How to Start Decluttering Your Life: 5 Simple Steps

How to Declutter

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
Bruce Lee

I love decluttering.


Because a life with less clutter makes it easier to:

  • Reduce the daily stress and find inner peace.
  • Focus and to do a better job (and often do it quicker too).
  • Keep your attention steadily on what is most important and meaningful in life.

Clutter creates distraction. It can create stress and confusion that you may not be aware that it's creating.

But after you have decluttered there is usually a sensation of feeling calmer and lighter, a bit more upbeat and being able to think more clearly.

Decluttering a drawer, shelf or some kind of space in your life can be an unexpectedly positive experience not just practically. But for you as a person both emotionally and mentally.

This is the most important reason why I declutter.

But it, of course, also frees up space. It can help you to sometimes earn a bit of extra money. It can make someone else happier by giving them something you have no use for anymore.

If you have just 5 or 10 minutes to spare today and want to take a first step to simplify your outer and inner life then I recommend uncluttering just one small space in your house.

Here's how I declutter in five quick steps.

  1. Pick a drawer or a shelf. Empty it out and clean it out. Put everything that was in that space in one big pile.
  2. Make choices about those items, one at a time. For each item in that pile ask yourself this: have I used this in the past year? If not, then it is often pretty safe to say that you won't be using it in the future either.
  3. Give it away or trash it? If you are not keeping it then you may want to give it to someone you know that you think could make good use of it. Or you can give it away to your local charity.  If that is the case put it in a box or bag for that purpose. And if you just want to trash it then put it then put it in a bag where you'll collect the trash items during this brief uncluttering session.
  4. If you are keeping it, then find a home for it. It could be at one of the front corners of your drawer or to the right in the top shelf of your bookcase. Having a home for each item where you put it back each time after using it will reduce the weekly clutter in your home and you will always be able to easily find the item.
  5. If you are unsure about the item then put it in a 6-month box. Put that box away somewhere where you can easily access it – a closet for example – if you need something from it. On the outside of the box write the date when you put the stuff in it. 6 months later get the box and see what is still in it. If you haven't used those things in the past 6 months then you have no need for them and you can safely give them away or throw them out.

And that's it.

By taking small 5-10 minute steps when you have some time to spare you can declutter a whole lot over a few weeks.

Or that first small step may lead you to uncluttering a whole room at once. Or inspire you to take 5-10 minutes tomorrow to start decluttering your work space.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Julie

    Simple and easy way to declutter, I love it..

  • Diana

    Continue to keep it simple. I appreciate your timely posts.

  • Shirley Hodgson

    I love information on how to declutter. I feel uplifted when I have decluttered. Loved your ideas especially the six month box. I hope you will have more blogs on decluttering. I love reading your blogs in general. Thanks for your time and effort Henrik

  • Lorne Evje [EV-yuh]

    Good stuff! as usual.

    For more detail on the subject, search for “Marie Kondo.” More good stuff….

  • Great ideas! Forwarding to hubs ;-)

  • Nancy

    You are a blessing!

  • Gaurav

    I do this once in a week.

  • Anonymous

    the greatest enemy of mind of humanbeing is to be nagative when thing go wrong .and not tray to find solution.

  • william

    be strong and look forwad and alway look confidence in what task you are doing

  • Adriana

    Quick and easy tips. Thanks for that little bit of motivation I needed.

  • Linda

    Thank you so much for posting this! You had me in the first paragraph.
    Had a wreck in May and couldn’t walk for a month which was in the middle of my spring cleaning. Here we are in October. It’s been downhill emotionally ever since: bad mood, can’t focus… for no reason I could figure out because everything turned out extremely well. You nailed it for me. I will be working on finishing up the spring cleaning and decluttering a lot faster now. Again, my thanks.

  • Alena

    Great ideas. I like the one about discarding things we don’t use over time. And when we do little things at a time, we eventually get there. Sometimes having so much is overwhelming to start. I’ve been doing that with closets. But the rewards are so great. Thanks for these tips!

  • Sheila

    Just lovvvvvvvve these emails !!!!!

  • Deborah H Watson

    Thanks . The 6 month box idea is great. Now how do u unclutter your mind if possible. Thanks again for article.

  • tracey

    love it. Will try that this weekend