How to Declutter Your Home: Clutter Busting Tips & Tricks!

Posted on Jan 16 2017 - 2:14pm by Extra Space Storage

When your home is cluttered, it doesn’t just feel like your living space is unorganized and messy. It also feels like your life is unorganized and messy. In this “How to Declutter Your Home” guide, we take a look at several decluttering methods to help you find one that’s manageable for you!

Why Is Your Home Cluttered?

Man sitting in messy, cluttered office

 

This is an important place to start when thinking about decluttering your home. Whether your struggle is that you don’t have an effective organization system, your number of possessions has grown but your living space hasn’t, or a combination of reasons, identifying why you have clutter will help you determine the tips, tricks, and methods that will most effectively help you get started toward a cleaner, more organized home.

You Don’t Have Enough Space

Maybe your home doesn’t have the amount of space necessary to hold all of your things. Or maybe you don’t know how to effectively utilize the space you have. Either way, you need a space-saving solution and/or storage solution.

You Don’t Regularly Evaluate What You Have

This is an incredibly common problem. We’re often buying new things to accommodate our current needs, but we don’t take the time to identify which items we no longer have use for. Clothing is one big area where this becomes an issue, but it can apply to all of our belongings.

You Have Trouble Letting Things Go

Are you holding on to things you haven’t used in a long time? This is a common cause of clutter that many struggle with. Whether it’s for sentimental reasons or because you don’t want to throw something away “just in case” you might need it one day, finding ways to let go can really help with your clutter issues.

You Don’t Spend Time Cleaning & Organizing

Starting the cleaning and organizing process when your home is extremely cluttered can be daunting. And if you work long hours or have children, finding the time and energy to commit to work on your home can be especially hard. But even spending small amounts of time on a daily basis will make a huge difference.

You Don’t Have an Organizational System

When your things don’t have a place within your home or a particular room, it’s difficult to contain clutter. Once you determine where things should go, it’s a lot easier to manage clutter in your home.

How to Declutter Your Home: Methods to Get Started

Woman holding and looking at clothes.

After identifying the issues that have created clutter at home, it’s easier to see how some of the most popular methods for decluttering your home can work for you. Below, we’ve detailed these methods and how they can fit into your schedule, help you get rid of things you don’t need, and help you stay clutter-free in the future.

Time Management Tips to Reduce Clutter at Home

One of the biggest challenges faced when working toward a clutter-free home is finding the time to do it! Whether you have a busy schedule, are too tired at the end of the day to clean and organize, or are just overwhelmed by how much there is to do, these tips are the perfect starting point.

Decluttering Tip: Just Spend 15 Minutes a Day

One of the hardest things about getting rid of clutter and getting your house back to how you’d like it is that it feels like such a massive task. But as FlyLady recommends, setting a timer and spending 15 minutes a day allows you to make gradual but significant progress one day at a time.

Decluttering Tip: 15 Minutes Seem Daunting? Lower It to Five

If 15 minutes seems hard to hold yourself to, start with five. Just getting started is a significant and positive action. Zen habits has a great resource with five-minute decluttering tasks to tackle. Start by doing one task a day, and you’ll start to notice progress pretty quickly.

Decluttering Tip: Clean While You’re Doing Something Else

Take advantage of all the time you can! Watching television? Knock out some chores during commercials. Making dinner? Accomplish smaller tasks during the times when your attention isn’t required. By maximizing downtime, you can handle much more than you think!

Decluttering Tip: Maximize Your Most Productive Hours

Is one of your issues that you wait until the end of the day and are too tired to clean and organize? Change that! According to an article by Inc., the most productive hours of your day are the two hours after you’ve fully woken up. Unfortunately, they’re often spent doing unproductive things. If decluttering your home is a priority, find a way to spend your most productive hours on it. This might not be realistic every day, but even if you can utilize this time once in a while or over the weekend, it will make a big difference.

Decluttering Tip: Plan a Weekend

Less interested in reducing clutter bit by bit? Plan a weekend overhaul! If you go into a weekend with a plan and clear your schedule so you can commit a significant amount of time for purging, organizing, and cleaning, you can make incredible progress! Check out these tips for planning a weekend purge.

Clutter-Busting Tips to Remove Clutter from the Home

Woman donating old belongings.

Now that the time investment into decluttering your home seems more manageable, it’s time to get to work! Below are some of the best tips and methods to start the process toward a decluttered home.

Clutter-Busting Tip: Learn to Let Go

Before even diving into methods for removing clutter from the home, it’s important to understand that these processes include getting rid of belongings. This is incredibly tough for many people. Below are a few articles that can help you get in the right mindset:

  • Getting Rid of “Someday” Items: Have clothes that don’t fit anymore but might someday? Get rid of them. Have old magazines you never got to but you might someday? Send them to the recycling bin. Follow the “someday clause” in Breaking Up with Your Belongings!
  • Getting Rid of Broken Items: Similar to “someday” items, broken items usually sit around, take up space, and never get fixed. Be honest with yourself. If fixing broken items isn’t going to happen in the very near future, get rid of them.
  • Getting Rid of Sentimental Items: This is a big one. Items evoke memories so people have a difficult time giving or throwing them away. There are several tips to overcome sentimental clutter. For starters, it’s okay to save things…just not everything. Keep the best stuff, and get rid of the rest. One way to remember some of the things you’re getting rid of is to take photos. It’s also a great idea to organize the sentimental items you’re keeping into a keepsake box or something like it.

Now that we have it in our minds that getting rid of things has to happen to declutter, we can take a look at a few methods to both remove clutter from the home and start organizing everything you decide to keep.

Clutter-Busting Tip: The Four Box Method

This method is an essential part of your decluttering strategy. As explained by Joshua Becker of becoming minimalist, this includes decluttering a room with four boxes: one for trash, one for things to give away, one for things to relocate, and one for things to keep. This forces you to evaluate if something is in the right room of your home, if it’s something worth keeping, and if something should be given or thrown away.

Clutter-Busting Tip: Box and Banish

An alternative to the four box method, box and banish is a two-step process that starts with putting clutter into bags or boxes to be removed from your living area. After this is complete, the next step is to go back through all of these bags and boxes to evaluate the clutter and determine the best thing to do with each item. The pros of this method are that you can see fast visual results, and that it doesn’t require you to make immediate decisions on whether to keep or get rid of something. But there is also one potentially big con: this method doesn’t actually solve your clutter problem if you don’t follow through with the second step. It just moves it to the garage, attic, basement, etc.

Clutter-Busting Tip: Create a “Maybe” Box

Along the same lines as the “box and banish” method, having a maybe box is a great way to take a step in the right direction. This can help those who struggle with letting go because they worry they might need the item someday. When you’re not sure if you want to get rid of something as you’re decluttering, put it in the maybe box. After six months or so, revisit that box and reevaluate. You’ll likely to find you’re much more likely to let go after knowing you didn’t need or use any of those items in the interim.

Declutter Your Home Forever: Maintain a Clutter-Free Home

Couple doing dishes together

If you’ve gone through the decluttering process and are looking to maintain the decluttered home you’ve achieved, these tips will help your home stay clutter-free.

Maintenance Tip: Establish Daily Habits

Making cleaning and organizing a habit is essential to maintaining a clutter-free home. Keeping up with 15 minutes of cleaning each day, doing a load of laundry every day, rinsing dishes immediately, and other simple habits helps keep your home from becoming cluttered.

Maintenance Tip: Get Your Roommate, Significant Other, or Family Involved

Decluttering and maintaining an organized home is difficult if not impossible if those living with you aren’t on board. As part of initial efforts to declutter your home and ongoing efforts to maintain your home, getting buy-in from everyone who lives in your home is essential. Check out these great tips with dos and don’ts!

Maintenance Tip: Evaluate Regularly

Maintaining the progress you’ve made will require you to evaluate what you have on a regular basis. Whether this is once a month or once a year, things still pile up, and you’ll accumulate more belongings. Clothing and accessories, books and magazines, and food in your pantry and refrigerator should be evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Maintenance Tip: Remember How Amazing a Clutter-Free Home Feels!

Finally, remind yourself how stressful your home was before you made changes for the better!

There you have it! Decluttering your home has many challenges. From finding time to do it to letting go of your belongings, the tips above can help you declutter your home and help you feel free. Now it’s time to take action!

Was not having enough space one of your big issues? Do you need a temporary space to keep belongings while going through your decluttering process? We can help you take back your home. With affordable storage solutions and self storage locations nationwide, Extra Space Storage can help you achieve your goals!