If you’re anything like me when you’ve decided to declutter you want to just get straight to it. However, I’ve found that while that seems like the obvious thing to do, slowing your roll and starting with this other important step will get you better results. Before you start decluttering, it’s important to know where you are headed. If you don’t have a goal or a vision, it will be difficult to know what to do.

vision for your home before decluttering


With any goal setting, it’s important to think through what you want to achieve as well as why.

Why do you want to declutter your home? How will having a decluttered home impact your life? Take the time to think through your goals so you are clear on what you are working toward.


The why is key for continuing to help motivate you when you are tired or get off course. There will be times that decluttering is difficult.

You have to want the end goal enough to work past the rough patches to keep propelling you forward.


As you consider your decluttering goals also think about the overall appearance you want for your home. Consider how you want each room to look and feel. How do you want others to feel when they enter your home?


Also, consider the way that your space needs to function for your life. Having a pretty sitting room sounds great, but if you have little children, it may not be practical for your family room to be a fancy non-kid-friendly space.

Form and function must combine here to create spaces that will really work for you. Dream big, but also be realistic about your current stage of life.


If you need help finding your style before you start decluttering, try Pinterest. Do some searches and pin things you are drawn to.

Your style should emerge through the various things you have pinned. If you have many varied pins, perhaps your style is eclectic.

The purpose of this exercise is to help clarify how you would like your space to look and function. If you’re living in a white-walled rental, (raises hand) but you are pinning lots of farmhouse pictures (raises hand again), you can incorporate some of that look through accent pieces, throws, toss pillows, etc.

But wait to go shop that Chip and Jojo line at Target or take a trip to Hobby Lobby until AFTER you’ve decluttered.

Hopefully, by this point, you are getting excited about the look that you want and the time you’ll save in having a decluttered home.

Vision board

While I’m a huge Pinterest fan and definitely do pin inspiration images, I also love having a physical vision board. I cut words and pictures out of magazines and glue them to a poster board.

If that is not for you, there are digital apps that help you make a collage. Either way, it will give you a visual representation of your end goal.

It’s helpful to have the board in a place you will see it often (wallpaper on your phone, hung on a wall you often see, etc). The constant reminder of your goals and vision will help keep you focused and motivated.

Assess the space

Now that you have a vision in mind, it is time to assess the current state of the space vs. your goals for the space. Try the following exercise: go to each room in your house. Stand in the doorway and look around the room. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How does this room feel?
  2. What is its current function?
  3. How do I want it to function?
  4. Where are the clutter magnets?
  5. What needs to be done to help me reach my vision and goals?

I am guessing for most of us (myself included) one of the biggest ways we are not currently meeting our vision for our space is due to clutter. There are various methods for decluttering your home, but the vision part comes first. Create that vision board before you start decluttering.

Starting with a clear end goal and seeing where reality is not currently meeting the vision is a great start to getting to a home that you’ll love.

Through the decluttering process, you will want to be able to come back and refer to your original goals. Remembering how you want your home to feel and function will keep you moving forward when the decluttering process feels tiring or overwhelming.

Have you done a vision board? Don’t skip this important step of setting your goals and vision before you begin decluttering.

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Need more help with decluttering?

I created the Your Home Decluttered workbook to help walk you through the decluttering process. It includes sections on setting goals, creating your plan, checklists for each room type, celebrating your victories, assessing your habits, and making sure you reached your goals.

For further details on the workbook and to purchase, go here: https://thesimplicityhabit.vipmembervault.com/products/courses/view/1042351

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  1. Steven Covey’s “Begin with the End in Mind” reminds me of a favorite Chinese Proverb, ‘If we don’t change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going.’ Maybe time to consider a course correction for some of us 😉

  2. I would love to start the decluttering process but am in such a strange time in life I’m not sure where, when or how to start. Specifically, I have a 9month old son, a 2 year old daughter and we aren’t sure if we are done having children yet. So we have lots of baby gear, clothes etc that our kids are phasing through but don’t know if we should get rid of if we are going to have another kid. Especially, given the gender differences and just how different they both have been. We just moved to Indiana from CA and have I’m not sure what we will need here and what we won’t. I had to quit my job for the move and won’t try to find a job right away but do hope to work sometime in the near future because I love what I do. However, between having two kids in three years and quitting my job, sorting through my wardrobe is also challenging. The whole “have you worn it in the last year?” doesn’t work because I was pregnant or in postpartum sizes. We have so many boxes we need to go through and it’s incredibly overwhelming. Additionally, because of all these in between stages, it’s making the decluttering very challenging. I want a more simple and less cluttered/stressful life but need help starting given our phase of life. Would love some help and advice.

    1. I can relate to that scenario, Christy, as many of your circumstances mirrored mine nine years ago. Do you have storage space in your current home? If so I’d probably be opting to declutter a little (the things you know you wouldn’t use, wear, etc. even if you did have another child) and then neatly store the things you would want to use again should you need them, but aren’t using now. Carefully label the containers and give yourself some time to see what you actually need. That should help declutter your home while holding onto the items you may want later. I hope that’s helpful!

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