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The Best Ways To Declutter – 4 Ways That Can Work For You

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON May 25, 2022

& FILED IN Home Decluttering 


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Are you ready to get rid of all the clutter in your home? There are so many ways to declutter your space, but to have success and make it last for the long term, you just have to find a method what works for you. Here are 4 ways to declutter your entire home that you can pick from right now. Good Luck!

The Best Ways To Declutter - 4 Methods That Really Work...

Decluttering Method #1 – By Category

Let’s look at a very real example of decluttering:

You start by decluttering your hallway and you come across a winter coat that you decide you want to keep because you'll need it when the weather turns cold.

A few weeks later you start decluttering your bedroom. You then find a second winter coat and keep it for the same reason as before.

Now - you don't need 2 coats - but because they're in separate places, you keep them both.

You haven't seen them together, and so you haven't made the connection that there are more than one.

Imagine if you did this for lots of items in your home. How many duplicates would you keep without knowing?

That’s why one of the best ways to declutter is by category – because it takes away the location of the item and concentrates on the type of item instead.

This way to declutter was made famous most recently by Marie Kondo with her Konmari Method.

Her categories are:

  • clothes
  • books
  • papers
  • komono (small items)

You can see that all of these categories could well appear in all the rooms of your home – so it makes sense to gather each one together and deal with it in one go.

That way you won’t run the risk of keeping duplicates or too many of one thing.

How to Declutter By Category:

You could use the same list of categories as Marie Kondo, or come up with your own. Some other options for things that often get scattered in various rooms in the house would be:

  • Craft supplies
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Makeup and Toiletries
  • Tools and Gadgets
  • Stationery and Office Supplies
  • Gifting supplies
  • Toys and Games

Whatever categories you pick, the idea is to go through your belongings room by room and grab every similar item that falls into the category you’re focusing on at that time.

Once you’ve gathered everything together it’s easier to make decisions about what stays and what goes, because you can see exactly what you’ve got of each thing.

Picture Of A Lady Sorting Clothes Clutter In A Bedroom

Why would you use this method?

It’s a great way to start decluttering all areas of your home at once – and is perfect for feeling like you’re making lots of progress.

Why wouldn’t you use this method?

It can get messy pretty quickly – because you’re going into all areas of your home at once. This can be hard mentally as you can start to feel overwhelmed pretty quicky.

TIP – Always start with easy areas to declutter – and by that I mean categories that aren’t heavy in emotion. Any sentimental items that you’re really attached to will be harder to decide upon – so you want to stretch your decluttering muscles before you start on these types of things.

TIP – When working by category – know where you will take the items you want to let go of. For example – if you’re decluttering clothes – you can research the nearest clothes charity shop in your local area that would be happy to take them all off your hands. If you’re dealing with paper clutter – then look at the best way to recycle it (incl. where to shred the important documents for security).

Decluttering Method #2 – By Space

The second of this list of ways to declutter is the most common method out there that most people use when starting to declutter their home.

Decluttering by location.

This basically means picking one area at a time and working on every item in that space deciding whether to keep it or not.

When that space has been finished – only then can you move on to another.

You could simply tackle one room at a time (living room, hallway, bedroom, laundry room etc…) OR you could tackle specific spaces within those rooms (cupboard, drawer, shelf, flat surface, coffee table, storage baskets, kitchen cabinets, kitchen counter etc…).

Why would you use this Way To Declutter?

This method is a good idea for people who like to see things perfectly decluttered and like to have a sense of accomplishment by easily being able to track their progress.

You can literally tick off each area as you work through your home – and it’s clear what’s been done and what hasn’t.

Why wouldn’t you Declutter By Location?

You can get bogged down by the minutia in each space, and progress can feel really slow, therefore affecting your motivation pretty quickly.

TIP – Why not start on the storage areas in the space you pick (such as cupboard, shelves etc…). That way you will create extra storage space for other items, and your room will feel more clutter free more quickly.

Decluttering Method #3 – An Item A Day

The third and final method is decluttering one item per day.

As the name suggests, you would declutter just one item each day, no matter how small. This could be anything from getting rid of an old t-shirt to donate to a thrift store, to discarding a pile of receipts you’ve been meaning to go through.

You could make this a challenge which could be fun (and help with staying motivated). A few ways to do this would be:

  • Create a chart with 100 spaces on. Cross out a space each time you declutter an item, and have a reward when you fill in all the spaces
  • Use a ready made list and work through this. There are some great ones on this site including the 1 a day for every month of the year free printables.

Why would you use this method?

The benefit of this method is that it doesn’t take a lot of time so it’s perfect if you’re short on time or feel overwhelmed by the decluttering process.

You’re only having to find one thing a day, which feels easy – and feels like it’s quick. It’s a win all around!

It is also a fantastic way to create the habit of decluttering. Decluttering HAS to be a lifestyle from now on for it to stick, otherwise the clutter will just come back (just like losing weight via a quick diet won’t last). If you can get into the habit of letting go of something every day, it will quickly become second nature and you’ll always be on the lookout for the next thing!

Why wouldn’t you Declutter An Item A Day?

It can be slow to make progress, and if you have a small space (or are just impatient!) you may want quicker results.

TIP – If you want faster progress, but you like all the other benefits of this method, then why not challenge yourself to 10 items a day, and increase the speed this way?

Decluttering Method #4 – By Time Available

Decluttering any space can feel overwhelming for sure – and most of us feel that there just isn’t enough time in the day.

Now – if you want to do something very simple then go for method #3 and tackle one item a day – but if this still feels a little hard to define, then you could go for a time limit each day instead.

Simple pick an amount of time you feel you can manage – whether it’s 5 minutes a day, an hour a week, or anything else – and commit to that.

You could set an alarm to let you know when to get stuck in, and tackle whatever you feel works best for you in that time.

Why would you use The Decluttering By Time method?

Great for those who like a plan, and to schedule things into their week (people who thrive on schedules and routines).

TIP – Add your decluttering task to your daily / weekly cleaning routine. If you group decluttering with cleaning you’re more likely to get it done as they go together well, and it makes it easier to clean when your home is clutter free.

Why wouldn’t you use this method?

Those who would procrastinate once that alarm goes off as to what to declutter.

If you aren’t good at creating a plan of action, and picking up where you left off (or even just being a little more random) then this won’t work well for you.

TIP – You could try decluttering each season – which can work really well when looking at more seasonal stuff. For example – Christmas items can easily be decluttered straight after the holidays because you’re more likely to remember what you really needed and used.

The Best Ways To Declutter - 4 Methods That Really Work...

So there are the 4 main Ways To declutter that you could choose from for your own home.

Which will you pick?

Whatever you choose, commit to it and you’ll get results. Your future self really will thank you for starting now!

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