We all get advice for different areas in our lives. How to declutter is one of them. Over the 20+ years, while organizing I have given advice and heard advice from clients, associates, and family members.
Here are my four(4) favorite decluttering advice.
Don't expect to get it all done at once. - I told this to every client I had when they felt overwhelmed with all the stuff.
Clear out the most unused area first. - I told this to clients that didn't know where to start in their home. This tip gave them a direction.
When you doubt getting rid of something, place it in a safe place in a secure box out of site for at least six months. If you don't look for it, you know you can get rid of it. - I heard this years ago from one of the organizing shows.
Everything in your home wants to have a home. - My father told me this whose mother told him when he was younger.
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While pondering this topic, I asked this question in a few Facebook Professional Organizer Groups I take part in and here are 20 great decluttering tips from other Professional Organizers:
"It isn't about getting rid of stuff, is about making space for the stuff that matters." from Seana Turner
"Start small and stick with it till you're done in one space." from Cena Block
"We all think that changes have to be big and complicated, where usually it is the simple things that have an impact on the here and now." from Jill Robson
"Done is better than perfect." from Amy Bowles
"Go with your initial gut instinct." from Andi Tormohlen Willis
"Declutter before organizing. Downsize until the items you use or like fit back into their home (drawer, bookshelf, cabinet, box)" from Jill Annis
"Don't let your containers overflow." from Hazel Thornton
"Define your priorities. Create your vision. Then edit and curate your collection to what serves your life today. Put a positive spin on letting go!" from Clare Kumar
"Start small. If you're feeling overwhelmed, start with a single drawer or shelf and build your motivation with these small accomplishments." from Sarah Buckwalter
"Clean as you go!!" from Penny Bryant Catterall
"Things never satisfy. Relationships will. Live on purpose, with arms wide open, running headlong toward the things that matter most!" from Lauren Cloyes Flinte
"Always keep a "donation box" somewhere around your house." from Blanka Smetana
"Break projects into small pieces; swallow one at a time." from Janet Bloom
"Groove to some good tunes to make it fun and keep you upbeat!" from Sarah Soboleski
"Focus on one area at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed." from Audrey Cupo
"Once you've decluttered a space, work really hard to maintain it. That way you don't get discouraged, and you actually feel motivated to keep decluttering other areas." from Hilda M. Rodgers
"One step at a time." from Carolyn Caldwell
"I can give myself permission to let this ..... go." from Kim Tremblay
"Another way to look at decluttering is to simplify your space and life." from Sunshine Fox
"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." from Lisa Shaw
I hope this inspires you to declutter your home. Don't wait, take action today will make you feel better about your home and life.
Now, it's your turn. What is your favorite decluttering tip? Please leave a comment below.
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I have just had an incredible time of getting rid of unwanted stuff from my home. I can now open a cupboard and find what I'm looking for instead of having to rummage through everything. So go on, do it, you will feel really good when it is finished.
For every new item brought in take one or two out.
If you can't decide whether or not to keep something, then it is ok to get rid of it because you are already questioning your decision to keep it.
these are great tips. I know it is a constant struggle for me to maintain any sort of order.
I unfortunately use Einstein's quote too much, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
I will try your tips and see if they can help me a bit.
Thanks for sharing this with us.
Good tidbits you pulled together, Sabrina. Like other readers, I always keep a give-away box on hand. Makes it simply to put things into it.
Beyond that, not too much clutter around here, although there is that one box under my office table...
Great tips. Living alone I don't have much of a problem staying organized, but I do follow a few of the tips you've shared. I have my donation box, and since I consider cleaning house one of my all time least favorite things to do, I tackle one room each day. Today is Tuesday so that means the bathroom, and Sunday is a free day. As long as I stick with this every week, the time required to clean each room is minimal.
Great advice on starting to declutter. It's good to set realistic expectations. Starting with the least used room is likely to be easiest to find things to get rid of (and not disrupt your living space as you sort through things). It's a great way to get started - I found once I got going it was easier to keep going and dealing with tougher things.
Great advice, Donna. Thanks for sharing.
We are in the process of decluttering our garage where I had stored all the children's books and toys. I found it so hard taking it to the charity shop. Thankfully, my son was helping me and he convinced me to let some one else enjoy his toys and books. Its lovely having the extra space now.
Great quotes Sabrina!
I am Queen of decluttering! I like nothing better than to get rid of paperwork and items we no longer have use of. This creates space for the items you actually want in your home.
I hope one or more of these nuggets will inspire readers to start organizing and feel more confident doing so. Thank you for including my nugget!
Great advice about how to declutter, Sabrina. Love this one: "When you have a doubt about getting rid of something, place it in a safe place in a secure box out of site for at least 6 months. If you don’t look for it, you know you can get rid of it."
I don't own a lot of things but still manage to create clutter, mostly by way of paper. I like the idea of Blanka Smetana you shared: "always keep a donation box somewhere around your house." Close by, I also keep a trash can and a paper recycle container. Helps a lot, I find.
The tip about placing something away for six months, then getting rid of is a good one. Every now and then I find something I packed up last time I moved and never missed or thought of again. And it's been eight years since I moved last!
Wow, that really was some of the best decluttering advice. Love it! My husband and I did some spring cleaning and decluttering last weekend. We did one room at a time. It was much more manageable to take on small tasks than think of doing the whole thing at once.
Great tips on decluttering. I totally agree that if you try to do bits at a time, we will eventually achieve success and notice the results. I think I will have to print this post off for my husband who is King of Clutter. Maybe he can resonate with some of the tips.
Great advice from some wise amazing women 🙂
Great post, Sabrina. I think we all need encouragement and easy to follow instructions when the de cluttering process is overwhelming. Wonderful advice. Thank you for including my quote.
So true, Jill. Thanks for contributing.
I like your tip about putting an item away, out of sight for 6 months. If it's not needed and used in that time, it can be let go. Another one I really like is to discard something for each new item purchased and brought home.
The other part of it, of course is staying aware of and practicing these promises we make to ourselve!