The term “decluttering” has been a buzz word for a number of years. Some think it is just cleaning a house, but if you have seen television shows about hoarding or cleaning, you know it can be much more than that. So, what does it entail?

The World English Dictionary defines decluttering as the act of getting rid of mess and disorder. This is generally a two-step process:

  1. Get rid of the current clutter you have in your home.
  2. Avoid letting additional clutter into your home.

You may have heard the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” For those struggling with clutter, this often becomes a mantra or battle cry.

Start small when you begin decluttering 🀏

If your home is cluttered, going through and getting rid of things will seem intimidating. It is easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed.

By starting small, even with one single dresser drawer, you see how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Quite often, with a small area, you can declutter and clean it in less than 15 minutes. Anyone can do this if it is important to them.

Enlist the help of someone you trust 🀝🏾

Perhaps your family is so used to the clutter and they really are not interested in moving out of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). If they will not help you, ask a friend to do it instead.

Not only will your friend be there to give encouragement, they may also be able to help you with the hard decisions that often come up when decluttering.

Get four boxes πŸ“¦

Keep (this room), Toss, Donate/Give/Sell, and Keep (store elsewhere), and place them in the area where you will start. Try to handle each item only once.

When you pick something up, decide if you will keep it in the room where it is now; if it is garbage and can be tossed; if you no longer need it and it can be donated or sold; or if it is to be kept in a different location. Look at each item and put it in one of the boxes.

When you review each item, try to think about how often you have used it in the last year. Be honest with yourself. If the item has not been used in a year, it is time to let it go – either in the trashcan or into the Donate box so someone else can use it.

Be aware of what you bring into your home 🏠

Quickly go through your mail outside near the garbage can. Important mail goes under your elbow. Everything else is probably junk mail and does not need to enter the house.

While you open your mail, write down important dates on a calendar. You can then file the mail if still needed or shred it if it has personal information on it.

Adopt the one in/one out rule πŸ“

If you purchase a new item, with this rule, you would also get rid of one item. This item could be something related to what you purchased or something non-related. The point is to get into the habit of removing one item each time a new item comes into the home.

When you have one drawer, stack, corner or box cleaned out, take a break. If your friend is still there, have a cup of coffee or tea. Then, after your drink is finished, tackle another. Before you know it, you will have a cleaned out dresser, cabinet or one less pile to look at. Then, do your best to keep that renewed area clean and clear from that point forward.


If you are able to implement even one of these tips to start, then congratulations on a job well done! When you are ready you can move on to the rest.

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