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WHERE TO START DECLUTTERING – 5 FANTASTIC OPTIONS TO TRY

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON October 14, 2021

& FILED IN Home Decluttering


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You’ve decided to start decluttering. Great! But what are the best ways to start? Find out where to start decluttering, and begin in the way that works best for you.

Where to Start Decluttering - 5 Fantastic Ways to Try

That moment when you look around and decide that enough’s enough – decluttering is needed.

It’s exciting to know that you’re going to tackle it, but it can also be REALLY overwhelming.

Because the first question you of course have is – “Where Do I Start?

And when your house is so messy everywhere and you don’t know where to even begin – then it can be paralysing.

It’s a big job – and knowing where to start can be the difference between actually getting it done, and procrastinating over it for days/weeks, or even months to come (and getting nowhere fast).

The thing is – there really is no right or wrong answer to where to start decluttering.

If you just get started wherever you are right there and then – then you’re winning!

But – as with most things, there ARE some great options that may show you that one area makes more sense for you and your current situation to start on than than others.

Because let’s face it, the idea when you’re getting started is to build momentum, keep the motivation levels high, and carry on for as long as possible feeling like you’ve made progress, and that decluttering DOES make a difference.

So – where is that best place for you to begin? Let’s look at some of the options for where to start decluttering right now.

When you can identify what the best option for you is – you’ll (hopefully) be raring to go! (that’s a good thing, right!) – because you’ll be able to feel how it will help you and meet you where you need it the most.

Let’s get your strategy sorted out, and get started today – your future self really will thank you!

The options you have for where to start decluttering:

Option #1 – General surface level stuff

This means looking over all the stuff you can see easily when you scan each room in your house:

  • Shelves
  • Tops of cupboards and units
  • Items on tables, work surfaces, countertops
  • Things hanging on walls
  • Items on the floor

etc…

When is this a good option?

When you are literally drowning in stuff around you and have a real clutter problem. It’s in every room and you can’t escape from the mess.

Sometimes it’s better to take a quick wins, so you can begin to get momentum, and start to be able to see things more clearly by clearing out the obvious stuff that needs to go.

How to start…

There are a couple of ways I’d suggest here:

Firstly – the BIN BAG CHALLENGE.

This is a challenge where you take a black bin bag and go through your house adding in anything from a specific type.

You could choose recycling (paperwork), charity shop items, actual rubbish, etc…

Maybe challenge yourself to do a bag a day, for as long as it takes to feel a difference. Or do more – as many as you feel able to.

Another fantastic way to get motivated to carry on is to count those bags – it can be amazing to see things leave, and not have to worry about harder decisions that sentimental clutter can bring with it – just yet.

Secondly – one item a day

Use a decluttering checklist / calendar – and literally tick off an item each day (or a few items, depending on what you’re most comfortable with).

This can be a great way to start because it makes it feel really achievable – and after a few weeks you will have created a decluttering habit, which can only be a good thing!

Option #2 – Where the pain is

There will always be areas in your home that cause you more hassle and stress each day than others. These will be very dependant on your unique home life, but can be brilliant places to start when it comes to decluttering.

When is this a good idea?

When you are struggling in day to day life in some way, and it’s wasting time and energy and causing you stress.

Maybe you’re wasting time looking for lost things, or you constantly fall over a pile of stuff in a certain area etc…

How to start…

Identify the pain areas – and prioritise the one that will make the most immediate positive impact on your day to day life. Start here and you’ll feel the benefit straight away – and then you’ll be more likely to carry on down the list until all those pain areas start to fade away completely.

For example – Lose your keys constantly? Start decluttering your hallway drawers to make your keys more visible and give them a place. Can’t find what you want to wear each day? Declutter your wardrobe so you have less to hunt through, and finding your outfits becomes simple.

Lady wearing white jumper - with white mug in hands

Option #3 – The less sentimental spaces

Decluttering is all about making decisions on what belongs where – and decisions are hard work.

The hardest of these decisions are when emotions are involved – and so it follows that starting in the less sentimental spaces in your home will give you easier and faster progress without tiring you out as much.

When is this a good option?

If you are someone who is quite emotional, or you know you will find sentimental decluttering really difficult – then you want to get some momentum behind you before you start tackling these sorts of things.

How to start

Pick rooms likes the bathroom or hallway to get started with – there are very few items here that you will feel a real difficulty letting go of when necessary.

Sometime a living room can also be worth considering here – depending on whether it houses much sentimental stuff. Steer clear if they have lots of books and photos, for example.

Option #4 – Priority rooms / spaces

These would be a great place to start decluttering because they are the spaces that you use and need to work for you well each and every day.

Frequently chosen space would be the kitchen, your clothes, or your bedroom.

  • The Kitchen is key because it’s probably the most used room in the house – and has the most items in it to sort out
  • Clothes are needed daily also – and often we need two or three changes of outfit a day – so having them work better makes sense to make a difference to each day
  • And the bedroom is a key place that needs to feel relaxing and calm as much as possible – so that you can get a good sleep. Being fully rested means you’re able to take on whatever the rest of the day holds for you a LOT more easily.

These ARE usually big spaces to tackle, and so can be off-putting at first glance – but the rewards for doing these areas are big as well.

When would this be a good option?

If you are struggling with your day to day home life, and want to streamline the spaces you frequently use as quickly as possible.

How to start

The trick is to split them up into smaller chunks – and tackle each of these parts in turn.

For example – in the kitchen you could do one cupboard at a time, and in the bedroom you could tackle the bedside table, then a drawer, then under the bed – etc…

Option #5 – a mix of all 4

This can be a great option, because you get to enjoy the benefits from all angles of decluttering and getting started!

For example – the hallway could be a priority for you because getting the kids out of the house each morning is crazy! It’s also a less sentimental space. You could start by clearing the obvious clutter – and then declutter one part of the room at a time from there.

Where to Start Decluttering - 5 Fantastic Ways to Try

So there you have it – 5 brilliant options for where to start decluttering when you’re struggling to pick where to begin.

But even with all these options, don’t let the decision stop you from just getting started.

Don’t overthink it – just look around and start letting go of things that you don’t want or need any longer. You really will get momentum.

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