One of the reasons we put off things, like decluttering, is because we feel like we don’t have a lot of time for them. But what if I told you how to declutter your home fast and feel really good about the results?
It’s easy to be intimidated by tasks that feel overwhelming. However, I’ve found that often we underestimate our abilities and overestimate the project. And, other times, the reverse happens when you try a ‘simple’ DIY project, but that’s a topic for another day.
Clutter accumulates over the years and as more things are brought into the home, it can feel like a whole lot to sort through and deal with. Often people tend to fill the space that they live in so as the square footage grows, so does the amount of stuff.
If you are preparing to downsize or you just want to declutter your home so that you enjoy it more, it will take some concerted effort to get you there. The process can go as quickly or as slowly as you decide.
Two big factors in the length of time it will take are how you prioritize it and how quickly you are able to make decisions. If you’re dedicated to making it happen fast and are ready to let go, you can declutter quickly. If you are more attached to your things and it isn’t a high priority, it will be a longer process.
How can I declutter quickly? Can it be done in a day?
As we talked about previously, the clutter did not all come into your house in one day. And, for most people, it will not all leave in one day either.
There are a rare few who practice extreme decluttering and knock out a large portion of their belongings by extreme decluttering. Depending on how much they own, they may be able to sort through their things within a few days.
However, that means they are dedicating an entire weekend to the project and likely don’t have a large home to begin with. The majority of people cannot declutter their entire home in a day or weekend.
It’s important to have realistic expectations as you begin the decluttering process. Imagining that you’re going to get it all done in a day will set you up for failure and frustration.
Learn from my mistake in trying to declutter fast
Once upon a time, I tried to declutter my wardrobe Kondo style by putting every. single. piece of clothing on my bed. I thought I could declutter it with the hour and a half I had available before I had to pick up my kids.
I’d significantly underestimated how long it would take me and found myself frustrated and throwing all of those clothes into laundry baskets just so I could go to bed that night. Don’t let this happen to you!
Be realistic with the time you have available and plan your decluttering projects accordingly. You’ll find more success this way and it won’t leave your house a complete mess in the process. It will also help keep you from feeling completely overwhelmed by the decluttering process.
Where to start if you want to declutter your home
Whether you’re hoping to declutter your home quickly or more slowly, you will start the same way. First, create your decluttering goals. Think through how you want your home to look, feel, and function when you’re done.
As you begin the decluttering process, you’ll need boxes or bags for the following categories: trash, keep, donate, and belongs in another room.
As you go through every area of your home, you will be making decisions on which of the boxes each item goes in. If you’re not sure, you will set the item aside and revisit it after you’ve decided on everything else in that space.
It is easier to make decisions on the maybes as you’ve practiced making more decisions on the other things.
Are you ready to get started decluttering?
How to create a decluttering checklist
To begin the process you can create your own decluttering checklist or you can use this one I have created called the Decluttering Jumpstart. It includes 100 easy items to get rid of and 12 high-impact areas that you can declutter quickly.
Sign up on the form below and it will be sent to your inbox right away!
The jumpstart is a great way to get motivated to begin the decluttering process. They are easy wins that don’t take a lot of time and you’ll be able to experience some of the benefits of decluttering. The results will motivate and energize you to continue with the process!
Start room-by-room | Helpful decluttering & organizing tips
When you are ready to declutter your whole home, my favorite decluttering approach is to go room by room. You will start with the easiest rooms to make decisions and end with the most difficult ones (typically where sentimental items are stored).
Some people will find it really helpful to hire a professional organizer to help them through this process. If you opt to go that route, make sure the person you hire specializes in the decluttering process.
I always advocate for decluttering before organizing. The problem that most people have in their home isn’t as much a lack of organization as having too many things to organize and maintain.
Focus on getting rid of the excess in your home. The organizational piece will come easier later as you have fewer things to get organized.
If you’d like more guidance through the decluttering process, check out the Your Home Decluttered products available HERE that I created specifically to help walk people through each and every step of the decluttering process.
How to declutter the bedroom with ease
Start decluttering your bedroom by first removing any trash that is in the room. Maybe you have empty boxes or other items you have been waiting to throw out but haven’t yet. Remove that first.
Then move on to the flat surface areas in the room like the top of dressers and nightstands. Be selective in what you keep on the top of furniture. Most people find their bedroom to be more relaxing when they have less visual clutter, which means fewer things sitting out.
Next, you will work your way around the room in sections. Clean out the inside of the nightstand. Then go through one drawer at a time. Work through decluttering your clothes in sections by type.
Again, remember not to try and do everything at once. You are breaking the room down into bite-size pieces according to the time and energy you have available. Can you declutter your home more quickly by doing it all in one day? Sure, but it’s also totally ok if that isn’t an option for you.
How to declutter the bathrooms in your house
You will start the bathroom similar to how you did your bedroom. Focus on trash first and then move to the countertop. After that you will focus on one cabinet or drawer at a time.
Look for bottles that are empty, products that are past their expiration, excessive duplicates, and things you no longer use or like.
If you have large amounts of product left in the container, see if a friend or family member wants it or give it away to your local Buy Nothing group. While some things will need to get trashed, others can be used by other people before getting tossed.
The bathroom does tend to be one of the rooms that can be decluttered quickly. They are smaller spaces and the decisions don’t tend to be emotional.
You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to get ready when you’ve removed the excess stuff from your bathroom.
Where to start decluttering in the kitchen
To quickly declutter your kitchen, start by throwing out the trash. Next move to the countertops. Declutter them and give yourself some workspace for the other areas you will declutter.
Start in one end of the room and work your way through one drawer and cabinet at time. Good contenders for decluttering are chipped items, things with pieces missing, duplicates, and gadgets you never use.
Let go of the excess cups, mugs, and dishes that you don’t like using. Don’t feel obligated to keep the small appliances you never use. The bottom line is keep what you love and use and let go of the excess.
You’ll enjoy opening those cabinets and drawers after you’ve completed decluttering them. You may even find that you enjoy cooking more by having a more functional space with easier to find items.
How to declutter & keep your living room an enjoyable place
Your living room is meant to be a place that you can relax and enjoy time with family members. While it may be not a super quick process to declutter your whole home, the living room should be a fast one.
If there is trash in that room, remove it. Then clear the tops of the furniture. If you have furniture with drawers or shelves in that room, go through them one by one. Remove the extra pillows and blankets that you don’t love.
Keep your most favorite décor pieces and let go of the extras. Those favorite items will stand out more when they aren’t overcrowded by other things.
Your living room will function better and be more relaxing as you take out what is no longer serving you and allow it to be a more restful space.
What to do with everything you’ve decluttered
Now I can’t leave you without telling you how to get the junk out of your home! There are a few different options for what to do with the items you have decluttered.
It’s clear where the garbage and recycling go, but what about the things that are still in usable condition? You can check to see if friends or family members want them first. One word of caution here though. Don’t guilt anyone into taking the things you no longer want. And also maybe don’t offer them to the person who says yes to everything.
The goal here is to rehome the items to someone that can make good use of them…not for them to burden another household. You can also check with local organizations that you’d like to support with your donations. Another option is using your local Buy Nothing group or other Freecycle type groups.
It’s important that you don’t keep the decluttered items sitting around in your home, garage, or car. You won’t feel the full benefits of decluttering your home if those things are still taking up space in your life.
How to control clutter and keep it from creeping back up on you after you’ve finished
It’s great to get your home decluttered and to get all of those items removed from the space. If you’ve made it to that point, well done.
Now the key for you will be maintaining your decluttered space. If, in six months from now, you end up back where you started, that would feel extraordinarily frustrating.
Decluttering is not a one and done experience. It takes ongoing effort and dedication to keep your home clutter-free.
Use storage bins or vacuum bags for kids’ toys, holiday items, and anything else you use on occasion
To store seasonal items, use clear bins. That will help you know what you have, which keeps you from buying duplicates and makes them more likely to get used. If you can’t see what you have, it’s easy to forget it’s there and then the items in them become clutter.
If you are tight on space, vacuum bags are a great option for storing winter items during the spring and summer months. The changing seasons give you an opportunity to revisit what you own and to declutter what is no longer being used and loved.
The Bottomline: “Fast” is a relative term when it comes to decluttering
There are aspects of decluttering that can be done quickly. The process doesn’t have to feel overwhelming or daunting. Turn each room into mini projects that you can do fast.
You may be surprised how much you can accomplish in just ten to twenty focused minutes. It will however, take ongoing commitment and effort to continue through each area of your home.
While you can get it all done quickly if you have the time and energy for it, be patient with yourself if you are not in that situation. It’s ok to go slower. You need to do what works for you in the timing that works for you.
As long as you keep going, you will make it to the end and finish the decluttering process. You’ve got this.
Want more help with decluttering?
Check out the Your Home Decluttered products to help walk you through each step of the process!
Want to keep up to date with The Simplicity Habit? Sign up on the form below to get weekly tips on decluttering and simplifying sent directly to your inbox! You’ll also get the Decluttering Jumpstart with 100 easy items to declutter and 12 high impact areas to declutter in 10 minutes.