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How to Declutter and Organize a Whole House

Updated on January 8, 2012

I help people with decluttering. Most people have too much stuff in their homes and just need to know where to start. But once in a while someone invites me into their home and the whole house is a total mess and needs serious decluttering. They are totally lost for what to do, so this is what I suggest.

Start with the floor

A house with a messy floor looks very different from a house with a clear floor. Even if you get a box and place the clutter from the floor into the box, your house will improve. Of course, you have to clear the box later, don’t just add it to the clutter.

After the floors, work on the kitchen

You would be surprised how many people don’t cook because the kitchen is messy. The kitchen is a work area and should be kept as that, it’s not a place for storage and certainly not a place for clutter.

 Keep the stuff in your kitchen to a minimum and you will be able to work there.

Work on two areas at once

If you work in one area, eventually you will get tired of working there. So work in one area and then move to a second area, and then move back to the first. You won’t get so tired and the progress you have made will inspire you. I suggest the family room and your bedroom should be next.

Don’t buy plastic boxes

Get rid of your stuff, then organize it, then buy plastic storage boxes. People think the purchase of plastic storage boxes will help them get rid of the clutter, but all it does is add to the clutter. Reduce to the minimum before you think about adding extra storage.

Don’t expect the job to be quick

How long did it take you to get the house messy? Don’t expect it to be perfect overnight. People have a lot of energy at the beginning of a large task, but when they realize just how big the job is, they give up too soon. Realize that decluttering a large space takes a long time.

Declutter with a friend

It’s really hard to get motivated to tidy your own home if it’s a big mess. Invite a friend over for a fixed period of time, say an hour or two hours, and work solidly for that time. Maybe both tidy your house one week and then both tidy hers the following week. Your friend will see your stuff for what it is without any sentimental feelings of attachment and will maybe encourage you to get rid of more stuff.

Have a goal

Inviting people into your home is a real goal. Start decluttering your home 6 months before Thanksgiving, for instance, and decide to have Thanksgiving at your house. Make your goal to have your house presentable by a certain date.

Declutter daily

Let things leave your home daily, if you can get 10-20 items leaving your house every day, you and your family will notice the difference within a month.

Rethink your attitude

Instead of thinking if this item can be thrown out, ask what you really need to keep. Look at a collection of items and see what you must keep and get rid of the rest. Don’t just pick out one or two items to get rid of, pick out one or two items to keep.

Do not let trash stay in the house

If it deserves to be in the garbage bin, put it there. Regularly remove trash from your home if you don’t want to keep it. Go on a trash hunt to see how many things can be placed in the garbage bin.

How do I declutter?

If you are able, try to donate as much as you can. You don’t want something to end up in a landfill just because you don’t want it. Have a bag for donations and when something goes in, don’t take a second look at it. Keep it for a curbside pickup or put it into your car and take it to your nearest thrift store.

Don’t be fussy where your stuff goes

For relieving you of your unwanted stuff, don’t worry about where it goes. If it goes to one thrift store, it will bless you as much as if it goes to another thrift store. Don’t drive miles to donate your stuff, get rid of it quickly and easily or you won’t get rid of it.

What’s the definition of clutter?

Anything you don’t love and haven’t used for over a year is called clutter and should leave your home. Somehow we find it easier to buy things than get rid of things.


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    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Well i like organize but my.husband is the one that likes to keep too much stuff and keeps buying more and more. I have talked to him about it but is hard when we go through his things and he does not want to get rid of the things he doesnt need.

    • profile image

      Texas Barngirl 

      4 years ago

      Was hoping you were in Texas! If you think you can help, I will probably sign up for at least a week, but more likely a month, of your help. I have a 30 x 60 metal building that I have filled over the last ten years with all types of things to sell. Problem: too much. Do you think you can help? I've just lost all motivation. Thanks

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      >>People think the purchase of plastic storage boxes will help them get rid of the clutter, but all it does is add to the clutter.


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