Can you give me tips for decluttering?

by Gail

How to declutter

  22 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 30, 2019

    start with one room - declutter the closet by having a bag or box for donate items, save, trash

    and just go through each closet, drawer, cabinet etc until you have purged the things you want to get rid of

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Dec 30, 2019

    3 piles: trash, donate, & keep.

    Address each item with the question: would I buy it today? When was the last time I used it? Would this benefit someone else more than keeping?

  • Emily Emily on Dec 30, 2019

    I find that my problem with this is that I just don't "see" the clutter. I have to turn on a light bulb in my head and then I see it and it is much easier to separate "clutter" from necessity. First just discard obvious junk, wrappers, paper items etc. Dispose of them. Then mentally group items in each room, books, pictures, decorative items, pillows, rugs, every thing. again mentally separate those things you cherish from those you just tolerate. We have a very full house, in fact have zero wall space to hang another picture, bookshelves are also full. It possible to have a great number of things, but they must be in some order. Good luck!

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Dec 30, 2019

    I would make piles of things you're keeping, donating, and tossing. Take it room by room or space by space so it's not overwhelming.

  • Beth Beth on Dec 30, 2019

    Remember that each item you keep is a decision or a series of decisions: do I want this, where does it live, how will I find it when I need it, when will I use it, etc. Ask yourself if you want to invest that kind of mental energy into the item or if you're better off letting it go. If you're not sure, create three piles to keep, think about, and get rid of. You can always come back to the "think about" items and reassess them later.

  • Sharon Sharon on Dec 30, 2019

    When I am doing a new clients home I start with all the visable surfaces. I like to have 4 boxes: keep, recycle, donate, trash. All items go into these 4 boxes, and at the end of each day - I take out the trash and recycle boxes, and put the donate box in the car trunk and go through the thrift store drive thru. Clean all the surfaces you've removed all the items from cause they will be dusty and maybe even have pet hair and spider webs.

    The keep items will need to find a home, this is the second step, cleaning out the drawers and closets for the items you want to keep. This will require quite a bit of "letting go" and this is where I usually encounter client resistance, so I make my clients read this..... and I like them to envision how they want the space to look, redecorate, colors etc. and we begin to work towards their vision.

    If you have Netflix, I suggest watching Marie Kondo... does it spark joy in your life is a great question to ask yourself when you are resisting letting something go.

  • Hi Gail - This is one of my favorite articles on cleaning, organizing and decluttering. It really breaks down the steps of the process, and even includes an interview with TV show Hoarders star Matt Paxton. Hope this helps! Hugs, Holly

    PS - We have a FREE eBook with recipes for all of my homemade and all-natural cleaners. You can download it here -->

  • Natalie Natalie on Dec 31, 2019

    One thing that I like to think about when decluttering is "have I used this in the last 2 years? or the last year?" If I haven't do I really need it?

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 03, 2020

    Hello Gail,

    Go through each room and make three piles:

    1. Things you must keep. 2. Things that can go. 3. Things I'm not sure about.

    Move out the things you don't want or need anymore and make 3 piles:

    1 To charity, 2. To Bin 3. A.N. Other - All gone!!

    Put away the things you must keep! That's clearer!! Feeling a bit better already!!!

    Things you are not sure off. Make 3 piles:

    A. I think I'll keep it after all for a bit longer.... B. I'll let that go to charity or dump it, anywhere but here!

    Well, when you find the first room is done and tidy again, give yourself a reward, even if it is just a Tea or Coffee and take the time to congratulate your

    self on a job well done. Proceed in this manner until the whole house is done, Then

    take a well earned rest until the next time..........Best wishes...

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Jan 06, 2020

    I would begin by removing everything from a closet or room. Make 3 piles, DONATE, TRASH, and KEEP. Only put back what you really want. Use clear bins with labels and hangers that are all the same. The secret to decluttering is to only keep what you love.

  • My Family Thyme My Family Thyme on Jan 06, 2020

    I usually make 3 piles: Keep, donate, and trash. I ask myself if I am going to miss there sentimental value. If so, I keep it. If not, I ask myself if it is useful...will someone else use it. If so, donate. If not, I throw it away. I hope this is helpful!

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 01, 2020

    Hi Gail, one super way to tidy loose objects is to put in a cube shelf. If you use the cloth cubes you can hide a lot of the cluttery small items, label the cubes so you know where to find stuff. The cubes come in several sizes, the 3x3 is a nice size!

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Feb 13, 2020

    You need 3 bins, 1 for donate, 1 for keep, and 1 for trash. Start by deciding if you love it or not, if you do you keep it, if you can do without it then donate it. Clutter weighs you down. You won't believe how good you feel when you get rid of half of the clutter.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Dec 04, 2020

    Hello. Go through your rooms one by one handle all items with speculation....donate- keep- pack/ store away and trash might be a technique to consider.

    Focus on one area at a time.

    Get rid of items you have no connection with. This trendy the KonMari method can be life-changing. It focuses on what you want items to keep (what brings you joy) instead of what you have to get rid of. This principle makes elimination relevant and a sucessful tool to achieve your goal.

  • Bushra Bushra on Dec 16, 2020

    Here is a good post I wrote about it, It will really help you out.

    Hope it helps, otherwise, let me know If I can assist you with anything else, please

  • Betsy Betsy on Dec 16, 2020

    Hi Gail: My new theory is "One thing comes in, 2 things go out", whether donated or trashed. Do the 3 pile thing and see if that helps. It hurt me a lot to clean my closet, I was absolutely sure I could still get into those pink size 4 jeans. Thank goodness my neighbour was over, she told me that not only would I never get into them, I couldn't even get my leg into them! So, sucking it up, I got rid of a lot of things that are now happily running around on someone else. And, as for old bills and papers, don't be so discriminating, you don't really need that bill from 2007 from the water company. If you haven't used it or looked at it in over 6 months, it needs a new home or to be tossed. Good luck

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on May 25, 2021

    Sometimes its not always that we have things to throw away but we don't have convenient homes for the things that we use every day. If your clutter consists of pens and pencils, scissors etc. It may be because where those things belong is in a different room entirely. Sometimes our "clutter" is telling us they belong somewhere far from where we usually store them so its time to find a much more convenient place to store them near where we often leave them.

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Aug 15, 2021

    First of all you don't need to hold on to everything! I take photos of things that mean things to me but I have no room for. Memories are in your heart, not in your stuff. The first thing to do is to get rid of the junk you don't need or want. Buy plastic bins and organize the things you want to save. Keep things organized and you will be able to live more comfortably.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 20, 2021

    Go through one room or drawer or closet, or whatever at a time. Throw away or donate or sell whatever you have not used for one year. This is a good way to begin.

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Jan 11, 2022

    I watch the Marie Kondo series on decluttering on Netflix. She gives you all kinds of great ideas. She also has a book you can find at the library.