There are many reasons decluttering can be difficult. You may feel guilty getting rid of something you paid good money for and never used. You may think you need to hold onto it because it was a gift. You may have trouble letting go of something that possibly might serve you in the future. Whatever the reason you struggle with, these tips for a clutter free house will help you get started with decluttering so you can begin to create a house you love.
I don’t believe there’s any, one right way, to declutter.
You may prefer Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering one item at a time, like all the clothes in the house.
Or you may prefer to declutter room by room or drawer by drawer.
I used to believe, decluttering room by room didn’t work. In fact, I wrote about it in this article, “How to Eliminate Clutter for Good | Super Simple Steps”. However, after working with more moms, I came to realize that it very much depends on you and what works best for the way you work. The article still has amazing tips no matter how you decide to declutter so when you’re done here, make sure to read that post too.
No matter your method, in order to be successful at decluttering, you have to commit to the process.
Use these tips for a clutter free home you’ll love.
1. Start with low hanging fruit.
Start with something easy. If the idea of conquering the kitchen sounds overwhelming, then don’t start there. Look for food that’s out of date or clothes that are too small, toys that don’t get played with, or broken items. Getting rid of items that just need to go is a perfect place to start if decluttering sounds too difficult.
2. Visualize what you want your space to look like.
If you have a clear idea of how you want your space to look like you will be more motivated to get uncluttered. Find photos or make a quick sketch of your space so you have a visual to look at as you get going. I love to look through magazines for inspiration. I don’t want my house to look as perfect as a magazine photo, but it helps me see what spaces I’m drawn to and why I like them. Take some time to visualize your dream space before you get started.
3. Create a system for getting rid of things, immediately.
If you hang onto the donation box too long it will just become clutter once again. Place a box near the door for donations, for friends or family you give to regularly, or any other way you get items out of your house. Choose a day once per week or once per month that you will take the items where they need to go rather than housing that box in the corner for months on end.
4. Get familiar with why you are holding onto things that don’t serve you.
All of us have reasons that we hold onto the things we have that don’t really serve us. They might be sentimental reasons. You might have a hard time letting go of things you spent money on and never used (this is really hard for me because I hate wasting my family’s money, but this is an opportunity for growth not an opportunity for guilt). Whatever your reasons, you need to understand your thoughts before you’ll be able to break free of the stuff. Give yourself time to understand why you’re struggling and give yourself grace and you let go of things. And remember, you don’t need to get rid of every single thing you own. You are looking to get rid of the things that are holding you back from living the life you want.
5. Leave space in drawers and on shelves.
If you look around your house, do you have any open space on your shelves, in drawers, or cabinets? I remember being so excited when I’d move into a new place or get a new piece of furniture to decide what to put in it. Sometimes I would even go out and buy something new just so I could fill the space. What I’ve learned as I’ve simplified is that the more white space you have, the lighter you will feel and the more you will enjoy your home. Just because there is an empty space doesn’t mean it needs filled with something. This is a good thing to remember when you think about other areas of your life as well. Just because there’s an open block of time doesn’t mean it needs filled with an activity. Just because there is silence in a conversation doesn’t mean it needs filled with words. Allow for more open space in every area of your life and you will be on your way to finding amazing joy.
6. Put stuff where it makes since.
Sometimes I organize and then find it hard to stay organized. Most often, this is because the place I put the items doesn’t work well for me. It’s okay to shift things around until you find the sweet spot, the spot that makes it easy to put things back where they belong without any extra thought or effort on your part.
7. Stop bringing stuff into the house.
If you feel overwhelmed with the stuff you need to tackle inside your house, then you need to put a halt on bringing anything else in. I’m not saying you can’t ever buy anything again. Just be intentional about getting rid of the things you currently don’t need/want without having the added stress of new things coming in. If it’s really hard for you to go shopping without finding something you ‘have to’ have, then take a break from shopping. I promise this will make decluttering easier and you won’t miss out on anything you truly have to have.
8. Set a schedule to revisit the clutter.
This is not a once in a lifetime activity. There are a lot of people out there who will say you can do a big declutter and tidy up once and then you’re good to go, but I’ve found that this isn’t feasible.
- Our lives are always evolving.
- Stuff is coming in and out of the house on a consistent basis.
- Your kids are growing and needs are changing.
Because of this, I advice you to set a schedule to revisit the clutter. This could be once every few months, once a year, or whenever you feel the need. Personally, I like to do it as the seasons change or big events/holidays happen. These are the times when the ‘stuff’ starts coming back into our lives and it feels like a good time to revisit what is still serving us. If you purpose to continue to live with less you will never have to do as big of a clean out as you did initially, but you will need to periodically revisit the clutter.
Now it’s your turn. You have to do the work. Enjoying a clutter free, simpler life, is a journey. My challenge to you is that you figure out where you are in that journey and where you want to go. Look at the tips for a clutter free house. Choose the item you would most benefit from and get started.
- Start with low hanging fruit.
- Visualize what you want your space to look like.
- Create a system for getting rid of things immediately.
- Get familiar with why you are holding onto things.
- Leave space in drawers and on shelves.
- Put stuff where it makes sense.
- Stop bringing stuff into the house.
- Set a schedule to revisit the clutter.
I’d love to hear where you’re at in your journey. Leave a comment below with your 3 biggest challenges when it comes to keeping your house clutter free and which item you chose to get started with from the list above.