How To Start Decluttering Your Home | Jo Linsdell

How To Start Decluttering Your Home


How To Start Decluttering Your Home


How To Start Decluttering Your Home

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I mentioned in previous wrap up posts that due to my numerous allergies I wanted to start embracing minimalism. Less clutter means it's easy to keep everything clean, which in turn should help improve my allergy situation.

Not having lived a minimalist lifestyle up to now, in fact we've been low level hoarders for years, I find myself realising just how much stuff we have. My husband, our two sons, and myself have all accumulated so much stuff over the years. 

When faced with a huge task it can feel a little (make that a LOT) overwhelming. 

So how do we start on this journey to simplify and declutter?

I'm by no means an expert, far from it. I'm just starting out on my decluttering journey but wanted to share some things I've learnt so far and/or have read about in my research into the topic of minimalism that might be helpful to others who want to simplify their lives. 

Decluttering made simple

Remove the easiest things first

Feeling overwhelmed? Don't know where to start? Keep it simple and start with the easier things that give the fastest results.

1. Get rid of rubbish

Arm yourself with a rubbish bag and get ready to tackle the clutter.

Paper clutter

I don't know about you but I have a habit of writing lists and making notes on random pieces of paper. A lot of the time these pieces of paper get stuffed inside folders or piled on my desk (along with multiple others) to later be forgotten about. They served their purpose but for some unknown reason didn't get thrown away. They are just more clutter on my already cluttered desk. My desk also happens to be a sort of dumping ground for anything and everything. This is where I start. 

I throw out all unnecessary paper clutter. It's a quick enough task as it's usually easy to identify stuff you can get rid and the odd bits you might need to keep e.g. bank statements, bills or other important paperwork that's mixed in with the clutter. 

Don't limit yourself to just one area though. Whilst my desk is the place where most paper clutter builds up, it's a good idea to have a walk through the whole house looking for more. Menu's, leaflets... more lists on random pieces of paper... add them all to the bag.

You'll be surprised at how quickly you can fill a bag of all the paper clutter. 

The great thing about starting with such an easy task is that you get instant gratification. All that paper was taking up space and now it's in a rubbish bag on its way out of your life. You've started your decluttering journey!

Get rid of larger items

This is another task that works great for keeping motivation levels high. Look for larger items you no longer need/want. Furniture, boxes... stuff that takes up a large amount of physical space. For example, I had a chest of drawers that I didn't even like, that was taking up a considerable amount of space out on our balcony. Every time I looked at it I'd think "I really must get rid of that"... and yet there it was, still on the balcony. Time for it to go!

I also gave away few items like shelves and storage boxes we didn't need any more. My husband wasn't convinced to begin with. He thought we could use them to store other things. I pointed out that we don't need more storage. We need less stuff. Plus if the stuff is stored in boxes and then forgotten about do we really need to be storing it in the first place or is it just unnecessary clutter?

Is it broken?

Whether it's a piece of clothing, an appliance or any other item for that matter, if it's broken either fix it or throw it away. With all the other clutter you don't need rubbish as clutter on top of it all.

If it can be fixed and you seriously want to keep it, get it done ASAP. If you still haven't fixed it by the end of the month it's time to be honest with yourself. Just get rid of it. You're not going to fix it. If it was important you would have by now. 

2. Get rid of stuff you've outgrown

Clothing, toys... sometimes we just outgrow stuff. 


This is an obvious place to start. We all change clothing size over the years. Whether it's from growth spurts as kids or filling out due to hormones and lack of exercise (that last one might be me 🤦) there's no point in holding on to clothing that doesn't fit. 

I have a 16 year old and a 12 year old, both of which are going through growth spurts. This actually makes this task so much easier as I can declutter a lot of clothing just based on stuff they've outgrown.

Any damaged items get thrown out, all the rest gets donated. Not only do you clear your clutter but you also get to help other people at the same time. Double win!

Going through my boys clothes I realised just how much they had that they never wore. What is the point in having loads of clothes if you just wear the same stuff all the time? As they are both growing we'll be opting for a more limited wardrobe from now on. That being said, they both got a lot of clothes for Christmas so they definitely have plenty of choice about what to wear still. 

Having started to make head way with the boys clothing (still a work in progress) I decided to start on my own wardrobe. As a family we all have far too many clothes, myself included. Like my sons, I also have a lot of clothing I never wear. 

I've already gotten rid of 4 large rubbish bags worth of clothing and my wardrobes are still full! 

I like the idea of having a capsule wardrobe of myself. I don't necessarily want to go out and buy a completely new collection of clothing though. I have some pieces I love and wear often. So my goal is to make a sort of capsule wardrobe out of the stuff I already have. 

I'm starting by getting rid of anything that is damaged or stained, doesn't fit, or that I simply don't like (I have several pieces of clothing that I received as gifts that I've never worn).

I have items that are in good condition (some only worn a few times) and that I love but that no longer fit me. Whilst I can promise myself that I'll get back into shape, lose weight and fit back into them again after a while I have to be honest with myself. Also, do I really want to be dressing in the same clothes I used to wear 10 or even 20 years ago? Maybe it's time to let them go.

I should also mention here that I've set a new rule about what we buy. No more buying items just because they're on sale. If we don't need it we don't buy it. This will also save us money as well as helping to keep clutter to a minimum. 

Toys and games

Like I said, my sons are growing up. They've outgrown the majority of toys and games they own. Whilst we do still enjoy playing boardgames together as a family we tend to always play the same select few. 

Time to get rid of any toys and games for younger kids. Again I donate most of these. 

Going through their stuff I've found; toy cars, race tracks, a toy castle, cuddly toys, and every type of cards you can imagine (they both went through phases of collecting Pokemon cards, football cards, Gormiti cards and [insert type here] cards). I filled two bags with toys they got from Mc Donalds Happy Meals! 

Decluttering is an ongoing lifestyle

Now that you've started on your decluttering journey you should already see a big difference in your home. I know I have.

This is just the start though. Trust me, stuff has a way of building up again if you don't keep it under control.

There are numerous reasons why declutter can improve your life. Whilst my biggest goal of decluttering is to have a home that is easier to clean due to my allergies, I also want to have a more organised home. 

Just organising our possessions isn't enough though. We simply don't have the space to keep it all even if it is better organised. 

One of the biggest impacts I've noticed since starting my own decluttering journey is how much more peaceful and relaxed I feel in the areas I've done. It's amazing how stressed and frustrated all that clutter was making me without even realising it. 

I also now don't have to panic if someone drops by last minute. No more running around trying to tidy up and hide the clutter before guests arrive (I know I'm not the only one who did this!). 

Once you've decluttered an area is so much easier to maintain it clean and tidy. For one, you're motivated to keep it looking nice as you put in the time and energy to get it decluttered. Secondly, it's so much easier to do now as you don't have to move a million things to be able to clean it properly.

How To Start Decluttering Your Home

Do you plan to declutter you home this year? What areas will you be starting with? Any decluttering tips to share? 

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