How to Declutter Every Inch of Your Home (+ 10 Things to Get Rid Of)
There’s a lot of truth to the saying, cluttered house, cluttered mind.
When your home is full of stuff you don’t use, you will be more distracted.
This means you’re less at peace.
Plus, a cluttered home looks unclean and, unsurprisingly, takes longer to clean, adding further stress when friends and family come to visit.
The problem for many of us is that the task of decluttering can be daunting and overwhelming.
We’ve got some easy-to-implement ideas if you don’t know what to do with all your stuff.
Read on to discover how to declutter your home first and what items to get rid of.
How to Declutter Every Inch of Your Home
We can tell you what to declutter and how to do it, but if you don’t change your thinking and habits, you’re bound to let clutter pile up all over again.
(Don’t ask how I know.)
Avoid repeating your clutter problem with these 5 tips.
1. Do a Little Every Day
Excess clutter leads to even more housework.
You can eliminate a good percentage of housework simply by regularly decluttering.
Spend about 10 minutes every day and work on an area of your home where clutter tends to pile up (countertops, desks, bathroom counters, and shelves, etc.).
Tackling clutter in small portions daily is much easier than trying to declutter your entire home on a weekend.
Create Your Own Audio Organization Guide
While you set out to organize and declutter your space, maximize your time by listening to audiobooks on Audible.
- Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is the instant classic on decluttering your life to spark joy.
- James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a great resource for the link between habit formation and identity.
- Dan Charnas’ Work Clean: The Life-Changing Power of Mise-en-Place to Organize Your Life, Work, and Mind, which will help you focus on preparation, arranging, and cleaning as you go.
With Audible, you have all the books you could ever want to listen to on your devices (not on your shelf) at the click of a button.
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2. Focus on What Doesn’t Bring Joy
You have probably heard of Marie Kondo, who talks about only keeping items that spark joy. She’s onto something.
Start by knowing what you want in your home – what brings you joy.
Then, make a point to get rid of items that don’t serve that purpose.
The KonMari Method outlines how to declutter your home without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
As you get rid of clutter, you will make your space feel calm and peaceful.
3. Utilize Bins and Baskets
Do you ever have a problem finding things because they are mixed in with other bits of clutter?
If you keep a bin for items with the same purpose, it’ll make your life easier.
And save you time.
Similarly, keep a bin for each member of your family.
When items that belong to them wind up in other places in your home, put these items in the responsible family member’s bin.
In our home, we have baskets on the stairs for each child.
The kids are responsible for carrying the items that found themselves downstairs back to their upstairs bedrooms using their baskets.
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- Related: 6 Walmart Hacks to Save More Money
4. Don’t Just Toss It
When you look to bring order to a cluttered space, don’t go through your home with a garbage bag and just throw everything away.
That’s not the goal, and you will likely toss some things you’ll regret.
Instead, take your time and ask yourself the following:
- Is this item worth selling? If so, sell it on Facebook Marketplace.
- Can I reuse this item for a different, better purpose? If so, put it to good use.
- Would another person or organization find this item useful? If so, donate it.
If your answer to these questions is no, go ahead and throw or give it away.
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5. Eliminate the Dysfunctional
The purpose of decluttering is to improve your life.
If you are unsure if you want to get rid of something, ask yourself if it adds function to your life.
After all, decluttering at its core is about eliminating dysfunction.
When you intentionally act to bring order to your home, it will help you feel happier and more relaxed.
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10 Things to Get Rid Of
The tips above detail how to deal with clutter, but that is only half the battle.
You need to make a point to eliminate the sources of clutter. Here are things you will want to get rid of:
There’s a reason this is first on our list.
Clothing is one of the most common sources of clutter.
How many unworn clothes do you have collecting cobwebs?
If you aren’t going to wear them, they need to go.
If this is hard for you to decide which outfits will no longer cut it, try the hanger method.
Place all your clothes on hangers facing the same direction.
After you wear an item, put it back in the closet with the hanger facing a different direction.
After 6 months, get rid of any clothing on hangers still facing the same direction (meaning the clothing hasn’t been worn).
- Related: 7 Ways to Get Your Life Organized
2. Uneaten Food
Pantries and refrigerators can become cluttered in a relatively short amount of time.
If you don’t regularly clean out these spaces, items that are half empty will get pushed to the back and forgotten about.
Condiments will remain past their expiration dates.
Go through your cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator to root out any uneaten or spoiled food.
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3. Junk in the Closet
We’ve all seen a sitcom or cartoon with someone opening an overstuffed closet and tons of junk falling on top of them. Ugh!
Storage closets and coat closets tend to turn into catchall spaces for all the junk we don’t know where else to place.
Here’s a tip: If you don’t have a place for it, you probably don’t need it.
Remove those things you’ve kept out of sight and out of mind, such as old winter gear, broken sports equipment, or board games that are never played.
4. The Untouched Miscellaneous Pile
Do you have an untouched pile of stuff that has some things you need, but it’s intermingled with a lot of things you don’t?
This is a common source of clutter.
Take paper, for example. You receive plenty of mail you can get rid of, but it gets mixed up with other important mail and documents you need to hold on to.
Go through this miscellaneous pile and get rid of all the junk mail and papers you don’t need.
Then, create a system to easily sort junk paper from important paper, such as a mail bin right by the trash can.
5. Unnecessary Kitchen Supplies
Kitchen gadgets are fun, but do you really need every single one?
Let’s say you received an awesome quesadilla maker at a wedding shower.
How often do you actually use it? (Admit it, you don’t.)
If you don’t use that kitchen gadget, it occupies useful storage space for more important items.
Go through your kitchen supplies and get rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t used often enough.
If there are items you use only at certain times of the year, such as Christmas cookie cutters, place these items in an appropriate seasonal storage bin.
6. Excess Mugs and Glasses
Mugs and glasses make good gifts, which is why many people end up with too many of them.
Instead of filling up your cabinets with more mugs and glasses than any human needs, get rid of the ones that don’t bring you joy.
If you are wondering which mugs don’t bring you joy, they are the ones on the top shelf, pushed in the back, that you never use.
7. Old Cleaning Supplies Under the Sink
Like the pantry and the refrigerator, cleaning supplies tend to move further to the back as new things are bought.
Here’s the thing: Just because there is a little left in the bottle doesn’t mean you need to hold onto it.
This is especially true if you found a cleaning product you like better and will use more often.
When you clean out all of the cleaning supplies, drain cleaners, and bug sprays, not only will the space under your sink be more organized, but you will be getting rid of a lot of chemicals, too.
8. Empty Shampoos and Body Washes
People tend to let their shower get cluttered with empty or almost empty shampoo bottles and body washes.
This is a simple and quick place to declutter.
Grab your bathroom trash can and get rid of everything that’s empty.
9. Junk Drawer Items
Go through your junk drawer and get rid of junk!
Keep the batteries but put them in a battery organizer.
Keep the flashlights but keep them with your emergency gear. Keep the safety pins but put them with your craft supplies.
You can always get a drawer organizer to help, or you can make your own.
10. Forgotten Pet Toys and Supplies
Just like their human counterparts, pets have clutter, too.
Go through your dog’s toy bin and toss anything unused or unloved.
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