19 Decluttered Home Hacks
Keeping a decluttered home always sounds harder than it actually is. That statement might get a few sideways glances – but it’s true!
Don’t get me wrong, It can be a little tricky to get started. And I know I’ve been guilty of creating a thousand excuses about why I need to keep something that, if I’m being honest, I really don’t need to hold onto. Has anyone else been there?
You don’t have to stay stranded. Decluttering can be tough. But I’m here to make this process as pain-free as possible. Through these Decluttered Home Hacks, we’ll work toward a happy, organized home together.
If you want to see more on these Home Decluttering Hacks, click below to watch my YouTube video:
Decluttered Home Hack #1: Reverse Decluttering
Decluttering can be emotionally difficult because it focuses on what I have to throw away and get rid of. Walking into a space and asking, “What can I afford to lose?” is a surefire way to put me in a grumpy mood. But a few years ago I created a method of decluttering that I call “reverse decluttering.” It’s simple! Instead of looking for things to toss in the trash, I tackle my space by asking myself “what do I want to keep.” My focus is on inviting my favorite items back into my space – and that’s a much more positive experience!
Decluttered Home Hack #2: Ask the Right Questions
That said, when you’re decluttering some things will have to go. If we’re being honest, sometimes our gut feelings aren’t the best judge of what to keep and what to get rid of. Ask yourself logical questions about items you’re debating on to make sure your emotions aren’t tricking you into keeping unnecessary clutter. Here are some questions you can ask to get yourself started…
- Do I use it?
- Do I love it?
- Do I have a specific use planned for it?
- What’s the worst case scenario if I got rid of it?
- Do I have the space to store it?
- If I were moving soon, would I keep it?
- Would I purchase this again if I didn’t already have it?
- And a few more that you can get on my handy checklist.
I love this method of asking questions before inviting items back into my space, and I’ve created a free printable checklist that you can download and print to refer back to as you’re decluttering.
Decluttered Home Hack #3: Take Everything Out
A decluttered space is a happy space, but it’s overwhelming to stare at a mountain of work ahead of you. Tackling an entire room may not be practical, but focus on smaller areas, like a bookshelf or a desk. Once you’ve picked what you’re going to declutter take everything out (now is a great time to do some quick dusting and cleaning!) By taking everything out you can see what kind of space you’re working with so you can maximize it as you choose what to keep.
Decluttered Home Hack #4: Have a Decluttering Bin on Every Level
A big key to keeping a decluttered home is making sure every item has a proper place. This is even true for decluttered items! How many times have you tried on a shirt you want to get rid of, but are unsure of where to put it, so it keeps going back in the closet? Give your decluttered items a place to go by by setting up a clutter catcher on each level of your home. A clutter catcher is just a box or bin to put items you want to donate into. Once the box is full, it’s easy to close up and get it on its way to your favorite donation center!
Decluttered Home Hack #5: Set a Good Example
Decluttering is contagious!
In January, we had a “decluttered home challenge” in the Sweet Life Society where we asked our members to try and declutter one item per day. One of our members shared that her family also got in on the decluttering action! Take a peek…
Decluttered Home Hack #6: Have Declutter Marathons
I’m a big believer that small steps add up to huge progress. But when it comes to decluttering, there’s something to be said for building up the momentum. Once every couple months, commit to power sessions where you intensely declutter for an hour or two. You’ll see so much progress in such a short amount of time – and I’ll bet you’ll be finding more and more things to declutter in the days following because you’ve put your mind “in the zone” so to speak.
Decluttered Home Hack #7: Schedule a Pickup from an Organization
Life can be so busy that sometimes I don’t feel like I have time to declutter, let alone take care of the items I’m getting rid of. Luckily, there are several services like AMVETs, that will come collect your clutter for you – you just have to schedule it. Arranging these types of pick-ups adds a layer of accountability because you need to have something for them to pick up when your scheduled time rolls around!
Decluttered Home Hack #8: Call in Reinforcements
Sometimes as you’re working towards a decluttered home you may think it’s a project that falls squarely and solely on your shoulders. But asking for help is a game changer!
If you’re stuck in a decluttering rut try calling a friend. Sometimes I’ll call my best friend when I’m unsure of what to do with an item. I sent her a picture of a pair of earrings and asked for opinions – is this in style? Do they look good on me? Having a trusted voice of reason makes the process less daunting.
Decluttered Home Hack #9: Have Regular Clutter Checks
Does anyone else have those spaces in their house that just seem to attract clutter?! I call these spaces that need regular cleaning up “hot spots”. Regularly check hot spots throughout the day to keep the clutter under control.
Decluttered Home Hack #10: Reduce Paper
Paper is a major culprit when it comes to clutter, and digitizing papers will help you get a couple things off your counter and into your digital organization system. While it’s important to keep the originals of documents like birth certificates or marriage licenses, things like receipts and bank statements can be scanned and organized digitally.
Decluttered Home Hack #11: Follow the 2-Minute Rule
Don’t put off small tasks and, instead, follow the 2-Minute Rule. If it takes less than two minutes, do it right away. It is too easy to procrastinate small tasks, but tackling them throughout the day will keep them from becoming a large mound to deal with later. You’ll also get to relax during the day knowing that it’s already taken care of!
Decluttered Home Hack #12: Give Every Item a Home
Homeless items are the number one cause of clutter accumulation. You may think clutter is accumulating because you're lazy but I'd venture to guess that you're deterred by decision making. You don't know where this or that is supposed to go, so tossing it on the counter is easiest for now. But when you make sure everything has a proper place you’ll find that it’s not as hard as you thought to have a decluttered home!
Decluttered Home Hack #13: Be Decisive
The less time spent deciding what stays and what goes, the easier the entire process will be. It’s tempting to think that giving yourself some time to consider what to do with an item may give clarity, but more often than not, it only further complicates the decision. Challenge yourself to make decisions about items as quickly as possible. If you’re really struggling, refer back to your decluttering checklist that you can download below.No form found
Decluttered Home Hack #14: Follow the Touch it Once Rule
Take a look at your counter. If there are things like junk mail, expired coupons, or old receipts, you need to implement the touch it once rule! You know that junk mail goes in the trash, so only touch it once and put it straight in the trash.
Decluttered Home Hack #15: Make it a Game
Do you get a thrill out of a healthy dose of competition? Make a game out of decluttering. Get some friends together and see who can get rid of the most items in a week’s time or keep a tally and see if you can beat your own record. Whatever it is that gets you excited, lean into it. You won’t only accomplish your goal, you’ll have some fun doing it!
Decluttered Home Hack #16: Play the 21 Item Pickup
Organizing can be fast paced and fun! I like to do what I call the 21 item pickup in order to make my tidying up a little bit more exciting. Keep track of how long it takes you to pick up 21 items today and see if you can beat your own time tomorrow. This is a great way to make a game out of it and keep you moving.
Decluttered Home Hack #17: Do You Love it?
When you’re on the fence about an item, ask yourself if you love it. Or, as Marie Kondo would say, does it spark joy? If you don’t love it, why keep it? Narrowing down your items to include only those you love will not only clean up the space around you, but you will slowly surround yourself with only items that you truly enjoy.
Decluttered Home Hack #18: Make a Halfway Box
This hack is reserved for those items that fall in the middle ground. If you’re not sure if you should keep something, put it in a halfway box. Put that box away for a year. If you never have to break that box back open, it’s safe to toss the box completely without even opening it back up.
Decluttered Home Hack #19: Get Accountability
Accountability is what makes our habits truly stick. Ask a friend to check in with you or join our community! The Sweet Life Society is the perfect place to share your organizational progress and get encouragement from others on the same mission as you!
I hope all these tips help you on your journey to a happily decluttered home! If you have your own decluttering tips, I’d love to hear from you in comments!
Sarah Revere Catherall Says
I have only been a member of The Sweet Life Society since February 2nd, but I hav already decluttered 112 items??????????????????. I started with the 7 day, 1 item per day decluttering challenge. After I conquered that, my next challenge was to keep it up for a total of 28 days. That felt SO good that I decided to do another 28 items. That got me to a total of 56 items GONE from my house. 56 things I NEVER have to think about AGAIN????????????. So I decided to force 28 MORE items to leave. And it worked!!!!!! So, by this time so had kicked out 84 different things. And this stuff was generally NOT trash, or even recycling (although SOME was). No, as I went along it sometimes got a bit hard to say , “Goodbye” to some things. But some stuff ended up being kind of a big “duh!”
Like when I read that it made sense to get rid of reference books, I thought, “Duh, why do I need a Webster’s dictionary when it is so easy to just look up a word on the internet. And then, because I LOVE to read and I am one of those strange people who rereads books (not just the Bible), one day it hit me like a thunderbolt!!!!!! What if some of the books that I was really hesitant to let go of were Kindle books? And what if the cost to replace the physical books with Kindle books wasn’t prohibitively expensive? Wouldn’t it be BETTER to have book that took up NO physical space? My answer was a resounding, “Yes!” So I spent all my free time for a day or two and looked up ALL the books on Amazon. Some were NOT available as ebooks, some ebooks were VERY expensive, quite a few were FREE, some a mere 0.99, and others were from $1.99 to $3.99. I was able to replace about 15 books that way. For now I have kept the books that were not yet available as ebooks, but I can check back every once in a while to see if prices and availability change. Some ebooks were VERY expensive, so it didn’t make sense to convert those books to an electronic format right now.
The saga continued…
I like to use different approaches at different times. Right now, as an empty nester who enjoys having extended family come to stay in now-unoccupied bedrooms, I tell myself things like “If you need to downsize suddenly, do your really need all these things stored in guest-bedroom closets?” and “If I’m so tired of this decorative item that I stuck it in a guest room to get it out of the way – how does that feel to the guest?” Sometimes I phrase it like this: “I would love to live in a home that feels as spacious and open and fresh as an impeccably decorated model home. And most of what makes it impeccable is having lots of space to move around in!” Right now, I’m using the method where undecided items have to go outward to rooms not tackled yet: when I get to those spaces, I’ll ask myself how much/what kinds of things are worth storing – without sacrificing the feeling of spaciousness and ease. One method I keep in mind always is “How do I want to feel in this space” – from both a functional and an aesthetic point of view, which evolves over time. Things that detract from function and feeling need to go. So if it doesn’t create spaciousness, ease, lightness, and an airy, organic, natural feeling, it needs to be stored out of sight or leave the premises. Defining the feeling and function I want has helped me a lot.