entryway, laundry room, and even my digital items. Technically the whole house is done, I just haven’t had time to share those spaces yet.

Don’t get discouraged by the mess

An inevitable side effect of decluttering is that it will get extremely messy along the way. When I first started decluttering 2 years ago, I hit this stage pretty quickly. It’s very hard to stay motivated when a not too messy room suddenly looks like a tornado went through it. However, this temporary mess is a part of decluttering. After all, you need to pile up everything into one spot in order to sort through it. This process does indeed create an overwhelming pile of crap that will make you question why you are doing this. Don’t get sucked into the negativity of this. Just remember that it will get better, you just need to see the process through to the end.

Don’t let emotions get in the way

Okay, this one can be difficult, especially when dealing with sentimental clutter. When it comes to decluttering, sometimes you have to be brutal. It’s okay to keep some sentimental items, but just remember, that if they have been sitting in a box tucked away somewhere for the last few years, then chances are you really don’t need those things. One area where a lot of people seem to struggle is items that were gifted to them. They believe that they can’t get rid of those items because they might upset the person who gifted them. The truth is, the person won’t care.

A messy kitchen drawer before it was decluttered. Using these 6 decluttering tips will help you clear out the clutter.
A messy kitchen drawer before it was decluttered.

Get family involved

To truly be successful at decluttering, you need to get your whole family on board. This was one area that I struggled with at first. I was the only one who wanted to declutter and more than once my husband complained that an empty house made us look poor. I would argue that this wasn’t the case and in fact, removing all that crap made our house more appealing. Eventually, I convinced him to get on board and it made the entire process go much smoother. The key to getting your family on board is showing them the positives of the decluttering process.

Let them know that they get to choose what items of theirs they get to keep and get rid of. There may not be a lot of progress, in the beginning, however, once they get started they are bound to see how amazing the process is and really get into it.

Organize AFTER you declutter

A big mistake when starting to declutter is trying to organize before or even during the process. Whenever you do, don’t go out and buy all the fancy storage bins and organizers before you get any decluttering done. A lot of people fall into this trap, thinking that if they organize things then the clutter will magically go away. Heck, even I fell for this for a long time. I believed that if I put this clutter in a nice box and then put that box in my closet, then the clutter was taken care of. But that isn’t the way to do it. If you truly want to get rid of things, then you need to declutter first.

Only after you have completed decluttering should you think about organizing, and by this point, you likely won’t need those fancy organizing devices because you will have very little that needs a fancy place to sit. However, if you do need or want to buy a few decorative bins for storage or another organizing item once you are done, then feel free to do so. Just make sure it happens after the decluttering.

Kitchen drawer after it was successfully decluttered using these 6 decluttering tips.
The same kitchen drawer after decluttering.

Decluttering is an ongoing process

Once you have your things declutter you may think that you are done. However, the truth is, decluttering is a life-long process. It’s true that once you have that initial decluttering done that most of the work is done. Just remember, that as you continue on through life you will acquire things that you won’t need later on, and thus decluttering will need to happen at regular intervals. That is why it’s important to set aside times to go through your stuff and make sure that everything is what you truly need and want. The last thing you want to allow to happen is for clutter to come into your home and start accumulated again because you were done decluttering.

Have you started decluttering yet? Make sure to use these 6 tips for decluttering success to ensure you get through the task efficiently.

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I really need to get my butt in gear when it comes to decluttering. It’s just so easy to get overwhelmed with even the thought of it all and just keep putting it off but all your organization posts keep motivating me to finally get it done and I’m sure these tips will help!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Getting overwhelmed is why it took me so long to do the initial decluttering of our house. However, once you get over that hump it will become so much easier.

  2. Avatar

    Decluttering my craft room is one of the projects I’m going to take on next month. It’s something I’ve been putting off for a while because I would get overwhelmed with the mess. But like you said I have to remember that it’ll get better long as I see the process through. Plus it’ll be nice to find what I’m looking for easily. I’ll keep these tips in mind while I clean my craft room. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Good luck with getting your craft room decluttered. It will be good once it’s done, just tackle it a bit at a time and before you know it you’ll be done. Then think of how much easier it will be to make crafts because everything will be easy to find.

  3. Avatar

    These are great decluttering tips! Sometimes it’s so hard to get rid of certain things, especially when it comes to sentimental stuff. But, I know that I can’t take anything to Heaven with me when I go so I might as well let go of it now. 🙂

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Sentimental items are where most people struggle the most with decluttering. That’s true, and perhaps someone else can benefit from the items you get rid of.

  4. Avatar

    Emotions are where I struggle when it comes to decluttering. There are things I haven’t looked at in years but I can’t bring myself to get rid of… usually because, like you mentioned, they were gifts and I feel so guilty! But you’re right, I don’t really need them and should probably toughen up a little next time I have a declutter. Really useful tips, so thank you for sharing.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I found it hard to get rid of gifted items initially, but eventually, it came to the point where I realized most of my remaining clutter was those items and I had to get brutal with my decluttering. If it’s still hard, aim for one sentimental or gift item a day so you don’t get overwhelmed. And remember, you can always choose to get rid of something later if you aren’t sure. Leave it out where you can see it so every time you walk into a room it’s there, if you don’t like seeing it, then get rid of it.

  5. Avatar

    Love your idea about not letting emotions get in the way. Also that it’s an ongoing process. So true! Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks. They are important to remember. Emotions can easily get in the way, but if you can overcome that then decluttering will be much easier.

  6. Avatar

    Emotions seem to always get in my way when I am trying to declutter! Thank you for the great tips!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      They can be hard to overcome, but if you keep at it then you will be able to get past them and get that decluttering done.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Ah yeah, kids do tend to make decluttering hard. Don’t worry, you will get there eventually.

  7. Avatar

    This is something I’ve been avoiding for quite some time. We’ve been living in our house for over 4 years now and the amount of things that have accumulated is crazy.

    The downstairs closet and garage are the two areas that really need to be tackled.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I can totally understand. The longer you are in one spot, the more stuff piles up and then you get to that point where decluttering sounds like too big a task. Start with those two areas and I’m sure after you finish them you will be eager to move onto the rest of the house.

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