If you are wondering how to declutter your home without getting completely overwhelmed and stressed out, there is a way. If I had approached my clutter with an all or nothing, let’s get this done overnight attitude, I am sure I’d still be surrounded by stuff and clutter. Going too fast and wearing yourself out in the process only adds to the stress and overwhelm.
I was often searching for the perfect, how to declutter your home solution and hoping for speedy decluttering tips but nothing really fit my daily routine or lifestyle. I thought about my closet, the piles of paper in the office, utensils and small appliances in my kitchen and don’t even get me started on the living room, laundry room and other storage spaces. Instead of all my big picture how to declutter your home questions, I just needed somewhere to start.
How To Declutter Your Home
Marie Kondo has her way and I have mine. If you are wondering how to declutter your home, the best way is your way. That’s probably going to be a combination of things you find inspiring or interesting (hopefully something from this article on how to declutter your home or this one) along with new decluttering ideas you discover as you go along. You might find that Monday mornings are best, or Saturday afternoons. You may decide to declutter a category of stuff at a time like toys or towels. You might start with nightstands or baskets full of blankets. The decluttering process that works best for you is the very best way to declutter your home.
I’m not surrounded by stuff anymore because I spent a few years getting rid of it. It didn’t happen overnight, or even close. Instead it was an inch by inch, step by step, and trinket by book by scarf process. Finally, it was mostly gone. I had more space than stuff and I was free. If you want to be free too, but are worried that there is too much to accomplish, use these tiny tasks and remember that how to declutter your home looks different for everyone.
10 Tiny Tasks To Start Decluttering Your Home
1. Start declutter by adding a sticker to your stuff.
If letting go of your stuff seems impossible, use colorful labels to mark your stuff for it’s next destination. Start in one room and use green stickers for everything you love and want to keep and red for everything else. Ask a friend or family member to help you box up the red stickered stuff. You may even want to use different colored labels to designated what you want to toss, sell, recycle or donate. Even though it may feel like you aren’t making immediate progress, by making the hard decisions first, the rest of the project will go more quickly.
2. Flip your hangers to see what you really wear.
If you aren’t ready for Project 333, at least get a good look at what you never wear. Arrange your hangers so they are facing the same direction. Each time you wear something, flip the hanger when you put it away. At the end of a few weeks, anything you haven’t flipped can be eliminated. If you have clothes in a dresser or other area, try to get them into the hanger rotation experiment so you have a better understanding of what you have and what you want. Chances are you are wearing the same things over and over again so may as well let the rest go.
3. Expire the expired items.
Set your timer for 15 minutes and check all of the items in your bathroom and kitchen that have expiration dates. Go through makeup, toiletries, pantry items and your medicine cabinet. Dump the expired along with anything else that you aren’t using. Properly dispose of medications and donate unopened food.
4. Make a junk box (then hide it).
Collect items from your bins, junk drawer, and from other areas around your house. These are items that you never use, don’t know how to use, or can’t identify. There may be lots of cords and cables in this junk box. Box them all up and set aside for 30 days. If you don’t miss any of it, say goodbye. Those 30 days will ease the stress of letting go when you realize you can barely remember what’s in the box. Schedule time to make a donation so this box doesn’t live in the trunk of your car.
5. Send five care packages.
Choose five books from your collection for five people you love. Write a nice note in the book and give the recipient permission to pass it on when they finish. Sign, seal, deliver. You’ll make a little room on your book shelf and make five friends smile. If you don’t want to take the time to send them, here are some good places to donate your books.
6. Clean up your digital clutter.
The stuff on your digital desktop might not be cluttering up your home, but it’s doing a number to your brain. Clean it up and get rid of some of that mental clutter. If you want to take it a step further consider the art of digital minimalism. Consider this clean up for your email or your phone too.
7. Gently challenge your children.
Even though my daughter is grown and living on her own, I still have visions of Polly Pocket’s pals and American Girl Doll shoes and accessories dancing in my daughter’s room and out into the hall, and down the stairs, onto the kitchen counters. Instead of shaming your kids into cleaning, make it fun. Announce a prize for every 25 things they can collect for donation. The prize can be a fun family activity or your child’s favorite meal. If you have more than one child, offer a bonus if everyone hits their goal to encourage them to work together.
8. Create one little clutter-free space.
Identify one countertop or corner of a room to be your clutter-free sanctuary. Ask everyone in the family to commit to keeping that one space clutter free as inspiration for the next clutter-free space. Even keeping this one small area of your home clutter-free will ease anxiety and stress. This simplified space can grow as you let go of more and more clutter.
9. Move the furniture.
If you have five people in your family and eight dining chairs, put three of the chairs in the garage. If you gave away your books, move your bookshelf. If your kitchen table sees more mail than meals, move it out. Experiment to see what furniture is functional and what’s just in the way or there to store more stuff. If you have the space to keep extra furniture in the garage or another storage space, keep it there and bring it back for special occasions or when you have guests. You likely keep your seasonal decorations out of sight during parts of the year, why not other stuff.
10. Let go of something that makes you feel sad.
If you want to live a happier life, let go of something that makes you feel sad. From clothes that don’t fit to some sentimental items, releasing the things that weigh us down can make us feel light. Maybe the things that make you feel sad aren’t physical things. Let go of things like regret, guilt and unmet expectations too. This may not feel like a tiny task but sometimes letting go of something is just a decision. Haven’t you suffered enough?
Try these tiny tasks once a month, in addition to your other decluttering efforts. You don’t have to do all of them, but choose a few that resonate with you to be part of your adventure in discovering a simple way to declutter your home and create a clutter-free life.