Learn how to declutter fast by following these five easy steps that will help you get a clutter-free home.
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WANT TO KNOW HOW TO DECLUTTER FAST? PREPARATION. YOU NEED TO BE MENTALLY PREPARED AND COMMITTED TO LET THINGS GO.
Why should you want to read about these really easy tips to declutter your home fast?
Because, if you’re like most people, even if you’re really intent on removing clutter from home, you’re probably intimidated by the amount of stuff you’ve accumulated over the years.
And you need help in learning how to mentally prepare to declutter your home, where to start decluttering your home (fast!) and, if you’ve done some previous decluttering work, how to declutter faster.
Wait! Why would you want to declutter again?
Curating your belongings and decluttering are simple and practical things you can do to fast-track your way to a blissful home because chances are high that you have way too much stuff.
It’s a bit hard to feel relaxed, cosy or blissful when you have mountains of items piled up everywhere. And if you’ve got underlying mental health conditions, it’s hard to relax when you see clutter but you also probably find it supremely difficult to do anything about it.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to replace medical assistance. If you suspect that you have underlying mental health issues, it’s essential that you get a proper diagnosis from your doctor because chances are, clutter is not the only symptom you’re experiencing.
Mental health issues are no joke and they are rife, affecting more people than we know.
Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a licensed therapist online. This is actually my preference as it can be difficult to get a referral to a psychologist where I live.
Also, it’s reassuring for me to know that I can simply message my therapist anytime I need to and I’d get a response ASAP. I don’t have to wait weeks for an appointment. And it’s nowhere near as expensive as it could be otherwise.
I highly recommend it!
Anyway, if you don’t have underlying mental health issues, then learning how to declutter your home fast is not as hard as you probably imagine.
Removing clutter is all about getting organised, figuring out what items you’re not using anymore, making sure that you have enough space to house all of your remaining stuff and reorganising everything to bring in great results.
Of course, it’s simple. Is it easy?
Okay, that’s a whole ‘nother story. But having a plan gives you a good headstart.
With that in mind, here are some really effective tips to help you get started.
How to mentally prepare to declutter your home fast
The first real hurdle is really your emotions and the attachment you have to the things in your home.
No matter how much you want to streamline your life and get rid of the chaos caused by your clutter, it can be a heart-wrenching decision to part with that broken porcelain teacup that was your grandmother’s but which no one can now use.
It’s difficult to part ways with your comfiest (but also rattiest and full of holes) sweater that was given by your dad, who passed away last year.
Realise that the act of decluttering isn’t just about ridding your home of broken or unused things you don’t actually need. It’s also about discovering parts of yourself that are incredibly important to you and acknowledging that.
I also recommend reading Clean and Scentsible‘s discussion on the psychology of decluttering and discover which exact emotion (and it’s highly probable that you could be experiencing more than one) is making the whole process a lot more difficult for you.
Sometimes, just naming the emotion you’re feeling – that heavy one there that makes you resist the whole decluttering process – is enough for the mind to work on it and then release it.
I believe that removing clutter from your home would be far more difficult than it’s supposed to be if you don’t understand why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling about decluttering – or even, what you’re feeling.
It’s absolutely essential that you understand and accept that your emotions are heavily invested in this process.
How To Let Go Of Hurt And Anger – This post introduces you to easy but powerful ways you can let go of negative emotions. Head on over to the section that tackles reflection to start the process.
Organization Ideas to Declutter & Organize Your Home in Just 15 Minutes a Day! – One of my favourite books, it will give you concrete and actionable tips you can do in just a few minutes a day. Perfect when you’re a busy stay-at-home working parent.
Where to start decluttering your home fast
Now that you’ve done some emotional work and have committed (and continue to commit) to the process of decluttering your home, your next question could very well be: where do I start?
You have so much stuff lying around so where to start decluttering your home fast seems like a particularly relevant question.
Our suggestion is to start by making sure you have the equipment you require to make the whole process easier. One of the best things that worked for us is to make sure we only touch an item once.
For example, I pick up my physical copy of Sherlock Holmes – one of my favourite books ever. I’ve thumbed through its pages a thousand times and I love it to death.
But since 2016, I’ve yet to open the pages. Why? Because I now have a copy on my Kindle and it’s now more convenient for me to read from there.
Where does this book go?
In a pile of other stuff for donation? Yeah, like that’s ever going out.
No, in a box labelled donation and ready to go as soon as it’s filled. Which means that that box needs to be there ready to catch your items. I put the book in and don’t touch it again.
I love you, Sherlock, but it’s time for me to move on.
How to declutter fast #1: Get some boxes ready.
That’s why we recommend that before you get started, make sure you have three containers (boxes, some bin bags or anything else that can hold a lot of items) to hand.
You will need one container for the stuff you want to keep, another for the items you want to get rid of and the final container for the stuff you want to store.
It’s simple, efficient and works very well.
How to declutter fast #2: Figure out what’s staying.
We believe that Marie Kondo is onto a great idea.
She encourages people to put all items in the middle of the room and then you start analysing every item. You can put the items you want to use back where they belong, but the ones that you consider clutter you have to either prepare for donation or maybe even for the bin.
It’s a great system and one that works very well.
Other people don’t like that and just prefer to go a different route by decluttering room by room.
It doesn’t really matter how you choose to do it. What really matters is the criteria you use to decide what stays and what goes.
For example, do you donate or bin everything you’ve not used in the last two years no matter how much you love it? Maybe you will or maybe you won’t. There are no right or wrong answers here because, believe it or not, decluttering is a very personal process.
Personally, I say good-bye to all the things I’ve not used in the last two years and which I will never use again. I’m not particularly sentimental so everything goes out – even Sherlock Holmes. 😉
So, create your own criteria and then implement it.
How to declutter fast #3: Make a pile.
The KonMari Method recommends decluttering by category instead of room by room. You start with the easiest to discard and end with the most difficult.
✦ Clothing – Most of us have waaaay too many clothes. I don’t have a problem with decluttering my clothes but my son’s? I can’t seem to let them go. I’m getting there though.
✦ Books – Contrary to what people think, Marie Kondo never said you have to keep your books to a maximum of 30. She said, she personally only does that but nowhere did she say that you and I need to do the same.
✦ Papers – Fortunately, there are now many ways we can digitise our paperwork. I love using a mobile scanner to deal with any important paperwork. If you need to keep some papers though, make sure they’re properly stored.
✦ Miscellany – All the stuff that doesn’t fall under the other categories. Most of it would be relatively easy to discard.
✦ Mementoes – These are the sentimental stuff that’s so difficult to let go. Take your time with this one and I won’t be able to tell which one you need to keep as it’s incredibly personal.
Let’s use clothes as an example.
You take all of your clothes and put them in a pile on the bed. Better to do this in different rooms so you don’t end up trying to dictate on your partner’s process. You really want to avoid looking over at what your family member is doing and then start telling them which clothes they need to discard.
How to declutter fast #4: Ask questions.
Once you create a pile with all that clutter, you touch each item and ask yourself this question: does this item spark joy? If yes, definitely keep it. If not, then let it go – maybe to someone who can appreciate it better.
We won’t delve into the controversy of her methods, only that for many people in general and for us in particular, the system does work.
In our case, we don’t only ask if something sparks joy. We also think about whether or not we used something within the past year or so?
If yes and it truly does spark joy (AKA do we really truly love it, does it make us smile, does it feel us with that blissful feeling?), then the item stays.
If we haven’t used the item but it actually does spark joy, then we examine why we don’t use it as much as it clearly deserves to be used.
Finally, if an item doesn’t fall in either of the above categories, if it’s been sitting in your home for years without receiving any use, then this is the perfect time to get rid of them.
How to declutter fast #5: Pack for rotation, donation or the bin.
Simply place the items in their designated containers and be diligent.
If something is earmarked for donation, make sure to follow through and don’t let it just sit in a garage. We’ve been there so yeah, we know how easy it is to conveniently forget that trip to the charity shop.
It is also very difficult for most people to get rid of perfectly useful items that don’t spark joy. What of the money we spent on them?
It would be easy for us to sit here and tell you not to think that you’re throwing money away. If you’ve ever been strapped for cash or in debt, the money factor will most likely be at the forefront of your mind.
Instead of worrying about the money already spent and then feeling guilty that you can’t seem to declutter “right” (as if there’s a right or wrong way in this highly personalised process), take this chance to make some money too.
If you personally feel that you need the money more than the charity shops (we’ve been there so you’re certainly not going to hear any judgement from us), nothing is stopping you from earning money off your stuff.
This is an excellent way to make sure that you keep only those items that really make you happy, get rid of the guilty feeling that comes from knowing you spent so much money on what is actually useless stuff and earn a bit of money too.
Removing items that are there just for sentimental reasons is also a good idea, so keep that in mind.
More really easy tips to declutter your home fast
It’s safe to say that learning how to declutter your home fast does take a bit of time and effort.
Sometimes, it can be very overwhelming to organise too much stuff at the same time, which is what it would seem if you put everything in a pile in the middle of the room.
If this happens to you, there is an alternative.
Instead of piling everything up, take on a single drawer at a time and remove all the unwanted items from it – just make sure they’re all under the one category.
If you have too many trousers, for example, then you have the option of first decluttering just one drawer full of trousers first, get everything in there sorted into different categories before moving on to the next drawer.
Take baby steps if you get overwhelmed but keep the end goal in mind: a blissful home filled with love and joy.
The process can be difficult but the result is definitely worth it.
Final thoughts on how to declutter fast
To recap, these are the things you need to do if you want to know where to start decluttering your home fast and learn how to declutter faster:
STEP 1: Accept that your emotions play a huge part in your commitment to the decluttering process. Discover what they are and work on them so you can release anything that’s stopping you from removing clutter from home.
STEP 2: Ready the equipment you need so you only touch an item once. Place that item in the category it belongs.
STEP 3: Figure out what’s staying. We love Marie Kondo’s approach. It might be too woo-woo for some but here at Live A Blissful Life, we’re all for it. You make a pile. You ask questions. And then you make a decision.
STEP 4: Stick with your decision. Commit, commit, commit.
STEP 5: Pack for rotation, donation or the bin.
STEP 6: Don’t let the boxes gather dust in your house. Make sure you move the boxes or container where they belong. Those for the bin need to go in the bin. Those for rotation need to go in storage. And those for donation need to go to charity shops.
And there you have it.
If you have any extra tips and tricks for fast-tracking the declutter process, just pop in your experiences in the comments section below.
We’d love to hear from you.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.