Decluttering 101

I love that this time of year everyone wants a fresh start in so many areas of their lives. Getting your house in order is a great way to start the year. It not only clears your physical space but it can also help you clear your mind. Decluttering 101 is the first post in my Jump Start Organizing Series. Please join me this month for more easy organizing ideas.

Decluttering 101 Jump Start Organizing Series

Decluttering 101

Let’s start by defining clutter– Clutter doesn’t have to mean you have a messy or dirty house, it could mean you have too much stuff or you have it in the wrong place. Think of decluttering as a positive experience and not a negative one.

Clutter is anything:
on the floor – mail, paper, magazines, toys, or piles of clothes
in a room or area that doesn’t belong there
that has not been used in over a year
that belongs to someone else
you have too much of

Decluttering basics for beginners

Decluttering is not a one time thing. It’s ongoing, so you need to decide what fits your lifestyle best. Here are some ideas:
a continuous donation box in the closet
purging twice a year
combination of both
Whatever you decide you need to set aside time to do it. Schedule it in your calendar so it happens. Right now is a great time to take out your planner and decide how you will declutter and how often.

How do you decide what to Keep or Toss? Ask yourself these questions:
Have I used this item in the past year?
Will I need it on a definite date in the future?
Do I need to keep it for legal purposes?
Would it be difficult to get another if I need it again someday?
Can I just borrow it from someone else?
What’s the worst thing that could happen if I decide to toss or donate it?

Stop clutter before it enters your home. Ask yourself these questions:
Do I have a specific place for this?
Am I willing to toss or donate something to make room for this?
Will I really use this item?
Do I really love it?
Am I only interested because it’s on sale?

What to declutter

First things first: You need to clear the clutter before you can start organizing. Once you get rid of the clutter it makes organizing much quicker and easier. You also have space available for things that are really important to you.

Things you can toss right now. Here are some things that are quick and easy to get rid of. They should give you a good start to your decluttering and the motivation to continue once you see the results and how easy it is.
dry cleaner and store hangers
old magazine and catalogs
containers with lost lids
old product boxes
socks with holes or no mate
expired food
cords you don’t use
duplicate kitchen utensils
instruction manuals
expired medications
old make-up
broken items
non working writing tools
old linens
old papers and files
duplicate craft supplies
worn hair accessories
excessive hardware
stained dishware
old clothing and shoes
take out menus
combination locks
old electronics
old party supplies
ticket stubs
hotel toiletry supplies
free promotional items
old store reward cards and gift cards
wrapping paper scraps
broken Christmas lights
grocery bags
old business cards
broken jewelry
greeting cards
puzzles, games, and playing cards with missing pieces
flat pillows
old textbooks
phone books
excessive stuffed animals
dead plants
old sports equipment
rusty tools
small bike helmets
broken umbrellas
extra canvas bags
damaged suitcases
unfinished projects
old knick knacks
high school formal gowns
expired sunscreen
deflated balls
leaky water bottles
old invitations
too many vases
old toothbrushes
dried up nail polish
old perfume
out grown kiddie furniture
not wanted holiday decor
damaged furniture

If this list feels overwhelming, start with only 2-5 things at a time and work from there. You will be surprised how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time once you are motivated.

Good luck and enjoy the process. Your reward is a clutter free home with space for what you really love.

Watch for the next post in the Jump Start Organizing Series:
Tidy Home in 30 Minutes

Pin it for Later: Decluttering 101

Decluttering Jump Start Organizing

You might also like these posts:
Everyday Organizing Tips
How to Start Organizing Your Home

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Holly January 8, 2018, 12:54 pm

    I loved your definition of clutter! It’s true – doesn’t have to mean you are a messy person – just that your stuff is either in excess or in the wrong place! Great tips!

  • Traci January 19, 2023, 8:46 pm

    I am a minimalist because of my Mom. It’s great to rarely have clutter.

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