Time is precious, so let’s look at how to declutter your house in one day to get maximum results within a limited time frame. Learn all the tricks to make the most of every second and declutter fast!
Every so often I look around the house and it’s got a little out of control.
Life happens, right?
There are times when we simply can’t give time or energy to the house, and so things build up.
But you know what?
I love this!
Because it gives me a chance to do a bit of a reset, and this is energising when done right.
That’s why today I wanted to share the steps I take every time things need a good declutter, but I don’t want to spend days doing it.
Give me just one day, and your home will thank you for it!
Rules Of Your One Day Declutter
Because you’ve only got a day to do this, there needs to be a few rules. I’m a big rule follower, so having these expectations up front means I’m less likely to get sidetracked, which can be fatal in a quick declutter!
Here are the things to live by all day – follow these and you’re sure to stay on track and get what you want done.
1 – You’re keeping rooms with the functions that they currently have – no switching things round today!
2 – You simply want to make sure that everything in your home is needed and is in the general right place
3 – You’re not trying to organise / make nice storage / decorate etc… today. Those are future projects! Today is purely about getting rid of the unnecessary things in your house.
4 – Don’t get stuck in the minutiae of your stuff. Keep the big picture in mind. You want a decluttered home by the end of the day, not just a decluttered drawer!
5 – Stay away from sentimental items for today as these will take your energy and more time to deal with.
6 – You’ll need to take all unnecessary items you find out of the house to the tip/dump, charity shops etc.. – so have a time when you need to finish to be able to do this within the day (you’ll need to know when places close). This is the time you’ll be decluttering until so you can make every minute count. You may want to take things on another day, but remember that if you do this – things won’t feel quite as finished for you…
These rules will help you stop feeling overwhelmed by the process, as decluttering can feel like a huge job that never ends…
Step #1 – Quick Win Rubbish Sweep
Starting with a quick win will motivate you to continue, and give you the energy boost you need because you’ll see the effects straight away.
All you need to do is grab 2 bin bags (one for recycling and one for rubbish) and walk through your house.
Look for any obvious rubbish and put in the bag(s).
Things that you can include here are:
- Empty the actual bins!
- Old magazines / catalogues / receipts / paper clutter
- Bits and pieces that belong nowhere (matches from candles lit, old candles that have burnt down, food wrappers etc…)
Remember, the goal here isn’t deep cleaning, but rather eliminating the most noticeable clutter to pave the way for the next layer of decluttering.
At the end of this step you’ll have 2 piles of stuff ready to leave the house.
Don’t take them away yet as this will take you away from the decluttering process. The only time you should get them out is if there’s too much to work around easily.
So, now you’ve got a clean slate, it’s time for the next step.
Step #2 – Any Item That Doesn’t Belong Where It Is
Day to day life means things move around the house a lot!
- Shoes taken off in random rooms
- Books left on the kitchen counter
- Toys scattered everywhere
- Clothes waiting to be put away
Go through each entire room and collect together anything that doesn’t belong there.
Now you’ve got a choice:
Option 1: Gather everything in room 1 and then put it all away where it belongs. Then go into room 2 and do the same again until you’ve done all rooms.
Option 2: Create a cardboard box / basket for each different room or area – and add items to these as you find them in each room. At the end you can put each rooms items away.
Option 1 is best when you have less items to tackle, but option 2 is my favourite as it takes less time to do things in bulk at the end, and you can have the boxes in a central location to fill as you go round each space.
Step #3 – Tackle The Visible
So, you’ve now got rid of the obvious rubbish, and moved things into the right room.
What you should be left with is all the stuff you’ve currently got and think you need.
Now it’s time to declutter things that actually aren’t needed or liked by you at all!
You know what I mean. Things that you’ve become used to living with. Things you walk past and have become ‘clutter-blind’ to.
Things that can now go to a better home!
Walk around your house and really look at each flat surface (walls, floor, shelves, top of furniture items etc…).
Why surfaces? well, the flat surfaces are where stuff gathers first – and are the most visual.
Ask yourself whether each item you see is something you want to have there.
After all, you need to spend time maintaining it all. Cleaning it, mending it etc… so is that time worth it to you?
Anything that you say ‘No’ to can be put into a box ready to leave your home.
Have 3 boxes ready for this step:
- One box for Charity donations – this is the quickest way to get your unwanted items out of the house. Make sure that each item is usable though – charities won’t be able to sell them on if not.
- One for friends and family. These are items that actually belong to these people, or a few items that you truly think someone would want. Don’t be tempted to pass on your clutter to someone who really could do without it!
- One for selling. Ideally I want you to get rid of all items at the end of the day today so nothing is hanging around. As such really be careful about what you decide to sell, as usually this takes longer to do, and if you’re trying to get it all done in a day, this could be a step too far.
At the end of this step there will be 3 piles of stuff ready by the door to leave the house in some way.
Again, don’t take everything to it’s destination just yet as this will take you away from the task at hand. The only time you should is if there’s now too much to work around.
TIP: If you’re selling items and want them out the house fast, then look at placing quick ads as you go on somewhere like Facebook Marketplace. I’ve had lots of success with local groups where people have picked things up within a couple of hours – so I’ve also earned some cash as I’ve worked. Definitely a great boost to the motivation levels!!!
TIP: If you’ve got a driveway, then also consider putting some items out near the road so that passers by can grab them and take them away. I do this all the time with larger items of furniture and if you put a sign on them saying they’re free to anyone who wants them, then you’ve still gained in your saved time and energy in taking them somewhere yourself.
Step #4 – Take A Minute To Assess Where You Are
Your home should now be feeling (and looking) much more clutter free.
Depending on how much surface clutter you had, you may be running out of time, or you may still have a few hours left in the day to go deeper.
If you’re done for the day, it’s time to take items to their final destination.
Load the car and take items to the tip/dump, charity shops, recycling etc…. You may need to take a few trips, but the feeling of letting it all go is one you’re going to love!
If you’ve still got time for more though, head to step #4!
Step #4 – Tackle Your Storage
Now time is ticking – you’ll want to tackle some key storage areas first, and so create a quick plan of action as to what you’re going to have time to look through today.
My advice is to start with a storage space that you feel isn’t working well right now, so you get the immediate benefit of a good declutter:
- Hallway cupboard bursting with shoes and coats
- Kitchen drawer / junk drawer that always gets jammed because there’s too much in there
- Food that’s out of date that you keep finding when you come to make dinner
- Wardrobe that you can’t close the door to because it’s full to bursting.
You get the idea!
Any of these that you can declutter today is a huge win.
Remember – you’re not going to be able to do it all. Be realistic and celebrate what you CAN do.
As with Step #3, have 3 boxes ready and waiting – but also include a rubbish box because you won’t have found true rubbish in hidden storage in Step #1.
So – look at everything in the area you’re decluttering, and decide whether to keep it or put it in one of the 4 boxes you’ve got ready and waiting.
Step #5 – Wrap Up!
At whatever your cut off time is – you can stop and give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for a job well done.
It’s now time to take items to their final destination (Ideally you want them out of there ASAP so you can’t change your mind about anything!) The longer things stay in your house, the more likely the clutter will creep back in…
Load the car and take items to the tip/dump, charity shops, recycling etc….
You may need to take a few trips, but the feeling of letting it all go is one you’re going to love!
And… you’re done!
Congratulations on a day well spent.
Now it’s time to enjoy your newly decluttered and refreshed home – you’ve earned it.
And there you have it – you CAN declutter your house in a day if you tackle things properly.
When you take the right steps in the right order, then you’ll maximise the impact of your efforts, and you can make a true difference in just a few hours.
So what are you waiting for?
When are you going to do your declutter in a day session?
Get something in the diary right now, and look forward to it.
Yes, it’s a hard day – but the results can be amazing!
Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear how you get on…