20 EASY WAYS TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
Declutter your home with these simple decluttering projects and your home will be easier to keep clean and tidy with minimum effort. For inspiration, tips and advice on how to clear your clutter, create space, time and freedom, try these 20 easy ways to declutter your home.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW?
First, let me ask you some questions…
- What do you feel when you walk in through your front door? Does your home feel calm, peaceful and inviting?
- Does it feel like a constant struggle 24/7 to keep your home clean and tidy? Feel like the housework sucks your time when you’d much rather be doing other things?
- Fed up of looking after your home? Wish it felt more of a haven and less of a burden?!
WOULD THIS BE BETTER?
Would you prefer your home to be calm, relaxed and a welcoming space for you and your family to spend time in?
Do you wish you had more free time to do the things that you WANT to do, instead of just what you NEED to do?
- How about spending time with your kids playing with that Lego instead of constantly picking it up?
- What about an evening with your partner chilling out watching a film with a glass of wine, instead of tackling the laundry and washing the dirty dishes?
- Or simply heading off to the park, hitting the gym, going out for the day – without worrying what state the home is in and how you’re going to catch up on housework when you get back?
THE BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING
If you’re overwhelmed by the clutter and/or constantly looking after your stuff (picking it up, moving and cleaning it) then your home is probably feeling more of a burden than a joy.
There are so many benefits to decluttering your home. Clearing you clutter will lighten your heart and mind and create more time and space for you to do other things… Decluttering your home is just the first step to being able to simplify your life!
Here are just a few of the benefits you could start to enjoy:
- More focus on what’s important: If you declutter your home, you’ll be removing all the stuff that you and your family don’t use, no longer need and get no enjoyment from. More focus on what matters instead of the stuff that doesn’t.
- More space: When you declutter your home, you end up with less stuff generally. It’s easier to look after what you’ve got left.
- Easier to maintain: As it’s easier, it’s also quicker! Tidying the home and keeping it clean takes less time.
- More freedom: Less time spent doing chores and looking after your home and the stuff in it, means you’ve got more time for other things which you WANT to do.
- More time for what’s important: More time for being with your kids, your family, by yourself.
- More energy: You’ll also have more energy to do other things because you won’t be worn out from playing catch-up with the housework, that constant battle against the toys or the dirty dishes and laundry piles that you’re sorting every evening.
Further reading: The benefits of decluttering: powerful reasons to declutter your home and life
20 EASY WAYS TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
If the benefits we mentioned sound appealing, let’s get started clearing YOUR clutter! Here are 20 easy ways to declutter your home which will help you take control over your home and the stuff in it.
1. Laundry hamper sweep
Make a tour of your home with the laundry hamper in hand and collect up anything that doesn’t belong in that room and return it to its proper home. One of the most common ways we make home our still look cluttered is by not putting things away or having a designated space to put them when not in use.
2. The table tops
Clear the stuff from all your table tops and surfaces. Dust them down, keep them clear and only put back items that you love and want to look at. Flat surfaces, including stairs, the floor and shelves, are clutter hotspots. If there’s a flat surface, it’s easy to plonk things down. Clutter then attracts clutter and that one random item soon becomes a small pile of stuff you’ll need to sort!
3. Your wardrobe
Take everything out of your wardrobe. Find another home in the house for everything that shouldn’t be there, a wardrobe is for clothes only! Clean the inside thoroughly. Sort your clothes into 3 piles (keep, donate, throw away). Only put back into your wardrobe the items you want to keep. These should be pieces that are in good condition, that you love and make you feel good when you put them on. Take the donate and throw away piles straight to a charity shop or the bin. Read more about how to declutter your clothes.
4. A box by the front door
Decluttering doesn’t have to be complicated or take lots of time. Keep it easy with this simple tip. Put a box by the front door and when you come across something in the home that you don’t need or want, pop it in the box. Empty the box regularly to the recycling, rubbish or goodwill.
5. The toys
Ask your children (if they’re old enough) to go through their toys and make piles of the ones they play with all the time, the ones they play with sometimes and the ones they never play with. Explain that there are children who don’t have so many toys and encourage your kids to donate the toys they never use to them. Read more about how to declutter toys.
6. The kitchen cupboards and drawers
Go through your kitchen and pull out all the utensils, pots, bowls, mugs, glasses, cutlery etc that you don’t use. Either donate or throw them away. If you’re not sure if you’ll need something, put it in a box in the garage for 2 weeks and if it’s not used after that time, then donate/throw it. Clean the cupboards and drawers and put everything back in an organised and tidy way. You should have a bit more space now to do this because you’ve got less stuff!
7. Your living room
Look at your living room, is it full of things that don’t belong in the room but have ended up there because it’s where your family spend a lot of time? How does your living room feel? Is it a room you enjoy being in and relaxing in? Assess the table tops, shelves and surfaces, even the drawers. Are they clear or cluttered with stuff and drawers overflowing? Take a few minutes to sort through them!
8. Your books
Work out the storage space you have available in your home for books. Only keep enough books that will fit in this space. Give away any excess books (unless you really feel you need to buy more storage because you’re a bookworm and love books). Donate or throw away books that you no longer want, that are in bad shape or you have multiple copies of. Using space as a measure of how much stuff to keep is a useful technique. It removes some of the decision-making from you.
9. Odds and ends
Clutter can creep up on us without us realising! Check your home for excess or multiples of things. Here are a few ideas – old mobile phone chargers, obsolete instruction manuals, socks with holes or without a matching pair, excess plastic bags and clothes hangers, half-finished craft projects, unwanted email subscriptions, junk mail… Here are some ideas for 50 easy things to declutter right now.
10. The hallway
Shoes, coats, bags, hats, scarves, footballs, incoming post, keys, letters from the school… all these things tend to get dumped in the hallway as you come in and out of the front door unless you can find a more organised and suitable home for them. Think about how your hallway is used and the sorts of stuff that accumulates there. Do you need boxes for shoes, hooks for coats, shelving or cupboards for bags, a bowl or hooks for keys? Find a way of using the space available and giving everything a home. Teach your family to put and keep everything in its place.
11. Your garage or loft
Often the dumping ground for random stuff, stuff that we don’t want to throw away, to keep just in case we need it, not for now but maybe a different season, stuff that we don’t want cluttering up our house and we can’t, won’t or don’t want to throw away. Choose just a corner of the garage or loft to sort, not the whole space. Set your timer for 5, 10, or 30 minutes. Think long and hard the last time you used each item. If you got rid of it only to find you needed it, would it really be expensive to replace? Be ruthless, yet practical. Put the stuff into 3 piles – keep, donate, throw away. When the timer goes off, stop. Take the donation pile to the charity shop, and the throw away pile in the rubbish. Do another clear out session in a week’s time (set it in your calendar) and watch the clutter reduce!
12. Cupboards throughout the house
Look through the cupboards in your house. Can you remember what’s in there or are they a dumping ground for stuff that you don’t know what to do with?! Choose one cupboard at a time, pull everything out and work through it consistently with the keep/donate/throw away piles. Find a proper home for the stuff you want to keep and immediately deal with the other two piles so these don’t end up getting left out and contributing to the clutter.
“If you’re not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You’re not going to start using it more by shoving it in a closet somewhere.” (Joshua Becker)
13. Your jewellery
Sort through your jewellery, keep the items you love, donate/throw away the rest. Give it all a clean and put it back neat and organised.
14. The kitchen work surface
Remove all the items, clean it thoroughly and only put back what you absolutely must have there. Find a new home/donate/throw away everything else. Read more about how to declutter kitchen counters and keep them clutter-free!
15. Your bedside table
The surface and drawers shouldn’t be a dumping ground for random stuff. Only have what you need for the night and first thing in the morning, for example, a light, an alarm clock/your phone, a book, notepad and pen. Get rid of the rest as it will distract you from a calming bedtime and good night’s sleep. Learn more about how to declutter your bedroom.
16. Outdoor coats and shoes
Go through all of this and, in the case of your kids’ clothes, make sure they still fit. Donate/throw away the rest. Work out which coats, if any, you need out for the particular season you are in and store the rest. For example, you don’t need a lightweight mac on your coat rack if it’s snowing and cold outside.
17. Your children’s books
Either with or without your kids, sort through the books, donate the ones you don’t read anymore, throw away the tattered ones and keep the rest in a nice bookcase or on a shelf.
18. The linen cupboard
Take everything out and sort into piles. Bath towels, hand towels, pillow cases, sheets and duvet covers for your bed, for the children’s room and any guests that might stay. Be ruthless with items that are threadbare or have holes. Put back into the cupboard only enough of each item that you’ll think you need depending on the size of your household. Keeping up with a regular laundry routine will usually mean you need less towels, sheets etc. You can always keep a few sheets/towels back for the dog or as rags if you would like.
19. A drawer of your choice
Pick any drawer around the house and empty it completely. Sort into piles and throw away/donate anything that you don’t want to keep. Ask yourself whether you are really likely to ever use that item. Chances are that if you haven’t used it in the last 6-12 months then you’d probably forgotten it was there anyway. Only put back what should be kept in that drawer, make sure it’s neat and organised and re-home what’s left over.
20. Plates, glasses and cutlery
Go through all the plates, glasses and cutlery in your kitchen. Work out how many of each you actually use, keep a few spares for visitors and in case of breakages and get rid of the rest. Keep on top of washing dirty dishes and you won’t need to reach into the cupboard for a new glass every time your child asks for a drink.
DECLUTTERING PROBLEMS AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
If you tried these 20 ideas, I’d love to know how you got on! They were decluttering projects designed for some quick wins so you can both see and feel the benefits of decluttering your home.
Decluttering feels like it should be easy. Surely you just keep what you love and get rid of what you don’t. However, as I’m sure you probably discovered, decluttering isn’t always so cut and dry.
Here are some helpful articles to explain why we find decluttering hard (and what to do about it):
- How to decide what to keep and what to get rid of – Simple questions to ask yourself
- How to declutter if you don’t have time – Creative ways to clear your clutter in short bursts
- How to declutter when you feel overwhelmed
- Decluttering tips for hoarders – If your relationship with stuff is complicated
- How to find the motivation to declutter your home
- Progress not perfection in decluttering – Why decluttering doesn’t have to be perfect
CLUTTER THAT YOU CAN’T SEE
Clutter goes beyond the physical stuff that takes up space in our homes.
Perhaps you could also think about:
- Types of clutter – and how to deal with them
- How to declutter your mind – 24 practical tips to try today
- 20 ways to get rid of digital clutter – How to clear your computer and inbox
- 10 things to declutter that aren’t things – The invisible clutter
- How to be less busy – How to clear clutter in your schedule
Decluttering your home is one thing, but keeping it clutter-free is another. Clutter tries to invade our homes every day whether that’s post dropping through your letterbox, packaging on the food you buy or random bits and pieces your kids bring home in their schoolbags.
For some helpful tips on keeping your home clean, tidy and clutter-free, you might find these articles helpful:
- 20 daily habits for a clutter-free home – Little tips to help you keep on top of the clutter every day
- How to spend less time cleaning – Minimalist cleaning tips and keeping your home clean and tidy, the simple way
- Quick ways to tidy your home – How to re-set your home quickly and easily
In this article I suggested 20 decluttering projects and easy ways to declutter your home. Just to re-cap, here is a list of all the ideas we covered to clear your clutter and create a little space and calm in your home:
- Laundry hamper sweep – Return items to their proper ‘home’
- Table-tops – Flat surfaces are a clutter hot-spot
- Your wardrobe – Declutter your clothes
- A box by the front door – Put something in it daily
- The toys – Keep only the favourites
- Kitchen cupboards and drawers – Remove duplicates and unused items
- Your living room – Is it a clutter-magnet?
- Your books – Keep what you love and want to read
- Odds and ends – Sift the junk
- The hallways – A common dumping ground
- Your garage and loft – Break down big projects
- Cupboards throughout the house – Stop hiding stuff away
- Your jewellery – Repair, clean, sell, donate or throw away
- The kitchen surface – Remove clutter and it’s easier to keep clean and tidy
- Your bedside table – Keep only what you need for the night
- Outdoor coats and shoes – Put away items that are out of season
- Your children’s books – Have a regular declutter
- The linen cupboard – Sort through towels and bedlinen
- A drawer of your choice – Don’t fall into the trap of ‘out of sight, out of mind’
- Plates, glasses and cutlery – Avoid duplicates and wash straight after use
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Have you started to declutter your home? Where did you start and what did you find easiest or most difficult? Do you have any helpful tips to share? Let us know in the comments!
RESOURCES FOR DECLUTTERING
If you’d like to explore what decluttering your home and life could mean for you, here are some resources which you might find helpful:
- How to declutter your home and life – a helpful guide to how to start
- Why declutter and not just organise? – why organising your stuff just isn’t enough
- Decluttering mistakes and how to overcome them
- Declutter Starter Kit – a free guide and workbook to help you understand the what, why and how of decluttering. Projects, tips and guidance to clear the clutter in your home and life.
- Simplify Your Home – a guide and checklists to help you declutter your home, room-by-room. With checklists, further reading and lots of actionable steps and prompts to help you understand WHAT clutters your home, WHY it’s there and WHAT to do about it.
DON’T MISS OUT!
I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!
Monday 6th of May 2019
Loved all these tips! For #18, the linen closet, I've stopped storing linen in there, instead keeping it within the space it's used, and only keeping one or two extra sets for that space (the kids get two extra sets of sheets, everything else is either in use or being laundered and put away that day).
Balance Through Simplicity
Tuesday 7th of May 2019
Hi, yes, this is a great idea. The most important part of simplifying and decluttering is finding what works for you so it's realistic and sustainable. Thank you for your comment!