Do you need a quick spruce up and declutter of your home? Or perhaps you’re stuck with the thought of decluttering and you just don’t know where to start?
Regardless of how motivated you are, the very start of a decluttering process can be incredibly overwhelming and leave you wanting to run and hide, putting your task off for another day.
I always find that a quick declutter is the best way to spark off a deeper declutter and clear out. It plays into the idea that a quick win triggers off the reward centre of our brain (dopamine) and tells us we’ve done a good job and to do it again (also the addiction centre of the brain – addicted to decluttering??).
Using how our brain works in our favour can help motivate us to keep going, keep decluttering, and also gives us that awesome quick win.
If you’re searching for how to quickly start a decluttering process, how to do a quick clean out and declutter, then focus on these areas to start:
1 – Kitchen Cupboards
Your kitchen cupboards can be a vortex of ‘but I might need it one day’ items, not to mention the chipped crockery, the 7 serving dishes, 5 cake stands, 10 pots and pans and countless Tupperware containers (without matching lids of course).
While most of the time our kitchen cupboards could benefit from a deep declutter and clean, this is all about a quick declutter so go through do a quick pass of each cupboard and remove anything you don’t need, that is broken, or that you have an excess of.
If you’re not sure where to start with decluttering your kitchen, check out these 9 items from your kitchen that you can declutter today.
2 – Wardrobe
Often people thing of a wardrobe as a declutter option as a one time event, but really, decluttering your wardrobe is an ongoing process.
Anytime I buy new clothes I’m sure to do a quick sweep declutter of my wardrobe so I don’t end up just adding more and more without moving things out I no longer need or wear.
For a quick wardrobe declutter, set a time and spend 30 minutes removing anything you don’t need. Do a quick pass the first time, then go back and repeat the process – you’ll find the second time around you’re a little more ruthless in what you remove.
Be sure to have two piles, one for rags/bin and one for donating – and once you’ve done your donate pile, take it straight to Goodwill! Aka, don’t drive around with a bag of clothes to donate for the next month!
3 – Bathroom Cupboard
When was the last time you decluttered your bathroom cupboard? And… have you ever checked the expiration date of your makeup?
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I even learned makeup HAS an expiration date! It’s actually called a ‘period after opening’ symbol (easy to find on Google) and it looks like a little jar with a number in it, often a 12 or a 24. This number represents the number of months of useful lifetime the product has after opening!
So, that mascara you’ve been rocking for the last 5 years is not within the usable lifetime, and your ‘good face cream’ you only use on rare occasions because it’s so darn expensive may have lost it’s efficacy and actually could cause irritation if using it beyond the usable lifetime.
Set a timer again, go through your cupboards and simply remove anything that is past the usable lifetime – including hair care, body moisturizers, make up, skin care, sunscreen (usually has a specific expiration date) and anything else you have that has a period after opening or expiration date.
Then to reward yourself for all of your hard work, add a beautiful plant like a Devil’s Ivy that thrives in a bathroom environment, and pop it in a cute pot like this one for a quick way to make your bathroom feel fresh too!
4 – Linen Cupboard
Do you still have the same ratty towels from when you first moved out of home shoved deep into the depths of your linen cupboard? Sentimental right?
Your linen cupboard can be a super easy, super quick area to declutter. Simply go in and remove anything that is ratty or unable to be used properly, or anything you no longer need (do you really need 5 different sheet sets for your bed?).
You can then donate these items if they are in good repair (not the ratty ones) or cut them up and use them as reusable rags around the house.
5 – ‘That’ Drawer
You know the one I’m talking about… it’s most likely in your kitchen, usually the second drawer from the bottom, and it’s where the ‘I don’t know where to put this’ stuff goes.
That drawer is host to an array of strange things, including random screws that came out of something but you’re not sure what, a few hair ties, a tape measure and screwdrivers… and literally every other piece of ‘something’.
The truth is, these drawers are difficult to declutter completely – so don’t set yourself up to feel like you have to have it all perfectly organized and everything out of there.
Instead, set yourself a timer for 20 minutes and just clear out the things that don’t need to be there. If your drawer is extra messy, grab yourself some little compartment boxes without lids and sort like items together to make it a little more organized.
6 – Paper Stash
Do you have one of those ‘I’ll file this later’ piles of paper? The one that has been accumulating more and more paper for months… I do too. I’m not the kind of person who can file as soon as an important piece of paper lands in my hands.
This pile of paper always stresses me out. Not to the point where it consumes my thoughts, more like I just cringe when I see it. The funny thing is, it really doesn’t take that long to declutter and organize!
Get in, get the pile sorted, keep what you need, throw what you don’t, FILE IT! It’s really not that hard (also remember to take photos or scan important documents and receipts too!).
7 – Knicknacks
So, I don’t love knicknacks, but I always seem to accumulate them in my house for some reason. Thankfully I have a super useful hack for reducing the amount of ‘things’ without making your home look super bare and bland.
Whenever I’m feeling like the knickknacks are taking over (think candles, figurines, pretty decorative things you got from Target because they looked cute and were half price), I simply go through the house and remove 10 items.
They don’t have to all be from one location, it can be from anywhere in the house, but you’d be amazed at what a quick de-stash of 10 items can do for your cluttered feeling.
8 – Pantry
Before you even think about trying to organize your pantry, you need to get rid of things that don’t need to be in there.
This is all about a quick declutter so keep it simple – remove anything that is out of date and remove anything that you won’t use.
It’s really that simple. Be sure to check everything – I didn’t even realise I’d been carting the same baking powder around for years (I don’t use it often) and it was waaaaay out of date.
9 – Fridge & Freezer
Same goes for your fridge and freezer! Get it and clear out what doesn’t need to be there, check expiration dates, and put all 3 open bottles of tomato sauce (aka ketchup) into one bottle.
A great way to do this is to remove everything from your fridge (clean the shelves as you go) and then put things back in an organized way. Once you’ve done a big initial declutter, try to keep on top of it by doing a quick declutter before you pack away the groceries after each shop.
Repeat the process for your freezer and to make things easier in the future, be sure to date any left overs you put in or any meat you freeze.
10 – Cleaning Supplies
It’s easy to stash up on cleaning supplies without realising you actually have 5 bottles of glass cleaner, 10 packets of paper towel and more rolls of toilet paper than you could ever use.
Take stocktake of what you’ve got, sort it out and get rid of any bottles that don’t spray anymore (so annoying) and if you have more cleaning supplies than you’ll ever use, donate extras to goodwill. You may have gotten it with a heck of coupon deal, but keep what you need, and let go of any excess.
Decluttering your home doesn’t have to take a ton of time, and it doesn’t have to be a huge process. Focus on each one of these areas at a time you’ll be amazed at how much more clear and less cluttered your home feels.