“How can I declutter fast?”
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. YOU CAN READ OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.)
Since the release of the ever-popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, many people have gone on their very own decluttering spree, while other people are still looking for other ways to declutter their homes, fast. If you’ve ever wondered how to declutter your house fast, you’re in the right place.
If you aren’t ready to jump in and declutter with this no-fluff KonMarie method, I have another decluttering method that might be a better fit for you (although, I do highly suggest that once you get comfortable with decluttering, you get familiar with this particular way of decluttering, otherwise you’ll find yourself decluttering your entire house over and over again through the years).
Many people make decluttering out to be a long, grueling process.
But the truth?
Decluttering is simple. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming and you don’t have to set weeks of your like apart to dedicate to decluttering.
BUT – before you start, you need to realize that you have to know why you’re decluttering and you have to be ready to let go of your beloved belongings.
Regardless of how many people tell you that you have to declutter your home and your life, unless you truly believe it for yourself, you won’t be able to stay motivated and see this decluttering task through to completion. If you’re doing this for someone else, you won’t do it well, and you’ll likely end up not finishing the decluttering task you’re starting.
So, don’t do this for someone else. Do this for you.
(If your house really isn’t that cluttered and all you’re looking for is some organization ideas; these are all you really need.)
Want to skip the entire post and just grab the room-by-room home decluttering checklist? Grab it below.
What clutter does to your life
If you’ve ever wondered what clutter actually does to your life, here are a couple things to think about (source):
- Clutter makes you stressed. That pesky stress hormone, cortisol, is drastically raised when you live in a cluttered house, have a cluttered life, or work in a cluttered environment.
- Clutter makes you less productive. If you’re surrounded by clutter you will find yourself having a harder time to focus on the task you’re doing. Everything around you is competing for your attention, rather than being able to just sit down and work.
- Clutter increases anxiety. While anxiety can lead to a cluttered living space, clutter can lead to more anxiety… it’s a vicious cycle that you want to get out of and stay out of at all costs.
- Clutter isolates you. If your house is cluttered, you’re much less likely to invite people over for visits, and you will often feel drained of energy and won’t want to leave your house as often when it’s cluttered.
How to start decluttering
Before you can even begin to declutter you have to know what classifies as clutter, and here’s the answer:
Clutter is an overabundance of belongings that together make for a crowded, chaotic living area. So, really, clutter isn’t one particular type of item… clutter can be anything. Anything that is making your house crowded, anything that requires you to move it out of the way to be able to get a certain task done, and anything that makes you feel stressed out when you look at it along with your other belongings.
After you’ve come to the realization that you have too much stuff – and that your stuff is clutter – but you still aren’t quite sure why you’re doing this. You often wonder “how do I start decluttering?”, and thankfully for you, it’s really as simple as doing one thing:
Finding your reason
You have to know your why. Your reason for doing what you’re doing. WHY are you choosing to declutter your house? WHY do you want to live a simpler life with less stuff?
Once you’ve discovered why you’re going to declutter, who or what you’re doing this for and why you’re doing it, you’ll finally be able to start this decluttering task and get rid of every unnecessary belonging you own that are making your house and life a cluttered mess.
If you struggle to find your why and you don’t know why you’re decluttering your house but you know that you do want to, you can use this to learn some reasons why you may be doing what you’re doing (but remember – even though it will help you find some reasons that will be applicable, it’s still up to YOU to find that one reason that is your why).
Now that you know how to start decluttering, it’s time to learn how to declutter your home and your life, fast.
How to declutter your house in 4 easy steps
Are you ready to jump in and put these decluttering tips into action in your life? Great! But first, this is the particular decluttering method that has helped thousands of families rid the clutter in their homes and lives, I fully understand that it’s not for everyone. It is incredibly straight-forward, hard, and a no-excuse, no-item-spared approach and that’s why it’s not for everyone… some people prefer an easier-going approach to decluttering. If that’s you, the decluttering method below will be the PERFECT one for you. (But, if you prefer the more in-your-face, get-rid-of-everything-you-don’t-need-RIGHT-NOW method, learn about it here.)
Okay – are you ready to learn how to get rid of the clutter in your house and your life in 4 effective steps? Let’s get right to it –
Make a plan
Before you dive head-first into a decluttering frenzy, you’ll want to do this –
Sit down and make a decluttering plan. This plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It doesn’t have to be pretty (but sometimes it helps if it is). And it definitely doesn’t have to have all the kinks worked out of it. All you’re doing here is creating a plan of attack, something that you can refer back to as you’re decluttering your house anytime you start to feel lost or overwhelmed.
“So, what is a decluttering plan?”
A decluttering plan will be different from one person to the next, and there is no “right way” of making your plan. Simply write on a piece of paper what you want to achieve, and when you want to have it done by.
When you don’t give yourself a timeline is when decluttering is unsuccessful. If you just tell yourself you’ll do it when you have time, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Make a strict timeframe that you want to have your house (room, car, life, etc.) decluttered by, and stick to it.
You don’t have to go so far as setting a specific plan for each day, all you have to do is write down WHAT you want to get done, and WHEN you want to have it done by. For example, my decluttering plan would look something like,
“Have all the bedrooms decluttered by X date.”
“Donate 12 bags of clothes, small appliances, etc. to the thrift store within 2 weeks.”
“Have the entire house decluttered in 3 weeks.”
When you’re creating your plan, try to set a goal that is attainable, but isn’t too far in the future. Don’t write something vague like, “have my house decluttered in 6 months.” If you choose dates that are far away, you’re more likely to give up or forget about your challenge before you achieve your goal. Set smaller, quicker goals, then once you meet those goals, create new goals – and continue through the whole year with small, achievable goals.
I’m not a fan of following a strict day-to-day schedule because I find some days things will pop up that will cut into my planned “decluttering time” and I won’t get to declutter that day, but I’ll make up for it by decluttering for more time on a different day. But, if you are someone who works better by following a day-to-day schedule, you can use this to keep track of the daily tasks that need to get done for you to be able to reach your end goal in a reasonable amount of time.
Yep, you read that right (and in case you’re still not sure, I’ll say it again: stop. organizing.).
What happens when people look at all their belongings and try to organize it all is they first go out and get a BUNCH of these (and I don’t blame them; they’re adorable, but you don’t need as many as you may think), but then their house ends up being filled from top to bottom with various bins, baskets, and storage containers. When if you were to instead FIRST declutter your house and get rid of a bunch of the things you own THEN organize, you’ll find you need far fewer of these containers which will save you money AND help your house not look so bulky.
All those hours and minutes that you spend organizing your house are nothing more than wasted time. All organizing your house before you actually get rid of anything does is moves your clutter from one room or area to another.
Organizing before decluttering is an attempt to “hide” your clutter rather than actually getting rid of it once and for all.
When you do this, you’re just putting your clutter problem off rather than fixing it.
This is something that people do when they don’t want to declutter; when they don’t want to get rid of any of their belongings. They organize their things in an attempt to make their house look less cluttered rather than getting rid of the clutter in the first place. This is what happens when people haven’t realized yet that it IS OKAY to get rid of their clutter.
In fact, it’s highly beneficial.
The more stuff you hold on to, the more stressed, the less productive, the more anxious, and the more isolated you become, so getting rid of clutter isn’t only good for your house, but it’s good for your health.
Instead of trying to organize your clutter, it’s time to stop organizing altogether (for now).
Stopping organizing is quite possibly the most important thing you will ever do when it comes to decluttering. Why? Because you could spend hours upon hours upon hours organizing your house. Anyone can do that.
But if you don’t get rid of some of the stuff that you’re organizing, it will never be truly organized, and even if it looks good for a day, things will start to fall out of place and become a cluttered mess again quicker than you’re able to keep it tidy.
Grab your printable checklist so you can start decluttering the rooms in your house as soon as you’re finished reading this post! ↙️
Get rid of your stuff BEFORE organizing. And that brings us on to the next step –
Start with the place that bothers you the most
One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to decluttering isn’t following through until the end (though that IS a big one), it’s people wondering where to start decluttering. With a house that’s such a mess, it’s hard to know where and how to start decluttering.
The easiest way to know where to start decluttering? Start with the one place that bothers you the most.
Everyone has that one place that they can’t stand to see cluttered and messy. Find where that place is for you, and start there.
Since this is a place that you don’t like to see messy, you’ll have an easier time staying motivated to get it completely decluttered because you’re working towards an end goal that you actually want to achieve. You know what this place looks like when it’s messy, and it drives you crazy – and you know what it looks like when it’s clean, and that’s what you’re striving for.
You like to see this particular place neat and tidy, and that’s what will drive you to keep going when you get bored, tired, or want to give up.
And do you know what happens once you get that one place cleaned?
You are more motivated than ever to make the rest of your house look THAT GOOD.
It’s like throwing a rock into a puddle – the initial splash (the motivation to get that ONE area decluttered) ripples through your entire house (which results in decluttering all the other areas of your home).
Where’s the place that bothers you the most in your house? It doesn’t have to be big and elaborate – it can be as simple as the coffee table or the entryway storage bench. Maybe it’s your kid’s room or the kitchen table. Wherever it is, make that your starting point and set however many minutes it’s going to take you aside to start and finish that one area in one go – then move on to the next area of your house.
Use this How to Declutter Your Home Checklist
Now that you’ve created your daily plan, you’ve stopped organizing, and you’ve narrowed down the place in your house that bothers you the most when it’s messy, it’s time to START DECLUTTERING.
You’re as prepared as you can get to declutter your house, so now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. Grab and print off your free decluttering checklist and get to work in your house!
Now go get to work! Stop making excuses and don’t you dare tell yourself you’ll “do it tomorrow”. Go now – while everything you’ve learned is fresh in your memory, and at least do a small portion of the work today. Don’t expect to have your house fully decluttered in one day.
For most people, that’s just not possible. So start working on decluttering your house with the original timeframe that you set in mind. Remember to declutter first, then organize (and when it’s time to organize, don’t forget to use these… they’re my absolute FAVORITE organizers and they double as home decor!), start in the place that bothers you the most, and use your printable decluttering checklist to work your way through your entire house in no time.
Download Your Free Printable: Your Quick-Start to Decluttering
To get started decluttering your house right now, you can get my free 20 Things in 20 Minutes decluttering checklist, which includes an exclusive list of 20 easy items to get rid of from your home when you can’t seem to get yourself to get rid of anything. Here’s how to get it:
- Download the checklist. As a bonus for joining my newsletter, you’ll get the checklist! You can click here to download and subscribe.
- Print the list. While normal printer paper does work, cardstock works the best as it’s stiffer and will yield a more sturdy checklist that won’t easily bend or break. Don’t skip this step – remember, you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down.
- Use it. Any time you start to feel overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering, refer back to the checklist to find something to get rid of instantly.
Here’s a sneak peek of your 20 Things in 20 Minutes Declutterathon: