7 Decluttering Tips to Simplify Your Life

Evelyn Long

Aug 27, 2021


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Clutter can overwhelm your home and affect your mental health. The disarray can cause your body to release cortisol — a stress hormone — which initiates the fight or flight response. But how can decluttering tips change how you interact with your surroundings?

Well, clutter overwhelms the senses causing anxiety and feelings of guilt. Using these seven decluttering tips, you can minimize the chaos in your life and increase your productivity, creativity and relaxation.

1. Choose One Area at a Time

a messy desk area with stacked sheet music and other papers

Start by breaking your home into sections to declutter. Doing a little at a time will help the process to feel manageable. You can choose to do a room at a time, or even start smaller. Do you have a catch-all drawer or a closet that’s rarely used? Start simple and work your way up to bigger projects.

Encourage your family to participate in their respective rooms. If you have children, ask them to choose their 10 favorite toys and donate what’s remaining. It’s easier to reduce material goods when you focus on what you’re keeping and how your actions help others.

2. Start With the Expired

a pantry shelf full of food to be sorted through

A simple decluttering tip is to let go of what’s expired. Take a peek in your fridge, pantry and bathroom and toss the out-of-date products. In particular, focus on makeup and other items that grow bacteria and can influence your health.

Some random products that expire or lose potency include:

  • Batteries
  • Paint
  • Motor Oil
  • Bleach
  • Sunscreen
  • Loofas

3. Create a Junk Box

two cardboard boxes for donation to declutter

Creating a junk box is one decluttering tip that’s effortless. Simply place random items into a container and see if you miss them. After a month, donate or discard the things that you forgot about. This is a straightforward way to determine what you use regularly.

To begin, take a look in your junk drawer or under the bed. Consider if you have duplicate items lying around the house. Did you buy new kitchen utensils or update your phone? Put the outdated versions into the junk box.

4. Flip Your Hangers

white hangers flipped as a decluttering tip

Clothes — everyone has them — and most people have too many. In 2017, 16.9 million tons of textiles were produced, and the vast majority ended up in the landfill. 

Tackle your closet in two steps. Start by setting aside clothes you don’t like. Why keep ugly things? If it was a present and you feel bad — stop worrying because you are giving yourself the gift of a clutter-free home. 

The next step is flipping all of your closet hangers to face away from you. Live your life for the next six months, and then return to your closet to see what items you’ve used. Donate the things that are still on flipped hangers.

5. Create Entertaining Challenges

a brunette in a floral dress with a teal cloth

Test your abilities by participating in decluttering challenges. These tasks will push your skills and motivate you to do better. 

Examples of prevalent decluttering challenges include:

  • Creating a time capsule wardrobe
  • Eliminating paper products
  • Decluttering in 30 days
  • Abolishing frivolous spending
  • Organizing for 365 days

6. Reevaluate Your Book Collection

a bookshelf with knickknacks in need of decluttering to simplify your life

In this digital era, do you find yourself holding on to your material book collection? It’s reasonable to cherish the items that bring you joy — but does every item in your library make you feel that way?

Sort your books and magazines into three categories. The ones you own but will probably never read. The items you’ve read but don’t intend to reread. And those materials you plan to read and reread for years to come. Creating these piles will make reducing your stockpile much easier.

When it’s time to buy a new book, order it digitally to save trees and prioritize your newly organized house.

7. Reward Yourself With Experiences

a woman wearing a pink bathing suit and black ballcap reading on a chair at the beach after decluttering

A picture is worth a thousand words, so create memories instead of clutter. Reward yourself as you tackle the mess in your home. Go out for a nice dinner, take a vacation or sign up for a new activity. 

Store the photos on your computer and enjoy the memories that will last forever.

If you’ve always dreamt of owning a vacation home or luxury boat, here’s a decluttering idea — consider renting instead. Enjoy the benefits of the product without adding extra responsibility to your life.

Enjoy the Journey

Use these seven decluttering tips to your advantage and enjoy the journey. Take a moment to look at the items before donating or discarding them. These objects played a role in your life and shaped your reality — appreciate their meaning before letting them go. Delight in knowing that your stress will decline as you reduce the chaos in your house. Happy organizing!

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