How to Declutter Your Home Fast

Does it feel like clutter has taken over your life? Is corner, ledge, and counter top in your home filled with clutter? Do you sometimes feel like grabbing your garbage can and just throwing away everything in your clutter hot spots? I know I did.

Don’t let clutter drive you mad. I’m going to show you how to get rid of your clutter quickly so you can start enjoying your home again.

First, clutter is not filth, but oftentimes clutter can make a home look messy. Clutter is that paperwork sitting in that hot spot on the kitchen counter. It’s the random papers and books on a shelf in the living room. Clutter is your kids toys pushed up against every wall in your family room because there isn’t anywhere else for them to go.

Your house is clean, what’s causing the clutter is a lack of organization. You don’t have a better spot to put all of your mail, or your spot to put things isn’t close to where you use them. The good news for you is I can teach you how to declutter your home quickly and get it organized the right way to keep your home looking cleaner longer.

Clutter In House

If you’re like how I was, you deal with clutter for a week, month, or maybe a couple of months. You put things back where they actually belong but only after it’s sat in the wrong spot for a day or two. It’s inevitable that those things will make their way back into these spots in an endless cycle.

It’s in that moment that you get up and start cleaning and putting the paperwork and toys back in their place. Knowing in a week you’ll be organizing it all again.

It’s always easier to keep your house clean when you have less stuff inside of it. It’s also easier when you create storage spots for items that normally end up in spots they don’t belong.

Take it from someone who got rid of 80% of her belongings. Cleaning takes far less time now.

How To Declutter Your Home

One thing to remember during your decluttering session is to make quick decisions. The longer you stop to think about something the longer it will take you to complete the decluttering session.

If you feel like you need more time on a specific item either keep it where it is or store it away and check again in 3-6 months.

Check out my post 5 Linen Closet Organization Ideas.

Gather Supplies To Clear The Clutter

Before we get started you will need to gather some items:

  • 1 or more garbage boxes.
  • 1 important paperwork box.
  • 1 bills box.
  • 1-7 donate boxes.
  • 1 box for paperwork that needs to be shredded.

These boxes can be as big or as small as you need them. I found old diaper boxes or baby wipe boxes were useful for decluttering because of the handles. You can also use old totes if boxes are unavailable.

How To Declutter Toys

Go through your kids toys and decide what toys they actually play with, which ones are broken, and which ones can be donated. Toss the broken toys and donate the ones you can. That’s the easy part.

Either you pick or have your child pick 3 toys they can play with all year long. These are usually reserved for the most important toys like favorite stuffed animals or technology they use often.

Split the rest of the toys into 4 piles, one each for every season. Put three of the four piles into boxes or totes and leave the rest in your kids room. Every season change out their toys.

Less available toys, means less clutter everywhere else in the house.

These shelves make for a great way to organize toys in your kids room. Additionally, my son loves this little bookshelf to put all his books in.

How To Declutter Paperwork

Gather all the paperwork throughout your home, junk mail, letters, birthday cards, bills, ect. And place it into one pile. Turn on Netflix and start going through all the paperwork dropping them in their designated boxes – garbage, important, bills, and shred.

Once you are through all the paperwork, file away the important papers and the bills. Place the shred box near your shredder. If you don’t have a shredder or want to buy a shredder, Google a shredding company in your area.

Protip: Have a kid help by telling them the papers need to be ripped into tiny pieces. This keeps them busy, they feel like they get to help, just be prepared to pick up ripped up papers on the floor.

Once you have the shredding all sorted you can start the process of filing important paperwork.

Go ahead and order a mail organizer like this and install it near your front door. This way when the mail comes in it doesn’t end up on a kitchen counter or coffee table. You can deal with the mail when you have time without it cluttering up your home and making it look messy.

Check out my post How To Quick Clean Your Home In 10 Minutes.

Go Paperless

If you want to get rid of the paper in your home scan all your bills and important paperwork. Save into a file on your computer. I also recommend making a back up on an external hard drive that will go into your fire proof box or safe. Shred the actual copies.

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the difficult task of getting rid of paperwork now let’s declutter some more by getting rid of things you no longer use.

Check out my post on How To Organize Your Paperwork.

How To Declutter Your Closet

Take your donate box and garbage box to your closet. Go through every item of clothing and decide what you want to keep. My own personal rule is, if I haven’t worn it in a year, I’m donating it.

Next you’ll want to let your husband know about your decluttering. Inform him that you’re putting together a donate box. Ask him if he could spend a few minutes going through his closet and picking out clothes to donate. It’s a nice way of saying “Get rid of your stuff!”

Next start going through your kids clothes. This can be a bit of an emotional task so I have a few rules to follow. The clothing item should be unique or truly sentimental if you are going to keep any of the clothes.

Over the years I’ve managed to dwindle down my kids clothing items to his coming home outfit and a few fandom t-shirts that we really like. I now only have a small grocery bag of clothes instead of what started off as an entire tote.

Don’t let your child find all of their old clothes in your home in 40+ years. They will seriously contemplate the possibility that you were a closet hoarder. Additionally, no parent wants to put their kids in the same clothing they once wore, times and styles change.

Now that you have gone through all the clothing, close up the box for donations and pack it into your vehicle to drop off during your next errand run.

Check out my post How To Be A Minimalist In Your Home.

Decluttering Makeup

I used to be a beauty product hoarder. A couple years ago when I had an eye infection I threw out all my makeup, brushes, and sponges and bought all new.

I stopped being a beauty product hoarder after that and learned to throw away things. Even though I love my different smelling lotions I only buy what I will use now so that I don’t waste money.

Take your garbage box and head to your bathroom or linen closet. Go through all your products and remove any and all products you don’t use or may have gone bad. Yes beauty products go bad. Use this guide as a reference.

  • Lotion – Good for 3 years
  • Opened Hair Care Products non aerosol – 18 months
  • Liquid Face Make up – 6 months
  • Powder Face Make up – 2 years
  • Mascara – 3 months
  • Liquid Eyeliners – 3 months
  • Cream Eyeshadows – 6 months
  • Eyeliners and Powder Eyeshadows – 2 years
  • Lipsticks, Gloss, Lip Liners – 2 years
  • Nail Polish – One to two years
  • Anti Aging Creams and the like – 6 months up to 1 year only if in a pump bottle
  • Sunscreen – 6 months
  • Fragrances – Several Years or until the scent changes.

Decluttering Cleaning Products

The majority of cleaning products are only good for up to 2 years. After that the product may not work as well. Especially if it has some sort of disinfectant in it. So toss all your bad cleaning products.

I mention discarding cleaning products because I’ve known women who had 3-4 bottles of Murphy’s oil soap under their sink all with just a couple soap bucket worth of cleaner. Add a little water to these bottles shake and squeeze out the water into your bucket to fill it and use up the remaining soap.

Check out my post How to Organize Pots and Pans to get your cabinet organization under control.

Clear the Clutter Everywhere Else

Now we can start the final phase of our decluttering process. Going through all the knick knacks, misc items, wall art, kitchen gadgets and everything else that might be causing your clutter anxiety.

My general rule is this; if it doesn’t serve a purpose, isn’t a photo, isn’t an important memory, or isn’t worth anything, it’s not worth keeping. You can decide what your own guidelines for keeping these types of items are. When it’s over you should feel good about what you’re giving away and how clutter free your house looks.

Set Up Smart Storage Spaces

The next thing you need to do is set up smart storage spaces in your home. Use fabric bins like these under your coffee table or in shelving to hold items you regularly use that typically don’t fit into that spot.

For instance, I typically do my makeup in the bedroom sitting on my bed because I have a big window that gives me lots of light. So instead of storing all of my makeup in the bathroom I store it in a case that gets put in my nightstand. Then I’m more likely to put it away and don’t have to make an extra trip to another area of the home to go get the makeup.

Setting up spots where your clutter normally ends up to store those items nearby will help keep you and your family in the habit of putting things away.

Getting Rid Of Clutter In Your Home

If you made quick decisions on things your living spaces should be clutter free in less than a weekend. Now all that’s left to do is to take your donate boxes to the donation center of your choice. Sit down with a glass of wine, pat yourself on the back and enjoy your clutter free home.

Eventually you will want to declutter your garage, basement, and attic spaces in your home. I’ve seen some spaces be completely decluttered in the span of a weekend, others can take weeks. It really depends on how much time you’re willing to spend in each sitting to declutter your space.

Now that you know how to declutter your home fast let me know in the comments what your hot spots are and how you plan on tackling them? Follow me on Pinterest and pin this to your organization and cleaning boards.

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    Crystal Lynn

    Crystal is the founder & CEO of MommyThrives and also full-time mom to a very active little guy. She’s passionate about cooking, cleaning, and organizing and turns her experiences into actionable systems to make mom-life simpler. When she’s not busy, you can find her reading, painting, or even on occasion indulging herself shooting bandits in Borderlands on her PC.

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    11 Responses

    1. Asim says:

      Thank you for the tips. You presented it very beautifully, and honestly. Thank you for taking the time to do that. G_D willing, I will benefit greatly from your advice.

      Salam (Arabic for Peace)

    2. Maureen says:

      I have recently been very ill, nearly didn’t make it. It’s made me look at my home with new eyes. Needs a massive declutter and want a simple home and garden.. thanks for tips.

    3. Kimberly Garvick says:

      Thanks for sharing your tips on de-cluttering and cleaning pages for bullet journals. I’m so happy to have found someone that shares my way of thinking and I’m a new follower of yours on Pinterest. I love organizing, cleaning, and stationary tasks. It is so much fun! Being creative and doing what I love is the best thing about my life! Glad to see others enjoy this stuff as well.

    4. Vanessa says:

      Thanks for sharing! Going paperless is so freeing but there are times a hard copy is needed so a strategy for order is helpful!

      • winomom says:

        I’m glad you found it helpful. There is always a need for a hard copy with certain items. It’s helpful to keep the most important paperwork in a fireproof lock box. Good luck in decluttering.

    5. Suzanne says:

      This was a good read! It is amazing how short the shelf life of beauty products are!

    6. D.D says:

      If you live where I do, the junk mail some times get’s to be the fire starter, so I always keep more of the papers ready to burn! No shredding at this house.

      • winomom says:

        That is a fantastic idea. Thank-you for sharing it.

      • Marie says:

        The only burn bag we have I’d credit card apps, no important mail. We don’t get a paper, if you want the news then watch tv or look on your phone.

      • An insurance man told me years ago to put all my important papers that I want to keep home(not in a lock box at the bank) into a Tupperware (or similar) plastic sealing rectangular box, seal it and put it in your freezer. Things like
        auto titles, insurance policies, wills, etc. that you want to keep handy. The freezer is a natural fire safe. We had a major fire and he was right. All my papers were safe. My so called “fire proof” safe melted, but not the freezer.

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