15 Basic Tips – How to Declutter Your Home

Looking for decluttering tips to keep your home clutter-free? Here is how to declutter your home easily and keep it that way, even if you have kids!

Woman holding hangers and thinking about how to declutter your home

Moms are the ultimate multitaskers. We juggle a million things simultaneously and try to keep everything in order.

But what about our homes?

How do we manage to keep them clean and clutter-free when we have kids running around?

We know how important an organized home can be for feeling less stressed and more at peace, but it can seem impossible.

Despite the challenges, it’s definitely possible though! I will give you tips for decluttering your home and keeping it clutter-free (even with kids!). Let’s get started!

How to Declutter Your Home

We know how difficult it is to declutter in the first place, let alone keep the clutter away. That’s why we’ve compiled these 15 foundational tips for decluttering – because we know you’re over the mess and ready to learn how to keep a house clutter-free for good!

1. Evaluate and Make a Plan

Sit down and make a plan for decluttering your home. What rooms do you want to start with? What are your goals?

You can start with the messiest room to get the biggest goal out of the way first or start with the easiest room for a quick win and momentum.

Neither is better than the other, so choose which feels approachable to you. Having a plan will help you stay on track and make the process more efficient.

Start by going through each room and evaluating what needs to be done. List items that must be decluttered, organized, or thrown away.

Figure out the priority in each room, like counter space or floor space. Knowing where your messiest places and high-traffic areas are will be helpful, too.

Once you know what needs to be done, you can start making your plan.

2. Start With One Room at a Time

Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. It’s just not realistic (or necessary). Start with one room and work your way through it.

As tempting as it is, try not to bounce around from room to room. This will help you stay focused and not get overwhelmed.

Focus on one task at a time, too. For example, you might want to start by decluttering the surfaces in each room. Once that’s done, you can organize the closet or cabinets.

3. Schedule It In

You don’t have to declutter your entire home in one day (or even one week). Set aside some time each day to work on decluttering. Even if it’s just 15 minutes in a single day, that’s fine!

Some days, you may have to declutter in 10-minute bursts a few times throughout the day, and other days, you may be able to get an entire hour blocked out for decluttering.

Scheduling decluttering into your day will also help you stay on track and make it a habit. After all, the goal is to keep your home clutter-free, not just to declutter it once and be done with it.

4. Prepare Ahead of Time

Set yourself up for success by preparing ahead of time. This means having all the necessary supplies on hand, such as garbage bags, boxes, and labels or markers/pens.

You can also plan help beforehand, whether you delegate to your family or hire a professional.

You don’t need to plan everything, but having the essentials will save time and energy so you’re not bouncing back and forth and feeling even more overwhelmed.

5. Have a Decluttering Process and Systems

girl putting clothes in donation box from tips for decluttering

Having a process and systems in place will make decluttering much easier. There are a few different ways you can do this.

You can use the KonMari Method, which is a popular decluttering method created by Marie Kondo. Or you can use the Pareto Principle, which is the 80/20 rule.

This means that you should focus on eliminating the 20% of items that take up 80% of your space.

Another system you can use is the Four Box Method. This is where you have four boxes labeled “Keep,” “Donate,” “Trash,” and “Maybe.” This is a great way to sort through your belongings and make decisions quickly.

Finally, you can use the One In, One Out Method. This means that for every new item that comes into your home, you must eliminate one item. This helps to keep your home from becoming cluttered in the first place.

Whichever system you choose, ensure it works for you and that you’re comfortable with it. And, of course, you can not use one at all or come up with one all on your own!

The point is to have a guide and point of reference so you’re not overwhelmed and tempted to give up.

6. Know What You’re Decluttering

Decluttering projects often feel overwhelming when you first approach them. Everything seems to be piled up and all over the place.

It becomes much easier and way less stressful once you break everything down into categories and specific items.

Here are a few categories to use when decluttering

  • Clothing: Donate or sell clothes that you don’t wear anymore. If you’re not sure, ask yourself when the last time you wore it was. If it’s been over a year, you won’t miss it. Here are some closet organization ideas
  • Toys: Kids outgrow toys quickly, so it’s important to declutter them regularly. Donate or sell toys that your child no longer plays with.
  • Books: If you’re a bookworm, it can be tough to get rid of books. But if you haven’t read a book in years and it doesn’t hold sentimental value, it’s probably time to let it go. Donate books that you don’t think you’ll read again.
  • Papers: Papers can pile up quickly, so it’s important to declutter them regularly. Shred or recycle any old bills, receipts, or documents you don’t need. Think about going paperless.

Also, knowing what you’re getting rid of is important before you start decluttering. This means having a clear understanding of what you need and what you don’t need.

To do this, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I use this regularly?
  • Do I love it?
  • Does it serve a purpose?
  • Do I have room for it?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then ask yourself if it’s time to let it go.

7. Get the Whole Family Involved

girl putting shoes away in an entryway storage

If you have kids, involve them in the decluttering process! Teach them the importance of keeping a tidy home, and let them help you declutter.

This will help them develop good habits and make decluttering a family activity.

8. Set Some Ground Rules

To keep your home clutter-free, you need to set some ground rules.

This might mean setting a rule that everyone has to put their shoes away when they come in the door or that all toys must be put away before bedtime.

Whatever rules you decide to set, make sure everyone in the family understands and agrees to them.

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Rid of Things

One of the biggest challenges when decluttering is getting rid of things. We often have sentimental attachments to things, even if we don’t use them.

To declutter effectively, you must be willing to let go of things you don’t need. So, if you haven’t used something in a while and it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it!

Here are 100 things to declutter right now.

10. Invest in Storage Solutions

If you want to keep your home decluttered, you need to have good storage solutions. This might mean buying some new furniture or storage containers.

Whatever it is, make sure you have a place for everything and that everything has its place. This will make it much easier to keep your home decluttered.

RELATED: 25 Must-Have Organization Products to Declutter Your Home

11. Have Realistic Expectations and Standards

It’s important to have realistic expectations and standards. Your home is never going to be perfectly clean and decluttered all the time.

Likewise, your kids and partner will have different strengths and weaknesses in keeping a home clutter-free (just like you do!)

And that’s okay! Life is messy, and there will always be some clutter. Just do your best to declutter regularly and keep things under control.

12. Be Prepared for Setbacks

Sometimes, you declutter your home, and it doesn’t stay that way for long. Kids make messes, life happens, and things get cluttered again.

That’s just the way it is! Don’t get discouraged if your home gets messy again after you’ve decluttered it. No matter how well you plan and how determined you are, there will be times when your home gets cluttered again because your home is just that – a home.

It’s lived in, and a disorganized house is sometimes just part of life! But don’t let it get you down. Just get back on track and keep going!

13. Know Your Why

It’s easier to stay motivated and keep going when you have a why, even when things get tough. So, ask yourself why you’re decluttering your home. What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve?

It might be helpful to have a vision board or Pinterest board to go back to see possible results and keep your goals in mind. Or a simple list on pen and paper can do the same thing. Keep your why in mind; staying on track will be easier.

14. Seek Help if You Need It

If you’re struggling to declutter your home, don’t be afraid to seek help. There are professional declutterers who can help you get your home in order, local decluttering groups, or online communities to choose from.

There are even courses and online programs you can take that will teach you how to declutter; some offer live coaching sessions or other forms of support. Whatever you do, don’t try to do it all on your own.

15. Know That Your Worth Isn’t Tied to Your Home or Productivity

One of the most important things to remember is that your worth isn’t tied to your home or productivity. Just because your house is messy doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

Just because you didn’t get as much done today as you wanted doesn’t mean you’re a failure. We are all human, making mistakes and having busy lives.

Be gentle with yourself and detach from things like societal expectations, negative self-talk, criticism, and so on.

Bonus Tips for Decluttering Your Home

Here are some bonus tips for actually keeping your home free of clutter after you’ve finished your decluttering sessions.

  • Get the whole family involved in decluttering
  • Set up a system that works for your family
  • Teach your kids about decluttering and why it’s important
  • Put things away as soon as you’re done with them
  • Don’t bring things into your home that you don’t need or want
  • Set aside time each week to declutter (even if it’s just 5 minutes)
  • Have a place for everything and keep things in their designated spot
  • Teach your family members how to declutter and be open to helping them
  • Adopt habits that will lead to a clutter-free home (like 10 minute tidy up sessions every day)
  • Be patient and don’t expect everything to be perfect all the time.

We hope you found these tips for decluttering your home helpful! Just remember that decluttering and keeping a home clutter-free is a process that takes time to develop good habits.

Homes are meant to be lived in, especially when you have kids and a busy life.

Be patient with yourself and your family, and keep at it! If you stick with it, we promise it will be worth it in the end. 

woman sitting on couch with toys everywhere

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Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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