How to Start Decluttering Your Home: 7 Simple Steps

How to start decluttering your home, 7 simple steps so you can get it done without getting overwhelmed.

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Update: This post was originally written by Heather of Simply Save blog, which is no longer online and I’ve since edited. The tips are still valid and I hope that one of them works for you to beat the overwhelm and start decluttering.

7 Simple Ways to Start Decluttering

Spring is around the corner and soon we’ll all be getting the itch to do some spring cleaning! Many of us will include decluttering in our cleaning, going through our things and getting rid of what we don’t use or want any longer. Decluttering can be overwhelming! Even just the thought of it can make you want to shut down and avoid it. Where do you even start? How do you stick with it? Here are some tips to make it a little less overwhelming!


1. Look for areas of redundancy

If you’re not sure where to start, look for areas of redundancy, areas where you have significant  multiples of the same types of items. For me it was flip flops, pajamas, workout clothes, and coffee mugs. It occurred to me that I could only wear one pair of flip flops and pajamas (not together!) at a time so I didn’t need 15 pairs of each. I also don’t work out often enough to justify 12 different outfits. These hot spots are different for everyone but are an easy way to get started.

2. You don’t have to do it all at once

I recommend breaking it down. Take it a room at a time, closet at a time, or even a drawer at a time; do a little each day or each weekend. Decluttering is a process. At first you may feel like you need to keep things, but after a second sweep later on, you may feel differently. Even though you don’t need to do it all at once it can be addicting! I’ve found myself on decluttering frenzies, so I don’t recommend starting at night. 

3. Turn your hangers

Not sure which clothes to part with? Turn your hangers around so they’re facing the opposite direction. As you wear things put them back facing the usual way. Every 4 to 6 months, revisit your closet and see which items are still facing backwards. This gives you an easy snapshot of your favorite items. 

4. Check for expired products

As a finance blogger I’m into stocking up on items when I can get a great deal, so I’m embarrassed to say that when I started decluttering I found a crazy amount of expired items in my home. Unopened items; medicine, food, beauty products, pet food, and more. So much waste. Now I’m much more intentional about stocking up. Take a quick look at the expiration date on things and you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of things without a second thought.

5. Grab a done for you decluttering schedule

I love it when I find a decluttering schedule and list already done for you. Then I can just download it and do a little at a time. It’s way less overwhelming. The Passionate Penny Pincher Home Planner is awesome and has a weekly project schedule already done to help you declutter and organize your entire home one week at a time. It’s my favorite home planner cause she has a ton of checklists already done for you to manage your home without having to figure it out yourself. It’s a list lovers dream.

6. Do a pantry challenge

The pantry challenge was what opened my eyes to all of my expired food. Pick a week or month where you try to eat from your pantry. The only grocery shopping you should do is for fresh staples such as eggs, milk, bread, fruit, and veggies. It’s a great way to clean out the pantry and break the cycle of always eating and buying your same few favorites while ignoring the rest.

7. Make it your own

Don’t be hard on yourself and take breaks when needed. Decluttering can be mentally exhausting! Don’t compare your decluttering challenge to others; what we choose to get rid of or keep are personal choices and are different for everyone. These steps will help you get started on your decluttering, but you really get to make it your own! Best of luck!

About Heather

Heather from Simply Save writes about Simple Ways to Start Decluttering as a guest on Mom's Small Victories.

Heather is a personal finance blogger who strives to find the balance between planning for the future and enjoying the present. She shares her personal finance journey on Simply Save and also writes about saving money, simplifying life, minimalism, and living with intention.

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I love these simple ways to start decluttering from Heather and I really need to do the Minsgame to get rid of more clutter. I’ve been using the decluttering mission calendars in my planner to try and get control of our clutter and it’s a slow but meaningful process. But as I always say, baby steps and small victories! 

More Easy Steps to Declutter


  1. Heather, great tips! If I had to pick just one thing to eliminate, or at least reduce, food waste, it is: Keep your Sharpie handy when you bring in groceries and write the expiration (or best by) date in big numbers on the top of the lid, front of the label, whatever is going to be most visible in its storage spot, and place most recent dates *behind* the older dates so you are always rotating your stock. This has helped me bring food waste in my kitchen down to almost zero.

    1. yes Jean, that’s such a good tip! I’ve been doing this also, I use painter’s tape and a sharpie to label everything, including leftovers and when I open things and need to use it by. I even use it on the veggie and fruit drawers so the boys know what’s inside it and can help themselves. I try! They tend to all come into the fridge and find what they need and then put it back haphazardly and then ask me where something is. lol, can’t win them all but it does help!

  2. I LOVE Decluttering! I do it every year, my kids hate it. Sometimes we do it several time a year. I am surprised have have anything left. Thanks for playing the Pinterest Game

    1. Lol, I feel the same way. I declutter & reorganize and then a couple weeks later it looks like a tornado zone again. I think our stuff regenerates itself! 🙂

  3. Great tips! I’ve been doing the hanger thing for a couple of years now and it’s a great way to prove what’s in your closet that you don’t love. I forbid my husband from buying anything at the grocery story today that we didn’t actually need – no matter how great the sale was – to force us to use what’s in the pantry. I hate the idea that we have so much food there’s hardly room for more but then we keep buying more anyway.

  4. I just started my Spring Cleaning today and unlike a lot of you, I didn’t like it all! It’s hard to decide what to get rid of but even harder deciding where it should go. Great tips in this post and the comments and just in time. I can handle the one a day and then two a day idea. I may have overdone it trying to get rid of a truckload in just one day. Thanks so much!

    1. I’m with you and don’t like the act of physically decluttering but I sure do love the results. I wish someone would do it for me 🙂 every little bit helps, good luck with your spring cleaning!

  5. Excellent tips!! I seriously get a high from decluttering and getting rid of things. I am the opposite of a hoarder. lol I can’t wait to get started on a few hot spots in my home! Good idea to not start a project at night!

    1. Lol, I get a high from decluttering too but we are a family of pack rats. We aren’t quite to hoarding status but we have a lot to get rid of. Thanks for commenting Roxanne

  6. Where you ease dropping on me and my hubby? I promise we were talking about this very same thing. We are planning a spring cleaning of all spring cleanings .. the struggle for me is getting rid of things I know in my heart can be recycled

    1. Decluttering is a popular conversation, the renewal of spring gets me in the mood to spruce up the house. Good luck with your spring cleaning of all spring cleanings, I need to get moving on mine too!

  7. Tis the season for spring cleaning! We started last week and I donated a fair amount to the church for their clothing plus more giveaway. Cookbooks we never used anymore… gone! Sheets for a bed that we no longer own… gone! Feels so much better when the space isn’t cluttered with junk.

    1. I’m so bad with cookbooks, I love to collect them but realistically I don’t use them. Good for you getting rid of things, every bit helps!

  8. I am in the process of decluttering as we speak and you have hit the nail on the head. I agree that taking time out is a great idea and helps you evaluate decluttering.

  9. boy you aren’t kidding! i am in the midst of an all over purge-fest in my home & it so draining!!!! but I am trying to have fun with it and remember how great it will be when I get somewhere with this 😉

  10. I love the hanger tip. I am going to have to try that as I feel like I have a ton of stuff but only wear the same things over and over.

  11. Love the turn your hangers and the Play the Minsgame ideas – I’ll go through my closet once a month a note the things that I haven’t worn and put them in a bag to give away – I’ll hold onto the bag for about another month and then off it goes, if I’m not missing anything.

  12. awesome tips! I’m so lucky that I don’t have to worry about clutter. I’m a self confessed ocd, everything has to be in place, germ free and squeaky clean.

  13. #2 hits home with me. I get so overwhelmed and have to remind myself that you need to start somewhere. One room, one space at a time.

  14. Very helpful tips for getting rid of stuff you really don’t need. As I’m become a beauty blogger, I find myself cleaning out my makeup more and more to eliminate expired items or to get rid of items I don’t wear or use.

  15. Great tips here – I do some of these on a regular basis, but some I’d never thought of. Sometimes it’s so hard to clear out clothes – that’s where I struggle the most. Even if they don’t fit I’m still reluctant to pass them on.

    Any tips to actually get the “unwanted” stuff out of the house? I have a box of books and a pile of clothes that I’m not motivated to move out. I try to give stuff away over FB but it seems no one else wants my junk either! 😉

    1. I’ve listed things on Facebook but give myself a time limit. If it’s still there are 30 days, I donate it. If your neighborhood is on NextDoor that is another good place to sell things. I sell things to stores that may pay cash, like books, clothes, etc and then whatever they turn down I immediately take to Goodwill on the way home. Hope that helps! 🙂

      1. That’s a great idea to take items to stores that pay. I’m usually too lazy to seek out places I can sell clothes to, I just end up donating it.

  16. I just read a tip I like yesterday. For every new item you bring in an old one has to go. It is supposed to help you think twice about bringing more stuff into your life. Also my co-worker who is a male puts post-its in his wife’s shoes with the date, if after a year the post-it is still there they have to go. Not sure what his wife thinks of that.

  17. Great ideas, Heather, and many new ones I would like to try. The hanger turning is so clever since it incorporates data gathering first. Also clearing out expired items is a big step. We all have them. And this can be a guide to careful puchasing in future. Thanks, Heather, and thanks Tanya, for featuring these ideas for spring!

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