How to Declutter Your Home, Room by Room

Meta: While decluttering your home sounds like a difficult task, it doesn’t have to be. These quick tips will teach you how to efficiently and effectively organise your home.

It happens even to the best of us.

It’s only Monday night, and you’re so exhausted because of work that you dump everything by the doorway of your home. Your jacket barely hangs on your sofa. Your bag and all its contents are on the floor. And your shoes are haphazardly abandoned somewhere near the shoe rack.

You promise you’ll sort everything out over the weekend. But the weekend came and went, and you spent the entirety of it binge-watching a new show instead of actually cleaning. (Who wouldn’t?)

One day, you take a look at your house and realise it’s a MESS. There’s barely any space left for you to put your belongings. And that Instagramable dream house that you’ve worked on for months is now one step from being featured on Hoarders.

You roll up your sleeves, get your broom, and look at the heap of clutter in front of you. Except, you take another look and suddenly feel overwhelmed: What do you do first? How do you make sure that you’re not making the clutter worse once you start cleaning? What if you never finish?

Decluttering your home isn’t easy (if it were, none of us would be here in the first place), but there are ways you can make the process as quick and as effortless as possible. In this article, we’ll be sharing some of the best-loved tips and tricks from industry experts. We’ll also discuss how to make the work more manageable and minimise mess from accumulating in the future.

Before you begin

Hold your broomsticks! Before you start decluttering your house, there are some things you need to do:

1. Prepare about five cardboard boxes or bins labelled accordingly:

    • Put away: Place items that are not in their rightful place here. For example, a mug in the living room that you need to store in the cupboard.
    • Recycle: This is for items that you’ll recycle, like glass, plastic, and paper.
    • Fix/mend: Put broken items here that you plan to have repaired or fixed, such as a jumper with a hole in it.
    • Trash: This is for things you’ll throw away.
    • Donate: This container is for items that you’ll give to a charity or another person. For example, the pair of pants that you’ve only worn twice, but would be perfect for your niece

2. Schedule a decluttering session with your family

While it might be tempting to declutter your house when the mood takes you, doing it alone could easily overwhelm you. You might even run into more problems when you end up throwing away one of your kids’ valuable documents, thinking it’s trash.
So, it’s best to schedule time with your family to clean the house together (anyway, it’s their clutter, too!).

3. Have a plan

When it comes to decluttering, you need a plan, or you risk leaving your home messier than it was when you started. Plan out an entire day or weekend (depending on the size of your home) for the work. Don’t start in the middle of the day—or you won’t be able to finish by nightfall.

It’s also good to have a plan for when and where you’ll drop off the items for donation and recycling. If you don’t, you might forget about it until the next decluttering day arrives.

Once you’ve figured all these out, you can start decluttering your home with a clear plan and can-do attitude.

Decluttering tips for every room

Here’s one dirty secret to efficiently declutter your house: don’t clean all your rooms at once. Instead, work room by room so that the work is more manageable. This also makes it less difficult to continue where you left off, should you decide to take a break (or two, or three).

Here are some specific decluttering tips for every room in your house:

Bathroom

Neatly,Organized,Bathroom,Linen,Closet,With,Bamboo,Toothbrushes,And,White

Because you store a lot of things in the bathroom, it can quickly become a dumping ground (no pun intended). Start reviewing your medicine cabinet. Throw away makeup, cleansers, and medicines that have passed their expiration dates.

Remember: liquid makeup, like mascara and liquid eyeliners, can only be used 3-6 months after opening. Meanwhile, cream-based and powder-based products, like foundation, can last up to two years.

For drawers and cabinets, it’s best to remove all items in sections, so you can sort them properly and not miss anything. When you’re done, put everything back where it belongs: place the least-used items at the back or bottom of your drawers or cabinets (or just dispose of them).

On the other hand, you should always keep the most-used at the top and front of your storage units. This way, it’s easy to find and reach for them when you need them, without disturbing the rest of your newly-organised drawers or cabinets.

Because you store a lot of things in the bathroom, it can quickly become a dumping ground (no pun intended). Start reviewing your medicine cabinet. Throw away makeup, cleansers, and medicines that have passed their expiration dates.

Remember: liquid makeup, like mascara and liquid eyeliners, can ony be used 3-6 months after opening. Meanwhile, cream-based and powder-based products, like foundation, can last up to two years.

For drawers and cabinets, it’s best to remove all items in sections, so you can sort them properly and not miss anything. When you’re done, put everything back where it belongs: place the least-used items at the back or bottom of your drawers or cabinets (or just dispose of them).

On the other hand, you should always keep the most-used at the top and front of your storage units. This way, it’s easy to find and reach for them when you need them, without disturbing the rest of your newly-organised drawers or cabinets.

Bedroom

Bedroom,In,Soft,Light,Colors.,Big,Comfortable,Double,Bed,In

Your bedroom is supposed to be a place where you can unwind and relax. But it can be difficult to do that in a cluttered space, when that pile of clothes in the corner is always subconsciously stressing you out.

When it comes to decluttering your bedroom, start with your bed. Remove the books, gadgets, and other items that shouldn’t be on your bed, and put them in your “Put Away” box. Check under your bed for clothes or items that might have rolled underneath. Or, if you have under-the-bed storage, go through each section carefully.

Just like in the bathroom, remove all items so you can sort through each. Once you’re finished, return everything to its proper place and make sure to put the most frequently-used items on top.

For items that you haven’t used in the past six months (and don’t plan to use anytime soon), it might be time to donate them or store them somewhere else, rather than in your bedroom. This way, you free up your storage space without worrying about excess or unused things.

Once you’re done with your bed, repeat these steps for your bedside table, chest and drawers.

Your bedroom is supposed to be a place where you can unwind and relax. But it can be difficult to do that in a cluttered space, when that pile of clothes in the corner is always subconsciously stressing you out.

When it comes to decluttering your bedroom, start with your bed. Remove the books, gadgets, and other items that shouldn’t be on your bed, and put them in your “Put Away” box. Check under your bed for clothes or items that might have rolled underneath. 

Or, if you have under-the-bed storage, go through each section carefully.

Just like in the bathroom, remove all items so you can sort through each. Once you’re finished, return everything to its proper place and make sure to put the most frequently-used items on top.

For items that you haven’t used in the past six months (and don’t plan to use anytime soon), it might be time to donate them or store them somewhere else, rather than in your bedroom. This way, you free up your storage space without worrying about excess or unused things.

Once you’re done with your bed, repeat these steps for your bedside table, chest and drawers.

Wardrobe and dresser

Unidentified,Neat,Housewife,Puts,Container,With,Socks,And,Pantyhose,On

While wardrobes and dressers are usually part of the bedroom, we thought they needed a separate section, because these pesky areas are a beast of their own.

To organise your wardrobe and drawers, pull out and check each item by clothing type. For example, review your shoes first, then your jeans, and your tops, and so on. This way, you can quickly decide if you still need that old blue button-up, when you have seven of them in your wardrobe.

If you’re unsure how often you wear a piece of clothing, get your clothes out and return their hangers backward (the hook facing inward). Then place the hanger forward after you’ve worn a piece. By the end of the month, you’ll know which clothes you don’t wear often, so you can consider whether it would be more practical to donate them to someone else instead.

Afterwards, put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket, your “Put Away” clothes in their proper storage spots, and your donations in a bag.

While wardrobes and dressers are usually part of the bedroom, we thought they needed a separate section, because these pesky areas are a beast of their own.

To organise your wardrobe and drawers, pull out and check each item by clothing type. For example, review your shoes first, then your jeans, and your tops, and so on. This way, you can quickly decide if you still need that old blue button-up,

when you have seven of them in your wardrobe.

If you’re unsure how often you wear a piece of clothing, get your clothes out and return their hangers backward (the hook facing inward). Then place the hanger forward after you’ve worn a piece. By the end of the month, you’ll know which clothes you don’t wear often, so you can consider whether it would be more practical to donate them to someone else instead.

Afterwards, put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket, your “Put Away” clothes in their proper storage spots, and your donations in a bag.

Entryways

Wooden,Hanger,For,Keys,With,Different,Stuff,On,White,Wall,

Entryways should always be the least cluttered part of your house. This is because you’ll need a clear pathway to rush out when you’re running late for work. It also helps to have a free path for when you have to bring in groceries or guests. Plus, it’s the first impression people get when they come to your home for the first time!

To keep this part of your house clutter-free, make sure you:

  • Have an allocated space for keys, bags, and other essentials that you need before you step out of the door.
  • Store your off-season clothes elsewhere.
  • Use a boot tray or shoe rack to keep your shoes organised. This also helps create the habit of having a few shoes by the entrance.
  • Designate a basket or bin for each member of the household, so they have their own space to keep items handy.

Entryways should always be the least cluttered part of your house. This is because you’ll need a clear pathway to rush out when you’re running late for work. It also helps to have a free path for when you have to bring in groceries or guests. Plus, it’s the first impression people get when they come to your home for the first time!

To keep this part of your house clutter-free, make sure you:

  • Have an allocated space for keys, bags, and other essentials that you need before you step out of the door.
  • Store your off-season clothes elsewhere.
  • Use a boot tray or shoe rack to keep your shoes organised. This also helps create the habit of having a few shoes by the entrance.
  • Designate a basket or bin for each member of the household, so they have their own space to keep items handy.

Kitchen

Top,View,Modern,Housewife,Tidying,Up,Kitchen,Cupboard,During,General

Kitchens are always brimming with activity and clutter. More often than not, there are dozens of things that are out of place.

But don’t worry, you got this! All you need to do is tackle each item by type. For example, you can start with organising glasses, then plates, then cookware.

As with the bathroom, take everything out of the drawers and cabinets so you can go through everything. Then, return your kitchen items to their proper place, with the most-used ones in front.

It’s also ideal that each item is compartmentalised or has a storage container. For example, organise spoons, knives, and forks with drawer dividers. And place your pots and pans neatly in a drawer or on a wall. Don’t forget to keep your kitchen counters free from mess and over-cluttered items – this makes cleaning much easier, and reduces the amount of germs on your surfaces.

For the refrigerator, remove items per compartment and throw away expired food. Then, return each item and arrange them by category (e.g. condiments, vegetables, etc.). Experts suggest using acrylic containers to keep your refrigerator tidy and your food easy to find.

Kitchens are always brimming with activity and clutter. More often than not, there are dozens of things that are out of place. But don’t worry, you got this! All you need to do is tackle each item by type. For example, you can start with organising glasses, then plates, then cookware.

As with the bathroom, take everything out of the drawers and cabinets so you can go through everything. Then, return your kitchen

items to their proper place, with the most-used ones in front.

It’s also ideal that each item is compartmentalised or has a storage container. For example, organise spoons, knives, and forks with drawer dividers. And place your pots and pans neatly in a drawer or on a wall. Don’t forget to keep your kitchen counters free from mess and over-cluttered items – this makes cleaning much easier, and reduces the amount of germs on your surfaces.

For the refrigerator, remove items per compartment and throw away expired food. Then, return each item and arrange them by category (e.g. condiments, vegetables, etc.). Experts suggest using acrylic containers to keep your refrigerator tidy and your food easy to find.

Living Room

Wooden,Table,On,Rug,In,Front,Of,Settee,In,Simple

Because your living room sees the most number of people, many misplaced things can accumulate here. A forgotten coffee mug sits on the side table, a magazine is left on the chair, and jackets hang on the couch.

Go through each area one by one, placing objects that need to be put back in their proper place in the “Put away” basket. Make sure that you have a place for all your items—TV remote, magazines, and books. One pro tip is to have a tray for the things on your coffee table, so you can quickly put these away when there are guests.

Leave a part of your bookshelf and storage shelf empty, so you have room to grow and add more books. Experts suggest keeping 10% of your shelves bare, and adding new storage (or decluttering) when you start to creep above this.

Because your living room sees the most number of people, many misplaced things can accumulate here. A forgotten coffee mug sits on the side table, a magazine is left on the chair, and jackets hang on the couch.

Go through each area one by one, placing objects that need to be put back in their proper place in the “Put away” basket. Make sure that you have a place for all your items—TV remote, magazines, and books.

One pro tip is to have a tray for the things on your coffee table, so you can quickly put these away when there are guests.

Leave a part of your bookshelf and storage shelf empty, so you have room to grow and add more books. Experts suggest keeping 10% of your shelves bare, and adding new storage (or decluttering) when you start to creep above this.

Decluttering can be fulfilling with the right help

Everyone agrees that decluttering your home is a difficult task. You’ll have to go through everything from your clothes to your pots and pans. And it takes hours of hard work before you get the job done. You might even feel like quitting mid-way.

However, with the right help, you can get over the feeling of defeat and push through the finish line. Professional organisers and cleaners can help you sort through your items with patience and care, ensuring that nothing is missed out or lost. They can also do a deep clean of your home while decluttering each room, so that you can focus on the most important thing: building a home for you and your family.

If you are in Auckland and want to know more about Clutter Monkey’s organising & cleaning services, give us a call! We’d love to help tidy up your home and keep it that way.