Declutter house

Let’s play a game in your home. We'll call it Declutter House. For the next few days, weeks, or months, you will remove items that you no longer need, like, or use from your home. This is a light, fun approach to decluttering, and a way that might be just right for you right now.

All the basic rules we mentioned on the Declutter and How to Declutter pages apply. In our game, Declutter House, we will look at items to declutter and go through our homes in a specific way; room by room. We could expand it further and create a regular/weekly Declutter Day. This does not mean you'll declutter all day but you might choose to spend Tuesday afternoons or Saturday mornings decluttering. Choose a time when you have little or no work and/or family distractions.

We'll go systematically through the house

What follows is just one suggestion; you can use any method you want, as long as you have a plan!

  • Hallway
  • Kitchen 
  • Living Room 
  • Bedrooms 1, 2, and 3 (possibly more)
  • Laundry Room 
  • Bathroom
  • Office
  • Garage 
  • Garden

It can be helpful to make a bird’s eye view drawing of your house and decide which order suits you.

We won't do things perfectly in our Declutter House Game, but we will make progress. The game's rules say that we have to follow the plan we originally made, stay in the area we chose to tackle, and stick to our set time frame. So, if the timetable calls for one day per room, but we don't quite finish, we still continue on to another room on the next scheduled day. We can always play the game again, putting in another day in the room that we didn't complete the first time around. The advantage is that the more often you play the game, the better you get at it, and the more the accumulated effort of decluttering will be felt.

Declutter House: Hallway

Look at old shoes, out of season clothing, junk mail, and other UFOs (unidentified floating objects). If you don't have shelving in this area, it might be a good idea to think about a storage box or setting up some shelving. In most households, the hallway is a hub of activity. Simple cube boxes or easy to install shelving cost very little and do wonders in the hallway.

Declutter House: Kitchen

Have you got crockery you don't like or don't use? Toss it! Only keep things you like. What about kitchen gadgets? Only keep kitchen appliances you like to use and that are in good working condition.

A recent example: In my own kitchen, I had a stab mixer that I really loved. However, it was getting to be a struggle to mash avocado with it, and therefore, it had to go. My other two mixers are so-so and will be upgraded soon to one good mixer. This equated to three not so great old kitchen gadgets out - 1 new kitchen gadget in. Not bad!

Declutter house; The living room and Bedrooms

Living room

This is often one of the tidier areas, but do look around. Is it stuffed with books you'll never read? DVD’s you've already watched? Newspapers, kids' toys, or magazines long out of date? Pass it on, see if you can brighten the room with pillows, flowers, or candles (But limit knickknacks, and don’t go out to buy these things as they are very likely prone to become clutter).

Bedroom

Ask, "What lives in here that is not bedroom-related?" When working in this room, declutter your clothes, night stands, and toys, if it's a kid’s room. Ask yourself what you can do to make this room more about rest and relaxation. 


Declutter house: Laundry and Bathroom

Laundry

The laundry tends to be an easier room to declutter, as there is not that much emotional attachment. Some things you might look for are out-dated cleaning products and other unused items. If you don't plan to use them, toss them out. How are your laundry baskets? Are they nice, clean, and spacious enough? If you need to upgrade, invest in square baskets; this looks neater and creates more space.


Bathroom

Look at all the lotions and potions that aren't used; toss them, gift them, or use them for cleaning. For example, shampoo is good for freshening the toilet from time to time. As a minimalist and professional organizer, I need to also ask you whether you need ten lipsticks, five lotions, three back-up creams and 15 shades of nail polish. Lightening the load reduces stress, and you'll be more beautiful, as you will feel better about yourself and your surroundings. As a bonus, it will mean easier and faster cleaning.

Declutter house: The office and garage

The office, is a massive job to declutter for now just looks at papers that can go.

The garage

When in the garage, ask yourself, "Are the tools in good condition? Should we let go of the half decomposing cupboards and upgrade? Are there many boxes in the garage?”

Again, this is a big project, so use this declutter trick: Make sure you do the biggest items first. The space will look neater in a shorter amount of time.

Declutter House: Garden

Remove all broken bits and pieces, old wood, pots, and plastic items that are not visually appealing. If certain items from your home have ended up in your garden or on your balcony, ask yourself; how important are they? 

Decluttering the garden is a big job, but items tend to be large, so any progress is quickly noticed.

Having a regular Declutter Day is a basic way to declutter, if you're finding it hard to get started. It can also give you some practice without the expectation of perfection.  

Remember progress is always good, perfection is unlikely to be achieved (anytime soon). 

I, myself, am still working on achieving the "perfect" house!   ;-)

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