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Easy Steps To Start De-Cluttering Your Home

Updated on June 10, 2015
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If the word “de-cluttering” is even on your radar, it probably means you know your home needs it. These days, many of our homes have been become overrun by our ever-growing collection of “stuff” that ranges from clothing and accessories, video games, an assortment of electronics, paperwork, books, toys, makeup and hundreds of things we never use anymore but haven’t bothered getting rid of.


Why De-Clutter?

  • De-cluttering your home is a simple way to bring more peace, order and simplicity to your life. It can give you rooms you can walk through without tripping on things. Drawers you can open and easily find what you’re looking for. A garage that actually has room for your car. A spare bedroom that doesn’t resemble a storage locker. A basement that’s more than a place to hoard dusty, old boxes of things that have been there so long you don’t even know what’s in them.
  • You will spend much less time cleaning because you won’t have to move so many things around just to have empty surfaces to dust and vacuum. With less time spent cleaning, you’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones or doing the things you enjoy in life.
  • It will be easier to find things you’re looking for, saving time and frustration.
  • If you ever need to relocate, packing and moving becomes easier. Why pay to haul all your junk and clutter from your old home to your fresh new one?
  • A clutter free home is more relaxing. More inviting. Less stressful.
  • You won’t have to run around searching for places to hide all your clutter and junk when company’s coming.
  • When you see how much better your life is in a clutter-free environment, you’ll be less likely to waste money on things you don’t really need.
  • Charities benefit because when you go through your home, you’re sure to find lots of things you no longer want or need, but can still be of use to someone else.

Are you convinced yet?

If so, gather a few sturdy garbage bags, some empty cardboard boxes or crates and a Sharpie and get ready to start!


Start with your easiest room

Beginning “de-clutterers” need to take baby steps. Tackle only one room at a time and don’t move on until it’s done. If you do a little de-cluttering here and there throughout your entire house, you will probably get overwhelmed and give up.

Head to the room that scares you the least with your garbage bags and boxes

Start gathering obvious garbage. Anything worn out, old, broken, outdated or in too bad of shape to give to charity. Don’t be a wimp about this part. If you have trouble getting rid of things, have a no-nonsense friend or relative help you. If you come across stacks of paperwork, it’s best to put this aside to go through later when you have more time to separate true garbage from anything important or documents with personal information that you need to put through the shredder. If you’re someone with a collection of old appliances or electronics that don’t work and need to be repaired, get rid of them. Unless you feel they have real value, chances are they’ll just sit there broken, collecting more dust and taking space. If you’re de-cluttering a bathroom, be sure to throw out old makeup, expired medications and beauty products. Expired products aren’t only taking up space, they could be unsafe to use.

When you’re done with this step and hopefully have a full garbage bag or two (or ten!), all the other stuff will be easier to sort into the following categories:


  • KEEP

  • SELL

  • DONATE

  • DECIDE LATER


KEEP

These items will be obvious to you. They’re things you use, things you love, and things you don’t want to part with. How much you want to keep is entirely up to you, but keep your space limits in mind. If you don’t have much storage space in your home or live in a small apartment, consider adding the things you can do without to the “sell” or “donate boxes.” You can always rent a storage unit to make more space in your home, but that’s an on-going monthly expense. And, if you do decide to rent a storage unit, only use it for things you definitely want to keep, and not just another place to dump junk and clutter you can’t decide what to do with.


DONATE

Mark one or more of your boxes “DONATE” and fill them with the things you no longer want, but are still in good enough of condition to be used by someone else. Charities are always in desperate need of clothing for adults and children, bed linens, blankets, shoes, small appliances, toys, books, furniture, working televisions and more. Check your Yellow Pages or search online for charities in your area. Many will pick up the items from your doorstep and save you the trouble of hauling them to a drop-off center. I’ve listed some links to help you find charities at the end of this article.


SELL

Mark one or more of your other boxes “SELL” if you have items that are of value and plan to sell them. When you’re done de-cluttering, you can sell your items on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon.com or a variety of other websites. You can also take household items, furniture and clothing to local consignment shops or even hold a garage sale to get rid of everything at once. See the links at the end of the article for some ideas of where to sell your stuff.


DECIDE LATER

Don’t slow down your de-cluttering process with indecision. If you really can’t decide what to do with certain items, toss them in the “DECIDE LATER” box and go through it when you have more time. Just don’t let the box sit there forever and create more clutter.


Some Final De-Cluttering Tips

Doing a full de-clutter of your home is a huge accomplishment. De-cluttering isn’t a one-time project, though. Things eventually start to accumulate again. Outgrown children’s clothing and toys build up, paperwork accumulates, knick-knacks start piling up. If you continue to do a little de-cluttering here and there as needed, it won’t ever become a huge chore.

Every time you’re in the store or mall, think about the purchases you’re making. Are they things you really need or want or are they just contributing to the accumulation of more “stuff”?

Involve other family members if possible so the work will go faster. Tell them about the benefits of clutter-free living. If they realize it isn’t just cleaning, but something that will make their lives simpler, free up their time, generate cash from the sale of unwanted things and help others through charity donations, even reluctant family members can be convinced to help.

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© 2012 carolynkaye

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    • Parksie profile image

      Christy Parks 4 years ago from St. Peters, Missouri

      Great Hub! Keep it going!

    • carolynkaye profile image
      Author

      carolynkaye 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks, Parksie!

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

      I woke up this morning with the purpose of de-clattering in mind, and I'm g;ad I found you article because knowing me I would have done a little here and a little there,.

      The idea of starting from the less scary room is great, it's can be very rewarding and get you going. Thanks for sharing.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      In my room, I do it per area like last week it was the cabinets. Next week, I will be tackling the drawers on my desk! hehehe thanks for this tips! :)

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! This way to read and vote https://hubpages.com/community/Back-to-School-HubN...

    • carolynkaye profile image
      Author

      carolynkaye 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks, ripplemaker and Robie Benve! I appreciate it. Good luck with de-cluttering.

    • Natural World profile image

      Natural World 4 years ago from Oklahoma 2012

      Great Hub! I should start de-cluttering right now!

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      I saw a poster on Google that made me chuckle; it pictured the Dos Equis man and the caption was something like, "I don't often clean house, but when I do, it's because I watched Hoarders." Good hub; voted Up.

    • profile image

      Misty001 4 years ago

      This couldn't have come at a better time. I am about to embark on the adventure of helping my mother De-Clutter the accumulation of 20+ yrs of stuff. Even though she is 4 hrs away and I have a week before jumping in, I admit I was feeling quite overwhelmed already. You have helped to simplify some of the'Where Do I Start Syndrome'. Thanks for the great tips, I know they will come in handy!

      A vote up for me, and congrats

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 4 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      The four categories a great idea especially the decide later one.Once the decluttering is done, it is a matter of keeping it up,isn't it? Thanks for sharing this hub. :-)

    • carolynkaye profile image
      Author

      carolynkaye 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you, Natural World, Silva Hayes, Misty001 and Kate Mc Bride for your comments! I appreciate it :)

    • profile image

      girandola 4 years ago

      A very useful article though not the only one about this subject in Hubpages, I see.

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

      Very useful hub that needed to be written for a very long time, great you have done it for us:)

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 4 years ago from singapore

      thanks so much for the tips. my only main problem is i never ever have the mood for cleaning or decluttering, so i'm worried, i want to do it but i'm too lazy and thus my home's always a mess. but thanks once again for sharing a wonderful hub.

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