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!
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.
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!