Want a clutter-free home quickly? Learn how to declutter fast with these simple tips and get the clean and clear space you have been dreaming of. It takes a little bit of hard work, but you'll never turn back!
I've been through a decluttering journey and have loved it more and more the longer I'm in it. It seems that the more I declutter, the more I see how much stuff we have and I want to declutter more! It's great and I'm constantly paring things down in the house. I'm not where I want to be yet, but what I have done has already made a huge difference. It's truly fulfilling to see the piles of stuff go away and the space shine through.
It's true that you're never really done, we always need to declutter, as there are always new items making their way into our homes.
But most of us have things hidden deep in dressers, closets, cupboards and totes that need to be decluttered too, and it can feel like a lot to tackle.
I'm sharing my top tips for decluttering FAST, to get the results you want as quickly as possible.
So grab a trash bag and a donate bin and let's go!
Our environment affects our lives on every level, so having a clutter-free, clean and beautiful home will improve your life in every way!
- It's empowering to take complete control over your possessions, instead of letting them control you.
- We all know we think more clearly in a clutter-free, organized space!
- Along with that, it's much more relaxing to live without clutter. You'll experience less stress and anxiety.
- It's easier to keep a clean home when there's less clutter to clean up and clean around!
- Decluttering helps others. When you donate what you never use, other people greatly benefit!
- Removing things creates more space in your home for what you actually use!
- It's much easier to find things when you have less stuff!
How to Declutter Fast: Tips
Have you ever wanted to declutter, but it just felt SO drudgerous! Going into it with that frame of mind isn't a good way to start.
Do something to remind yourself of the benefits of decluttering. I absolutely love listening to podcasts and watching Youtube videos about decluttering. The more I do, the more I want to get rid of stuff! For me, it's the easiest way to get motivated. Here are my favourites:
- The Minimal Mom
- Ashlynne Eaton
- Inspired by Nikki (not so much about decluttering, but about creating a truly beautiful home. It's very motivating when you need to declutter!)
Write Down YOur Goal
Simply writing down your decluttering goals will force you to be clear about them, making it easier to move forward and accomplish what is necessary. It also makes it more "official", which psychologically motivates you to pursue it.
Just as writing down your plan solidifies a goal, so does telling someone else about it! Even if this person is not going to follow up to see if you've accomplished it, just the simple act of telling them will help you to move along faster. You'll subconsciously be thinking, "I said I would do it, so I'm going to do it!"
There are SO many things to distract us these days, no matter the task. Turn your phone to silent and put it in another room, shut off the TV and get to work. So much time is wasted by going back and forth between our task and checking notifications or looking up at the TV screen. Focus on your task and your task only and you'll declutter so much faster!
Set a timer
Giving yourself a set amount of time creates a sense of urgency. Knowing you have a limited amount of time will push you to work faster and smarter. And if you continue to declutter after the timer goes off, even better!
Break it Down
If we think about decluttering our homes as one huge task that needs to be done in one whole weekend, it will feel too overwhelming and never be done. Who has time to declutter for hours and hours? Breaking it down into areas of your home will make it more manageable in your mind, so you will actually do it and it will be done faster. You can even break it down into smaller areas, such as the junk drawer, one kitchen cabinet, one nightstand, etc.
Let's go back to the "write it down" tip. You can make a list of all the areas you need to declutter and as you work through it, check each area off. Whenever you finish a task, your brain gets a dopamine rush, which leaves you feeling accomplished and motivated to do it all over again.
"If it's not a clear 'Yes', It's a 'No'"
I heard an excellent tip from Dawn, "The Minimal Mom", on her Youtube channel. When you are going through things and deciding whether or not to keep them, if you can't immediately and confidently say, "Yes, I'm keeping that!", then it's a "No."
Remember, we are talking about how to declutter fast, and this really speeds up the process. If this seems a little too drastic for you, see the tip "use a testing box" below.
Use a "testing" box
If there are certain items you are really unsure about, perform a test. Put them all into a box and store them away in your basement or garage. This way, you can test to see if you'll think of them and reach for them (aka, you actually use them) or you forget about them and would be okay to donate them. This is a great way to declutter quickly because it's not as much of a big decision, you can really make sure you don't need the item without getting rid of it first. Although make sure you're not putting everything in testing boxes!
Be sure to label the box and give yourself a timeline. If you don't reach for that box for the next 2 months, for example, you'll donate those items.
Remember that someone else needs it more
It really helps to keep in mind what an item could mean to someone else. Say I have 3 winter coats. One fancier coat to wear to church, one thin one for nicer winter days and a warm one suitable for all winter weather. Which one do I actually wear? The warm one. I could easily donate one, if not both of the other coats. I either allow them to just sit in my closet or I could donate them to a charity or shelter and someone could use them to stay warm. This person would otherwise be cold, just because I wanted to keep the coat in my closet JUST IN CASE.
This principle is very helpful to keep in mind when decluttering.
PUt items for donation in the car immediately
Have you ever decluttered, and ended up with a pile of stuff to donate that just sits there for weeks? You just forget to take it with you or you wait to go until you have more items to donate. Don't do it. Immediately after you are finished decluttering, get those items in the car. There, they are out of your house (so you've actually decluttered it!) and they are ready to donate whenever you're by a local shelter or thrift shop!
It can be extremely motivating and helpful to declutter with someone else. They can give you fresh perspective on certain items you may have a skewed view of.
It can also be helpful to ask for help to free up more of your time to declutter. Say you're a busy mom and you'd love a couple of hours of uninterrupted time to really tackle an area of the house. You can ask for help by enlisting your mom or a friend to watch the kids for a few hours so you can get it done. You could even do a swap where you watch your friend's kids another time so they can declutter too!
Keep What you Use Regularly
The way most of us think to declutter is to go through our belongings and get rid of things we don't use. But a more efficient way is to pick out what we DO use and get rid of the rest. It's more drastic, but it's a much faster way to declutter and pare down to what you actually need.
Donate Instead of Selling
Now don't get me wrong, I love selling things I'm getting rid of to get a little money. But we all know it can take a lot of time to sell something and get it out of your house! If you want to declutter faster, forego selling and donate your items.
Declutter as YOu go through your day
It can be very difficult to set aside time to go through your house and declutter. If you are finding it hard, do as much decluttering as possible as you move through your day. Are you in the kitchen waiting for water to boil? Look through a cupboard and remove any dishes you don't use or expired food items. Are you waiting for your curling iron to heat up in the bathroom? Take a quick look through your medicine cabinet and pull out anything expired or that you don't use.
This isn't the fastest way, but if you have no way to devote time to decluttering, this will allow you to work on it, even if it's slow.
FAQ about Decluttering
How Do I Start Decluttering?
As with any task or change you want to make in your life, I do recommend starting small. If you've been accumulating items for many years, it will likely be a daunting task to go through it all. Start in one small area and set a timer for 5 minutes. You'll be amazed how much you'll get done and be motivated to continue.
If you have so much stuff that some would consider you a hoarder, I highly recommend watching and listening to people who are experts on living with less. Decluttering won't do a lot if you don't change your mindset- you'll likely just fill in the space again.
How to Declutter When YOu're Overwhelmed
I think it's pretty much impossible to effectively declutter when you're experiencing a feeling of overwhelm, especially if you have a large amount to go through. Again, I recommend watching or listening to some inspirational content and starting very small and in the easiest rooms. It may seem like going through one drawer won't make a dent in the house, but if you consistently do a little at a time, you'll make it through the whole house in no time!
How to Declutter When You are SEntimental
Sentimental items are very tricky. I have a few tips for this. Assign yourself a certain amount of space you'll allow sentimental items to be stored in, perhaps a large Rubbermaid. Only allow yourself to fill that bin and don't keep anything else.
There are a lot of things that can easily be photographed and placed in a photo album to remember them by, instead of keeping the physical item. This takes up WAY less space and you'll probably look through the photo album more often than a bin of stuff in the basement!
Perhaps you have family members that would be interested in some of your extra items? If it's something special to the family and you don't have space for it, perhaps someone else does.
How to Declutter Without Being Wasteful
There's really no need to waste when decluttering unless the item is destroyed, then please, just throw it away! You can sell, give to a friend or family member or donate to charity, most items that you don't have use for. Someone else will use it more than you would have and you should feel great about that!
What helps you to declutter quickly? Let me know in the comments below!