If you’re looking for instructions on how to declutter your home, you’ve come to the right place. This room-by-room declutter guide will take you through your home and office with very specific instructions on what to declutter in each room or space in your home, and how to do it. This guide also includes resources for getting rid of clutter and organizing your keeper items (the stuff you really need and want).
Here's what you need to know to declutter your home.
Focus on One Room or One Zone... in a Room At a Time
Zero in on a room, a space, or even a zone within a room (like your kitchen cabinets) and . You can wander aimlessly around your home decluttering a little bit here and there, but it's not as effective as focusing on one room or one small part of a room and finishing it. To that end, we’ve broken down all of the spaces in your home and the areas in each that you should plan to decluttering. From there it’s broken down by (potential) zones and a list of items you should declutter within each space.
Just call this your you How to Declutter Your Home Checklist. Bookmark it, print it out, Pin It --whatever you need to do.
The Decluttering Method
There are a few levels to decluttering--maybe your home is pretty neat but you need some motivation to throw out some old paper clutter, or maybe your closet hasn't been thought about in a year and you really, really need to sort it out. As long as you hit the spaces and items outlined below, you’re covered. Think of the guide as your own personal checklist to decluttering these spaces.
As far as timing, I disagree with Marie Kondo’s method, I think you should declutter your home at your own pace. You don’t need to take a week off from work to “get organized”. Getting organized, decluttering and creating a more minimalist home and life can and should be done slowly, with a series of small actions.
If you rather do everything at once, then by all means, go for it. This guide will work for you too.
Bottom line: Sit down with your calendar and map out how much time you have and what order you want to declutter your home in. We recommend the following order:
Then within a room or space, tackle items first (socks, appliances), then storage spaces (drawers, cabinets) one-by-one, then shared and personal spaces (coffee table, top of bureau).
The theory is that by sorting through and decluttering items first, then storage spaces, you’ll have an easier time getting rid of stuff when you start in on each room. You may feel better starting with your desk or work space and then moving on to larger spaces. That’s fine, too.
Get Started By Decluttering Each Room
Now it's time to start decluttering. Below I give you very specific instructions on what to tackle in each room and space, but the basics of are the same: get prepared, spit spaces into sections and don’t get too cute about holding onto stuff that you don’t want, don’t need, don’t love or doesn’t project the image you want to project.
Warning: These lists are extensive. You may not have all of these spaces or items in your home but we wanted to be as thorough as possible.
01 of 08
Cutting clutter in the bathroom will help you to get ready for work more quickly in the morning. It will also help you get to bed earlier at night. When you know exactly where everything is and you’re not hunting and pecking through tons of clutter to find the right eye shadow or your allergy meds, you save time. It’s also just healthier. If you store your medications in the bathroom, you’ve got to go through them regularly and toss the old ones. Same goes for old makeup and skincare products.
P...lus, it’s just nice to walk into a bathroom and see a streamlined, uncluttered look. Here’s what to declutter in the bathroom
- Medicine Cabinet
- Under the Sink
- Vanity Drawers
- Cleaning products
- Skin Care Products
- Hair Styling Tools (curling iron, hair dryer)
- Travel Toiletries
02 of 08
Imagine you (and your family) drifting off to sleep each night in peaceful, clutter-free bedrooms, and then waking up in the same room to start your day. No pile of clothing on the floor, no stacks of bills on your night table and no piles of “stuff” that you’re not sure where to put. Bedrooms tend to attract a lot of in-between clutter-the stuff without a storage space, or the stuff that is really trash masquerading as clutter. That’s a no-go.
I included desks on this list because many people... have desks or full workspaces in their bedrooms. if that’s you, I strongly encourage you to position your desk as far away from your sleeping area as possible and definitely treat it as a different zone. You don’t want to mix up work and sleeping.
- Under the bed
- Closets (we’ll tackle this separately)
- Side tables/night tables
- Clothing (We’re going to tackle clothing in general in the next section on clothes closets)
- Paper and magazines
- Small tschotskes and decor
- Bed Linens and Pillows
- Anything on or around your desk like school supplies and/or office supplies
03 of 08
When people think about decluttering, they often think first of their clothes closet and then they decide maybe decluttering isn’t such a great idea. But decluttering your wardrobe can end up saving you so much time and money in the long run that it’s truly worth every minute you spend assessing your clothes and decide which ones to toss, keep or sell.
- Athletic Clothing
Clothes in Storage (either under the... bed or at the top or bottom of the closet)
- Halloween Costumes
- Out of Season Clothing
- Speciality Sports Uniforms/Gear
- Swimsuits and Cover Ups
04 of 08
Entryways, Mudrooms and Foyers
A clutter-free entryway or mudroom makes life easier. Imagine walking in and out of your home without tripping over a pile of shoes and an umbrella stand. How about having a designated place to put your mail down, a spot to empty the contents of your pockets into, and a designated place to drop your keys? That sounds awesome, right? You can that, but you gotta declutter first.
If you do not have an entryway or mudroom, focus decluttering the types of items that people typically store in the... entries.
- Desk/Console/Side Tables
- Hall Closet
- Entry Table
- Launch Pad
- Entry Bench or Cubbies
Continue to 5 of 8 below.
- Shoes and Boots
- Coats and Accessories
- Diaper Bag
05 of 08
The big joke amongst Professional organizers is that most people clutter up their garage with a bunch of junk and park their $20K-$30K car in the driveway. Are you suffering from too much garage clutter?
Even if you live in an apartment or a house with a garage, you probably have the type of items people tend to store in garages: sports equipment, beach equipment and tools.
Decluttering a garage really must be done zone-by-zone because you’re going to be handling disparate objects (tool and beach... balls just don’t make sense together). So tackle this space by going zone by zone or item by item.
- Work Station
- Sports Station
- Bike Storage
- Storage Area
- Lawn Furniture
- Sports equipment
- Beach Gear
- Cleaning Supplies
And, don't’ forget about your car!
- Glove Compartment
- Seat Pockets
- Driver Console
- Side Consoles
- Change for Parking Meters
- Emergency Kit
- Driving Gear
06 of 08
Home Office and Workspaces
The big challenge when decluttering your workspace or home office, whether they're being used by you working from home or your kids who are doing their homework, is managing all of your paper clutter. Paper clutter is a beast. That's because in order to declutter paper, you really do have to look at and read each piece of paper to decide whether to get rid of it, if it needs to be shredded or if you need to keep it and file it. While you're taking the time to do clutter your work... spaces or your home office I suggest also setting up a new home filing system that will make paper clutter and paper storage much easier to manage going forward.
- Filing Cabinet
- Office Supplies
- Tech gadgets and Gear
- Equipment like Computers, Printers, Scanners, Shredders, Faxes
07 of 08
Keeping your kitchen clutter free can be a challenge because we tend to spend an awful lot of time in our kitchens, both cooking, eating and socializing. In addition, the kitchen has so many different types of items stored in it from food to appliances to Ziploc bags to utensils, and everything needs to be stored logically and in its correct zone. Begin the decluttering process by choosing to declutter either a zone or a type of item and then work on the list from there.
- Upper Cabinets
- Lower... Cabinets
- Under the Sink
- Utensil Drawer
- Spice Cabinet/Rack
- Top of the Fridge
- Food Storage Containers
- Bowls, Mugs, Glasses and Cups
- Cutting Boards
- Serving Trays
- Knives and other cooking tools
- Pots and Pans
08 of 08
The living room is one of the hardest rooms in your home to keep neat on a daily basis. It’s usually not hard to get it looking good, but it’s hard to keep it that way.
That's because it it gets a lot of use and living rooms don't usually offer a lot of storage. You may have some bookcases and atV console, but they don’t hide much. Now you could go out and buy a bunch of furniture that has storage built-in storage, but a more budget friendly method to keeping your living room neat tidy... and clutter free is to do clutter it regularly. They less stuff you have in your living room, the less time it takes to make it look neat when company is coming over.
- Entertainment Center
- Toy Storage
- Side Tables
- Coffee Table
- Remote Controls
- Tech Gadgets