Whether you telecommute or go to an office, your home should feel like a breath of fresh air, a peaceful haven where you can relax and unwind at the end of the day. But instead, there’s clutter everywhere,
clogging the shelves, the cupboards, your closets and every surface where you look. Ugh. Not relaxing at all.
If you feel stressed out by all your stuff, you’re not imagining things. According to Psychology Today, that stressed-out, anxious feeling you get when you’re confronted with crowded, disorganized spaces is real.
Clutter overwhelms our senses, distracts us, and creates guilty feelings. Not relaxing at all, right? Luckily, decluttering your home doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment going through stuff.
It’s okay to start small and tackle one dresser or one room, at a time. If even that feels like too much, set a
timer for 5-10 minutes and go through your medicine cabinet as a simple way to start out. Once you get in
the groove of decluttering your home, you’ll develop that muscle memory and might never want to stop.
Before we get into teaching you how to declutter, here are reasons why you should organize your home right
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
1. It frees you up to focus on more important and fulfilling parts of life.
Looking at clutter all the time makes your brain think its work is never done. You may be distracted by your
clutter, which makes it hard to be creative or allow yourself to have a lazy afternoon reading on the couch.
According to WebMD, clutter overwhelms some people so much they become unproductive and even
2. You’ll create a healthier environment.
Clutter is the perfect home for nasty things like dust mites, mold, and animal dander. Imagine all that
circulating in the indoor air you breathe. Once you get rid of stuff, you can tackle a good old deep cleaning to restore order in your home.
3. Decluttering reduces anxiety.
Back in the caveman days, order and symmetry gave us an evolutionary advantage. Fast-forward to today,
and clutter gives us anxiety. Just taking a few minutes or hours to declutter a room will make you feel calmer
and more at peace.
4. You’ll be way more organized
Piles of clutter are really good at hiding things you need. Like when you’re in a rush to get out the door
and can’t find your keys anywhere. Getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need makes way for you to be more
organized. With less stuff, each item has a proper home.
5. You’ll save money
Once you get rid of stuff, you’ll be less inclined to buy even more stuff. You’ll want to keep that nice, Zen
minimalist environment as much as possible. Not only will you save money, you’ll achieve a sense of inner
peace when you’re not trying to keep up with the Joneses.
SAY GOODBYE TO OLD CLOTHES AND SHOES WHEN ORGANIZING CLOSETS
Oh, the dreaded closets. You may want to reserve extra time for decluttering your closet, especially if it’s
been a few years. Unused clothes and shoes take up tons of extra space and make it hard for you to choose
an outfit every day. Plus, let’s not forget about the emotional baggage tied with too much clutter.
Here’s how to easily declutter your closets:
Start by trying on clothes to determine what fits. Have a pile to donate and a pile for what fits. After
you’ve determined what fits, decide what you actually like, and what mixes and matches well with
your other clothes.
Just can’t decide what to keep? Try wearing those clothes for a few weeks to see if you love them,
or hate them. Remember, it’s not necessarily a good idea to keep too-small clothes around just in
case they fit….one day.
When you’re done decluttering your closet, dust the shelves, wipe them down, and clean the floor.
PURGE KITCHEN DRAWERS AND CUPBOARDS
Do you have a hard time shutting your kitchen cupboards and drawers because you have too much stuff?
It’s not uncommon to have several sets of measuring cups, or five corkscrews.
But you don’t need all that stuff in your kitchen! Especially items taking up precious counter and storage
Here’s how to declutter your kitchen:
Empty one cupboard and drawer at a time, making sure to get rid of duplicates and keeping only
what you use and need.
Most families have way too many plates, bowls, and mugs. Unless you have dinner parties for 15
every Saturday night, donate the items you don’t use on a regular basis.
Analyze your appliances carefully. Do you actually use that fancy mixer? What about the rice
cooker? Decide which appliances you can donate.
Store any appliances you’re keeping in cupboards to keep your counters nice and bare.
Do the same thing with your pots and pans, keeping only what you use and love.
Now you can clean and disinfect your bare kitchen countertops with ease!
SIFT THROUGH STUFF IN YOUR GARAGE
Are you one of those people who stores everything in your garage? Boxes of unused clothes, outdoor gear,
barbecue grills of all kinds? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, one in four Americans can’t even fit one car in
their garage! The garage can be an especially difficult area to declutter, so start small and make weekly
goals. Don’t try to declutter your entire garage in one sitting or you’ll never get around to tackling such a
Here are our best tips for decluttering and organizing your garage:
Start by sorting through the boxes taking up room on your garage floor. Decide which items you
want to keep, which to donate, and which to throw away. If you think you’re going to use an item
“someday,” get rid of it.
Create a pile of items you use frequently, like tools, gardening supplies, or your dog’s leash. Install
hooks on the walls to hang items, or put in a shelving unit to store neatly marked bins.
Put rarely used items, like Christmas ornaments and other seasonal decorations, on the highest
Install hooks to hang bicycles on the walls of your garage.
Go through all your tools and find duplicates to donate, and decide which tools you actually use,
love, and need.
Pare down your boxes of childhood mementos on an annual basis and decide which truly have
If you end up with tons of stuff to donate, have a garage sale!
REMEMBER, DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PAINFUL
Many people put off decluttering for years because they think it will be too hard or take up too much time.
But once you organize decluttering into bite-size chunks, it’s easier to handle. You’ll see those items flying
off shelves, creating a Zen, minimalist environment you can’t wait to come home to every evening.
If you’ve got a major downsizing and decluttering project on your hands, you may find that an on-site storage
container gives you just the right amount of extra space and motivation you need to get it done.
For example, PODS will deliver a portable container to your driveway so you can store stuff out of the way
as you go. Since the container is rented by the month, you’ve got a built-in 30-day deadline if you want to
minimize costs. You can also keep the container longer by continuing to rent on a month-to-month basis.
And if you need longer term storage, you can have your container taken to a secure PODS Storage Center,
where you can access it easily.
Whatever degree of decluttering you decide to take on, consider these words from the 19th-century author,
William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Yes, they actually had clutter in the 1800s, and they didn’t have the luxury of curbside garbage pickup. But
even in the 21st century, this is an inspirational – if unattainable – goal for most of us humans.