How to Declutter a Home in Ten Steps

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Grab plenty of boxes and bins to organize even the toughest spaces.
Grab plenty of boxes and bins to organize even the toughest spaces. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you are tripping over things as soon as you walk through your front door, you need to take steps to declutter your home and get organized. These ten steps will simplify your quest in getting rid of clutter in your home. Decluttering your home need not be a nightmare. Make a plan and stick to it.

Things You'll Need

  • Trash bags
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Storage bins

Grab a trash bag, walk through your house and discard all your obvious trash.

As you encounter laundry items, place them in the laundry area. Start a load of clothes as background music while you work. Take breaks from your decluttering tasks to deal with laundry as it finishes. Always attack laundry as a "Do-it-now" task. Place non-laundry clothing items in a designated place to deal with later.

Set aside several plastic bins and cardboard boxes and label them for different purposes, such as "Keep," "Holiday" (use a red or green bin), "Give-away or Donate" and "Paper Clutter."

Work through the room that is first in view to visitors. Place all visible clutter into the appropriate bin or box.

As each box fills, place ones you're keeping in the room where most of its contents go. Put give-away and donation boxes in your car. Deliver them the next time you leave your house. Set aside paper clutter to deal with later.

Proceed to the next most visible room. Attack one room at a time until you've removed all visible clutter.

Work through all of your "Keep" bins, putting items where they belong. Try to donate or give away as many of these items as possible. Old questions such as "Do I need it? Have I used it in the last year?" and "What would happen if I threw this away?" still serve well. If the answer is you don't need it or even that you can buy another one, then get rid of it.

After decluttering one room, don't let clutter accumulate. As you walk through a room, notice clutter and place things where they belong immediately. Better yet, train all family members to clear their clutter immediately after using it. Getting them on board wins 90 percent of future clutter wars.

After dealing with all visible clutter, repeat the process with the hidden clutter in drawers, cabinets, bookcases and other hiding places. Use the same procedure as before.

Attack clothing for 30 minutes at a time. Hang things where they belong or donate them. Be sure to place these things in the car and dispose of them immediately.

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