The Benefits of Decluttering Your Home

Decluttering isn’t just about making your home look neater—it’s about creating a space that enhances your well-being and productivity. When you declutter, you remove items that no longer serve a purpose, making room for what truly matters. This simplifies cleaning and organizing, reduces stress, and improves overall quality of life. In this guide, we’ll explore essential decluttering tips that can transform your living spaces efficiently.

What is the 20/20/20 Rule for Decluttering?

The 20/20/20 rule is a simple yet effective method for deciding what to keep and what to let go. It works like this: if you haven’t used an item in the last 20 months and it costs less than $20 to replace, it might be time to say goodbye. This rule is particularly helpful for tackling those “just in case” items that clutter drawers and closets. By applying this rule, you can quickly cut down on unnecessary possessions without much regret.

The Rule of 5:
A Simple Strategy to Start Decluttering

Getting started with decluttering can feel daunting, but the Rule of 5 offers a straightforward approach. For each decluttering session, follow these steps:

1. Throw Away Five Items

    Identify five broken, expired, or no longer needed items and dispose of them responsibly.

    2. Donate Five Items

    Choose five items that are in good condition and no longer serve your needs and donate them to a local charity.

    3. Relocate Five Items

    If five items have been left out or misplaced, move them back to their correct locations.

    4. Recycle Five Items

    Find five items, such as paper, plastic, or old electronics, that can be recycled instead of thrown away.

    5. Fix Five Items

    Select five items that need minor repairs and set a plan to fix them within the week.

    This expanded Rule of 5 not only helps reduce clutter but also promotes recycling and repairing, which can further enhance the functionality of your space and reduce waste. Starting with these small, tangible actions can make the process feel more manageable and show immediate improvements in your living space.

    Mastering the 12-12-12 Challenge

    The 12-12-12 Challenge is an engaging and effective way to declutter quickly. This simple challenge involves finding 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to return to their proper place. It’s a balanced approach that helps you make significant progress in decluttering while ensuring that items find their most valuable destinations—out of the house or back in their rightful spots.

    First Steps:
    What to Remove First When Decluttering

    Deciding what to remove first can set the tone for effective decluttering. Start with items that are easiest to decide on, such as expired products, outdated magazines, and broken electronics. Removing these items can provide a quick sense of achievement and a clear space for tackling more challenging decisions.

    decluttering tips: What to Remove First When Decluttering
    pixelshot / Canva Pro

    Essentials to Keep:
    What Not to Throw Out When Decluttering

    While decluttering, it’s crucial to recognize items that you should keep. These items contribute positively to your daily life, hold sentimental value, or maybe needed for legal or financial reasons. Here’s a list of essentials to consider keeping:

    • Important Documents: Birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, and critical financial records.
    • Functional Tools and Appliances: Anything that serves a daily or essential purpose should be retained unless it’s due for an upgrade.
    • Sentimental Items: Items with significant emotional value, like family heirlooms or personal keepsakes.

    Embracing the golden rule of decluttering, “If you don’t use it, lose it,” can drastically simplify decision-making. This principle encourages you to keep only those items you actively use or enhance your life meaningfully. Here’s how to apply this rule effectively:

    Regularly evaluate whether items in your home are being used. If something hasn’t been touched in over a year, it’s probably time to let it go.

    Keep items that serve a practical purpose or bring you joy. If they do neither, they might not deserve space in your home.

    Always consider your available space. Even useful items may need to be re-evaluated if they contribute to clutter.

    Decluttering Tips for Beginners

    For those new to decluttering, starting the process can feel overwhelming. Here are some simple strategies to make beginning easier:

    Set Small Goals

    Begin with small, achievable goals, like decluttering a single drawer or shelf.

    decluttering tips: Set Small Goals
    In-future / Getty Images Signature
    decluttering tips: Use Timers
    pixelshot / Canva Pro

    Use Timers

    Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and declutter until it goes off. This makes the task less daunting and helps build momentum.

    Visualize the End Result

    Imagine how your space will look and feel once it’s decluttered. Keeping this vision in mind can motivate you to keep going.

    decluttering tips: Visualize the End Result
    pixelshot / Canva Pro

    Overcoming Overwhelm: How to Declutter Your Home When Overwhelmed

    Feeling overwhelmed is a common barrier to decluttering. To overcome this, try the following tips on how to declutter your home:

    • Break Tasks into Smaller Segments: Instead of aiming to declutter the entire house at once, focus on one room, or even one part of a room, at a time.
    • Involve Others: Ask family members or friends to help. They can offer support, make the process more enjoyable, and help you make tough decisions.
    • Reward Yourself: To give yourself extra motivation set up rewards for completing decluttering tasks, like a special treat or a relaxing activity.

    Specialized Decluttering Tips for Clothes

    Clothes often accumulate quickly and can be tough to sort through. Use these targeted tips to declutter your wardrobe effectively:

    1. Follow the One-Year Rule: If you haven’t worn an item in the last year, it’s likely time to donate or sell it.
    2. Implement the One-In-One-Out Policy: Every time you buy a new piece of clothing, choose an old one to remove. This helps maintain balance in your wardrobe.
    3. Use Seasonal Swaps: Review and rotate your wardrobe as the seasons change. This is an excellent time to decide what to keep, store, or eliminate.

    Decluttering Tips for Seniors

    Decluttering can be particularly challenging for seniors with decades of belongings. Here are some gentle, effective strategies:

    1. Start with Non-Sentimental Items: Begin with areas with less emotional weight, like the kitchen or bathroom.
    2. Safety and Accessibility: Prioritize decluttering spaces to improve safety and accessibility, such as clearing walkways and organizing daily-use items within easy reach.
    3. Involve Family or Professional Help: Sometimes, the decision-making process can be overwhelming. Having a trusted family member or a professional organizer can provide the necessary support.

    Checklist for a Clutter-Free Home

    To ensure thorough decluttering, follow this checklist, which covers various areas of the home:

    Clear out old spices, expired foods, and rarely-used gadgets.

    Living Room
    Remove outdated magazines, DVDs, and decorative items that no longer fit the space.

    Focus on under-the-bed storage, overstuffed drawers, and closet top shelves.

    Dispose of expired medications and skincare products. Recycle empty containers.

    Often out of sight, these areas can accumulate a lot of unnecessary items. Set a yearly review routine.

    Declutter Your Home Room by Room

    Taking a room-by-room approach can make the task less intimidating. Here’s a quick guide:

    • Entryway: Keep only essential items like coats, shoes, and keys. Organize with hooks and shoe racks.
    • Office: Digital decluttering is also crucial. Organize files, shred unnecessary paperwork, and tidy up cables.
    • Children’s Rooms: Involve children in the process to teach them organizational skills early on.

    Keeping It Clean:
    Maintaining a Decluttered Home

    Once you’ve decluttered, maintaining the cleanliness and organization is key:

    1. Daily Tidying Rituals: Incorporate quick daily clean-ups into your routine.
    2. Weekly Assessments: Spend some time reviewing areas that tend to collect clutter each week.
    3. Seasonal Decluttering: Revisit each room seasonally or annually to keep things in check and prevent clutter from building up again.
    decluttering tips: Maintaining a Decluttered Home
    YuriArcurs /

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the 20/20/20 rule for decluttering?

    The 20/20/20 rule helps you decide what to keep by considering if you haven’t used the item in 20 months and if it costs less than $20 to replace. If both conditions apply, it’s time to let it go.

    What is the rule of 5 decluttering?

    The Rule of 5 involves identifying five items to throw away, donate, relocate, recycle, and fix during each decluttering session. This method helps you make significant progress in manageable steps.

    What is the 12-12-12 rule for decluttering?

    The 12-12-12 Challenge involves finding 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to return to their proper place. It’s a balanced approach to making noticeable progress quickly.

    What should I remove first when decluttering?

    Start with items that are easy to decide on, such as expired products, outdated magazines, and broken electronics. Removing these items first can provide a quick sense of achievement.

    What should you not throw out when decluttering?

    Keep important documents, functional tools, and sentimental items. These items hold value for utility, emotional significance, or legal and financial reasons.

    Embrace a Decluttered Lifestyle with Biz Finder Connect

    Adopting a decluttered lifestyle isn’t just about removing excess items but creating a peaceful and functional home. By following these tips and strategies, you can enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, happier living space. Start small, be consistent, and remember that decluttering is an ongoing journey, not a one-time event.For more helpful decluttering tips and easy decluttering strategies, visit Biz Finder Connect. Let us help you transform your home into the sanctuary you deserve. Get started today and embrace the peace of an organized, clutter-free home.