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When You Don’t Know Where to Start Decluttering, Here’s What to Do

Where to start decluttering? That is the question. When you don’t know where to start decluttering, it can be super overwhelming. This guide will help get you on your feet and you’ll be decluttering everything in no time! 

First, Find a Good Decluttering System

If you don’t have a good system for decluttering, then it’s almost impossible to declutter well. And keep your house decluttered, for that matter. I’m a firm believer in systems and processes (for anything, not just decluttering).

A good system will guide you through where to start decluttering and will keep you on track when you’re ready to throw in the towel – and believe me, that will happen at some point during the process of decluttering!

Remember that it’s a Slow Process

Your house didn’t achieve the level of clutter you have right now, and you’re not gonna fix it all overnight. I can promise you that.

But I will tell you this: once you catch the vision for decluttering and you start the process, you will be amazed at how addicting it will become! (And what if I told you that you could even make money decluttering your home??!!)

So as you’re just beginning the process of figuring out where to start decluttering, don’t get discouraged. It will take you a while.

Schedule Time to Dedicate to Decluttering

Once you decide where to start decluttering, and you’ve come to the realization that it’s gonna take you a while to declutter your home, next you’ll need to find a time that you can regularly dedicate to decluttering your home.

Schedule it into an app on your phone, write it on your calendar, post it in your planner, leave yourself notes. Do whatever it takes for you to keep the appointment with yourself. You can choose a certain time each day, or each week, the choice is yours. There’s no right or wrong.

The point is simply that you must dedicate time to diligently declutter. Now at first, you’re probably gonna feel a rush. Almost like decluttering is a fun job. It’ll be invigorating to get rid of things and reclaim areas of your home.

But then eventually, the novelty will wear off (trust me on this) and you’ll begin to tell yourself that it’s not so important that you declutter.

Don’t listen to yourself!! It is important!

This is where your date with yourself comes into play. See, if you’ve carved your decluttering date in stone, you won’t have a reason to make any excuses for not decluttering. Not only will you know where to start decluttering, but you’ll also know when to!

Start With an Area You Can Quickly Conquer

Now this might be contrary to a popular tactic for conquering tasks that is commonly taught. I’ve heard that it’s best to conquer your most dreaded task first and the rest is easy-peasy.

But I’ve found that I’m much more motivated to complete something that’s overwhelming me if I can have a quick win or two. That’s why I’m gonna go against the mainstream (you should try it sometime!) and advise you to find a small place you can declutter it.

It’s much better to start with something small, because you’ll quickly realize that you actually can do this, even though you had no idea where to start decluttering!

Here's how to get motivated to clean when you're overwhelmed by the mess.

Next, Find the Area that You’re Having Trouble Using

The next area of business is to tackle a place in your house that’s been bugging you for a long time and that makes living life a little difficult. For example, it’s hard to cook in a clutter-filled kitchen. When you can’t find your bed at night, sleeping is difficult.

If you have laundry piled up in a corner of your bedroom, you won’t be able to get dressed and leave your home! At least not very easily! Once you declutter an area that’s been problematic for awhile, you’ll quickly catch the vision for decluttering the rest of your house.

It’ll be like regaining space you didn’t even remember you had!

Only Work on One Space or Room at a Time

Oh, how I have trouble sticking to decluttering one place at a time. But hear me say this…Stick to one place!!! Don’t wander from place to place doing a little bit in each room.

You’ll never accomplish anything and it’ll be much easier to abandon your decluttering mission. We don’t want that to happen! So to make sure it doesn’t, pick a place using the above tactics, and see it through to the end.

If you still don’t know where to start decluttering, the choose the bathroom. The bathroom likely doesn’t contain many sentimental items (if at all) at can easily be decluttered quickly. We’ll get to that in a minute. But first…

Clean all the Flat Surfaces First

Think about it. If you have clutter covering every area of your house, it’s very difficult to do much of anything. There’s no place to work and you’ll lose track of what you’re doing.

Start by clearing off any countertops, sink tops, beds, or couches, depending on which area of the house you’re decluttering. We’re gonna hit this hard in the sections coming up! Just you wait! 🙂

Tips to Declutter the Bathroom

You won’t find many emotional ties hiding out in the bathroom. Obviously, you could attach sentimental value to anything, or at least I know I can. But for the most part, decluttering the bathroom shouldn’t be too difficult.

If you’re wondering where to start decluttering, then the bathroom is it!

  • Clear off the sink and any counters – Remember our rule about decluttering flat surfaces at the beginning of the decluttering process? Now you get to put it into action in the bathroom. Declutter and clean up the bathroom countertops so you have a place to work. Use a storage solution like this to keep your bathroom countertop neat and organized. 
  • Throw away anything that’s expired – Gather all of your cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, lotions, and any other consumables. Then check the date on each one and get rid of anything that’s past the date. You might be surprised to find out how long you’ve been holding on to things! If you store your medications in the bathroom, then please make sure to dispose of them properly so no one gets hurt. 
  • Get rid of old towels and washcloths – Sort through all of your towels, hand towels, and washcloths. Get rid of anything that’s ratty, full of holes, or generally not in good shape. Store the towels you decide to keep in something like this. 
  • Don’t shove things under the bathroom sink – Underneath the bathroom sink seems to be a collection place for people to shove things they don’t know what to do with. That’s probably because it’s out of site and a wide open space to stash stuff. Don’t do that! Make sure that once you declutter under your bathroom sink, you keep it need and organized. Try using something like this instead. 
  • Make sure everything has a neatly organized space to call home – Pick up baskets, drawer dividers, and shelves so that you can neatly organize the things you decide to keep. These work great for keeping drawers organized. 
  • Store things on the wall – Not only can storage shelves be functional for keeping your things organized, but they can also serve as a part of your decor. I love keep storage shelves in little rooms like bathrooms to utilize my space better. The wall can hold a good amount of your stuff. Just make sure to do it right so your bathroom doesn’t look cluttered. What do you think about these? Or how about this? I could see towels hanging from the hooks! I also love these! Talk about cute!

 

Decluttering can be overwhelming especially if you have no idea where to start. Find out exactly what to do inside!

Tips to Declutter the Kitchen

The kitchen can be an overwhelming place to declutter because for some reason, it seems to collect the most junk. The kitchen is the hub of the home, and as a result, is also the main dumping ground for things.

Most entrances into the home are through the kitchen, which makes it the perfect place for everyone to drop off their things and leave. Once you declutter the kitchen, make it a habit to clean it up each night before bed.

Additionally, arrange a time ever couple of months to regularly declutter. Now for the tips…

  • First, do the dishes – You can’t declutter the kitchen well with dishes in the sink. To start off decluttering the kitchen, be sure to watch the dishes. That way you’ll have a quick-win and you’ll feel more motivated to start decluttering. Nobody feels like doing anything with a sink full of dirty dishes. I use a simple little thing like this in my kitchen sink. 
  • Clean off all countertops – In keeping with the theme of clearing off all flat surfaces first, you’ll do the same thing in the kitchen. As you declutter the counters, start piles of things you need to take action on. You can find labels in The Decluttering Binder.
  • Declutter drawers that are overflowing – We all have a junk drawer (or two) or drawers in the kitchen that are overflowing. Start there. Why? Because you can get rid of a lot of stuff fast. Grab this for your junk drawer and you’ll be good to go! 
  • Next work on cleaning out the fridge – Get rid of anything that’s out of date, any unused leftovers, and any produce that has gone bad. Minimize condiments. If you find you have more than one of something, either combine them into one container or remember to use the one that’s almost gone first. Have you ever thought of using something like this to keep your fridge organized? 
  • Declutter dishes – Go through your dishes and decide which ones you haven’t used or don’t need. As long as they aren’t family heirlooms, get rid of them. You can even sell them on eBay and make a little extra cash.
  • Go through pots and pans – Using the same method as the dishes, carefully decide which pots and pans you no longer need and declutter them. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen for storing your pots and pans!
  • Follow this same procedure for anything else – Decide which other areas of your kitchen need to be decluttered and follow the same procedure as we talked about above.

Tips to Declutter the Bedroom

The bedroom may take a little more thinking and time. Typically, the bedroom is where we store personal items that are more precious to us. That means you’ll have to be willing to enter into this task with an attitude of…let’s get decluttering!!!

  • First Make the bed – Because remember the clear off the flat spaces first rule?? Make your bed first and then you canOnce your bed is made, you can easily use it as a giant table for decluttering the things in your room. If your room is really full of clutter, work in small sections. Visually mark off what areas you want to work on and start there. 
  • Clean off dressers – By now I don’t need to remind you why you need to take care of the dressers first! 
  • Put everything that’s on the floor on the bed, then start sorting – Using the labels in The Decluttering Binder, sort everything into piles that you’ll deal with as soon as you’re finished decluttering. Make sure to take care of the piles, though. I’ve found that putting everything on my bed really helps, cuz I’m very motivated to get it all taken care of and off my bed! Pro tip: Don’t start this too close to bedtime or you won’t have anywhere to sleep!
  • Have a good system for organizing clothes – Years ago I ditched the dressers. It was too hard to keep them from becoming cluttered. This is what I use instead. Once I started using these, I’ve never looked back! I find it’s much easier to keep my clothes organized this way.
  • Continue working through your bedroom until you’re finished decluttering – Don’t stop until you’re finished! I know it’s tempting to walk away in the middle of the job, especially when you’re so overwhelmed, you didn’t even know where to start decluttering. But don’t give up! Once your bedroom is nice and organized, you’ll be so glad you pushed to the finish line!

Tips to Declutter the Closet

Oh, the closet! I’ve found that if I’m not careful, the closet can easily become overrun by clutter. I think the fact that you can throw things in and shut the door makes it a very easy place to collect clutter.

Well, not any more!!

We’re gonna declutter your closet, freeing up space you didn’t even know you had!

  • Take everything out of the closet – And by everything, I do mean everything! Go ahead! Empty the contents of your closet onto the floor and/or bed and let’s get started.
  • Begin decluttering by getting rid of anything you see that you know you don’t want or need – Be selective when you’re choosing which items to keep and which to get rid of. Ask yourself the appropriate questions so you know exactly what to declutter. 
  • Next, sort like items into piles, folding them or stacking, whichever is appropriate – Make sure to take enough time on this step so that when you put things back into your closet, you’ll have a neatly arrange stack or pile. These will make sorting a little easier. 
  • Now I want you to put only the things you really want to keep, back into the closet – Since you were careful to sort out and keep only the finest things, you won’t have any trouble with this step. It’ll be easy to put things back into your closet in a neatly arranged fashion. I can’t wait for you to get to this step!
  • Finally, get rid of the clutter you just took out, whether it’s to the garbage or selling it on eBay – Yes, you can make money with your clutter! If that isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is!!

Tips to Declutter the Office

Have you ever walked into your office and wondered how you get anything done! When you’re wondering where to get started decluttering, the office isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind.

Why?

Because often times your office is full of sensitive material (paperwork, bills, etc.) that can’t be dealt with quickly. Declutter your office when you know you’re well rested and ready to go!

  • First clean off the desk – You guessed it! The desk is first! Need I say more? Nah! You already know! 😉
  • Move anything on the floor into a pile and sit down and start sorting – When I have a big mess such as the office, I like to go to the mess instead of bringing the mess to me. In the case of your bedroom, you moved everything onto your bed. In this case, I want you to sit right down wherever your piles are and start sorting. If everything’s on your desk, then by all means, start there. I just don’t want you to move your piles around too much or you’ll risk losing track of where all your important things are. 
  • Quickly eliminate paper waste – Grab everything you can see that needs to go and get rid of it. But not so fast, you’ll need one of these for your paper waste. Sort through your piles, paper by paper, paring everything down. Don’t worry about organizing it right now. 
  • Put things into a pile to file later – When you declutter paper, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s on the page and suddenly you’re lost in whatever you’re reading. Don’t do that! Just quickly sort the papers into piles that you’ll take care of filing another day. Just make sure to get back to it sooner rather than later!
  • Organize and file your paper clutter another day – When it is time for you to organize your paper work, you’ll definitely want one of these. It’ll make filing your papers so much easier!Here's how to get motivated to clean when you're overwhelmed by the mess.

Tips to Declutter the Living Room

Your living room can contain anything from books and blankets, to toys and other trinkets. If you’re not careful, it can quickly become home to tons of clutter.

That’s why when you’re wondering where to start decluttering, the living room isn’t always the first place you wanna head to. These tips will help you!

  • Clear off your tables, couches, and chairs first – You know, so you’ll have a place to sort or sit! Either one is fine with me! Just make sure your flat surfaces are all cleared.
  • Move any clutter to the middle of the room – Bringing your clutter to one central area is a good idea because it will help you keep focused. When clutter is lying everywhere, sometimes you don’t know where to start. So go ahead an push everything to the center. 
  • Sit down and start sorting – Just like we did in the office, I want you to sit down on the floor to sort through everything. If that’s not possible, then move it to one of your flat surfaces and work on decluttering there. Use the labels found in The Decluttering Binder to help you determine where things will go when you’re done decluttering. 
  • Use bins and shelves to store items – I love bins and shelves and you can find so many that are cute and decorative. Pare down your things first, and then have a good place to store whatever you decide to keep. This is the key to keeping your living room (and really, your entire house) decluttered. This is good for keeping blankets, toys, or miscellaneous items stored away, and it’s super cute! Something like this is cute and functional, so it’s a win-win! There are so many different ways to store living room items. Just take a look!

Tips to Declutter the Entryway

The entryway is a tough one. Everyone enters and leaves through it, and by default, it becomes a collection place for clutter. When you aren’t sure where to start decluttering, the entryway could be a quick win for you, depending on how much clutter you have accumulated.

Even still, start out with these tips.

  • First, collect any garbage and get rid of it – Get rid of anything that you notice you can throw away immediately. It just seems to help to clear out some of the clutter if you can throw things away, right off the bat.
  • Go through outdated or outgrown jackets – You probably have a few (or more) jackets hanging in your entrance that no one has touched in years. Quickly declutter those, for another quick-win! Be sure to put them in the appropriate piles, using the labels from The Decluttering Binder.
  • Eliminate shoes that aren’t being used – In our house, shoes seem to accumulate really quickly. I find that it’s very easy to declutter the entryway, just by getting rid of shoes. You decide whether they just need to be put away, or if they’re ready to be gotten rid of, completely!
  • Find a place for other odd items that have been housed in the entryway – The entryway seems to be the drop-off center for all things that don’t have a home of their own. I don’t know why that is, but I find the strangest things on our entryway shelves. If this is the case in your house, then declutter those items that definitely don’t belong in the entrance!
  • Find a good storage system to keep your entryway from becoming cluttered again – The key to keeping the clutter down in your house is to have a good place to keep things. One of my favorite sayings is, “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” Use this to give everything in your entryway a place! Or stick one of these in there, instead!

Tips to Declutter the Basement

If you’re blessed enough to have a basement, you may just find that it’s a dubious blessing! If your basement is anything like mine, you probably fight clutter constantly. I know we do in our house, anyway!

  • Work in small sections – Because the basement can be overwhelming, it’s best not to try to conquer the clutter in one day. Instead, set a goal to work through portions of the basement at at time. You won’t get so overwhelmed and you’ll be far more likely to complete the decluttering operation. 
  • Immediately eliminate large items –  The basement seems to harbor many larger items such as old furniture, toys, exercise equipment, and the like. A good way to tackle decluttering the basement is to get rid of the larger items as quickly as possible. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished a lot when you see things starting to declutter quickly. Plan to sell, donate or bring those items to the dump.
  • Use effective storage systems to make organize the basement – Since the basement is primarily for storage, (unless you have a nice, finished basement) then you’ll need the appropriate tools to store your things. This is what I use to store just about everything in our basement, and it definitely keeps the clutter way down!

Tips to Declutter the Garage

Much like the basement, the garage is often times a collection place for junk and unwanted things that we intend to deal with “one day”.

Except, more often than not, “one day” never comes and suddenly your garage is full of clutter and you have no idea where to start decluttering. When that happens, use these tips to get started.

  • Work in small sections – Just like the basement, it’s usually unrealistic to think that you can declutter your entire garage in one day. Therefore, you’ll need to take this project slowly and a little at at time. Trust me! That way you won’t burn out!
  • Immediately get rid of anything you know is junk – Do a quick scan of all the items in your garage and start picking the items you know you can get rid of. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you start seeing things disappear and it will be more motivating to get the decluttering job done! 
  • Bring everything to the center of the garage – I find that this system works well for the garage, too. It’s helpful to sort things into the middle of the garage and work from there. Put things into piles to deal with as soon as you’re done decluttering. Then don’t forget to take care of them!
  • Sort things into bins or shelves – Part of the problem with clutter creeping up is not having the proper place to keep things stored to begin with. That’s why you should get one of these. And maybe even a few of these.

Use The Decluttering Binder

What if I told you that clearing the clutter from your home doesn’t have to be hard, even when you have no idea where to start decluttering. I know it seems impossible. Even overwhelming.

That’s why I made The Decluttering Binder. It will help you know exactly what to do when decluttering your home. My clients tell me that The Decluttering Binder has even, dare I say it? Made decluttering fun!

I know! I was amazed, too!

Make sure to check it out! It could change your whole life!

Check Out the Organized Home Course

Not everyone knows where to start decluttering. And that’s ok! Hopefully these tips will really help you get started, but if you’re still not sure where to start even after reading, you can check out this course.

Isn’t it cool that there’s even a course for organizing your home! Go check it out!

Whatever You do, Don’t Give Up

Decluttering your house is hard, especially when you don’t know where to start decluttering. Now that you have the right tips and tools, I know you can get your home decluttered! Whatever you do, don’t quit! Don’t give up! I know you can do it! Think about how amazing it’s gonna feel once you’re all finished! You can pour yourself a hot drink, cuz you’ll know exactly which mugs you own, and sit in your chair and gaze at your beautifully decluttered home!

Keep Clutter Down with a Good System for Organization

You’ve done all the hard work and you deserve a virtual high-five! So here I am giving you one!

You still have a little more work to do. I know! I know! It’s awful, but if you don’t keep up the hard work, you’ll end up right where you started.

Now the good news is, you’ve carefully decluttered your home, so it shouldn’t be too hard to keep up on it. But do keep up! Be sure to but things away when you’re finished, carefully consider what you bring into your home, and purge, purge, purge!

Once you have these habits learned, I have no doubt that you’ll have a clutter free home! Not bad for someone who didn’t know where to start decluttering!

Related Decluttering Your Home Articles:

Do you struggle with knowing where to start decluttering? Are you uncertain about how to declutter? What do you struggle with the most? Comment below and let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear!

Now that you have an idea how to start decluttering, be sure to grab the FREE Decluttering Binder Mini Pack. It’s an instant download so you can get started right away! Click on the link below to download it now!

Here's how to get motivated to clean when you're overwhelmed by the mess.

 

Decluttering can be overwhelming especially if you have no idea where to start. Find out exactly what to do inside!

 

How to Declutter {When You Have No Idea Where to Start}

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