Decluttering 101 – Declutter Rules and Tips To Get It Right (the FIRST time!)

Ready to start decluttering your home? Good for you! These 6 Declutter Challenge Rules and 8 Success Tips below WILL help you FINALLY eliminate clutter in your home without getting super overwhelmed and giving up.

Getting rid of clutter is hard enough to do ONCE, let alone have to do over and OVER. With a few tips for success, you’ll have a much better change of clearing the clutter for good the FIRST time!

declutter 101 tips for success

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Decluttering your home can be a massive under-taking – especially if you haven’t decluttered in YEARS (or EVER).

The good news is – there ARE Success Tips that will help you get it done – and done RIGHT – the first time.

Decluttering Success Tips

When you decide you’re finally ready to declutter your life and live in a simple, clutter-free home, one of the FIRST things you need to do is to DE-clutter.

However, the very idea of decluttering sure strikes fear into the hearts of many.

Let’s start with 8 beginner success tips and then talk about the 6 simple rules for decluttering so you can get organized, stay organized, and finally have a clutter-free home.

declutter 101 tips for success

Ok, let’s talk about these success tips (and big thanks to YourHouseGarden for the inspo to help us learn how to START decluttering!)

1 – Do NOT start BIG – start decluttering in ONE room, or one AREA of a room…. or heck, even one DRAWER.

Decluttering becomes overwhelming and seemingly un-doable when we look at the WHOLE project instead of breaking it down into bite-sized manageable projects.

2 – Avoid Procrastination – When you DO declutter items from your home, remember: that includes actually REMOVING those items FROM your home.

Don’t let the decluttered clutter stay in your home – get it OUT as soon as possible.

3 – Don’t Organize First – there is NO point in organizing clutter FIRST!

Why? First, it’s REALLY hard to organize with tons of stuff you do not need –

and secondly, it’s possible you’ll stuff that clutter away somewhere and not feel the emergent need to declutter at all.

4 – Don’t SHOP for Organizing STUFF – You don’t need MORE stuff, the point is to get RID of stuff and THEN see what you need to get seriously organized.

5 – Giving Up Too Soon – Remember: Decluttering is a slow and steady marathon – NOT a “one and done” sprint.

Give yourself TONS of credit for every inch you DO declutter – and keep going.

6 – Getting Too “Touchy” – There’s something odd that happens in the human brain when we get ‘touchy’ with things we plan to get rid of.

We end up getting ATTACHED to them which makes it SO much harder to get rid of it.

** Be mindful of what you’re doing… AND what you’re feeling when you declutter **

7 – Forget the ‘One Year Rule’ – There’s this “rule” in regards to decluttering that if you haven’t used said thing in a year, you should get RID of it.

That’s not a hard and fast RULE that you MUST stick to.

In the beginning of the decluttering process, get rid of the OBVIOUS stuff first like firedawgsjunkremoval shows us:

What to declutter first checklist

✅  Not sure what to keep and what to get rid of?

See this Decluttering Flowchart

8 – Not Having Decluttering Supplies – It’s hard to do anything without the right tools.

Decluttering is the same way, so be sure you have trash bags, recycling boxes, etc ready to go to work when YOU go to work.

How To Declutter and Organize Your Home Checklist and Decluttering Tips

Declutter Challenge Rules

Ok, let’s talk about the rules we should all follow when doing a Declutter Challenge (thank you to accessboxstorage for the inspo above to help us De-CRAP-ify our homes)

Many folks I know are doing the “40 Bags in 40 Days” decluttering challenge – and that is a GREAT idea… BUT…

As with any other life-changing process, it often helps to have some rules in place.

These six rules of decluttering below will help you succeed with the 40 bags in 40 days system – or any ** GOOD Declutter Challenge ** – AND help you take steps toward living a clutter-free life for good.

Remember, it’s NOT enough to just throw a few bags of clutter and trash away each day, you need to know how to STOP that clutter from building up in the first place!

Declutter challenge rules checklist 40 bags in 40 days

1. Vow to Bring Less Home

Beautiful blue living room decor ideas.  #bedroomideas #diyhomedecor #getorganized #organizationideasforthehomeThe most important rule to set before you even begin to purge items is to make a sincere effort to bring less stuff in.

There’s simply no point in putting forth the effort to declutter if you undo all your progress by buying more stuff.

It’s a simple concept:

Less stuff brought IN the house equals less STUFF to deal with.

If you HAVE to buy something new, throw out something OLD right when the new thing comes in the house.

Setting a mindset to shop with intention to have less clutter and less stuff is the first step to clearing out the clutter for good.

I can tell you that in THIS house, toys are our weakness!

We have toys everywhere. Decluttering toys is an on-going battle because we simply can’t seem to stop buying more.

And the toys seem to always spill over to the living room. That’s where WE are, so of course, the kids bring their stuff their too.


OVERWHELMED by the MESS?

Learn 4 Tips from The Pros


2. Document Your Nostalgia

Organized home office #deskorganization #getorganized #gettingorganized #organizationideasforthehome #diyhomedecor #organizingideas #cleaninghacks #lifehacks #diyideas Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that can lead us to hold onto clutter.

An effective compromise is to digitize your prized possessions.

You can scan the images of things like certificates or kids’ artwork into your computer and organize them into folders.

For three-dimensional pieces like trophies or prom dresses, take a photo of the item to add to your digital keepsakes.

3. Start Small and Simple

One way to gain momentum in the decluttering process is to start with the easy things.

Begin boxing up items that don’t hold much emotional attachment.

Doing so will lead to a sense of accomplishment and help you stay motivated to keep going.

4. Lose the Duplicates

Another relatively easy decluttering task involves getting rid of unnecessary duplicate items.

We ALL have duplicate items – especially in a cluttered home because we can’t FIND anything and keep buying another.

Declutter 101 - Home Organization Tips

Those tips above info.junk-king.com are helpful to get rid of the clutter in your home.

** I am a BIG fan of the 4 Box Declutter Challenge (it really works!) **

5. Nix the Guilt

An empowering decluttering strategy is to get rid of things you’ve been holding onto out of guilt.

It doesn’t matter how much you paid for that unused mixer if it’s not being used.

And all those unwanted gifts?

You are NOT required to keep them.

6. Put Things in Their Place

Another important decluttering rule is to make sure all of your possessions have a designated “home”.

Knowing where stuff belongs makes it easier to keep everything tidy and lowers the chance of clutter becoming a recurring problem.

These linen closet organization ideas really helped declutter one of the messiest areas of my home – closets sure attract SO much STUFF, don’t they?

These rules aren’t the definitive last word on clearing out the clutter, and they won’t remove all the challenges we all go through when decluttering.

But hopefully, they will serve as guidelines to help you begin your own decluttering journey… and get it right the FIRST time.

More Decluttering Help:

How to declutter your home for a peaceful and organized living space

Bedroom Too Small & Cluttered? Get Rid Of These 4 Items – FillingTheJars.com


✅  Does Your House Look Like Sh*t But You’re Too Overwhelmed To Clean? **Here’s Help**


25 Things To Purge When You Feel Like a Hoarder – ToryStender.com


100 Things To Get Rid Of Without Thinking Twice – ShannonTorrens.com


Best Free Decluttering Checklists


50 Things To Declutter Right Now – ItsAimeeRebecca.com


✅  Recommended:

declutter challenge binder printables

(image above links to a LOT of declutter challenge printables, cleaning schedules and MUCH more!)


My House Was a MESS!
And my anxiety was through the roof!

I needed a plan to get it together - it was all pushing me over the edge.

Thing is - we LIVE here... I never had the fantasy that my home would ever look "Pinterest perfect".

I simply wanted more control, less clutter and much less anxiety.

I finally found something that worked for ME.
  • My house is now easier to clean - I can now clean it in minutes, instead of hours.
  • I can now actually FIND the things I'm looking for.
  • I learned some simple decluttering systems that make me much more efficient every day - and I'm more relaxed and less overwhelmed all the time (finally)
  • My house now looks pretty darn good almost all the time.
  • Best of all - I no longer stress about guests unexpectedly showing up.
Turns out, it was so much easier to do than I ever expected.

This is how I did it.


How to organize what you have and how to STAY uncluttered.  Decluttering your life simple living tips and advanced decluttering strategies that work.  If you've thought "I need help with my clutter!", this page is for you.  Stop holding on to junk, learn the benefits of decluttering your house and how to organize what you have with these 6 simple decluttering tips and organization hacks.
Get organized and stay organized  style=
declutter 101 tips for success

Get organized and STAY organized! If your messy house and clutter is overwhelming, learn these 6 simple rules of decluttering your life