Decluttering Basics

Have you ever looked around you home and thought, Oh My God! Where did all of this stuff come from? For most of us we tend to not notice the abundance of things accumulating in our homes, offices, and lives until we are surrounded or until we have to move it all. Decluttering can be a simple way to minimize the overwhelm.

We are going to share with you some simple tips that will help you get the process started.

There are some things to know first before we jump into this. Each person is DIFFERENT! We all function differently, organize differently, and handle tasks in a different manner. That being said I will try and give my top two options for each tip — go with the one you feel works with your style best. There is nothing wrong with the person who likes their things displayed versus the person who wants all lines of sight clear. Preferences are part of what make us human, embrace them!

  1. Pick a Project – an area or a type of thing. 
    1. You can pick a room, a cabinet, shelf, drawer, etc depending on the time frame you have. OR you can pick clothes, shirts, educational books, kitchen utensils, office supplies.
    2. Try to estimate how much time it will take you and plan accordingly. You can always break your projects down into smaller bit sized pieces.


  1. Create Working Space
    1. In either instance you will need a working space, sorting ground, etc. Personally, I like to clear room on the floor and if there is a table I use that so I do not have to bend so much. 
  2. Define Sorting Categories
    1. The typical piles I create are below. You will not need all of these for many of your projects, but they are good to keep in mind. Some people frown on the IDK pile, but I think it is important to keep the flow going.
      1. Keep
      2. Toss
      3. Donate
      4. Sell
      5. Recycle
      6. Shred/Burn
      7. I don’t know
      8. Needs Action

moving boxes

  1. Gather.
    1. If you chose a type of item make sure you have checked absolutely everywhere to find every single last possible item in this category. If you picked an area, try to get everything into one central area – everything off shelves, out of drawers, etc.
  2. Clean
    1. While the space in which this stuff normally resides is empty, take this moment to wipe it down, vacuum, put new liners in, clean the energy if you are into that, etc. 
  3. Sort – The key here is swift decisions!
    1. I love Marie Kondo‘s advice of only keeping things that bring you joy in the here and now. If it once brought you joy, but no longer does, it is completely ok to let that item go.
    2. I try to set up a place for each sorting category — trash can, recycle bin, shred box, and plastic bins or boxes that are labeled for the rest.
    3. Later you will sort the keep pile further
      1. Likes with likes if by area
      2. Perhaps size, name, age, color, etc if by type of item
  4. Find a home.
    1. This goes for EVERYTHING. Take the trash, recycle, and shred stuff out immediately. Put the donations in your car to be dropped off (or schedule a pickup before you even start your project). 
    2. “Keep items” should find their appropriate home, determine if you need some organizational device (most of mine are boxes I have found around the house) and always leave a little extra space in case you ever add to this area/collection.

measuring spoons

  1. Label.
    1. I love labeling, especially if you live with other people. Maintaining a clean, clutter free home depends on EVERYONE helping out to keep it that way. If things are clearly labeled as to where they should go and it is easy to make that happen it is much more likely to find its way back home.

This is again, just a quick guide to the steps of decluttering. If you put your mind to it you can surely do it. If you are having issues on where to start, what projects to take on, or any other questions please comment below or reach out to us, we are more than delighted to assist you and talk you through your issues. 

Please note: Decluttering is not just an outward, physical process. In order for things to stick, there is a lot of internal work that needs to be done in conjunction with going through your stuff. If you would like more information about this part of the process please reach out or feel free to comment below.


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