WHICH ROOM TO DECLUTTER FIRST? TIPS TO HELP YOU DECIDE
It can be difficult to know how and where to start decluttering. Here are some tips to help you decide which room to declutter first for effective, easy decluttering.
DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME
Decluttering your home is a wonderful way of creating more time, space and freedom.
Your home will be easier to manage, less of a drain on your energy, a calmer and more relaxing space and a more inviting place for you to be proud of when guests visit. You might even find you lose less stuff and have more time for what really matters to you in life instead of cleaning and tidying.
Decluttering your home has many benefits but it’s not always easy to clear our clutter. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand to becoming clutter-free! It takes practice, energy, perseverance and ongoing maintenance.
If you research decluttering on the internet, you’ll find plenty of tips, advice and guidance on different aspects of decluttering. You can find some of these here on my website:
- How to declutter when you don’t have time
- How to get your family on board with decluttering
- How to declutter when you feel overwhelmed
- How to declutter if you tend to hoard
However, one common question is which room to declutter first? I’m sharing some thoughts in this article to help you decide!
HOW TO DECIDE WHICH ROOM TO DECLUTTER FIRST
I’d love to be able to give you a definitive answer but my own experience is that the answer will vary from person to person.
The reason for this is everybody’s home and lifestyle is different. What clutters one person’s home might be different to what clutters somebody else’s.
To give a blanket response of starting with XXX room doesn’t feel very helpful! That being said, there are some simple tips I’d like to suggest to help you decide for yourself.
WHICH ROOM TO DECLUTTER FIRST? TIPS TO DECIDE
Here are some tips to help you decide which room to declutter first.
1. Be aware of the different types of clutter in your home
All clutter is not equal. Some rooms and types of items are easier to declutter than others. Some clutter is relatively easy to discard and we can make quick progress. Other types of clutter evokes emotions and feelings that stop us decluttering. Maybe we feel guilty for getting rid of it or want to keep it just in case we might need it in the future. Some of the different types of clutter in our homes might be toy clutter, paper clutter, digital clutter and sentimental clutter.
2. Avoid difficult-to-declutter items
There are certainly some types of clutter that I’d suggest you avoid if you’re new to decluttering and just starting out. Some examples of these would be sentimental clutter such as family heirlooms, your child’s artwork and old photos. Sifting through these items can bring back memories and evoke feelings that potentially make decluttering decisions difficult and slow.
3. Choose an easy room
Decluttering is easier to start if you choose a room that doesn’t contain too many sentimental or difficult-to-declutter items. You want to be able to sort through your items quickly and painlessly so you want a room that contains easy items – to know what you use, want and love. Not where you have to think too much or spend ages deliberating.
The bathroom is a good room to start decluttering because it’s probably got limited storage and stuff and you tend to easily know what you use and what you don’t. Read this article on how to declutter your bathroom and get your free printable checklist!
4. Avoid large areas
The bathroom is also a good room to start decluttering because it’s usually one of the smallest rooms in a home. Decluttering can be physically and emotionally tiring so tackling a large room when you’re just starting out is daunting. Go for a small room or area and get it decluttered so you can feel encouraged and motivated to continue!
5. Decide where the greatest impact will be
Instead of using the size of the room to decide which room to declutter first, take a different unit of measurement. Decide which room would have the greatest impact if you were to declutter it. Maybe the toy room if you have kids with lots of toys? The kitchen if you don’t have space and can’t find what you need to cook for your family easily and it stresses you out?
This is why I don’t like to offer a blanket response when people ask me where should they start decluttering. What clutters my home and stresses me out might not be what clutters your home. Take a look around your home, think about it for the next week as you go about your daily life. What takes up your time and what do you find yourself clearing and tidying the most? Maybe start decluttering there.
6. Start by the front door and work in
You could take a methodical approach and declutter your entrance and hallway and work in and round the home from there. The entrance way is an area of high traffic and a clutter hotspot. It’s a dumping ground for bags, coats, shoes, junk mail and more. Spend some time thinking about how your family use the space and what gets left there and why. Declutter what you don’t need, use or want. Create appropriate storage and give everything you’re keeping a home to live in when not in use. Once you’ve completed decluttering by the front door, move through to the next area of your home. Rinse and repeat.
7. Declutter somewhere that will make you feel good
Clutter has a negative effect on our ability to focus and concentrate. If your home is cluttered it can be visually distracting and affect your mental health. So, if you’re deciding which room to declutter first, you could consider which room will help you regain some inner calm and peace. When we feel better, we tend to be more energised and motivated to take action and make change. These are especially helpful traits when it comes to effective decluttering.
Your bedroom might be a good room to declutter first. It’s the first and last thing you see each day and your sleeping environment has a great impact on how well you sleep. For this reason, your bedroom shouldn’t be a dumping ground for random clutter just because not many people except you will see it.
Here are some tips on how to declutter your bedroom and make it your own personal sanctuary from the busy world!
OTHER TIPS TO HELP YOU DECLUTTER EFFECTIVELY
As well as knowing how to decide which room to declutter first, here are some other tips to help you declutter effectively.
1. Practice your decluttering skills
Decluttering is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Decluttering isn’t as easy as it sounds and we can get stuck decluttering for many reasons. Lack of time, lack of support, lack of energy, lack of direction and not knowing our decluttering goals (what we want to achieve).
However, the best way to declutter effectively is to practice decluttering. Make a start by filling just one rubbish bag, or just one item from each room, or one item each day for the next year. Practice your decluttering skills and get comfortable with the physical act of sifting, deciding and getting rid of your stuff.
2. Build decluttering confidence
Our clutter can hold power over us. We think about what it cost to buy the item in the first place, how it was gifted to us by a friend, how it’s been passed down to us from previous generations, or just that we’ve had it for years and it feels difficult to finally let it go. Overcoming these feelings takes confidence and courage.
When you decide which room to declutter first, consider how confident you feel in making decisions about your stuff. If your confidence needs building, start small and easy (like decluttering the bathroom). Once your confidence grows, you’ll find it easier to tackle bigger and more difficult areas and rooms.
3. Ask decluttering questions
When we pick up an item, it’s sometimes difficult to decide whether to keep it or not. We freeze, get stuck, go round in circles, second guess ourselves, worry about making the wrong decision and, before you know it, the item is back in the cupboard where it started! To help you assess each item objectively and on its own merits, try asking some key decluttering questions. For example, when did you last use the item, do you own another or something very similar you could use instead? For more tips, read this article for a long list of helpful decluttering questions.
4. Set decluttering goals
As with most things in life that can feel a little tough, it’s important to know why you’re doing it. When it comes to decluttering, the reason of ‘just to get rid of things’ isn’t enough. Why do you want to get rid of things? What’s the point? What do you hope to achieve or change? What difference will it make to you and your life? Set some decluttering goals for yourself to get clear on why you’re decluttering and you’ll clear your clutter much more effectively!
SIMPLIFY YOUR HOME – GUIDE AND CHECKLISTS
If you’d like to declutter your home and free up your space, time and energy for other things but don’t know where or how to start, I get it! Decluttering isn’t easy and piecing all the information and tips together can be a hassle in itself.
To help you declutter with more ease and less stress, I’ve put together a handy decluttering guide, Simplify Your Home. I’ve laid out all my best tips and advice in an easy-to-follow practical guide to help you clear clutter, get organised and stay that way.
There are also decluttering checklists for different rooms in your home which you can work through and tick off. It’s all done for you so you don’t have to do all the ground work. You can just get on with decluttering your home!
Click here to learn more about Simplify Your Home.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
I’d love to hear from you if you have any tips to share. Which room did you declutter first? Were there some areas or rooms that you found more difficult than others? Leave a comment below!
A FREE DOWNLOAD
I’ve mentioned the bathroom as a good room to declutter first. To help make it even easier for you, you can get a free Bathroom Declutter Checklist to work through and tick off.
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