How to Get Rid of Clutter: Decluttering Tips

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Clutter has a way of creeping into our lives unconsciously. It can seem like one day everything is neat and organized and then the next day, there are piles of stuff everywhere. One of the best tips for getting rid of clutter and living clutter free is to designate daily and weekly household tasks. Not only does this method make it much easier to stay on top of everything, but it also makes for a lot less work when you're ready to do hard cleaning (vacuuming, scrubbing sinks, etc.). If you have a really messy home or a particularly messy area of your home, don't get overwhelmed. Take on one task at a time and build from there.

Additionally, don't stress out when the system breaks down for a week or even a month or two. We all have crazy times in our lives. Make do with what you can and resume your normal tasks as you are able.

Organization Tips: How to Declutter Your Home

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We get grocery ads and coupons in the mail every week.  I keep the ones that I need and go through the current stack before a grocery store trip.Designate a spot for mail that you need to follow up with at a later time.I have another spot for mail that I need to keep on a long term basis such as tax papers and craft fair information.
We get grocery ads and coupons in the mail every week.  I keep the ones that I need and go through the current stack before a grocery store trip.
We get grocery ads and coupons in the mail every week. I keep the ones that I need and go through the current stack before a grocery store trip. | Source
Designate a spot for mail that you need to follow up with at a later time.
Designate a spot for mail that you need to follow up with at a later time. | Source
I have another spot for mail that I need to keep on a long term basis such as tax papers and craft fair information.
I have another spot for mail that I need to keep on a long term basis such as tax papers and craft fair information. | Source

Sort the mail every day.

Even in an age where we get most of our information electronically, mail can still pile up at an alarming rate. Take the time to sort through it every day. Immediately pitch all junk mail. Make sure that items that you'll use in the near future, such as magazines and Netflix DVDs, end up in their appropriate places. Designate spots for important ads (i.e. grocery store ads that you'll use), coupons, and mail that you need to follow up with at a later time, such as bills. If there are multiple members of your family who receive a significant amount of mail every week, consider creating boxes or other areas for sorting the mail.

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Take measurements of closet spaces before purchasing organizers to ensure that they will fit.
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Take measurements of closet spaces before purchasing organizers to ensure that they will fit.
Take measurements of closet spaces before purchasing organizers to ensure that they will fit. | Source

Have designated spots for shoes, purses, and backpacks.

Creating spots for each of these items will ensure that they end up there most of the time instead of all over the floor and counters. If you have kids, make sure that they have storage areas at an appropriate height. For example, put up hooks for backpacks and coats that kids can reach. Allowing them to complete these tasks independently will teach them self reliance and ownership for their things.

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Straighten up the bedroom every day.

I know that if you have kids, this can be a much bigger project. Pick your battles and decide what is most important to get accomplished every day. Leave bigger tasks for periods when you and your kids will have more time to tackle them fully. Every morning I make the bed, make sure that all clothing is in the laundry basket or back in the closet or drawers, and straighten up anything else that we've used in the past day, such as cell phone chargers.

If you have a smaller bathroom without a lot of storage, you may need to seek storage areas in closets or other spaces near the bathroom.
If you have a smaller bathroom without a lot of storage, you may need to seek storage areas in closets or other spaces near the bathroom. | Source

Designate spots in the bathroom for electric devices and toiletries.

I know that many houses have small bathrooms, which can make it difficult to find storage space for bigger items, such as hair dryers and large cosmetic bags. Consider nearby areas outside of the bathroom where you can easily grab items, such as a linen closet. Whatever you do, please take the time to find a solution and don't leave your electric devices sitting out on the counter all the time. The convenience is not worth the risk.

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Go through magazines and catalogs every month.

Magazines and catalogs can pile up at an alarming rate. If you aren't planning to order anything within the next month, don't bother to save most catalogs once you've browsed through them. If you get any weekly magazines, it's especially important that you go through them on a regular basis. When you want to save an article or photo, take it out of the magazine and get rid of the rest to save space.

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Your work time will be much more productive if you can find everything that you need.My husband and I have little work tables in the basement so we can work on projects while watching TV.
Your work time will be much more productive if you can find everything that you need.
Your work time will be much more productive if you can find everything that you need. | Source
My husband and I have little work tables in the basement so we can work on projects while watching TV.
My husband and I have little work tables in the basement so we can work on projects while watching TV. | Source

Create work spaces and storage areas for crafting and hobbies.

This is not an organizational concern that will be relevant for everyone. I'm sure it's not a surprise that it is for our home. Creating designated work spaces and storage areas will confine your projects and allow you to find the supplies that you need when you need them. It's okay to let an occasional big project take over the dining room or kitchen table for a couple days or even a week, but don't let this become a permanent solution.

When I inherited a sewing machine, I set up a new space for it.  If tools have their own work spaces where they can stay set up, it's much more likely that you'll use them on a regular basis.
When I inherited a sewing machine, I set up a new space for it. If tools have their own work spaces where they can stay set up, it's much more likely that you'll use them on a regular basis. | Source

Evaluate organizational needs for the house on a regular basis.

Take the time to assess your organizational systems periodically. Things will inevitably change over time and may need to be configured differently.

Organization Tips: How to Declutter Your Home

10 MINUTE DECLUTTER...ready...go!

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Comments 32 comments

ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

ForLoveofCupcakes 4 years ago from Chicago

Great hub - voting up! The most annoying clutter to me is the mail. I was just thinking about this today actually. I wish I could cancel my mail Kramer-style! I try to keep up with it, opening it everyday, but if I get behind it piles up to this obnoxiously large pile and I hate it. Ug!

I love all the other tips too. :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Jamie! I used to let our mail pile up for at least a week at a time, and I'm so glad that I don't anymore. It can take over a counter so quickly. Your comment about Kramer put a smile on my face. :)


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Clutter clearing in Feng Shui is the process of getting rid of the stuck or stagnant 'chi'. Clutter can bring disorder and confusion. It can also make one depressed and lower our energy levels. So the earlier we get rid of the blocked energy the better. Awesome Hub, voted up!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

This is a very useful hub and I agree with all of your good ideas for decluttering. As my parents aged a lot of clutter accumulated in the house. Much of the clutter amounted to things which my folks thought they would need in the near future. A lot of the clutter also came from newspapers. It seems like dad and mom couldn't finish reading all of the paper in one day. Voted up and sharing.


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

I agree with Anamika. Clutter always brings disorder and confusion. Decluttering is extremely important and should be done every day. The more often you do it, the less time it will take you to do it.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Anamika and vox vocis, thanks for the insight about Feng Shui and the process of getting rid of disorder and confusion through decluttering. I'm glad that you enjoyed this article.

Paul, thanks! My mother-in-law has the same issue with clutter. I'm not an advocate of pitching everything, but you have to be realistic about what you'll use in the near future, too.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

Great hub! Clearing the clutter from our homes is indeed very important, to build up positive energy.

Very good.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Chitrangada! Yes, for sure!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Great tips. I'm envious of your organized craft room, but wouldn't expect anything less from you! : )


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Deb! That means a lot to me. :)


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia

We will be moving house next year and we keep saying, never mind, we will be moving out anyway, so the clutter keep growing! Must get everyone in the family to read this!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

You have great information here - I am trying to declutter slowly but surely. Finding solutions to the problems and homes for all our stuff is a great first step.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Shasta! You're absolutely right about that first step. Best of luck with your decluttering process.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

greatstuff, moving is a good excuse to get rid of clutter. The more you can clear out ahead of time, the less you have to move.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

I love this! Being organized in my household is an uphill battle! Hubby thinks it's fun to cause utter chaos when he gets home from work and undo all the housework and organizing I've attempted to do while being shadowed by my 5 year old. I think I live in an insane asylum. :)

Your ideas are wonderful and I use those same wire cubes for my son's toys, homeschool stuff, and my crafting stuff. Thank you for writing this. :) VUMS!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Terrye! Being organized definitely can be an uphill battle. It's not quite that bad around here, but it is still a continual effort. I'm sure that it's not like an insane asylum at your place; just a normal household!

Thanks! The previous owner left those wire cubes. His kiddos had used them in their rooms for sorts of items.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I have a terrible time trying to stay organized. Good examples are the best teacher. Thanks!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

What I found that seemed to help, even when my kids where at home is that I didn't start cooking until the house was picked up. I hate to start cooking in a dirty kitchen, so I always see that the kitchen is cleaned up before I start. I just carried that over to include the rest of the house. If they wanted me to start cooking, they would help get the house picked up. You would be amazed how quickly hungry kids and hubby can pick up their messes!

Having a place for everything and everything in it's place is the key. I had a big toy box in the kids rooms, so all they had to do was throw their toys in it and clothes went in a hamper in their closet. Hubby has a box for his magazines and when it starting filling up and flowing into the floor, thy start getting thrown away.

Great hub, voting up and useful! :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Rebecca, you're right that good examples can be a great teacher! I'm glad that this is helpful for you. Best of luck.

sgbrown, that's great that you were able to figure out a system that worked for you and your family. You're right that having a place for everything definitely helps keep things running smoothly, too. Thanks!


bridalletter profile image

bridalletter 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

My mom agrees with you on cleaning the bedroom everyday. I am clutter pron due to my creative ventures. I am patiently waiting for good deals on more shelving and the IKEA store in my area to open. The only way I can keep the whole house very clean, is around the holidays when I am setting the crafting and interests aside.

It will be a battle to the end, I am sure. Thank you for the great tips. I like the simple shelves you have used for your crafts too.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

My crafty supplies are my biggest downfall for clutter, too. I try to keep my projects contained in certain areas of the house, but it's tough. Using IKEA shelving can be a great asset for organization. I do my best to set aside time for cleaning each week, but that is easier said than done. You're right that the battle never ends. We inherited those shelves with our house. They've worked surprisingly well for craft storage.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I am so far behind right now, but, when my life gets a little bit more normal, I'm going to try to remember these tips! Great ones!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Best of luck with everything, Vicki!


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 4 years ago from Oklahoma

Great advice! I definitely have the small bathroom problem. And the hobby problem. My husband tries to talk me into cutting my hobbies back to just ten or twelve. :) Now I can tell him that I will get my craft supplies under control as soon as he corrals his mail into less than five rooms!

voting up!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

That sounds like a good plan, Sharkye!


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

This is a great article. I love the topic of organizing, and I love keeping things neat and in their places. Every so often I slack off for a while, but tips like these make it easier to stay on track! Thanks for sharing this article with us. Voted up and shared :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Kathryn! I'm glad that these tips are helpful for you.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Great advice. Clutter everywhere in my house is a thing to avoid as it makes me sick, but there are times when i just pile them in a place until I´m ready for decluttering. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Thelma! I'm the exact same way when it comes to clutter.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I'm so glad to hear it!


daisyjae profile image

daisyjae 2 years ago from Canada

I must de clutter!! its my new years resolution. Thank you for these decluttering tips, they will come in handy.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

The new year is a great time to start thinking about de-cluttering and organizing! I'm glad that this article is helpful for you. Best of luck!

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