Which Room Should You Declutter First? The Answer Might Surprise You!

If you want to get seriously organized, you MUST declutter and downsize FIRST. The first step to decluttering and downsizing your home is knowing where to START – and which room is the BEST to declutter first – and which room is NOT.

The most common question I get here at Decluttering Your Life is: “Which room should I declutter FIRST?” – and it’s an excellent question!

The first step is always the most important step and requires the serious tips below – so let’s talk about the best room to start decluttering in as your first step…

and the WORST room to declutter first.

It all comes down to 3 different rooms based on whether you are overwhelmed, lacking motivation or just want a straight answer from the Pros.

first step to decluttering - decluttering strategies and secrets that actually work. my house is so cluttered i don't know where to start - this is best room to start decluttering if you're overwhelmed with too much stuff or have a normal messy house thinking my house overwhelms me - declutter your home checklist for which room to start.

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Best room to declutter first - which is the best room to start decluttering when feeling overwhelmed

So you decided to clean the clutter – yay, you!!!

I’m sure right now you feel pretty overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

I get that. Heck, we ALL get that and we ALL feel that way!

When you’re overwhelmed, it is really hard to start anything let alone clearing out the clutter and junk in your home.

I used to wish I could just rent 12 dumpsters to declutter EVERYTHING out of my house or hire a one of those decluttering services near me all so I wouldn’t have to deal with the room to room decluttering process, but that’s not realistic… and it could be pretty expensive, too =)

But then I ended up feeling guilty about throwing things away.

Ever feel that way?

Seriously, I have days like that – I want it ALL gone because the clutter gets SO overwhelming.

However, getting rid of everything is NOT one of the best tips for decluttering your home haha!


If I wanted to downsize and move in the cheapest way possible, I totally WOULD get rid of pretty much everything.

But we’re not talking about moving today =)

Instead, let’s talk about the first decluttering step when you feel paralyzed by your clutter and want to start getting RID of it.

So our reader question today is:

Which room should I declutter FIRST?

According to most decluttering professionals, the best room to start decluttering is your living room (ie, main living area) –

BUT I do NOT recommend that room as the BEST one to declutter FIRST for those totally feeling VERY overwhelmed.

Here’s why…

Everyone is different and at a different mental place with their decluttering process.

Which room is the BEST to start all comes down to how YOU feel.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, start in a specific room.

If you’re lacking motivation, you’d start in a different room.

There’s also a room I do NOT recommend decluttering first as well.

No Motivation? Start Here

If you are someone who really needs to START in a room that will give you the MOST motivation to declutter the rest of your house, I strongly recommend you declutter your bedroom first.

Yes, your bedroom.

As a first step to decluttering, it’s best to start in your bedroom for one simple reason- MOTIVATION-get the checklist here.

Getting motivated and STAYING motivated is KEY here.

Waking up every single day in that freshly decluttered, clean room will absolutely help keep you motivated to declutter other rooms in your home.

In fact, it will COMPEL you to declutter your other rooms.

When my bedroom is clean and clutter-free, I start my day happy and peaceful.

Then… I walk OUT of my bedroom and I get angry at all the clutter in my OTHER rooms.

which inspires me to clean like a “mad woman” because I am MAD haha!

That always works for me (and for many others I have recommended it to).

Feeling Overwhelmed? Start Here

However, if you feel CRAZY overwhelmed with all the clutter in your home and you need to pick one room to be clutter-free first, I would pick the room YOU use the most.

In this case, I strongly recommend you start to declutter in a room or space YOU mainly use (best if it’s only YOU using that room).

By choosing that room or space to declutter first, you will find that area will require minimal upkeep AND others won’t be un-doing your decluttering process.

Make sense?

As an example, for ME, the best room to START decluttering is my home office.

I am the only one that uses this space PLUS it motivates me AND makes ME more productive when my work space is neat, clean, organized and clutter-free.

Plus, and this will sound super odd…

I actually LIKE dealing with paper clutter these days (yes, I’m weird lol!)

Do NOT Declutter This Room First

Declutter your home tips - where to START decluttering when overwhelmed - the best room to start and other decluttering mistakes to avoid

When good folks like you are told to START decluttering in this room, I cringe.

“They” say to declutter the most active room in your home.

In other words, the room YOU – and everyone else – spends the most time in.

For many, MANY of us, that best room to start decluttering is the kitchen, but I do NOT suggest starting in that room at ALL.

YES, a clutter-free kitchen is wonderful, BUT…

The kitchen also takes constant upkeep (ie, it won’t STAY decluttered for long – especially if you have children creating an on-going mess and/or bringing more stuff in).

It very well might feel like a stressful, uphill battle just trying to keep the kitchen clutter-free and clean – and will DE-motivate you to keep decluttering other rooms.

The Best Room For YOU To Start

As you can see, getting started in your decluttering process really all comes down to YOU and how YOU are feeling about it all.

So, to sum up…

  • If you struggle with motivation to declutter:

    ✅  Start with your bedroom.

  • If you are feeling overwhelmed:

    ✅  Start with a room only YOU use.

  • If you want to start decluttering in the best room according to the Pros:

    ✅  Start with your main living area.

Great question – thank you!

Keep those decluttering questions coming!

What To Read Next:

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.

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