A cluttered home not only makes cleaning more difficult, your home also looks less clean when you’re done. Stacks of papers, tables that don’t see the light of day and countertops that are used for everything but cooking can leave even a “clean” home looking a mess. 

It’s time to declutter!

Decluttering an entire can be a big job, especially if you haven’t done it in a while (or ever!) and are short on time. But it can be done! 

Follow these 5 steps to a clutter-free home.

Make a plan.

Decluttering your entire home is a big job, but if you break it down into smaller steps it can be done without stress and overwhelm. Start your decluttering project by making a plan. Create a checklist for each room so you can work methodically through your home. Your list may look something like this: Closet, dresser drawers, nightstand, etc.

Next, decide how much time you’ll spend each day or week working on decluttering and schedule it on your calendar. Start with one room at a time and one space within that room (for example, the cabinet in the master bath). Finish one room before moving onto the next. This will prevent half-finished declutter projects from cropping up around your home. 

Pro tip: Start with a room that doesn’t need much work to build your confidence. A quick win will make you feel accomplished and give you the motivation to continue.  

Get the right supplies.

The last thing you want is more stacks of papers, trash and random belongings piled up in corners of your home. You don’t want your decluttering to cause more clutter! Start with 3 boxes or bins and label them as follows: trash, store and donate. 

As you tackle each space in your home fill the boxes appropriately. Use the “store” box to put items that need to be put away or moved to the attic, for example, holiday or party decorations or ski equipment you only use a couple of times per year.

Have permanent storage.

Ever heard the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place”? This saying applies to every item in your home. Have a “storage” space for even commonly used items such as your purse, keys, remote controls and mail. This will keep these items from getting misplaced or slowing taking over your home. When there isn’t a designated spot for an item, it tends to get dropped wherever – kitchen counters, tables or chairs.  

Only keep what you use.

If you haven’t used it in months, then odds are, you don’t need it. The best way to track this? Hang all the clothes in your closet with the hangers facing the “wrong” way or back to front. When you wear an article of clothing, replace the hanger the “correct” way. After 6 months you’ll likely be surprised at how few items in your closet you regularly wear. And the rest? Pack up and donate.

You can also use this method for books and videos. Face them all the opposite way and return to the normal direction only after you have watched the movie or read the book. Look around your home, what other items can you use this approach with?

Set aside your guilt.

You know that old china great aunt betty gave you? The dishes you really, really don’t like? Get rid of them. Don’t get hung up feeling like you need to keep inherited items. If the item is worth money consider selling it on ebay, otherwise, give it away. Perhaps there is another family member who would really enjoy the inherited item. If not, Goodwill is a-ok too!

The same goes for gifts. You’re not obligated to keep a gift you don’t like. Besides, are you really do the gift-giver a favor by keeping that ugly sweater they gave tucked away in the back (oh so far back) of your closet? It never sees the light of day anyway, might as well let someone who would appreciate it have it.

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