The Simple Way To Declutter and Downsize Your Home Room by Room – WITHOUT Getting Overwhelmed – with a checklist too!
Ready to learn how to declutter a room full of STUFF (even if your house is SO cluttered and you don’t know where to start)?
Feel like you need to PURGE your ENTIRE home and declutter EVERYTHING? You’re NOT alone!
Let’s talk about how to declutter your house room by room WITHOUT losing your mind AND give you a free declutter your home checklist to get you started.
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Clutter is OVERWHELMING – it seriously causes major anxiety for me… are you the same?
Just trying to figure out which room to declutter first makes me feel like a hot mess!
If so, my simple step-by-step checklist for decluttering my home room by room will absolutely help you declutter and organize your WHOLE house, too.
How To Declutter Your Home FAST
Does the thought of decluttering your entire home overwhelm you? A job that large can be daunting.
The solution is to break the big, overwhelming task down of downsizing into much smaller “doable” tasks, so that you can work on your clutter at your own pace and still tackle the job without making BIG mistakes.
Those that have successfully downsized their homes used the following steps to achieve a clutter-free home. In fact, according to SimplyMaid, decluttering can actually make you happier!
✅ Room by Room
Below are my 4 simple steps for total clutter domination in MY home.
I’ve tried this many different ways, but this is the process that really works for me.
Note: if you’re trying to declutter with kids, do yourself a HUGE favor and see if the kids can hang out with a friend, neighbor and/or relative for the day.
It will makes this whole decluttering process SO much easier on YOU.
Start With TWO Questions…
Decluttering is not only overwhelming, it also can cause some serious anxiety for many folks.
When you want to declutter your home – or downsize the amount of STUFF in ANY room in your home – and you’re feeling overwhelmed, prepare yourself by getting 2 simple questions in your mind… and then that is ALL you will think about while decluttering.
Yes, NEED it.
If you take your feelings out of your decision making, you will find there are MANY, M-A-N-Y things you own that you do NOT need at ALL.
If the answer is “YES”, that you really DO need that thing, then quickly decide where that thing will “live” in your home.
If the answer is “NO”, you do NOT really need that thing, will it be trashed or donated.
Clearing the clutter in any room needs to be NON-emotional and very Yes/No, black and white – or else you will find yourself stuck and most likely getting nothing accomplished.
I’m all about “Joy” when it comes to decluttering sentimental items – but for STUFF… no, it’s very simple:
Keep it or TRASH IT.
Ok, let’s get started!
1. Make a Checklist
Grab a notepad and create a master plan or declutter checklist for your entire house – yes, room by room.
Yep, we want to make a Declutter Master Plan on paper to take your house back.
Use a separate piece of paper for each room or area; a sample declutter your home checklist would include:
- dining room
- laundry room
- living room
Customize that room checklist for the rooms in YOUR house.
I know it probably sounds silly to make a list of your rooms, but it really helps keep you focused on ONE room at a time so you do NOT get overwhelmed
Now, if you REALLY struggle with feeling overwhelmed and the thought of an entire ROOM stops in your tracks…
Make a Space By Space checklist…
Something like this:
That way, you can work on individual small spaces, check off what you’ve done… and SEE your progress.
That kind of “Space By Space” checklist is also SUPER helpful if, like ME, you walk in a room to get to work and… just STAND there because you can’t even figure out what to DO first.
Bottom line: Start with what YOU are comfortable with – it only WORKS if it works for YOU.
Prefer a workbook or checklist to prepare to declutter your entire home?
We have free printables =)
Or, Amazon has these:
Next, decide what belongs in each room/area on your plan.
For example, decide ahead of time where the household papers belong – do you want to keep files in the kitchen near your command center or do you have a home office?
Tip: Where are the piles of paper situated in your house?
In my house, everything gets dropped in the kitchen.
To battle that kitchen clutter, I have this 2-step system:
1. I have a command center area in my kitchen where I keep all my “need right now” papers
2. Any “must keep” papers are organized in my home office (here’s how I keep my desk organized).
Keep asking yourself these questions as you look around your house and make your plan. Where will your son’s sports equipment go? Will your daughter’s toys be kept in her bedroom or the playroom?
Tip: I like to keep “quiet” toys in the bedroom and “noisy” toys in the playroom.
Half the battle of decluttering is just placing things where they belong and having a “home” for every item in your house.
The other half of the decluttering your home battle is THROWING STUFF AWAY.
2. Prepare To Get Rid of Clutter
Use Three Large Boxes. Label these boxes as follows:
“Give Away”, and
Choose ONE room to get started.
A good idea is to start with the smallest room or the room you feel is the least cluttered.
Because decluttering that first small “easy” room will give you a sense of accomplishment and inspire you to keep going (hopefully!).
It also helps to choose a room that does not contain your personal belongings, at least to start.
You may get caught up in a trip down memory lane and accomplish nothing.
For example, the smallest area in my home that needs decluttering is my office closet – but I NEVER start in that small space when I am doing a room-by-room decluttering spree!
Because I have boxes of family photos and things from my kid’s school years in there.
If I started decluttering in that space, I wouldn’t come out for HOURS… and my inspiration to declutter anything else would be drained.
So start decluttering your home in the smallest space that you feel you can declutter quickly WITHOUT too much personal attachment to the stuff in it to delay the results of your Master Plan.
3. Declutter Room by Room Checklist
Now it’s time to declutter your whole house, room by room, quickly, easily and methodically.
Here’s the simple process I use to declutter and minimalize my home when going room-by-room:
- Pick a room to start in and a corner to begin.
- Put the trash in a trash bag
- Put the “I don’t need anymore” in a box or bag (label them first to avoid confusion) these are donated
- Put the “I know I want to keep – but I’m not sure where it should go” in a box and write it on a page in notepad and put page with box
- Put the “I know I want to keep and it belongs in another room” in a basket or bin
- Put the “I’m not sure if I want to keep” in a box – listed on paper with box
- Leave the “I know I want to keep in this room” where it is.
Resist the urge to jump around; this will take longer and you may miss something.
Keep your master list/plan with you the entire time, but only the page for that specific room.
Here’s a room-by-room cheat sheet from imagineerremodeling that I think it helpful.
As you work through the room, anything that does not belong should be placed in one of the three boxes.
Note that the “Put Away” box is for items that belong in another room, not items that belong in that room but need to be put away.
Here’s the room by room checklist steps you can save to Pinterest (or just REpin it from here)
and STILL have a LIFE.
4. FINISH Each Room
Do NOT skip this last step.
When you have gone through the entire room, deal immediately with the contents of your three boxes.
Put the items that belong in another room where they belong, throw out all garbage and place the “give away” items in your car to be dropped off at a place that accepts such donations the very next time you go out.
The goal is to get RID of clutter and get it completely out of your house.
Also keep in mind as you declutter that you are not attempting to organize at this point. You just want to clear the decks.
Do one room at a time as your schedule permits and be sure to maintain the rooms that you have already done.
Yes, I KNOW – getting rid of clutter is HARD – but you CAN do it!
Once your entire home is completely decluttered, then you can move on to organizing what remains.
When you’re ready to finally STOP being a cluttered mess and really ORGANIZE your home…
Such simply BRILLIANT organizers for every little space in your home!
And OMG, I am in LOVE with these IKEA storage bags!
Have you seen them or used them before?
They are AWESOME!
Seriously, I could spend ALL DAY browsing through all these home organization products and planning out what I need.
I know that having a ‘place for EVERYTHING’ is key for ME to keep my home neat, organized and clutter-free.
If I need to spend a few bucks to make that happen, I’m ALL for it!
Being organized is MUCH cheaper than being a cluttered mess.
And that is the “secret” to successfully decluttering your home room by room – don’t try to declutter EVERYTHING in each room – just get rid of the clutter so THEN you can get each room organized.
Declutter Your Home Checklist
Here is a really simple clutter checklist to declutter and downsize all the crap in each room of your house. It’s really useful to help you figure out WHAT clutter to throw away.
These are my FAVORITE storage containers
They are airtight and they look GREAT sitting on my kitchen counters, in my cabinets and other storage spaces around my house!
I even use them for my desk and craft stuff - LOVE them!
Declutter In ONE Day
If you really want to try to declutter your whole house, room by room, all in ONE day, here are some tips to get it done.
Note: this is a BIG project and is not ideal for those that already feeling overwhelmed.
More Ways To Declutter and Organize
1 – Decluttering? Do NOT Use These – Where To START When Your House is a Disaster – If you’re tired of thinking: “My House Is SO CLUTTERED… and I Don’t Know Where To START!” You NEED to read these tips and tricks to FINALLY get started and NOT make mistakes.
2 – How I FINALLY Decluttered My House After Being Overwhelmed For YEARS – Tips and tricks to help you get rid of the clutter even if you’re feeling overwhelmed and ASHAMED of your messy house.
3 – One Hour Declutter Challenge To Get Organized In Only 7 Days – This simple this decluttering challenge is perfect for those OVERWHELMED with all their clutter and their messy home.
4 – How To Declutter When You Have ZERO Motivation – Feeling Overwhelmed? Need cleaning motivation? How to declutter and organize when feeling overwhelmed and with NO motivation to do anything around the house.
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