10 Practical Decluttering Tips to Try Today

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10 Practical Decluttering Tips to Try Today

Are you drowning in clutter at home, school, or at work?

Do you want practical, actionable tips for decluttering that you can put to use, right away?

Decluttering items on a regular basis from your home and office is a good idea.

Not only does decluttering free up physical space, but it also helps to free up mental space associated with excess materials, items, and just plain…stuff.

In this post, I offer ten decluttering tips to help you remove items that you no longer need, want, or use, in your life.

You can apply these tips to declutter a whole range of physical items.

Like many things in life, you not only need to make a plan, but you do need to take targeted action!

That’s the only way to effectively remove clutter from your home or office.

Ready to dive into the tips? Let’s begin!


Setup a clutter collection area.

You’ll want to make it oh-so easy for you to remove decluttered items from your home or workspace. The easiest way to do this is to set up a simple, makeshift clutter collection area, consisting of a garbage bin and a recycling bin.

Additionally, if you’re dealing with sensitive or private materials, you may want to have a separate bin for these items. That way, you have a secure place to store items until they are shredded or destroyed at a later date.

Lastly, once you’ve rounded up clutter and contained it, make sure to bring it outside to the garbage can or place it in a refuse room for pickup. It’s less stuff in your home or office, right away!

Stand while decluttering.

This may seem like a silly tip, but it’s actually a good one because it prevents you from becoming a bit too comfortable as you work. Not only can you better focus on what you’re doing, but you can also physically move things around with ease.

So, ditch that chair for your next decluttering session. You can put on your favorite pair of shoes, or slippers, or go barefoot.

Prefer to sit while you work? Try sitting up straight in your chair while you declutter items.

Begin by pulling out your favorites.

This decluttering method works rather well because you’re immediately identifying items you definitely want to keep. You’ve made it completely clear about those items you absolutely love, and those items you don’t particularly like. In fact, this step can make your decluttering decision-making a whole lot easier.

You can try this tip with the clothes in your wardrobe, your shoe collection, books, makeup, bags, bath products, ties, and anything else that constitutes a large collection in your home or office. Once you’ve selected your favorites, it’s time to deal with the rest of the items.

How do you feel about the items? Are they supporting your life right now? Or are they hindering your ability to grow? You may decide to eliminate a good amount of items, keep a few hand-picked items, or you may decide to chuck the whole lot. It’s completely up to you.

Nix those distractions.

Dealing with clutter is difficult enough. Why confuse your mind and body with any distractions found in your immediate environment? Eliminate or remove distractions so you can keep your focus on your decluttering session.

Switch off the TV, radio, temporarily set your cellphone or tablet to airplane mode, switch off wi-fi on your laptop or desktop computer, put the dog or cat in another room of the house, wait until the kids are tucked into bed, or declutter when other family members are out of the house.

Do everything you can in your power to make your decluttering session a distraction-free success.

Keep decluttering manageable.

There’s no rule that says you have to spend ten hours straight decluttering your home or office. That’s way too unmanageable! Keep things as simple as possible.

Simply set a timer for 15 minutes and declutter items. When the timer goes, off, you can stop what you’re doing. You can modify this technique to any timeframe you desire: 5, 10, 15, or 30 minutes, and continue to do this on a daily or weekly basis, as needed.

And what if you’re really pressed for time? You can choose a specific group of items that needs to be decluttered, and work on removing one item away at the beginning of every day. Then, stick to the program for 30 days.

By the end of the 30 days, you could have removed 30  pairs of shoes from your closet, 30 books or magazines you no longer read, or 30 kitchen tools from your kitchen.

Just imagine having all that wonderful free space in your closet, bookshelf, or kitchen drawer. And all that completed in as little as 30 seconds per day!

Make a list of items to declutter.

Psst, you don’t have to let clutter take up room in your head along with your living or workspace. Let a simple list do the remembering for you! Take out a piece of paper and a pen, and write down ten items in your home or office that 100%, definitely, without a doubt, need to be trashed or recycled, as soon as possible.

You’ve probably got a good idea as to the types of items that should be removed from your home or office. But don’t get overwhelmed. Just make an initial list of ten items. You can always create another list later.

Once you’ve completed your list, walk around your home or office, collect items, and place them in the trash or recycle as necessary. Then, cross items off of your list.

Don’t have time to declutter items right now? Make a note in your calendar to tackle your to-do list in a few days’ time.

Refresh items that are part of your daily routine.

Is your daily routine streamlined or is it stifled by stuff? You may not realize it, but there’s probably at least two areas of your daily routine that could do with a bit of decluttering. Just think of any area or section of a room, space, office, or workstation, that blocks your view, limits your mobility, or just makes you feel plain icky or unproductive.

What items could you declutter in your daily routine? This could be anything from apps on your smart phone, email subscriptions in your inbox, membership cards or receipts in your wallet, dried out pens and markers in a pen cup, empty bath products sitting in your shower, or an unwieldy stack of magazines sitting beside your nightstand.

Use your imagination to declutter items commonly found in your daily routines. You never know; your productivity levels might just improve after doing this one exercise!

Remove clutter ASAP.

One of the most practical tips for dealing with clutter is to not let it accumulate in the first place. After all, the clutter you don’t deal with today, is the clutter you’ll have to deal with at a later date. Practice being mindful of any and all clutter that enters your home or workspace, and get in the habit of removing it as soon as possible.

This doesn’t have to be anything complicated. For example, you can remove external product packaging after shopping at a big box store, unpack food after you go to the supermarket, and recycle or shred envelopes and boxes that come in from postal mail or delivery services.

Once you start looking and paying attention to your surroundings, you may find there’s always something that can always be broken down, unpacked, stored, or otherwise, decluttered.

Relish your newly-decluttered space.

One common pitfall of the decluttering process is that people don’t fully appreciate all the work they’ve put into making their space more welcoming and inviting.

Any decluttering session is made up of a series of challenging steps, from planning, to evaluating, to decision-making, not to mention physically removing, recycling, or rearranging items! And hopefully, after a satisfactory decluttering session, you’ll have clean, clear, and open area in your home or office.

Don’t just move onto the next thing on your to-do list. Stop what you’re doing and celebrate your success!

Take time to appreciate and enjoy your newly decluttered space. Your eyes have clean surfaces to gaze upon, you can move about in your space unhindered, and you no longer have to worry about dealing with all that extraneous “stuff.”

Remember what that satisfying feeling feels like, and use it to fuel future decluttering sessions.

Understand decluttering is an ongoing process.

Yup, as unglamorous as it may sound, you will always need to declutter items from your life, home, or office. This isn’t a doom-and-gloom scenario: it’s just a plain fact of life.

Sometimes we outgrow items. We find our tastes have changed, items become irreparably worn or damaged, or our belongings no longer support our dreams, goals, careers, or life path.

It’s perfectly okay to remove items from our lives on a regular basis. Just as we grow and evolve as individuals, it’s okay for our belongings, and our living and working environments to change.

New experiences, materials, items, and people are constantly coming into our lives. So, why not make room for them?

How about you? Which of these decluttering tips resonated with you the most? Which tips are you going to try? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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2 Responses

  1. Richelle Scheepers

    Thank u for saying that decluttering is a part of life and we have never arrived. I was starting to feel discouraged by it. U truly encouraged me. Xo

    • Rashelle

      You are most welcome, Richelle! I’m thrilled I was able to provide you with some encouragement today. 🙂