Decluttering (Part 5) … A How to Guide and Where to Start …

Decluttering … A How to Guide … 001


Previously on the blog, we’ve talked about Decluttering and if you have just joined in, you can catch up on your reading by clicking on the links below:






So it’s time for me to share my tips on HOW I declutter … the actual process I use to get more organised. This is what I do … it may or may not work for you but if it provides you with some inspiration or motivation, then that’s great.


Let’s get started:


  • Decide where you will start. It really doesn’t matter which room you choose. You can start with the worst or start with the easiest, it’s entirely up to you. I decluttered my main bathroom first because it was one of the easiest rooms. I only had to work on one cupboard and three drawers and clear the benchtop. I personally found that by choosing an easy task, I gained a quick sense of achievement that then motivated me to keep going and move on to the next room or project.


  • Set aside some specific time to declutter. Don’t try to do it while you’re doing 5 other projects at the same time otherwise you’ll get distracted, won’t finish what you set out to do, get frustrated and give up. When I’m decluttering, I usually allocate around 30 minutes at a time. It’s long enough to really focus and achieve something and not too long so that I get overwhelmed and give up. When you’re starting out, try doing this once a week and then increase how often you declutter once you get more motivated.


  • Plan. In my opinion, this is the most important step in the process. Because you want the results to last and make it easier to maintain what you have accomplished, it’s important to plan before you get started. You need to have some idea of what you want to store in the space and how you plan to use it so that you maximize the space available. If something you have stored a particular room or space would work better in another room, now’s the time to move it.


  • Start small. I don’t try to do too much in too little time. I’d rather declutter a single drawer, shelf or cupboard and do the job well rather than walk away having only half completed what I started.


  • Measure. Once you know what you plan to store in a particular space, grab your tape measure and take some accurate measurements of the height, depth and width of the space. Be sure you take into account any door hinges if you’re working on a cupboard and any plumbing if your organising under a sink.


  • Grab some storage supplies. Once you’ve measured the space, search the house for storage items you already have to help you maximize the space you are working with. If you really don’t have anything to do the job, take off for the shops to find what you need. My first stop is usually discount stores like The Reject Shop, Crazy Clarks, Daiso, Super Savers and Stacks. You don’t need to spend loads of money on your storage solutions and some of my best storage buys have cost me as little as $2.00.


  • Empty and sort. Now the real work begins. Empty the drawer, shelf, cupboard, etc. completely. As you remove the items sort them into five separate piles (grab five boxes or baskets if that makes the job a little easier): KEEP, THROW OUT, DONATE TO CHARITY, GIVE TO FAMILY/FRIENDS and SELL.


  • Thoroughly clean the empty space and then install your storage containers/boxes, etc.


  • From the “KEEP” pile, store these items neatly back into the containers in the space you’re working on grouping similar items together.


  • Take the items from the “THROW OUT” pile straight to the bin. Once in the bin they are not to be retrieved “just in case”. If you’ve thought about those items and decided you no longer need them, then you no longer need them.


  • Grab the items in the “DONATE TO CHARITY” pile, place them in a box or bag and put them in the car. If time permits, jump in the car and get rid of them straight away so that you can’t go back to the bag and pull out items.


  • Same with the items in the “GIVE TO FAMILY/FRIENDS”. Use these items as an excuse for a visit and get rid of these items as soon as possible.


  • Any items in the “SELL” pile, allocate some time within the next couple of days to photograph these items and list them on ebay, Gumtree or another similar site.


  • Now that everything is neatly organised and sorted make sure you clearly label everything so you will have no trouble finding things when you need them.


It’s important to deal with and dispose of everything you have sorted otherwise they will just become new piles of clutter in another part of the house and you wont have achieved anything. And the final step in the whole process is to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.


So tell me, which room do you think you will start on first and why?








  1. Honestly I am so overwhelmed with clutter I just thought we could just move and be done with it ?

    • It can be overwhelming and when I feel like that, I just pick a drawer, roll my sleeves up and get started. I always feel better afterwards!