What is the Best Way to Start the Decluttering Journey?

Take These Decluttering Steps To Regain Your Space

Decluttering your home can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure where to start. That’s where a decluttering checklist comes in handy. By breaking down the process into manageable steps, a checklist can help you stay on track and make the task less daunting.

A decluttering checklist can also serve as a motivator, as you can see your progress as you go from room to room. It can help you identify what you need to keep, what you can donate or sell, and what you should throw away. By using a checklist, you can declutter your home more efficiently and effectively.

If you struggle to find the motivation to declutter your home, a decluttering checklist can make the task so much easier. An often-overlooked part of why decluttering is so hard comes down to decision-making. 


One great resource for a decluttering checklist is The Spruce’s room-by-room decluttering checklist. This checklist provides specific tasks to tackle in each room of your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom. It also includes tips on what to do with items you no longer need, such as donating or recycling them. Using a checklist like this can help you create a clutter-free space that feels more organized and less stressful.

Key Takeaways

  • A decluttering checklist can help you break down the decluttering process into manageable steps.
  • Room-by-room decluttering checklists can help you stay motivated and identify what to keep, donate, or throw away.
  • Using a decluttering checklist can help you create a more organized and less stressful living space.
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Benefits of a Decluttered Space

Having a clutter-free space can bring numerous benefits to your life. Here are some of the most significant benefits of decluttering your space:

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Decluttering minimizes feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, fostering a sense of calm and relaxation in a more open, clutter-free environment.
  • Increased Productivity: An organized space enhances efficiency. With everything in its place, you spend less time searching for items, allowing for greater focus and productivity.
  • Improved Mental Health: A clutter-free environment positively influences mental well-being, boosting feelings of control, creativity, and inspiration.
  • Better Sleep: A tidy, decluttered bedroom sets the stage for improved sleep quality, creating a restful and peaceful atmosphere conducive to relaxation.
  • More Space: Decluttering opens up physical space in your home, making room for items that truly bring joy and eliminating unnecessary clutter for a more comfortable living environment.

In essence, decluttering your space not only organizes your surroundings but also enhances various aspects of your life, from mental health to productivity and comfort. Ready to declutter your life? Let’s get started…

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Step 1: Understand Your Clutter

Embarking on the journey of decluttering, a pivotal step in organization, begins with understanding the clutter in your home or workspace. This process, essential for fostering a more organized and serene environment, involves removing items that are no longer necessary or wanted. The rewards of this endeavor are manifold, including heightened productivity, enhanced mental clarity, and diminished anxiety.

The first step in your decluttering journey is to devise a strategic plan. An invaluable resource in this endeavor is a decluttering checklist, perhaps the ultimate decluttering checklist, which aids in maintaining focus and ensures thoroughness, preventing any area of your home or workspace from being neglected. Various decluttering checklists are accessible online, with options ranging from detailed room-by-room lists to broader checklists encompassing all home areas. For added convenience, look for free decluttering resources like PDFs or printable versions of these checklists.

When you begin decluttering, it’s crucial to set realistic goals. Avoid the temptation to overhaul everything simultaneously, as this can lead to feelings of burnout and frustration. Instead, approach the task incrementally, concentrating on one specific area at a time, like a drawer – go through it thoroughly. You might, for instance, start with a single drawer or closet, gradually progressing to larger spaces such as the bedroom or living room. Implementing a timer can be an effective strategy to manage your efforts and prevent feeling overwhelmed.

A critical component of decluttering is making decisions about what to retain and what to discard. It can be challenging to part with items, especially those that have been part of your life for a long time. However, letting go is vital for achieving an organized and tranquil space. A useful method is to evaluate each item, considering whether it brings joy or serves a practical purpose. If it does neither, it might be time to say goodbye. This could mean parting with items that merely occupy valuable space, such as mismatched kitchenware, obsolete electronics, or unworn clothing. It’s about deciding on things to get rid of, like that grater in the kitchen that’s never used or the many pairs of shoes at the expiry of their fashion life.

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Step 2: Set the Stage for Decluttering

Decluttering can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By setting the stage for decluttering, you can make the process more manageable and less overwhelming.

Establishing Clear Goals

Before you start decluttering, it’s important to establish clear goals. This will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process. Take some time to think about what you want to achieve through decluttering. Do you want to create more space in your home? Do you want to get rid of items you no longer need or use? Do you want to organize your belongings more effectively? Whatever your goals may be, write them down and keep them in mind as you begin decluttering.

Planning and Scheduling

Once you have established your goals, it’s time to plan and schedule your decluttering process. Decide which areas of your home you want to tackle first and create a schedule that works for you. You may want to break the process down into smaller tasks, such as decluttering one room at a time or focusing on specific categories of items, such as clothing or books.

Creating a checklist can also be helpful in keeping track of your progress and staying organized. Consider using a printable decluttering checklist, such as the Ultimate Decluttering PDF Checklist or the Complete Declutter Checklist with Free Printable.

Remember to be realistic with your goals and schedule. Decluttering can be a time-consuming process, so don’t try to do too much at once. Set aside a specific amount of time each day or week to work on decluttering and stick to your schedule.

By establishing clear goals and planning and scheduling your decluttering process, you can set the stage for a successful and stress-free decluttering experience.

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Step 3: Choose Your Decluttering Method

When it comes to decluttering your home, there are several methods you can use. In this section, we’ll explore two of the most popular approaches: the room-by-room method and the category-based method.

Room-by-Room Approach

The room-by-room method is exactly what it sounds like: you declutter one room at a time. This method is great for people who like to focus on one task at a time and see progress in a specific area of their home.

To use this method, start by choosing a room to declutter. Then, go through the items in that room and decide what to keep, donate, or throw away. Once you’ve finished decluttering that room, move on to the next one.

One advantage of the room-by-room method is that it allows you to see progress quickly. You can also break the decluttering process down into smaller, more manageable tasks. However, this method can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of clutter throughout your home.

Category-Based Approach

The category-based method involves decluttering items by category instead of by room. This method is popularized by Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

To use this method, start by choosing a category of items to declutter, such as clothes or books. Then, gather all of the items in that category from throughout your home and go through them one by one. Decide what to keep, donate, or throw away. Once you’ve finished decluttering that category, move on to the next one.

One advantage of the category-based method is that it allows you to see all of the items in a category at once, which can help you make better decisions about what to keep. This method can also be quicker than the room-by-room approach, since you’re not moving from room to room. However, it can be overwhelming to gather all of the items in a category together, especially if you have a lot of clutter.

Both the room-by-room and category-based approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. You can choose the method that works best for you based on your personal preferences and the amount of clutter you have to deal with.

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Step 4: Decide What Stays

Decluttering your home can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. Here are some tips to help you make those tough decisions.

Criteria for Keeping Items

When deciding what to keep, ask yourself whether the item is useful, beautiful, or sentimental. If it doesn’t fit into any of these categories, it may be time to let it go. Consider whether you have used the item in the past year, or whether you are likely to use it in the future. If not, it may be taking up valuable space in your home.

Another helpful criterion to consider is whether the item is easily replaceable. If it is something that you can easily purchase again in the future, it may not be worth holding onto.

Handling Sentimental Items

Sentimental items can be especially difficult to part with, but it’s important to remember that memories are not tied to physical objects. Consider taking a photo of the item before letting it go, or passing it on to a family member who may appreciate it more.

If you are struggling to let go of sentimental items, it may be helpful to set a limit on how many you keep. For example, you could decide to keep only one or two items that remind you of a particular person or event.

Remember, the goal of decluttering is not to get rid of everything you own, but to create a more organized and functional living space. By using these criteria and handling sentimental items with care, you can make the tough decisions necessary to achieve that goal.

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Step 5: Execute Decluttering Technique

Decluttering can be a daunting task, but with a clear plan and a little motivation, it can be an easy and even enjoyable process. Here are some steps and tips to help you execute your decluttering checklist effectively.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Set a goal: Before you start decluttering, set a goal for what you want to achieve. Do you want to declutter your entire house or just one room? Do you want to get rid of a certain percentage of your belongings? Having a clear goal will help you stay motivated and focused.
  2. Start with one area: It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you try to declutter your entire house in one day. Instead, start with one area, such as a closet or a drawer, and work your way up to larger areas.
  3. Sort your belongings: As you go through your belongings, sort them into three piles: keep, donate/sell, and throw away. Be honest with yourself about what you really need and use. If you haven’t used something in over a year, it’s probably time to let it go.
  4. Organize what you keep: Once you’ve sorted your belongings, organize what you’re keeping in a way that makes sense to you. Use storage containers, shelves, and drawers to keep everything in its place.

Decluttering Tips for Effective Decluttering

  1. Take breaks: Decluttering can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. Take breaks every hour or so to avoid burnout.
  2. Use the “one in, one out” rule: For every new item you bring into your home, get rid of one item you no longer need. This will help you maintain your decluttered space.
  3. Get rid of duplicates: Do you really need three sets of measuring cups or five pairs of black pants? Get rid of duplicates to free up space.
  4. Keep sentimental items to a minimum: It’s okay to keep sentimental items, but try to keep them to a minimum. Display them in a way that brings you joy, such as in a shadow box or on a shelf.

By following these steps and tips, you can execute your decluttering checklist effectively and achieve your goal of a clutter-free home.

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Step 6: Organize and Dispose

Congratulations on completing your decluttering checklist! Now that you have gotten rid of all the unnecessary items, it’s time to take some post-decluttering actions. Here are some tips on what to do next:

Organizing Kept Items

After decluttering, you may have a pile of items that you decided to keep. It’s important to organize these items to prevent clutter from building up again. You can use storage containers, shelves, and drawers to keep everything in its place. It’s also a good idea to label everything so that you can easily find what you need.

One helpful tip is to group similar items together. For example, you can group all your kitchen utensils in one drawer, all your books on one shelf, and all your clothes in one closet. This makes it easier to find what you need and also helps you keep track of everything.

Disposing of Unwanted Items

Now that you’ve decluttered, you may have a pile of unwanted items that you need to dispose of. There are several ways to do this, depending on the type of item:

  • Donate: If the items are still in good condition, consider donating them to a local charity or thrift store. This way, someone else can benefit from them.
  • Sell: You can also sell unwanted items online or at a garage sale. This is a great way to make some extra cash and get rid of clutter at the same time.
  • Recycle: For items that can be recycled, make sure to dispose of them properly. Check with your local recycling center to see what items they accept.
  • Trash: For items that can’t be donated, sold, or recycled, you may need to throw them away. Make sure to dispose of them properly and follow your local waste disposal guidelines.

By taking these post-decluttering actions, you can maintain a clutter-free home and feel more organized. Remember to also regularly reassess your belongings and continue decluttering as needed.

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Step 7: Maintain Your Decluttered Space

Once you have decluttered your space, it is important to maintain it to avoid clutter from building up again. Here are some tips to help you maintain a decluttered space.

Daily Habits to Prevent Clutter

Incorporating daily habits into your routine can help prevent clutter from accumulating. Some of these habits include:

  • Put things away immediately: When you are finished using an item, put it away immediately instead of leaving it out. This will prevent clutter from building up.
  • Clean as you go: When you are cooking or doing other activities that create messes, clean up as you go instead of waiting until the end. This will prevent clutter from accumulating and make cleaning easier.
  • Do a quick tidy-up each day: Spend a few minutes each day tidying up your space. This will prevent clutter from building up and make it easier to maintain a decluttered space.

Regular Decluttering Schedule

In addition to daily habits, it is important to have a regular decluttering schedule to prevent clutter from accumulating. Here are some tips for creating a regular decluttering schedule:

  • Set a schedule: Decide how often you want to declutter your space and create a schedule. For example, you may want to declutter your space once a month or once every three months.
  • Create a checklist: Create a checklist of areas in your space that you want to declutter. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t miss anything.
  • Stick to the schedule: Stick to your decluttering schedule to prevent clutter from accumulating. If you miss a decluttering session, make sure to schedule another one as soon as possible.

By incorporating daily habits and creating a regular decluttering schedule, you can maintain a decluttered space and prevent clutter from building up again.

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FAQs About Decluttering

What are 8 key items to start decluttering in your home?

Begin by decluttering these eight items: clothes you haven’t worn (taking up space), expired food, old magazines (visual clutter), outdated electronics, expired medicine, duplicate kitchen tools (kitchen clutter), broken items (ready to declutter your home), and excess paperwork (decluttering list). Tackling these can free up space and reduce visual clutter.

What are some common decluttering categories?

Common decluttering categories include clothes, books, paperwork, kitchen items (kitchen clutter), home decor, and sentimental items. By categorizing, you make the decluttering process (decluttering process) more manageable, helping you get started decluttering your home efficiently.

What does a daily declutter checklist entail?

A daily declutter checklist includes small tasks like making your bed, doing laundry, and putting away items (put them away) to maintain a clutter-free home. This routine helps in reducing the accumulation of items and ensures your home looks organized.

What is the 53 things to declutter today challenge?

This challenge motivates you to declutter 53 items in a day, a practical idea for those ready to declutter your home. It’s a quick way to identify items that are no longer needed, helping in the reduction of unnecessary belongings.

What should I declutter when moving?

When moving, declutter clothes that no longer fit, old paperwork, expired food, duplicate items, and broken items. This not only frees up space but also simplifies the moving process, making it more sustainable and cost-effective.

How does a decluttering challenge work?

A decluttering challenge, like the 30-day minimalist challenge or the KonMari method, sets daily tasks to help declutter your home. These challenges are designed to keep you motivated to declutter and can vary in duration and intensity.

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Decluttering your home can be a daunting task, but with the help of a decluttering checklist, including a free printable declutter checklist or a decluttering checklist PDF, you can make the process much easier. By breaking down the task room by room, and perhaps using a printable PDF guide, you can focus your efforts and make progress without feeling overwhelmed.

Remember that decluttering is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process. Regularly going through your possessions, maybe even using printable checklists, and getting rid of items you no longer need or use will help keep your home organized and clutter-free. This could include tackling kitchen clutter, managing cords and cables, or deciding it’s time to let go of items that are no longer fits or are gathering dust.

Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • A decluttering checklist can help you stay organized and focused as you work through each room of your home, ensuring you find what you need without the clutter.
  • Start small and work your way up to larger areas, like the bedroom decluttering, to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Don’t be afraid to let go of items you no longer need or use, especially those that are just taking up valuable space or you’re not sure you’ll one day need.
  • Regularly decluttering your home can help keep it organized and clutter-free, making it easier to get your home in order and maintain a clutter-free home.
  • Consider using practical ideas and tips and tricks from this article to stay motivated to declutter and achieve a reduction in clutter.

By following these tips and steps you can take, you can successfully declutter your home and enjoy the benefits of a more organized living space.

By following this in-depth mindful hosting guide, you can create or property manage an eco-friendly vacation holiday home that will appeal to wellness travelers and wellness tourists, alike, so you and your guests return home feeling truly rejuvenated. 

For more information on how to make your vacation rental property mindful and sustainable, visit MindfulBnB.

— Chief Editor

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