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What Is The Meaning Of The Word Decluttering?

The word declutter comes up a lot, but what does the word actually mean? Learn what decluttering means along with how to use in your home.

I have used the word declutter in basically every organizing post I have written. And I have used that word rather loosely. But what is the actual meaning of decluttering? What does it actually look like when someone says “declutter”? And how can you put decluttering into practice in your home? I am breaking down what decluttering means, what it looks like, and how you can declutter at home.

the organized mama decluttering kitchen cabinet

Decluttering Meaning

The traditional meaning of decluttering is to “remove unnecessary items in an overcrowded place”. And by going off of that definition, it is basically saying that you should remove everything to make a place seem less crowded.

But that is not how I define decluttering. See, I like having things. I don’t follow the “minimalist” view on stuff. So when it comes to decluttering, I feel that the true meaning of declutter is to remove things that you don’t find necessary to your life or home. That’s it. 

A lot of my clients enjoy filling their shelves with meaningful items. So I always encourage that. But when an item is not longer meaningful, that is when it becomes clutter. And that is when you should declutter an item. By removing it when it is no longer necessary for your life or home.

What Does Decluttering Look Like?

Based off of the meaning of decluttering I shared above, decluttering looks a lot like removing things. With some clients, decluttering looks like donating a lot of things that are no longer special, meaningful, or useful to them. Other clients, decluttering looks like taking items and putting them where they belong, instead of piled up on the dining room table or kitchen counter.

Decluttering looks different for every person, because every person has a different level of items they don’t find meaningful. 


How To Declutter?

Since decluttering looks different for each person, how are you supposed to declutter? 

Start by downloading the free declutter questions. These questions will guide you with questions to ask yourself to decide if an item is actually meaningful or not. 

Then go through items that you find to be getting in your way. Things like piles of paper on the table. Or boxes of things in the living room. Start with the things that are in your way and decide if they are useful to you right now. 

Donate or sell items that are no longer useful. For a full list of donation locations, check out this post.

Declutter Like A Pro

I have perfected the art of decluttering with in home clients, along with myself! I don’t think you need to declutter everything in order to have an organized home. But you do have to remove things that are no longer serving you and your home. Below are some of my favorite resources to help you declutter your things!

Where To Start When Decluttering

Where To Start Decluttering Your Home

How To Think Like A Professional Organizer While Decluttering Your Home

How To Declutter Your Home with ADHD

How To Declutter Your Home Like a Professional

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