How to declutter your home: A comprehensive room by room guide
We live in a world that values things. There’s always something exciting and new to buy. While it’s great to have so much choice when it comes to things like fashion, beauty, and things for your home, this has also created a problem in many homes: clutter. You don’t have to go fully minimalist to combat living with clutter—with a little dedication, you can create a balance of having the things you need without letting “stuff” overtake your life.
Declutter your home one area at a time
If you’ve been paying attention to the world of home decor and organization recently, you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo. She’s a true decluttering expert and has created her own philosophy around how to keep your home tidy and free from clutter. Her concept, called KonMari, focuses on tackling your clutter by category: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items.
As you sort through each category of items, she suggests you hold up each item and ask yourself a question: does this item spark joy in your life? If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t keep it. This method requires careful consideration of how much items mean to you before you decide to keep them or throw them away. If you do decide to get rid of something, she suggests that you say thank you to each item for being in your life before you let it go.
What is the best way to start decluttering?
Decluttering can be a big task and might seem a bit overwhelming. While the KonMari method focuses on categories of items, many people find it easier to tackle the task by working on one room at a time. It’s still possible to use the concepts of KonMari while working this way. The key is to start with a smaller space, like a closet in an entryway. By focusing on this one smaller space, it will help you get into the groove of sorting through all your things and will make the task seem much more manageable. Just focus on one area at a time and slowly work your way through the rest of your home.
1. How to declutter your hallway or entryway
To get started, pull out everything from your closets, shelves, hooks, and cubbies. Sort through everything, one item at a time. Create separate piles for things you want to keep and things you plan to get rid of. The next step is to put back only the items you’re holding onto.
The key to keeping these small spaces neat and tidy is to make sure there’s a place for everything. This means finding a designated spot for everything in your home, no matter how small! While it might be a little difficult for most people to stick to this, you should definitely try to practice it for the items you use the most. It can be as simple as getting baskets with labels for your things. (ie: Hats and gloves in one, umbrellas in another, etc.) This can help make organization much easier in small areas such as bathrooms and entryways.
2. How to declutter your bedroom
When it’s time to tackle the bedroom, the most logical place to start is with the closet. So, how do you go about cleaning out your closet? To get started, pull everything out all at once and put it in piles. As you go through each pile, hold up each item and think about whether you truly need it or not. Create a separate pile for everything you plan to get rid of. Once you’ve gone through everything, you can put all the items you’re keeping back into your closet.
You might be wondering how often you should declutter your wardrobe. It’s a good idea to go through your wardrobe every season to reevaluate what you’ve got. This helps prevent clutter from building up too much in your closet in the future. As you sort through all your items, carefully consider how often you actually wear them. Ask yourself this important question: If you haven’t worn it in months, is it really worth hanging onto? You should only keep pieces that truly bring you joy—you should feel good when you wear things, and therefore let go of anything that doesn’t make you feel great when you wear it.
3. How to declutter your home office
When it’s time to declutter your home office, there’s one easy place to start: all those piles of paper! People often end up hanging onto papers for much longer than they need to, simply because they’re not sure what to do with them. You should only hold onto the truly important items—clear out receipts after you’re sure you won’t need to return items and consider scanning any paper items you want to hang onto. Once you sort through old paperwork and decide what to throw away, make sure you sign up for digital copies of all your bills and receipts where possible - this will help prevent the buildup of paperwork in the future.
4. How to declutter your bathroom
Bathrooms are notorious spots for clutter to build up since they often house a lot of smaller items and sometimes don’t have a ton of storage space. It’s easy to let things pile up—it’s likely you’ll find expired medication, old unused bandages, cosmetics and grooming products that never got used up and have been sitting there for ages.
Start by tackling your vanity. Pull everything out from your medicine cabinet, under the sink, and empty out the drawers. As you sort, group like items together: keep all the hair stuff together, all the makeup in another pile, etc. When you’re done, go through each group and toss anything that has expired or that you know is really old. If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably don’t need to hang onto it. Once you’ve decided what to keep, put all those items away with like items grouped together. If you have space, use baskets in cupboards, drawers, and shelves to keep things organized and easy to find.
5. How to declutter your garage
If you find that you don’t actually have room in your garage to park your car, it’s probably time to clean out your garage! Because it’s typically not a space where people hang out, your garage can quickly become a place where you store all the random things you don’t know what to do with.
To tackle this task, start by pulling everything out and grouping like items together. Then, sort through each pile and decide what to keep and what to get rid of, setting aside all the items you’re not keeping. If you have trouble deciding what to get rid of, here are a couple of things to consider: It’s probably safe to get rid of anything that’s damaged or has rust on it, and only keep things you actually need—if you can’t envision yourself using it in the next year, it might be time to let it go. When it’s time to put everything back in, consider installing some sturdy garage shelving to help keep everything organized and easy to find.
What to do with your unwanted items
Once you’re ready to get rid of all the things you no longer need it’s time to get rid of it! If you happen to have a truck, you can try to do this yourself. Anything that’s still in usable condition may be able to be donated to local charities, but it’s likely you’ll need to transport items there on your own. For any unusable items, you will probably need to take it to the dump yourself, as many areas don’t offer pickup services for larger items. For these reasons, it’s worth considering hiring a junk removal company to handle it for you.
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