Once you’ve lived in your house or apartment for a certain amount of time, it’s natural to start collecting clutter.
From old clothes you hardly wear to drawers full of chargers for phones that you don’t even own anymore, the list is endless!
That said, it’s important to get a hold on your mess.
How, you ask? Well, through learning how to declutter your home, of course.
Why Should You Declutter Your Home?
First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room.
According to Psychology Today, too much clutter can negatively impact a person’s stress levels.
In fact, messy homes can often leave us feeling helpless, anxious and overwhelmed on a daily basis. This can then affect everything we do in our everyday lives, from our workplace performance to our ability to socialise with loved ones.
In other words, it’s true what they say: a tidy home equals a tidy mind.
Other benefits of decluttering your living space include:
- You’ll have less to clean and maintain
- You can see what you have so it will prevent you from over-buying
- If you’re no longer over-buying, you’ll save money
Oh, and did we mention that your house will look like it’s come straight from Pinterest? Swoon.
Where to Start Decluttering Your House
Sure, we get that the prospect of going through your entire place and everything you own is daunting. However, the trick is to take it step by step.
After all, according to Forbes, breaking down a big goal into smaller goals is a surefire way to achieve it.
In terms of how to declutter your home fast, it’s a good idea to take it room by room and then section by section.
How to Declutter a House
According to the Washington Post, you should start the home organisation process with your kitchen.
Why? Well, our kitchens are the most-used rooms. Therefore, it’s easy to gather one-too-many plastic storage containers, water bottles and/or mugs. Right?
How to Declutter: Kitchen
A good way of decluttering your kitchen is by focusing on one category at a time (i.e. glassware or utensils) or one zone at a time (i.e. fridge or food cupboards).
Either way, follow this simple system:
- Empty each space
- Assess every item
- Clean the item (if needed)
- Clean the space
- Put the item into a designated box
Speaking of designated boxes, many people find the Four-Box method useful when clearing out their houses.
Essentially, have one box for “bin” one for “donate,” one for “keep” and one for “re-locate.” Put every item in the relevant box for each zone before you put away your “keep” box and move onto the next zone.
When it comes to your kitchen specifically, start going through the biggest storage spaces first (like the pantry) and then move onto the smaller cupboards and drawers.
The last job is your countertops. Put away any items that you don’t use every day so that your kitchen looks visibly clutter-free and in order.
You can also maximise your storage space by making use of these handy organisation tools:
- A spice rack for spices and seasonings
- Pantry bins for snacks and baked goods
- Storage racks for under the kitchen sink, on the back of the pantry door or in cupboards
Two words: life-saving.
How to Declutter: Bedroom
When it comes to how to declutter your room, begin by making your bed.
After all, it’s impossible for a bedroom to look tidy if the bed is unmade. Right?
Like with your kitchen, proceed to move around your room zone by zone; in fact, every item in each room of your house should be in its own zone. If it’s not, you’re likely to have a problem that doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing, such as clothes strewn all over the floor that should be in the wardrobe.
That’s why it’s important to put things back where they belong. However, before you do this, assess every item and follow these guidelines:
- Recycle or dispose of anything you no longer use, like empty tissue boxes and pens that don’t work
- Go through the big storage spaces first, such as your dresser, and then move onto smaller spaces, such as your jewellery box
- Amp up your storage space by using an open spot under a bedside table for your laundry basket, under-the-bed bins for spare bedsheets and folders for important files
Wondering how to declutter your wardrobe (especially if it’s overflowing)? Not to worry — we’ll get to that next.
How to Declutter: Wardrobe
How to declutter clothes quickly without wanting to tear your hair out? Analyse them by type. This means you could start with tops and then proceed with dresses, denim, etc.
How come? Well, it’s easier to decide what you want to keep or toss when you’re looking at your whole collection of a certain category.
If you find that you’re scratching your head over a specific item, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I worn it in the last six months?
- Have I ever worn it?
- Is it falling apart and unfixable?
- Does it have stains that can’t be washed out?
- Does it even fit?
- Does it make me feel good when I put it on?
Oh, and try to avoid throwing anything clothing-wise in the bin. Instead, choose a more environmentally-friendly option, such as donating to a loved one, taking it to a charity shop or selling it on a secondhand marketplace (like eBay).
The following suggestions can help you organise your wardrobe — and fast:
- Fold jumpers and place them on a shelf instead of hanging them (they take up a lot of room)
- Roll jeans and stack them on a shelf sideways
- Have a shoe rack by the door or in the bottom of your wardrobe
- Display your bags and stand them up next to each other so they don’t lose their shape
- Use baskets for underwear and belts
Speaking of baskets, if you do decide to use them, choose the clear, acrylic kind that allows you to see what you’ve got. This will make putting together outfits and getting dressed in the morning much more straightforward.
How to Declutter: Living Room
The living room is one of the most challenging rooms in your home to keep clean and tidy. It gets a lot of use — and often by multiple people.
Like with your bedroom, start by putting away any noticeable clutter. For instance, sofas and coffee tables are notorious for collecting miscellaneous items.
Then assess your bookcases, side tables and TV unit and sort through what’s inside. You might find items that belong elsewhere and need re-locating.
Here are some tips for organising certain storage areas:
- Bookcase — Avoid the temptation of filling it to the brim. If you do this, you won’t have any room to grow your collection.
- Toy bin — Have one big bin with a lid where your kids can store their toys and you can easily get in and out of.
- Coffee tables — As the focal point of the living room, avoid covering it with books, flowers and candles. Keep it as clear as possible and take advantage of the shelf space underneath instead.
The final step is to straighten any decorative items, such as cushions and blankets, and make the room look presentable.
How to Declutter: Bathroom
When it comes to your bathroom, start with your medicine cabinet. Take everything out so you can have a proper look at every makeup, skincare and medical product you own.
Then proceed with the following steps.
- Check expiry dates. Skincare products usually show this on their lids or the bottom of their containers. Makeup products tend to have a Petri dish symbol on their labels that tells you how long the item will last before it expires, i.e. six months. Medications show the expiry date on their box lids or labels. Dispose of anything that has already expired because it’s likely to have lost its effectiveness.
- Decide what to keep or donate. Ask yourself: when did you last use the product? Is it in good condition? Could someone else benefit from it more than you? Place it in the relevant box.
- Maximise storage space. Instead of overfilling your medicine cabinet, use the space below the sink, whether this is via a cupboard or labelled bins. You could even put spare bath towels in a wicker basket under the sink if you don’t have space for them in your bedroom. Say it with us now: practical yet stylish.
Speaking of your bathroom storage, put the items that you use the most often at eye level in your medicine cabinet or in your top drawer. This will allow you to grab them quickly and easily.
Finally, go through the products that are hanging around your bath or shower and find them a home. If you’re struggling, perhaps it’s time to say goodbye. Forever.
How to Declutter Your House in One Day
Only got limited time and you want to get your home decluttered in one day or less? Don’t sweat it — just follow our top 5 tips for success.
Schedule the Day
Pick a date and time where you know you’re going to be as free as a bird and won’t have any distractions. This will help you to get the job done as efficiently as possible.
2. Gather Supplies in Advance
Don’t leave it until D-Day (that’s Decluttering Day) to grab all the things you’re going to need to streamline the process.
Instead, grab bin bags, storage bins and donation boxes beforehand and have them stacked up somewhere that’s easily accessible.
3. Put On Music
Did you know that music is renowned for increasing productivity?
Put on a playlist that you enjoy to keep your energy levels high while you work through your entire home.
4. Get Help From a Loved One
If decluttering your home seems like an almost impossible task to do solo, there’s no shame in enlisting the help of a friend or family member.
In fact, you know what they say: many hands make light work!
5. Don’t Panic if You Run Out of Time
Last but not least, don’t worry if you don’t manage to sort through your mess in the day that you’d allocated. It’s a big task and one that’s worth doing well.
If you can sense that it’s going to take longer than you originally thought, stick to the bigger rooms or the bigger spaces in each room. Then finish off the smaller jobs at a later date.
Either way, just keep persevering until it’s done. Then you can give yourself a pat on the back and have a much-deserved cup of tea and a biscuit.
Where to Start Decluttering a House: Just Start!
Learning how to declutter your home is one thing, but doing it is another thing entirely.
That’s why it’s important not to think about it too much.
The sooner you get going, the sooner you can have a beautiful, clutter-free house that feels good to spend time in.
Trying to figure out how to declutter before moving house? You could always remove clutter instantly until you have the chance to go through it by using a storage unit. Nesta Storage offers self-storage in multiple locations across Dublin with 7-day access and flexible rental terms.