HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME AND LIFE
Clearing clutter is often the first step to creating a simpler life, with more time, more ease and less stress. Decluttering isn’t always easy but this guide provides some helpful tips on how to declutter your home and life and make space for what matters most to you.
A HELPFUL GUIDE TO DECLUTTERING
Decluttering your home and life creates space, time and freedom. In today’s busy world, it seems more and more of us are looking for ways to ease the load, reduce our stress, make life easier and pull back from the chasing, doing and achieving.
Decluttering is becoming increasingly popular and it’s often the first step to a simpler life. Yet, decluttering isn’t always easy.
For me, it was definitely a case of trial and error, a few false starts and lots of detours along the way!
I thought it might be helpful to share my story and the tips I’ve learnt along the way.
I hope it breaks down the what, why and how of decluttering and makes it easier for you to try it for yourself (without making the same mistakes I made!).
WHY I BEGAN DECLUTTERING
My own clutter-free journey started out when I spent a weekend decluttering my clothes.
I’d had enough of not being able to find anything to wear, throwing on clothes that I didn’t really feel good in as I ran out of time to get dressed in the busy mornings. I was frustrated that juggling family and work left me little time to make myself look good and more importantly, feel good, each morning.
I was stressed out and worn out. Of course, it wasn’t really just about my clothes, but life in general. The frustration I was feeling was just an outward sign of an underlying problem. Things needed to change!
Decluttering my wardrobe bought about instant benefits. I could choose my clothes quicker, knowing that whatever I pulled from my closet was something I’d like to wear and feel good wearing. Not only was it quicker, it was easier, more enjoyable and much less frustrating!
I loved the impact of this small decluttering project so, over time, I carried on decluttering the rest of my home – the bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, toys and so on.
Little by little, I began to notice some big differences, not just in my home, but in other areas of my life too.
Decluttering was the first, vital step. If you’d like to explore decluttering for yourself, I hope the ideas and tips that follow will help guide you through the process in a way that feels right for you.
WHAT WE’LL COVER
- What is decluttering? Keeping what’s important and letting go of the rest
- Thinking differently about your stuff. Shifting old thought patterns
- What are the benefits of decluttering? More space, calm and clarity
- How do you start decluttering? Little tips to make decluttering easier
- How do you know what to declutter? Ask yourself some simple questions
- How to declutter when you don’t have time? Tips to declutter quickly and easily
- How to declutter when you feel stuck? Overcome decluttering problems
- How to declutter the rest of your life? Living a clutter-free life
- How to stay clutter-free? Keeping the clutter away for good
- Free decluttering challenges. To keep you motivated and on focus
- Resources for decluttering. Resources to help you declutter your home and life
1. WHAT IS DECLUTTERING?
Decluttering is the act of getting rid of the excess, the things that you no longer need, want, appreciate or serve a purpose. It’s about clearing the clutter and removing the things that don’t add value to your life or align with your priorities and what’s important to you.
Decluttering is your first step to simplifying life.
Keep what’s important to you and let go of what’s left.
“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” Leo Babauta
2. THINKING DIFFERENTLY ABOUT YOUR STUFF
One of the hard truths about decluttering, and making it successful and sustainable, is that it requires you to think differently about your stuff. Why do you keep your stuff, what value you place on it (not just financially but emotionally too) and why you haven’t let go of it until now.
Decluttering is as much about your stuff as it is about getting comfortable making decisions that you might have avoided until now, facing up to some uncomfortable truths and being aware of trade-offs. If you let something have space in your home or your life, that means saying no to something else.
Shifting your mindset, challenging your habits and thoughts and learning to think differently about what clutters your life and why, will all help you declutter your home and life and keep the clutter away.
- The minimalist mindset shift – how to think differently about your stuff
3. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING?
Clearing our clutter creates space and calm in our homes. We have less stuff to look after and more free time for other things. With more space and more time comes less stress, more ease and more freedom for the things that we most value rather than the stuff that just takes up our space and weighs heavy in our hearts and minds.
Decluttering is the first step that many people take when simplifying their lives. It’s the way that most of us can see and feel the biggest difference and it’s the springboard to a life that’s fuller in every way (just without so much stuff!).
Decluttering is better than organising. Although it helps to organise what you have left, decluttering first will mean you have less to organise in the first place.
“Once we let go of the things that don’t matter, we discover all the things that really do.” (Joshua Becker)
- The benefits of decluttering your home and life
- 20 reasons to own less stuff
- Why declutter instead of organise?
4. HOW DO YOU START DECLUTTERING?
Decluttering isn’t always easy. There are so many reasons why we get attached to our stuff or have too much of it and sometimes it’s difficult to know where or how to start clearing it.
If this feels familiar to you, take heart as you’re definitely not alone and there are some helpful tips and strategies to make it easier to get started.
Deciding where to start decluttering is an important one, especially if you think you’re going to find it difficult. Ideally, you want to start decluttering in an easy place, such as the bathroom, with as few items as possible to hold you up so you can practice decluttering. It also helps to plan and prepare BEFORE you even begin decluttering.
And, what will you do with your unwanted stuff after you’ve finished decluttering?
- Things to do before you start decluttering
- Where to start decluttering – 6 tips to help you get started
- 10 ways to make decluttering easier – strategies to remove the stress and make clearing clutter less overwhelming
- 14 tiny decluttering projects – very small projects for some quick wins
5. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DECLUTTER?
Decluttering is not a precise science and working out what is clutter and what’s not can take practice and more than a little self-reflection.
For decluttering to be sustainable and beneficial over the longer term, it helps to approach the decluttering process by asking the right questions. Decluttering is about working out what’s important to you and adds value to your life in some way. It’s not just about getting rid of things for the sake of it.
Understanding why you want to do something is key to making change and making those changes stick. We can all embark on a new project but keeping it up when the enthusiasm wains or we hit an obstacle is much more difficult.
Taking time to reflect on WHY you want to declutter and HOW you want things to be different, will help you understand WHAT to declutter. It will also keep you motivated and focused to keep on going.
It might be helpful to look at the different types of clutter in your home and life so that you can have in mind how to declutter them.
- What is clutter – the different types of clutter and 7 ways to think about your stuff
- How to decide what to declutter
- Decluttering tips for hoarders
6. HOW TO DECLUTTER WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TIME
Decluttering can take a lot of time if you want it to. For many of us, though, setting aside large chunks of time to declutter an entire home might seem a little overwhelming or unrealistic if you have a busy life or you’re not enjoying the challenge!
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a clutter-free home! It’s about finding (and making use of) little windows of time and having a plan or project that you can get stuck into whenever you have a moment.
- Quick decluttering projects for your home
- How to declutter when you don’t have time to declutter
- How to declutter fast
7. HOW TO DECLUTTER WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK
Decluttering can bring about some fantastic benefits but reaching that point can be tough. It’s very common to lose motivation after the initial burst of enthusiasm, be unsure what step to take next or simply feel a little overwhelmed. Decluttering some items is more difficult than others so here are some tips for decluttering sentimental items or your child’s artwork for example.
If you have a lot of stuff, here are some helpful decluttering tips for hoarders. Maybe you need some of these tips on how to declutter if you don’t have time? Or even perhaps some ideas on how to declutter when you want to keep some of your stuff too. These are all common problems that many of us face so don’t worry!
If you’re struggling, take a break but don’t give up. Just remember that it’s not a race and taking your time to let the changes happen and take effect isn’t such a bad thing. It takes time for clutter to build up so it’s only natural for it to take a little while to clear. Be kind on yourself and remember you’re doing this to make a better life for yourself, even if it seems difficult in the beginning.
- How to declutter when you feel overwhelmed
- How to find simplicity in life (5 powerful tips to clear clutter and live intentionally)
8. HOW TO DECLUTTER THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
Clutter has been shown to increase stress levels and reduce focus and concentration. Clearing that clutter therefore brings our stress levels down, creates a little calm and clarity. This doesn’t just apply to your home, but decluttering other areas of your life can have the same benefits just in a different way.
“Clutter is not just physical stuff, it’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits.” (Eleanor Brown)
You can create a clutter-free life asking yourself the same questions about what’s adding value to your life and what’s just clutter. You’ll get some wonderful benefits in other ways. And, as you begin to think differently about your stuff you’ll begin to discover why a clutter-free life is an intentional life.
- 10 things to declutter that aren’t things
- How to declutter your mind
- Decluttering as self-care
- How to get rid of digital clutter
- How to declutter your schedule
9. HOW TO STAY CLUTTER-FREE?
Decluttering isn’t a once-and-you’re-done kind of project. Of course you can declutter a room or area and tick it off your list, but I bet it won’t be long before the clutter builds up again.
Staying clutter-free from the long-term is more of a challenge. Clutter tries to invade our homes daily. Think of the junk mail through your letter box, emails in your inbox, even the packaging on your food.
This is where it’s helpful to create some gentle and consistent habits and routines to stay keep that clutter away.
10. FREE DECLUTTERING CHALLENGES
You might be happy going room to room with a bin bag or box. Yet, for many of us, decluttering is easier when you have a list or action plan. Try these free challenges to help motivate and focus you (they come with free printables you can download too!):
11. 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:
- 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 – An easy-access downloadable PDF-format course and workbook to help you declutter and run your home on auto-pilot so you can get on with the rest of life.
- Simplify Your Wardrobe – a powerful workbook to help you declutter your clothes, love your style and enjoy getting dressed each day quickly, easily and hassle-free.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. For more articles on decluttering, hop over to the declutter archives.
If you have any questions, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to help!
YOUR NEXT STEP…
If you’d like to try decluttering for yourself, I’ve put together a free guide and workbook to help you get started. We explore ways you can declutter your own home, solutions to common problems, and how decluttering is just the first step to a simpler life for you.
Pop your details in the box below to get started…