Whenever I say “declutter”, I am talking about removing things that you don’t use. Because the things you don’t use pile up, which is what clutter truly is. I have had so many people tell me that clutter is stuff out on the counters or on the floor. But I don’t believe that is the case. I believe clutter are the things you don’t use but are taking up space in your home.
Since everyone has a different threshold for how much stuff is too much, I have found that focusing on the things that you actually use helps you figure out what you don’t use.
This way you don’t have to worry about finding things you don’t use. When you switch this mindset, you can actually declutter things quicker because you are focusing on what you actually use.
In addition to switching how you view clutter, these 10 ways to declutter fast can help you keep the things you use, love, and find necessary. So you can remove everything that doesn’t serve you.
What Does It Mean To Declutter?
Before we talk about the 10 ways to declutter fast, I want to break down what declutter actually means.
Declutter is the first step to getting organized.
You cannot organize or tidy your home without decluttering first.
So decluttering is the actual act of removing unwanted items. You may hear people say “edit” or “purge” when it comes to decluttering. They are all the same thing.
You just want to remove the items you do not use and keep the ones you do. You cannot get organized unless to declutter first. The two are not synonymous, like some people think. They are two separate acts that must be done to truly have an orderly home.
For a more in-depth look at decluttering, check out the posts below:
Start With A Room
When it comes to decluttering fast, you want to go room by room. The reason why is so you can focus on one specific space. When you have one specific space to work with, you are able to focus solely on that room. You don’t have to leave that space until it is completely decluttered.
There are organizing gurus out there that say go by category. And while I love this approach, it might not work for you. Because you may do better in one area at a time. You need that focus for a space rather than a room. If you focus on a type of item, you can easily get sidetracked by other things in the space.
So start with one room. Then move onto the next room.
I suggest starting in the bedroom. Because when your bedroom is tidy and clutter-free, your brain is able to relax and get a better night’s sleep.
But that isn’t always people’s top priority. So start in a room that you know you can declutter fast. When you start with a room you can declutter fast, you will start to build that momentum to continue decluttering more spaces. So start where you can feel success quickly. And you will be able to tackle harder areas later!
Things To Bring
Whenever I am doing a big declutter, I always start with bringing all the things I need before I even start.
These are things like garbage bags, cleaning supplies, and my declutter caddy.
When you have all your supplies with you before you start, you are able to declutter faster.
Because you don’t have to stop yourself to go get a garbage bag or cleaning supplies. You have them all with you. In the room you are decluttering. So you don’t get sidetracked with other things while you are grabbing those items.
I love having garbage bags with me when I declutter because I can throw away all the things that I don’t use.
Now I do have two types of bags when decluttering. Garbage bags for actual garbage. And paper bags for donate. I like the visual different between the two, which is why I use two types of bags.
But I know other organizers use baskets with labels. I like to keep it simple and just have bags so I don’t have to move items from a basket to a bag.
Only Keep What You Use
As you start to look through your room, you may find obvious things that do not belong. Put these types of items near the door or out of the room. Don’t place them in another room.
Instead, just create a pile to move at the end of your decluttering session.
When you start moving things before you finish with one space, you can start a bunch of projects and never end up finishing them.
So create a pile of things that do not belong in the room. Place that pile near the door. When the room you are decluttering is completed, you can move the remaining items into other rooms they belong.
I like having Post-It notes in my declutter caddy so I can add notes onto items so I remember what room or space in the house I want that item to go. I see a lot of people running around putting things in rooms as they declutter because they feel like they may forget where an item should go.
Instead, write it on a Post-It note or reusable notepad. Then you can put the items back in the room they belong after your decluttering session is finished. You won’t forget because you wrote it down!
10 Minutes A Day
When you are looking to declutter fast, spending 10 minutes a day can help.
A lot can be done in 10 minutes. Especially when you are going room by room.
Set a timer on your phone. And start pulling out all the things you love or use. The remaining items in a drawer or cabinet can be considered clutter or you have to relocate.
When the timer goes off, you can remove the items you didn’t pull out. Put the items you did pull out back in the cabinet or on the shelve or in the drawer.
What Is Your Plan?
Something you must do before a declutter session is to create a plan. This plan is like your goal for what you want to achieve.
What room are you going to declutter? How long are you going to spend decluttering? What are you going to do with leftover items? Do you have a declutter caddy?
When you create a plan or goal for yourself, you are going to be able to see your end goal. So you know when you can say “done”.
Without a plan or a goal, you will continue to declutter with no end in mind. It is like driving a car with nowhere to go. You just end up wasting gas and getting lost.
Ever notice that when you cannot figure out what to do with something, it ends up in a junk drawer or a pile on your counter? That’s because you weren’t decisive in whether that item should stay or if it should go.
So get yourself in the proper headspace to make decisions. And then be confident in those decisions.
To get in the proper headspace you have to have a plan. Then you have to take action. And be confident in your decisions.
Get the free mindset guidebook to help you clear mental clutter that could be holding you back from making decisions!
Most people have doubles of things in their home. And when you find those doubles, it is best to remove them. Do not keep doubles if they do not serve a purpose.
For us, we have two vegetable peelers. But one is for my husband who is left-handed and the other is for me who is right- handed. Because of where the blade is on the peeler, it makes sense for us to have two. Any more than two would be unnecessary. So we only keep the things we need.
Check for doubles of your stuff. If you use both, then keep them. But if you don’t, then you can declutter.
You Can Toss
Deciding what to declutter can be tricky if you feel there is a reason to keep it.
Ask yourself if there is a legal or financial reason to hold onto an item. If there is, obviously hold onto that item.
But if there isn’t, then you can ask yourself more questions to decide if you really want to keep that particular item.
When we let go of the idea that “we may need something someday”, we are able to free up space in our house. We no longer feel we have to hold onto things out of obligation or “what if”. We can part with things easily when we know that there isn’t a reason for us to hold onto an item.
If something has a sentimental value to it, try these tips for parting with sentimental items:
The decluttering questions I share below are what I use all the time when I am decluttering my own home. And I use these questions before I even buy anything. It helps me stop to think it I truly need that item.
One thing I do not see people doing enough is to have a designated spot for clutter.
Because you will never not have clutter. What I mean by that is you will always have things you no longer use.
When you have kids, they grow out of things. One day they play with that toy and the next they have outgrown it. So if you did a big declutter when that toy was their favorite, you would have kept it because the kids played with it. But over time that toy is no longer being played with because they have outgrown it.
So when you notice things like that, you can put those items into your “clutter spot”. Then you only have one area of stuff to sort through. Instead of your entire house.
I like keeping our clutter spot in our mudroom. I keep a box for the clutter and whenever I pick up something that we not longer use, I can drop it in the clutter box. When the box gets full, I can sort through it and donate items that are in good condition. And trash the remaining items that have missing parts or are no longer savable.
Don’t Wait Until The End Of The Day
Declutter throughout your day. That way you don’t have to wait until the end of the day to declutter stuff that has piled up over the course of the day.
When you are making lunch, declutter your kitchen counter while you are waiting for the bread to toast. After dinner, put the dishes away right away instead of letting them sit on the counter. Pick up the toys before the kids go down for a nap.
By doing small tasks throughout your day, you are going to be far more decisive about what should stay and what can go. Doing these tasks all day can help you prevent clutter from piling up. And it can help you from having to do a big declutter session because you are doing tasks throughout your day.
Decluttering is the act of parting with items that you do not find useful.
So to do it quickly, you have to start with a room. When given a specific space to declutter, you are going to move faster. Bring all the supplies you need to that room before you start so you aren’t searching for items during the declutter process.
As you declutter, create a pile of items that belong in other areas of your house. Put that pile by the door instead of bringing those items to the room they belong. This way you won’t get sidetracked.
Spend 10 minutes a day decluttering and do it throughout your entire day.
Set goals and take action. Be decisive on what should stay and what can go. If that item has no financial or legal reason for you to keep, you can use the guided decluttering questions to help you focus on if an item is useful.
Create a clutter spot for items to go as you do your declutter. Then you can sort through that pile later. Because you will always have clutter. But it doesn’t have to be all over your house!