How to Remove Clutter From Your Home

Four Parts:Understanding the Need to Remove ClutterRemoving the Clutter from Your HomeSorting Through the BoxesEnjoying a Clutter-Free Home

When you walk in the door, do you feel as if you're walking in a minefield, and that you have to tiptoe around boxes, or just plain junk? Perhaps you cannot clean because of the clutter, so you just add more. It might be time for you to remove the clutter, and enjoy a tidy home, so here are some useful ways to get started on your clutter-free lifestyle.

Part 1
Understanding the Need to Remove Clutter

  1. 1
    Understand that some areas of the house are harder to declutter than other areas. Each room or area of a house can present its own level of decluttering difficulties. A lesser-used area may be the simplest to begin with and can therefore bring the quickest rewards. Because it is so frequently used, often by more than one person in the household, a kitchen can be more difficult to keep decluttered.
  2. 2
    Realize that objects can stand between you and space to think and move. De-cluttering a house full of objects, especially ones that are either broken, or likely to never be used at all will make more space for living and entertaining. Redundant objects can be removed or hidden in storage. Only the best-looking objects and knick-knacks, like vases, lamps, and chairs that fit the style and look of the room should be left on display.
    • Determine what you use on a daily basis and seek to have those items easily accessible. For example, if you do not use your food dehydrator often, place it into storage (basement, garage). It will save valuable space for items you may use on a daily basis (toaster, coffee maker).
    • You may also determine usage of items based on season. For example, during the winter months you may not entertain as often. If so, you can place your serving trays and extra dishes in the basement until spring or summer comes. The same reasoning can be applied to seasonal items such as BBQ accessories (skewers, grills, etc.).

Part 2
Removing the Clutter from Your Home

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    Bring home three big boxes from your grocery store. Label each box using a permanent marker: One "Keep", one "Sell", and one "Charity". Also get a large, lined garbage can into which you can throw things that you don't want to keep, ready to sell, toss or donate.
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    Set a time limit for the session, say 15 minutes to one hour. Set a timer, and don't start more than you can finish in your allotted time. When the timer rings, make yourself stop, clean up, and then take at least a 15-minute break so you don't burn out. You can always decide to do another round after the break is over but you will probably be relieved to have to break.
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    Make three piles on the floor, to match each of the marked boxes. Later, you probably will change some of the items in each box, or move them to another box, but that's after you've had some time to think.
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    Tackle one room at a time. In each room make three piles on the floor, matching the labeled boxes. Pick up an item, decide which box to put it into, and toss it into the box.
  5. 5
    Find a place for everything. keep the things you need in a place where you will find it easily. For example, by the phone in the kitchen area, keep pens, extra paper and scissors. Make sure everyone in the family is aware to return things back after they use them.
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    Clean and vacuum the room. Look around and enjoy the neat and tidy area that you probably have not seen for months, or perhaps years. Scrub off grime from surfaces, remove cobwebs and repaint drywall if necessary to make a clean and cozy room.

Part 3
Sorting Through the Boxes

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    Sort through the keep box, aiming to put more into the charity or sale boxes. The rule of thumb here is if you have not used any item in a year or more, it goes! Add it to one of the other boxes, or toss it into the garbage.
    • Donate the items you have not used items in 1-2 years. Chances are you don't need them. Donate them to the less fortunate or perhaps a family member who is starting out or moving away to college. This principle also applies to furniture, not just dishes and clothes.
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    Bring the box for charity to your car. Call a charity of your choice and ask them to pick them up. Most of the time they will. Sort through and price items for your garage sale. This will save you time when you have the sale. Try to arrange the garage sale at an early date, so you will not be tempted to return the items to your house. Bring the filled garbage bags to the curb on the next pick-up day.

Part 4
Enjoying a Clutter-Free Home

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    Look around! No clutter, no mess, just a nice clean and nice looking house. Keep it that way on a daily basis.
  2. 2
    Keep your living area and bedrooms clutter free by minimizing décor. This will not only look larger but cleaner, as there is less around to distract the eye. Having less décor means less to clean and dust as well.
  3. 3
    Stop shopping! This is a tough one but, learning to not replace items that you have gotten rid of is important one to follow. Also it is really important to shop well. In order to prevent buying twice, buy quality items or items that please the soul. If you have to pay extra for sofa cushions you really love then do so rather than buying the ones that were on sale. Chances are if you love your décor, then you will stick with it.
    • It is easier to remember the items you spent more money on, and to treasure them above the cheaper things. Focus on quality over quantity.
  4. 4
    Make sure that your mail is under control. Address it when you get it, rather than letting it pile up and then intimidate you. Recycle magazines once you read them or cut out the articles you like and place them in a folder to keep.
  5. 5
    Make use of shelves or baskets to keep your items out of the way. Try not to get into useless memorabilia collecting. Buying a coffee mug where ever you travel to can add up. Be realistic, having a few digital pictures are more than enough to create memories rather than a dozen mugs.
  6. 6
    Set limits on things. Having eight cereals to choose from and five cookie packages is not being realistic. Enjoy two to three items, then once finished, buy others. This will teach children to respect what they have and appreciate it and it will encourage a less-cluttered mindset for you.
  7. 7
    Get used to having less. Once you declutter your environment, enjoy the space and the look of having less items but a more open cleaner space. Instead of finding new appliances, furniture of clothes-- take up a hobby and distract yourself from items you probably do not need.


  • Work on one room at a time so you don't get overwhelmed.
  • Do not save cosmetics once they are used, broken, or old. Throw them in the garbage immediately.
  • Sell outgrown shoes and skates, or donate them to the needy.
  • When a toy breaks, and cannot be fixed, toss it immediately into the garbage.
  • If you're having a tough time throwing something out, try to think about how much you really need it. If it's something you'd want to show your children, consider whether you can just talk about it, or take a picture of it.
  • Organize so that making arts/crafts can be enjoyable. Make sure you have a place for everything. Small boxes can hold sewing threads or paint bottles. Put them away after you are done.
  • After you finish reading the newspaper or magazine, throw it into the recycling bin. Do not leave them around. You will probably never go back to read it, and if you do, don't worry, because many newspapers and magazines have archived their back issues online.
  • Every time you purchase a new book, look for 2-3 books that you can part with. Donate them to your local library.
  • Start teaching kids when they are young to be organized and getting rid of extra items that they no longer use.
  • Every season change should trigger a clean up around the house. This means clothes, kitchenware, tools.
  • Book a cleaner to come at a set date. That's your deadline for having the area to be cleaned tidy and clutter-free.


  • Ask for help when lifting heavy objects such as furniture or heavy boxes.
  • Make sure the items you are throwing away can be put by the curb. Sanitation services may not accept all items, and you may have to dispose of them in other ways.
  • Emotional issues often stand in the way of a good declutter. Try to deal with what is preventing you from throwing out items and encouraging you to hoard, otherwise the decluttering either won't ever get started or you'll revert to bad habits.

Things You'll Need

  • Large cardboard boxes(so they can be recycled and not saved}
  • A water-proof marker (pens are okay, but they won't show up as well as a marker)
  • Sales stickers (for garage sale items)

Article Info

Categories: Clutter Busting