In this post: Decluttering is essential for your well-being. Here’s my simple guide for how to declutter your home and what questions to ask yourself as you do it.
My friends, a clutter-free home is imperative to your well-being. Here’s how to declutter your home in a simple, step-by-step manner.
Why I’m Passionate About Teaching Women How to Declutter Their Homes
Over the years, I’ve asked my email subscribers one question over and over again: “What is the one thing you’re struggling with in your home right now?” I’ve collected almost two thousand answers to that question. And in all of those replies, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gotten a response that had something to do with TOO MUCH CLUTTER!
Here are a few of the clutter-related responses:
“All the rooms contain leftovers and inherited furniture and too much of it. Every room struggles with clutter particularly paper paper and baby items of our one year old.”
“Too much furniture but little space. Too many things to have but no room to put it all.”
“…the little bits and pieces make things look cluttered instead of pretty”
And so on. It’s pretty clear that we all struggle with things piling up and looking cluttered.
Our homes have a huge impact on our well-being:
• A UCLA study showed that the more clutter people (especially women) have in their home, the more stressed they are.
• The same study found that women subconsciously relate how happy they are with how they feel about their homes.
So you see, decluttering our homes needs to be a priority!
With a little organization and some practice, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to declutter your home so that it looks and feels so much better!
Clutter in your home clutters your mind.
How to Declutter Your Home – A Simple Guide
A Seemingly Unrelated Question: How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time, of course! Although, I personally don’t know why anyone would want to eat an elephant!
The point is the best way to deal with a really big job is one little bit at at time.
The same goes for decluttering: the best way to declutter is to tackle your home one room at a time. If even that seems overwhelming, which is often the case, you can tackle one drawer or one cabinet at at time.
Where to Start Decluttering
I also recommend start decluttering your home with small spaces first. That way you can feel the elation of a win faster. Maybe try the junk drawer. Or the front hall closet. And then move on from there. And don’t start with decluttering sentimental items. That tends to slow the decluttering process down because your emotions take over. Save those things until you’ve got some decluttering practice and some clutter-free wins under your belt.
As you go through your things and space you need to ask yourself a three questions.
How to Declutter Your Home: The 3 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself
As you go about decluttering and organizing your home, there are three things you need to ask of all of your things.
1. Is it beautiful?
Of course, we don’t just want a clutter-free home. We want one that is lovely too. If you love something because of its beauty – like you’d actually go out and purchase it in the store today – and you have the space for it, it can stay.
A note: beauty is subjective. So, what I may find beautiful, you may not. And vice versa. Only you can decide the answer to this question in your house.
2. Is it useful?
There are a few things that can JUST be beautiful in your home, but but there will be many more things that serve a purpose. They are useful items. If you genuinely need something, it can stay.
Now along with this question there is the additional question of “is this the only thing that can be useful in its way”? If you have somehow collected 3 can openers over the years, they’re technically all useful…but you don’t need three can openers! Get rid of two and keep the best one.
3. Is it sentimental?
This one can be a bit of a tricky question to answer. We’ve likely all been given things from family or friends that we didn’t choose to have. But for one reason or another, they hold sentimental value.
For example, my Grandmother’s China is lovely. It’s a classic white bone China with a gold rim. But until recently, I didn’t have the space for it, so it lived in a Rubbermaid tote at my sister’s until I had room to store it. If you have something similar, you will need to decide whether to keep it based on space.
Another example from our house. Years ago, I was given my other Grandmother’s antique deacon’s bench. I kept it for a long time. I loved it because I adored her it was hers. But when my style and the size of my house changed, I realized it just wasn’t working for us anymore. Now my sister has it.
The sentimental question is something ONLY you can answer. But you also have to ask yourself, are you keeping something out of guilt? Or a genuine desire to keep it?
Owning less is better than organizing more!
What do you do with everything?
After asking yourself the three questions above (Is it beautiful? Is it useful? Is it sentimental?), there are only three options for what to do with your things. You can:
- Keep them.
- Donate them.
- Trash them.
If something is beautiful, useful or extraordinarily sentimental in value, you keep it. If they’re not, you can either donate them or trash them.
How do you know whether to donate or trash something?
If something is showing major signs of wear and tear, you should trash it. If it’s still in good shape, donate it. It’s as simple as that! Also, try to remove the trash and donation items from your sight and your house asap! That way you can’t change your mind…or create clutter with bags and boxes of things to get rid of!
What About Selling Items?
Technically you could sell items that you no longer want, and if you really need the money, then go ahead and do that. BUT this too tends to slow down the decluttering process because you have to take them time to price, list and deliver/arrange for pickup of the items you’re selling. Sometimes the simplest route of donating these things is the best option.
The Sort Of “Bad” News About Decluttering That No One Tells You
Do you want to know the one thing that no one wants to tell you about decluttering your home?
The big decluttering purge isn’t a permanent solution. At least it’s not the whole solution.
Unfortunately, you can’t just declutter and purge once and it’s done forever. It’s sorta like the dishes and the laundry that way.
Even if you become more strict with what comes into your house, inevitably drop zones and closets and drawers will collect old things, broken things and all manner of papers.
There are actually TWO parts to a clutter free home…the actual decluttering that I showed you how to do above and the maintenance after the purge.
The maintenance of a clutter free home is just as important as getting the clutter out to begin with.
You need to develop habits and routines that will help you KEEP the clutter out.
Need more decluttering help? Want me to walk you through a complete home decluttering, tackle some key mindset issues, and show you how to keep your home clutter-free going forward? All sprinkled with no-nonsense, loving encouragement for every step of the way? Then check out the step-by-step, room-by-room decluttering guide and workbook, The Clutter Fix.
The Good News
The good thing about decluttering is once you get your home cleaned out, it’s a huge relief.
One of my good friends is always telling me I’m good at decluttering and getting rid of things. Which may be true. But I FEEL it when the house is crowded and messy and cluttered. And I don’t like the feeling.
So, every so often I set aside time (or just spur of the moment dump a drawer out!) to go through things.
And my house FEELS so good because of the work I put in to make it feel that way.
I know that you can do it too, Beautiful! You really can!
I’m also not going to BS you and tell you that it’s easy.
But my friend, YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK!
You have to set aside time to clean out those closets and drawers and bedroom and living rooms. And then you need the rhythms and routines to keep it clutter-free. Your sanity depends on it. And you know it!
You are smart and capable and you can declutter your home efficiently.
Happy decluttering my friend, and I can’t wait to see you inside The Clutter Fix!