5 Reasons Why The Best Way To Declutter Is Before Organising


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Do you get overwhelmed with the thought of sorting out your home? If you are looking for tips on the best way to declutter then this post will help you so much…

Best way to declutter - always do it BEFORE organising any space

I want to chat with you a little today about a huge tip that will help you reduce that overwhelm. It will help you to focus on each step of the process of sorting things out, and keep motivation high because you will be seeing progress.

This tip?

Simply, it’s to separate out the tasks of decluttering and organising each space.

You see, a lot of people start getting their homes organised and try and declutter and organise at the same time. They try and do all things at once, and feel the pressure and pain that doing it this way will bring.

It really is a recipe for disaster.

My A.D.O.R.E method for sorting out any space is clear on the order to do things around your home for the best success and the best chance of things staying organised for the long term. That order is to ASSESS / DECLUTTER / ORGANISE / REAL LIFE / EVALUATE (you can get all the details about this method HERE if you want to learn more).

As you can see, declutter comes between planning and organising any space – and they are distinct jobs in their own right.

There are so many reasons why the best way to declutter is BEFORE organising, and these should be kept front and centre in your mind whenever you’re sorting any part of your home.

I’d like to show you the main ones right now: –

Reason #1 – You Don’t Know The Space You Need

Think about a cupboard that’s crammed full of stuff.

You have set yourself the task of sorting that cupboard out, once and for all.

So you set about putting everything neatly in boxes away, and by the time you’ve finished it all looks very neat and tidy – but what have you actually achieved?

If you purely concentrate on that cupboard, then you may or may not be organising the right stuff.

There may be items around the rest of the house that belong in this space as well, or there may be stuff in the cupboard right now that doesn’t need to be there (it belongs somewhere else in the house or it doesn’t belong in the house at all).

You simply don’t know until you declutter and see exactly what you have in each space…

If you try and organise it without decluttering then you are organising all that stuff and will assume you need that much space to do it.

If, however, you decluttered first, you may well find that half of the stuff in the cupboard isn’t needed to be stored in that space (or needed at all).

Decluttering first means you really know what you are dealing with. You can find the perfect storage solutions for what you DO need to keep in any space, and you will be able to use every area wisely.

Reason #2 – You Won’t Waste Money

One of the nicest parts of sorting any space out is to get lovely storage/organising products that will help keep everything neat and tidy.

I’m a sucker for a good IKEA trip!

BUT – if you try and buy stuff before you know exactly what you need to store (i.e. before you have decluttered), then you will likely be wasting a lot of money and creating more clutter as a result.

Organising products may not work for the space they are needed in, there may be too few items to fill what you have bought, or too many.

As with reason #1 – if you declutter each space so you know exactly what you need to store in each space, then you will only buy storage items that suit that space and the items you want in it.


Reason #3 – You Won’t Waste Your Time

Oh how I hate wasting time…

I don’t like the idea of doing more than absolutely necessary. After all – life’s busy enough.

So – spending time organising that which you may not actually need to keep seems a little crazy to me.

If you organise BEFORE you declutter – this is essentially what you are doing.

So – declutter first. Find out what you need, and then work on organising it to how you want – and you’ll ensure the minimum work for sorting out the space.

Sounds good, right!

Reason #4 – You’ll Be Less Overwhelmed

I’ve mentioned this briefly at the start of this post, but it’s such an important part of getting organised that it deserves its own section.

We are all easily demotivated when a job feels too hard/too much for us – and getting organised is a MAMMOTH task when you start to think about it.

If you do follow the method I love (that ADORE method!), then you will be able to move from step to step in a clear way, avoid the overwhelm, and (fingers crossed) enjoy the process all the more…

Reason #5 – You Won’t Have Excess

Decluttering is to work methodically through your home, finding items that don’t belong where they currently are – and moving them to the right place (whether that be in your home or out of your home).

When you do this BEFORE you organise things, you will see where you have too many of any item – because you will be collecting them all together as you work around the house.

For me, this is things like toilet rolls, pairs of jeans, and washing up liquid (don’t ask – but it’s true that we had around 15 bottles at one time a few years ago, all lurking in different places!).

You can then work out what you really need, and start to use the excess.

If you organise each area without seeing the house as a whole, then you’ll likely organise lots of little areas of the same item – and STILL not realise how many you actually have.

You will feel organised, but in reality you won’t be as organised as you could be, had you decluttered first…

(Also – you won’t have excess storage solutions because you have too much stuff to organise. You’ll know exactly what you need, how it needs storing, and everything will have a place. I can breathe more easily just thinking about it!).

The best way to declutter is by doing things in the right order. I have created a method that works EVERY TIME - and this post talks about one of the most crucial parts of decluttering so you get it right, avoid overwhelm, and have fun!

Have I sold you on the best way to declutter – i.e. decluttering as a separate task BEFORE you get things organised?

I hope so!

When you declutter right, you will only be left with what you truly need, in the right space in your home. THEN you can go through your home and make things organised (pretty storage, setting up routines and schedules etc…).

And, as a bonus, you’ll probably see that this is the best way to declutter – and decluttering properly will start the organising off for you without you even trying – I’m sold, and I hope you are too!

If you want to start delving further into these methods then these posts are the ones to read next: – My ADORE method / Why decluttering properly will change your life.

This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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