Decluttering your house can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it becomes an achievable goal. At Sparkling Clean, we understand the challenges of maintaining a clutter-free home amidst our busy lives.
That’s why we’re here to provide you with a step-by-step guide to decluttering your house effectively. By following these expert tips and incorporating the renowned KonMari Method, you can transform your living space into a tranquil haven. Say goodbye to chaos and embrace a new, organized lifestyle that brings joy and peace to your home.
The Golden Rule: Establishing a Home for Every Object
To effectively declutter your house, it’s crucial to assign a designated spot, or “home,” for each item. This simple rule ensures that objects are not left haphazardly around your living space. Instead, you develop a habit of consistently returning them to their rightful places. Although it may initially seem challenging, forming this habit is achievable through consistent practice and discipline.
Although this rule seems easy enough, I am sure everyone reading this KNOWS it really isn’t! We have several things in our minds simultaneously, calls to make, work to finish, logistics of a household to handle, and social life, it is hard to juggle life habits, needs, and ‘organized’ movement around the house. The good news is that the human mind and body are very adaptable if you put your mind to it!
“According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. The study also concluded that, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.”
With enough training in the first 66 days, you can create automated habits, placing your objects directly at their ‘homes’ and creating a new lifestyle, and a permanently decluttered house! The best decision one can make, in our opinion! Life just magically flows after this lifestyle is set, we guarantee it! But before you embark on this journey, Sparkling Clean Pro has come up with the essential steps for you to follow:
Essential Steps to Declutter Your House
To guide you on your decluttering journey, we’ve outlined the essential steps you should follow:
1. Start One Category at a Time
Begin your decluttering process by selecting a specific category to focus on. Examples of categories include kitchen utensils and appliances, clothing, shoes, office tools, living room objects, bathroom items, garage belongings, personal items, books, and documents. By tackling one category at a time, you’ll maintain a clear and organized approach to decluttering.
2. Gather Items in One Place
For each chosen category, collect all related items from throughout your house and bring them together in one location. If you’re starting with kitchen utensils and appliances, gather them onto a clear surface in your kitchen. This step allows you to visualize the extent of your possessions and prepares you for the next crucial step.
3. Assign a Destination for Each Object
As you sort through the items you’ve gathered, evaluate their necessity and purpose. This step involves two parts: determining whether you use each object and assigning it a home accordingly.
Firstly, ask yourself if you genuinely use each item. If the answer is no, place it in a donation pile, ready to be given to someone who can benefit from it. Secondly, for items you use and want to keep, assign them a designated place in your home. Consider factors like accessibility and convenience when choosing their respective homes.
4. Clear Countertops and Surfaces
To achieve a clutter-free environment, it’s essential to declutter your countertops and surfaces. Ensure that all objects find their place within cabinets, drawers, shelves, or designated storage areas.
During the decluttering process, you may create additional space within cabinets. If your countertops remain crowded even after decluttering, consider planning and implementing new storage solutions such as shelves or drawers.
5. Plan and Execute
Take the time to create a list of storage systems or containers you may need to enhance organization and categorization. Depending on the category you’re working on, you might require additional jars for pantry items, kitchen containers for utensils, hangers for clothing, or a new drawer system for your wardrobe.
Once you have a clear plan, visit stores like the dollar store, container store, Ikea, or Ross to purchase the necessary items. Upon returning home, set up the new storage system, and revel in the freedom of clutter-free countertops.
6. Repeat the Process for Each Category
Continue the step-by-step process for each category until your entire house is decluttered and organized. To ensure a lasting impact, adhere to a disciplined routine that reinforces your new habits. By doing so, you’ll effortlessly maintain an orderly home environment.
One last tip for this learning period: Make sure to be extra mindful when you get home for shopping, school, or work. This is the time we want to throw our bags, jackets keys, at whatever surface is close at hand, and just lay down to unwind. Before unwinding, make sure to be extra disciplined this time: stop yourself, and place each item at its designated spot.
The KonMari Method: A Transformational Approach
At Sparkling Clean, we highly recommend exploring the KonMari Method developed by Marie Kondo. This method delves deep into the connection between your home, belongings, habits, and overall lifestyle. If you’re seeking a comprehensive approach to decluttering, incorporating the KonMari Method can provide invaluable insights and guidance.
According to Marie Kondo, tidying is not merely about clearing physical clutter but also about creating a space that aligns with your ideal lifestyle. By reassessing your belongings and organizing your home, you set the stage for a profound transformation that extends beyond material possessions. This method encourages you to listen to your inner voice, guiding you toward a life that sparks joy.
The KonMari Method encompasses six fundamental rules:
Commit Yourself to Tidy Up: Dedicate your time and effort to the decluttering process, making it a priority in your life.
Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle: Visualize the type of environment and lifestyle you wish to create through decluttering.
Finish Discarding First: Before organizing, go through your possessions and discard items that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy.
Tidy by Category, Not by Location: Rather than organizing room by room, focus on categories such as clothing, books, papers, kimono (miscellaneous items), and sentimental items.
Follow the Right Order: Marie Kondo suggests starting with clothing, as it is generally easier to make decisions about clothing items than sentimental objects.
Ask Yourself If It Sparks Joy: During the decluttering process, hold each item in your hands and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, find a designated place for it in your home; if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and let it go.
By embracing these principles, you can embark on a transformative journey toward a clutter-free home and a more intentional way of living.
Decluttering your house may require time and effort, but the results are undeniably worth it. By implementing the steps outlined in this guide and incorporating the KonMari Method, you can create a serene and organized home environment that positively impacts all aspects of your life. Remember, establishing new habits takes time, so be patient and persistent. Embrace the power of decluttering and experience the magic it brings to your life. Say goodbye to chaos and welcome a lifestyle that prioritizes peace, joy, and tranquility.
Frequently Asked Questions about Decluttering Your House
1. How long does it take to declutter a house?
The time required to declutter a house can vary depending on factors such as the size of the house, the amount of clutter, and the individual’s pace. It’s important to approach decluttering as a gradual process and set realistic expectations. By following a systematic approach and dedicating consistent effort, you can achieve significant progress over time.
2. What is the best way to start decluttering?
A recommended approach is to start decluttering by focusing on one category at a time. This allows you to maintain focus and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Choose a category that is manageable and begin by gathering all the items from that category into one place. This helps you visualize the extent of your belongings and makes the sorting process more efficient.
3. How do I decide what to keep and what to discard?
When deciding whether to keep or discard an item, consider its usefulness and whether it brings you joy. Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method suggests holding each item and asking yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, find a designated place for it in your home. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and let it go. Additionally, consider if the item serves a practical purpose in your life. If it’s no longer useful or relevant, it may be time to discard or donate it.
4. How can I maintain an organized home after decluttering?
To maintain an organized home, it’s crucial to establish new habits and routines. Make a conscious effort to consistently put objects back in their designated places. Embrace the concept of assigning a “home” for each item and develop the habit of returning items to their respective homes after use. Regularly reassess your belongings to prevent unnecessary accumulation of clutter.
5. How can I involve my family in the decluttering process?
Decluttering can be a shared activity that involves the whole family. Encourage open communication about the importance of an organized living space and the benefits it brings. Set aside designated decluttering sessions where everyone participates, making decisions together about what to keep and what to let go of. By involving the family, you can foster a sense of responsibility and create a harmonious living environment.
6. Where can I donate items I no longer need?
There are numerous options for donating items you no longer need. Research local charities, shelters, or nonprofit organizations that accept donations. Many communities have donation centers or thrift stores where you can contribute your gently used items. Additionally, online platforms and apps provide convenient ways to connect with individuals or organizations seeking specific items for donation.
7. Can professional organizers help with the decluttering process?
Yes, professional organizers are experienced in decluttering and organizing spaces efficiently. They can provide guidance, support, and personalized strategies tailored to your specific needs. Professional organizers offer valuable insights and can help you create a customized plan to achieve your decluttering goals.
8. What are the benefits of a decluttered home?
A decluttered home offers several benefits, including reduced stress, improved focus, and productivity, enhanced mental clarity, and a greater sense of calm and relaxation. It creates a visually appealing and inviting space, making it easier to maintain cleanliness and order. A decluttered home can positively impact your overall well-being and contribute to a more balanced and harmonious lifestyle.
9. How often should I declutter my house?
Decluttering is an ongoing process that requires maintenance to prevent the re-accumulation of clutter. It’s recommended to incorporate regular decluttering sessions into your routine. The frequency may vary depending on your lifestyle and the rate at which clutter tends to build up. Consider decluttering on a quarterly or semi-annual basis to ensure a consistently organized living environment.
10. Can decluttering have an impact on my mental and emotional well-being?
Yes, decluttering can have a significant impact on your mental and emotional well-being. A clutter-free space promotes a sense of calm and reduces feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. It allows for clearer thinking and improved decision-making. Decluttering can also help you let go of the past, create a fresh start, and foster a positive and uplifting environment that supports your overall happiness and peace of mind.
Remember, the process of decluttering is unique to each individual and household. Adapt these suggestions to your specific needs and preferences, and enjoy the transformation that comes with a decluttered and organized home.
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.