Do you feel overwhelmed by the state of your home? Are you constantly picking things up, or clearing up after your family? Does it feel that no matter how much time you spend looking after your home, it never seems to be enough and you’re fighting a losing battle? If so, don’t worry because there is a solution! Check out this post on 20 ways to declutter your home and I’ll show you how.
Simplifying your home and getting rid of some of the clutter will make your home so much easier to look after. You’ll be able to spend less time looking after it, and more time doing other things which are far more important to you and your family.
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WHAT IS YOUR HOME LIKE RIGHT NOW?
What do you feel when you walk in through your front door? Is it relief and peace, or do you sigh with a heavy heart that the invisible house elf once again hasn’t tidied and cleaned whilst you were out?
Do you dread visitors dropping by unexpectedly because of the mess? Does it feel like a constant struggle to keep it clean and tidy? Are you always clearing up toys and other stuff throughout the day as you fight a losing battle against the Lego bricks and dressing up clothes?
Your home should be a place where you love to be – safe and secure, comfortable and relaxed. It is the place where your family can relax together and make shared memories for the future.
It should represent you and your personality and allow everyone to literally ‘feel at home’.
If you’re constantly picking up stuff and feel overwhelmed by the clutter, then your home is probably feeling more of a burden than a joy.
Are you able to do a quick pick-up a couple of times a day to keep the house looking and feeling good or is it a constant battle all day long (which often doesn’t end until the kids are in bed).
Wouldn’t it be better to spend your time building that Lego with the kids, or relaxing with a book than stressing about the state of your home?
HOW CAN DECLUTTERING HELP ME?
Decluttering your home means removing all the stuff that your family don’t use, no longer need and get no enjoyment from.
- When you declutter your home you end up with less stuff generally so it is easier to keep tidy, clean and to look after.
- A constant battle to keep things organised becomes a quick 10 or 20 minutes every now and then.
- You’re no longer dreading visitors dropping by unannounced.
- You can create some time to play with the kids, or time for you to learn a new skill or take a long bath instead of tearing your hair out clearing up the toys and washing dishes that have built up throughout the day.
HOW DO I DECLUTTER?
To get you started here’s a list of 20 ways to declutter your home which in turn will lighten your heart and mind and create more time and space for you to do other things…
Make a cup of coffee, turn up the music and give it a go!
20 WAYS TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
#1 Grab a laundry hamper and take it round the house
Pick up anything that doesn’t belong in that room and return it to its proper home.
#2 The table tops
Clear the stuff from all your table tops and surfaces. Dust them down, keep them clear and only put back items that you love and want to look at.
#3 Your wardrobe
Take everything out of your wardrobe. Find another home in the house for everything that shouldn’t be there, a wardrobe is for clothes only! Clean the inside thoroughly. Sort your clothes into 3 piles (keep, donate, throw away). Only put back into your wardrobe the items you want to keep. These should be pieces that are in good condition, that you love and make you feel good when you put them on. Take the donate and throw away piles straight to a charity shop or the bin. Click this link to read more about how to declutter your wardrobe and love your clothes.
#4 The children’s clothes
Follow the same process as for your clothes (above). Think about what stage of life your kids are in, do they need lots of trousers because they’re currently potty-training? How many pretty dresses does your daughter actually wear or does she live in leggings and tops? Keeping on top of the laundry will mean you need less clothes. Colour code underwear and socks by child if you have several kids and it takes time to sort through whose socks are whose when they all look the same.
#5 The toys
Ask your children (if they’re old enough) to go through their toys and make piles of the ones they play with all the time, the ones they play with sometimes and the ones they never play with. Explain that there are children who don’t have so many toys and encourage your kids to donate the toys they never use to them. Click this link for more about decluttering the toys. There are some toys that I won’t declutter and you can read about these here.
#6 The kitchen cupboards and drawers
Go through your kitchen and pull out all the utensils, pots, bowls, mugs, glasses, cutlery etc that you don’t use. Either donate or throw them away. If you’re not sure if you’ll need something, put it in a box in the garage for 2 weeks and if it’s not used after that time, then donate/throw it. Clean the cupboards and drawers and put everything back in an organised and tidy way. You should have a bit more space now to do this because you’ve got less stuff!
#7 Your living room
Look at your living room, is it full of things that don’t belong in the room but have ended up there because it’s where your family spend a lot of time? Do you need a nice looking basket or toy box which can stay in the room so that the toys can be thrown in there at the end of the day without having to spend time collecting them all up and returning them to your child’s bedroom each evening? Is your living room a reflection of you – warm and cosy, light and airy? Are the table tops cluttered with stuff, drawers overflowing? Sort through them!
#8 Your books
Work out the storage space you have available in your home for books. Only keep enough books that will fit in this space. Give away any excess books (unless you really feel you need to buy more storage because you’re a bookworm and love books). Donate or throw away books that you no longer want, that are in bad shape or you have multiple copies of.
#9 The children’s artwork
Perhaps your children love drawing and colouring. Find a place to store the artwork that they’ve created that week. At the end of the week, ask them (or choose yourself) which ones are their best and which they want to keep. Take a photo of that artwork and save it on your computer. Throw away the actual artwork. Explain to your kids in a way that’s appropriate to their age and understanding that you can’t keep every physical thing they create but you can keep a digital copy of it. If you need more help in decluttering your kids’ artwork, there’s my whole post on it here.
#10 The hallway
Shoes, coats, bags, hats, scarves, footballs, incoming post, keys, letters from the school… all these things tend to get dumped in the hallway as you come in and out of the front door unless you can find a more organised and suitable home for them. Think about how your hallway is used and the sorts of stuff that accumulates there. Do you need boxes for shoes, hooks for coats, shelving or cupboards for bags, a bowl or hooks for keys? Find a way of using the space available and giving everything a home. Teach your family to put and keep everything in its place.
#11 Your garage or loft
Often the dumping ground for random stuff, stuff that we don’t want to throw away, to keep just in case we need it, not for now but maybe a different season, stuff that we don’t want cluttering up our house and we can’t, won’t or don’t want to throw away. Choose just a corner of the garage or loft to sort, not the whole space. Set your timer for 5, 10, or 30 minutes. Think long and hard the last time you used each item. If you got rid of it only to find you needed it, would it really be expensive to replace? Be ruthless, yet practical. Put the stuff into 3 piles – keep, donate, throw away. When the timer goes off, stop. Take the donation pile to the charity shop, and the throw away pile in the rubbish. Do another clear out session in a week’s time (set it in your calendar) and watch the clutter reduce!
#12 Cupboards throughout the house
Look through the cupboards in your house. Can you remember what’s in there or are they a dumping ground for stuff that you don’t know what to do with?! Choose one cupboard at a time, pull everything out and work through it consistently with the keep/donate/throw away piles. Find a proper home for the stuff you want to keep and immediately deal with the other two piles so these don’t end up getting left out and contributing to the clutter.
#13 Your jewellery
Sort through your jewellery, keep the items you love, donate/throw away the rest. Give it all a clean and put it back neat and organised.
#14 The kitchen work surface
Remove all the items, clean it thoroughly and only put back what you absolutely must have there. Find a new home/donate/throw away everything else.
#15 Your bedside table
The surface and drawers shouldn’t be a dumping ground for random stuff. Only have what you need for the night and first thing in the morning, for example, a light, an alarm clock/your phone, a book, notepad and pen. Get rid of the rest as it will distract you from a calming bedtime and good night’s sleep.
#16 Outdoor coats and shoes
Go through all of this and, in the case of your kids, make sure they still fit. Donate/throw away the rest. Work out which coats, if any, you need out for the particular season you are in and store the rest. For example, you don’t need a lightweight summer mac on your coat rack in mid winter.
#17 Your children’s books
Either with or without your kids, sort through the books, donate the ones you don’t read anymore, throw away the tattered ones and keep the rest in a nice bookcase or on a shelf.
#18 The linen cupboard
Take everything out and sort into piles. Bath towels, hand towels, pillow cases, sheets and duvet covers for your bed, for the children’s room and any guests that might stay. Be ruthless with items that are threadbare or have holes. Put back into the cupboard only enough of each item that you’ll think you need depending on the size of your household. Keeping up with a regular laundry routine will usually mean you need less towels, sheets etc. You can always keep a few sheets/towels back for the dog or as rags if you would like.
#19 A drawer of your choice
Pick any drawer around the house and empty it completely. Sort into piles and throw away/donate anything that you don’t want to keep. Ask yourself whether you are really likely to ever use that item. Chances are that if you haven’t used it in the last 6-12 months then you’d probably forgotten it was there anyway. Only put back what should be kept in that drawer, make sure it’s neat and organised and re-home what’s left over.
#20 Plates, glasses and cutlery
Go through all the plates, glasses and cutlery in your kitchen. Work out how many of each you actually use, keep a few spares for visitors and in case of breakages and get rid of the rest. Keep on top of washing dirty dishes and you won’t need to reach into the cupboard for a new glass every time your child asks for a drink.
READY TO TACKLE THE CLUTTER HEAD ON?
If you’re ready to make a bigger impact on your clutter and start decluttering your entire home, what about taking my complete home decluttering course, Simplify Your Home? Easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for every room and area in your home.
Or check out the ebook version… the Simplify Your Home ebook
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DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD?
I love to hear comments and suggestions on other projects and ideas for decluttering. Let me know if you have any ideas to add, or other thoughts and comments on this post! Let me know in the comments section below!
BEFORE YOU GO…
Just before you head off to start decluttering (or do something completely different!), here’s 3 more posts on decluttering that have been really popular on my site and which may help you out a little more! Just click on the image links to go to the post…