Easy Ways to Declutter a Messy House

Getting started is the hardest part!

It’s surprisingly easy to go from a clean house to a cluttered house. I wouldn’t consider myself a messy person, by any means, but I’ll admit to having several junk drawers, a closet overflowing with who knows what, and far too many things that “accidentally” got kicked under the bed while tidying up. And let’s not get started on the junk mail pile.

Okay, so maybe I’m a little messier than I originally thought. Good thing there are several easy ways to get rid of the clutter and keep my space nice and clean!

Keep Your Goals In Mind

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This might seem totally unrelated but stick with me here. Motivation is key when it comes to big projects like decluttering your home and keeping it that way. So take a moment to ask yourself why this is important to you.

Maybe you’re looking to downsize and need to start with getting rid of the junk. Maybe the stress of sifting through piles of junk to find something is finally getting to you, and you need a jump start on cleaning. Or, perhaps you spilled coffee on a bunch of mail and several books and finally realized you needed to clear off some counter space. Just me, then? Either way, this is a huge step, but totally worth it. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better when all is said and done!

Create a Plan

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In theory, organization is pretty simple. In practice, it can be overwhelming to even know how to begin. If you’re anything like me, lists and plans help give things perspective as well as keep me on task. Sure, not every square inch of your house needs a plan of attack, but I bet there are a few problem areas that could benefit from an action plan.

The first step is to identify those “hot spots.” For me, it’s my desk, closet, and side table in my bedroom. My plan is different for each area, but the outline is the same.

1. Toss out or donate unnecessary items

2. Create a new organization system (filing cabinet for the office area, storage bins in the closet, etc.)

3. Put everything in its place

Set A Timer

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As childish as it may sound, this is actually a very effective way to get through almost any difficult task. Sometimes the hardest part of tackling a big project is just starting. We so often get so overwhelmed with the long to-do list that we don’t even start because there’s no end in sight!

Once you’ve identified the problem areas in your home and have created a plan of attack, go ahead and set a timer for 10 minutes. Yup, just 10. You can make it through 10 minutes, right? The key is that these 10 minutes are focused solely on the task at hand. No checking your phone, no shuffling things around, no distractions. Just 10 minutes of concentration and cleaning. You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish by just taking things a few minutes at a time! Repeat this process three to five times a day until the job is done.

Keep A Donation Box On Hand

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Here’s a great tip for keeping things decluttered in the long run. Have a dedicated box (I use a plastic bin) for items to donate. I don’t know how many times I’ve come across something, be it an old book, a sweater that doesn’t fit anymore, even canned goods I know I won’t use, and thought, “Oh, next time I run errands I’ll remember to donate that to Goodwill or a food bank.”

Needless to say, the times I followed through with this are pretty slim. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I would inevitably forget. By having a dedicated place to put items to donate, you’ll be far more likely to actually follow through.

Be Honest With Yourself

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I’ve attempted to declutter the kitchen, closet, junk drawers, etc., numerous times, but usually end up just rearranging the same stuff in a different way. This is often because I’m not being honest with myself about how often I use the item or how much I really need it.

I won’t pull a Marie Kondo on you and say you need to hold each item in your hand and decide if it brings you joy – though if that’s helpful for you, by all means, go ahead! But I will say you should consider if you actually use that item or if you wish you were the type of person who uses that item.

For example, I have a NutriBullet blender. I’ve used it exactly twice. Every time I see it hanging out in the corner of my kitchen counter I think to myself, “Oh, I should use that more.” And then I don’t. I want to be the kind of person who makes healthy breakfast smoothies, but at this point in my life, I’m just not.

Do What Works For You

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This list is by no means extensive, it’s merely a place to get started. Hopefully this helped you think through some concepts and gave you some ideas to help declutter your home! Take what works and leave the rest. Better yet, build off of what we’ve discussed here and come up with your own plan!