5 Tidying Tips to Help You Declutter Your Home

declutter your homeIf you stumble over shoes every time you walk in the door or feel like you have so much stuff that the walls are closing in on you, it may be time to declutter your home. And there’s no shame in that game: Life is busy and clutter happens to the best and most organized of us at times.

Take a look at the following tips for getting rid of clutter, so that you can make your house feel more like a home again.

Related > Room-by-room Cleaning Graphic

1. Do a Sweep

But with your eyes rather than a broom. When trying to declutter room by room, it’s a good idea to take a quick visual inventory of what’s in the space you need to clean. Could those books on your nightstand be returned to the shelf in the living room? Did you fold towels on the guest bed and forget to put them away? Are you ever going to use the panini maker your sister-in-law gave you? Taking stock can help you mentally prepare for the task at hand.

2. Ready Your Supplies

What is needed to declutter your home? Four things: Time, trash bags, storage solutions and a box for any items you’ll be donating to charitable groups. Make sure you have all of these prepared before you start in on your cleaning and organization, so that you can get the job done right on the first attempt. Not having a game plan and your supplies on hand can lead you to abandon the task altogether.

3. Work in Zones

If you don’t portion off areas of a room, you’re going to be less efficient and more easily distracted. When that happens, you’re more likely to become overwhelmed and decide you’d rather sit on the couch and binge two seasons of a show you don’t even like that much. Instead, section off each room. For example, you could split the bedroom into five zones: dresser, bedroom closet, nightstand, bed and under the bed. Focus on decluttering one zone before moving to the next. Setting and achieving smaller goals will make you feel good about your progress, meaning you’re more likely to keep going.

4. Up the Fun Factor

There’s no rule that says cleaning out clutter has to be a miserable time. Invite a friend over to chat and lend a hand in exchange for helping him or her with their own organizing. You can also throw on your favorite podcast, playlist or audiobook so you have some entertainment as you work. Or get the entire family involved in decluttering your home by learning to make tidying up fun.

5. Get Rid of Garbage

Are you ever going to send those postcards from your trip to Spain three years ago? Have you forgotten what the receipts in the kitchen drawer were for? Toss them in the recycling bin. Those appointment cards for the kids’ orthodontist appointments can be thrown away, too, after you enter the details in your phone or add them to the calendar in your family command center. The same goes for the business cards of networking contacts you’ve let pile up on the entryway table.

No matter how often you clean up or how on-point your organization skills are, a few extra tips for getting rid of clutter always come in handy.

Searching for more tips to help you keep a tidy home? Check out these cool uses for mason jars, then learn some ways you can reduce food waste.

Next > Let it Go: 5 Tips to Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter