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6 Small Steps for Decluttering and Organizing

Clean Kitchen
Photo Credit: Nancy Hugo, CKD via Compfight

Just a few months ago, I found myself moving, yet again!  Honestly I love moving it is a great opportunity to clear out all the “stuff” (**cough, cough, crap**) that you find ourselves holding on to for no real reason.  Now let’s double that since I was moving in with my boyfriend who had a whole house himself.  So now two houses worth of “stuff” into one small little house.

But let’s face it can still quickly become overwhelming and frustrating even if it is something you really really want.

I love to break things down into smaller tasks so that you can quickly get started and quickly move forward. When you take smaller steps to declutter and organize your home, you can conquer the task much more easily.

Divide Things Up

Start with tackling only one room at a time. This will make your task appear much less daunting. Now, don’t  move on to the next room until you’ve completed the last one.

Try these tips for organizing and decluttering your home in small steps:

  1. Select your starting point. Select a room that you can tackle in a day, rather than the most challenging one in the house. Once you’ve chosen your room, start early so you have as many daylight hours as possible to work on your cleaning and decluttering.  Honestly, I like to start in the bathroom, it is the smallest room right and you are likely to get it done in just a hour or so.
  2. Basic 4 box Sort. Go through everything in your starting room and sort out items you no longer want. Everything that you touch in the room should go into one of four categories: Things you want to throw away, things you want to donate or sell, things that should remain where they are, and things that you want to keep but that are in the wrong room. Use this sorting principle for every item in the room. When you’re finished, you should have four distinctive piles or areas in the room. Each item in the room will be in one of the four piles.
  3. Take out the Trash. Simply taking all the “throw away” stuff out of the room is going to make a very large dent. Keep in mind that personal paperwork should be shredded rather than simply put into the garbage.
  4. Donations out of the house. Anything that you intend to sell, give away or donate should come out next. Store these items somewhere else in the house for now. Continue to add to this section from each room in your home until you’re ready to make one single donation or yard sale. Find a good spot in the garage for now, then it is easy to load into the car when it is time to move your donations out for good.
  5. Sort the “belongs elsewhere” section. Do not simply move these items into another room; otherwise you’ll need to sort them again. Create a box or container for each room for which you have items. Make sure that you definitely want to keep them so that you can transfer them into the right room without having to sort them again later.
  6. What’s left?. Now that you’ve removed large chunks of “stuff” from your room, you can organize everything that remains. When you’re only working with the things that are supposed to be in the room, decluttering and organizing becomes much simpler. There is nothing at all wrong with there being empty space on your books shelf or in that corner over there.
  7. Rinse and Repeat. Continue steps 1-6 in each room until you’ve finished the whole house. When you handle one room at a time, the process is much simpler and less stressful.

Now, I know that this is not as easy as it looks, each step and each room takes some time.  Just take one day at a time, one room at a time,  one item at a time.  And before you know it, you will be done.  It doesn’t stop there though…

Once you’ve finished organizing your house, take 15 minutes each day to ensure everything you’ve used during the day is back in place so you can continue to enjoy your “new” clutter-free home.

Really all it takes is 15 minutes or less!  Give a try!

I would love to hear your decluttering or organizing tips added them to the comments below.


8 thoughts on “6 Small Steps for Decluttering and Organizing

  1. Hi Lori, as a productivity coach and personal organizer I LOVE clearing the clutter, it’s one of my favorite activities. Sometimes it is a good idea to give yourself a time deadline rather than a space deadline in this way when the time is up you still feel satisfied by your accomplishment. Alternatively start with a drawer or a table top, a whole room can be very daunting and cause many to procrastinate on getting started. I have a free eBook available for download called Clear the Clutter – Find Your Life

  2. Great post. I personally own only a few pieces of furniture even though my house is full of furniture and things belonging to other people. I would be just as happy, if not happier and more productive, with only a few essential items of my own instead of being surrounded by stuff!

    1. Totally! I few great things are definitely worth the money and the effort to find the perfect ones! I was working on my spring cleaning this weekend… felt awesome!

  3. I like your comment, “There is nothing at all wrong with there being empty space on your books shelf or in that corner over there.” No, nothing at all. It made me laugh. Great tips for moving and even for just organizing the house. We forget, until we move, that we have accumulated so much stuff. Maybe we should do it quarterly just like businesses have to do taxes.
    I am happy for your new situation. And I love that kitchen in the picture 😉 Blessings to you, Lee

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