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Decluttering for beginners: How to declutter room-by-room

Decluttering is a daunting process. It can take ages to clean every zone or room in your house. The best way to avoid losing motivation while decluttering is to take everything slowly.

Clean in stages to avoid being overwhelmed. Focus on cleaning one room or zone before moving on to the next. Create a schedule that allows you to cover every section of your home and a checklist of what you should handle when you get to this section.

It does not matter where you start. This article is a beginner’s guide showing what you should concentrate on when you start decluttering your home by zones or rooms.

Decluttering The bedroom

decluttering bedroom

The bedroom should be where you go to relax after a long day’s work. This room is not where you want to be tripping over clothes scattered on the floor or stepping over electrical cords. Here’s how to get rid of clutter in the bedroom;

Empty the dresser or closet

Remove the contents of your drawer and place them on the bed. Go through the contents to find items you no longer use.

Get rid of these items and rearrange the others neatly into the dresser. Do not forget to declutter the bedside table.

Sort your clothing

Clothes make up the majority of clutter in the bedroom. Have several bins to sort out your clothing.

Place shoes in one bin. Place clothing you no longer wear into another bin. Bag the clothes and mark the ones you want to donate.

Fold your clothing

Always fold your clothes before putting them away in your closet. Folded clothes make the closet look neat and organized.

Put socks, underwear, and other small items (such as ties, watches, and jewelry) in separate drawers for easy access.

Put away your electronics

Always have electronic devices placed away when not in use. Hide cables and extension cords for humidifiers and other devices to avoid tripping on them when you walk into the bedroom.

Clean under the bed

Clean under the bed and remove any clutter lying there.

Many people store a lot of items they never use under their beds. Get rid of this clutter and vacuum properly to remove dirt, dust, or odors.

Decluttering The bathroom

clean bathroom

Bathrooms should always be sparkling clean. A lot of dirt can accumulate here if not checked. Schedule at least two times of deep-cleaning every month. Here’s what to look for in this section;

Clean the sink and countertop

The bathroom sink and drain can accumulate a lot of goop from hair shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, and other personal care products you wash down the drain.

Always clean up after using the bathroom sink and countertop. Rinse with clean water and rub down to keep the area dry at all times.

Sometimes this goop can lead to drain blockages. Once a month, go under the sink and remove the goop that may have accumulated here to prevent blockage.

Arrange your personal care products

If you have a lot of personal care products, keep them neatly arranged on the countertop.

Keep the ones you use regularly close for easier access. Remove empty bottles or expired products and throw them in the trash.

Keep the floors clean and non-slippery

Slippery bathroom floors can be dangerous. People trip on such floors and the fall can be life-threatening.

To prevent this, always keep the floors clean and dry. Add non-slip mats in your bathroom.

After bathing, rinse the floor with clean water to prevent soapy slime from building up.

Get creative with bathroom storage

Store medication in an easily accessible area. Be creative with towel storage areas.

Buy racks that hang onto the door and utilize the area behind the door as a towel storage area.

Remove faded or torn towels from the bathroom. 

The living room

clean living room

The living room is where everyone comes to enjoy each other company. Because of the presence of many people in one space, this room gets cluttered fast. Here are tips on how you can declutter your living room;

Get rid of old magazines and newspapers

If these magazines and newspapers possess any sentimental value, put them in a box and place them in another room, out of sight. Get rid of the rest.

Organize books

Once you have finished reading a book, place it back on the bookshelf. Books lying around make the room look cluttered. If you are a neat freak, arrange the books by genre for easy access.

Stash toys away when not in use

Have drawers or boxes for storing toys. Once the kids have finished playing, they should put their toys away to prevent people from tripping on them.

Get rid of excess furniture

Too much furniture in the living room makes the room look cluttered. Keep what you need and dispose of what makes the room look crowded.

Electronics and cords

Hide all cords in places they do not interfere with movement inside the living room.

Have a cable management system for your electronic devices to keep the room looking neat.

The Kitchen

decluttering kitchen

The kitchen is a popular room in the house. It is easy to accumulate clutter here, especially with a large family. Dirty dishes, trash, food items, and utensils can make the room look chaotic. Here’s how to declutter the kitchen;

Remove expired items from the pantry

Raid the pantry and refrigerator and look for expired food products. These could be the source of the foul smell coming from your kitchen.

Organize your pantry

Do not put perishable products deep into your pantry or fridge. If you are buying food in cans, label these cans before storing them away.

Labeling will prevent second-guessing whether the contents of the can are good to eat. This can also help you save money as one of the ways to lower your grocery bill.

Store away unused pans and pots

You do not need to parade every pot and pan on your kitchen countertop. Keep away what you do not need and retrieve the pans when you want to use them.

Get rid of damaged pots and pans.

The same applies to unused electrical appliances and gadgets. Bring them out when you want to use them.

Get creative with storage spaces

Buy racks to take advantage of open spaces on your countertop. Keep items you often use here -such as condiments or cookbooks.

Other items – including utensils – should be stored in drawers to give the kitchen a neat and fresh look.

Handling trash

Take the trash out daily. Keep kitchen trash in separate bins.

In one bin, store kitchen scraps and biodegradable kitchen waste. This will come in handy for composting to make organic fertilizer for your kitchen garden.

Countertops and sinks

Always clean your kitchen countertops and sink after washing the dishes or after preparing every meal.

Do not put food scraps inside the kitchen sink to avoid clogging the drain.

Decluttering the Garage

garage clean

Most of us have converted our garages into the room where we store all the unused and unwanted stuff. This is okay if you rarely use your garage. However, if you park your vehicle here daily, you may need to organize the garage. Here are some tips on how to declutter your garage;

Get rid of anything metallic that is rusty

Remove rusty car spare parts and anything metallic that has called your garage ‘home’ for years. If something has been lying unused for over 5 years in the garage, you probably will never find a use for it. Try to see if someone else can buy these parts from you.

Get rid of worn-out spare tires

Why keep worn-out tires in the garage after buying new ones for your car? You can throw them away or repurpose them into something useful in a DIY project.

Household waste, half-used cans of paint, and half-used oil cans

Most household waste that has some sentimental value ends up in the garage. However, after a few years, revisit this waste to see if the sentimental value still exists. If not, get rid of these materials to keep the garage neat.

Remove half-used cans of paint if they have stayed in the garage for more than two years. Chances are that the paint has caulked inside and may not be usable.

Home office and Common Areas

Decluttering home office

Keep everything neat and organized in all common areas (such as the foyer or patio). Organize your office in such a way that you can access anything you want within a few seconds.

Minimize paper clutter by saving documents on the computer.

The lawn

decluttering lawn

The lawn offers the first impression of how organized you are. If the lawn is overgrown with unkempt grass and bushes, chances are that your house is not in order.

Trim your grass often and remove any trash from your lawn. You do not need to be a landscaping genius to maintain your lawn.

Plant colorful flowers on your driveway and keep them short and well-trimmed.

Recap

Decluttering can be challenging but if you take the time to break the process down, you might have fun getting rid of clutter in your home.

The most important points to note when decluttering are;

  • Take it slow – have a schedule and purpose to declutter a section at a time (say a different room each day)
  • Have a checklist – This will help you know what to target when decluttering every room
  • Engage your family members – It would be a futile endeavor to declutter without the support of your family members (remember they also play a huge role in accumulating clutter!)
  • Have fun! – When you know how good your home will be after decluttering, you will enjoy the process. The result will put a smile on your face.

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