So you’ve decided to declutter your home.
We’ll be honest with you: it won’t be all Mary Poppins and magic, and it’s gonna take more than just a spoonful of bloody sugar.
We get it. Decluttering your home isn’t the most fun or glamorous activity. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to decluttering your home, room by room, so you can get it right the first time. (And so you don’t take a 5-minute break on the couch and ‘accidentally’ end up watching 6 straight hours of Netflix.)
How to Declutter Your Bedroom
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, and it’s pretty hard to feel relaxed when your space is overflowing with stuff. Books here, clothes there, random knickknacks everywhere. If this sounds like your bedroom, it’s time to reclaim your space.
- Bedside table – This surface should be clear of any rubbish and evidence of late-night snacks. Go through drawers and throw out anything you don’t need (half-eaten Mars Bar, anyone?) and just keep the essentials on hand (e.g. tissues, reading materials, phone charger).
- Wardrobe, closet and dresser – Organise clothes into 3 piles: keep, toss and donate. Be ruthless. Anything you no longer wear, no longer fits or has a rip or stain that isn’t going anywhere has to go. We know it’s hard to say goodbye, but that cowboy outfit from your 21st isn’t going to come in handy any time soon.
- Socks and underwear drawer – Empty out your drawer and prepare to cut its contents in half. Not literally, obviously, but you might be surprised by just how many holey and ill-fitting items you’ll end up binning. If something is worn out or no longer fits, toss it.
- Under your bed – From books and magazines to that shoe you spent hours looking for without success, the space under your bed can accumulate quite the collection of things. Bin the stuff you don’t need and find the right home for the stuff you do.
Bonus Tip: To make the most of the storage space under your bed (in a more organised fashion), get yourself some under-bed sliding drawers.
How to Declutter Your Kitchen
Decluttering your kitchen goes far beyond finally matching up your Tupperware containers with their lids (seriously, is there a Tupperware-lid Narnia we don’t know about?). Make your kitchen more organised and functional with these tips.
- Fridge – Check for anything out-of-date, empty, or growing its own little ecosystem and get tossing.
- Pantry – There are only so many cans of baked beans that one household needs. If your pantry is filled with items that you won’t use, donate them. Throw out any out-of-date items and organise your ingredients by categories, such as work lunches, dinners, or baking.
- Under-the-sink cupboard – How many almost-empty bottles of spray and wipe do you need? Streamline your cleaning supplies and bin any empties.
- Drawers – What once housed cutlery, cooking utensils, and perhaps some scissors and sticky-tape is now inevitably home to old bills, paperwork and other miscellaneous ‘stuff’. The struggle is real. Throw out any rubbish, file important paperwork, and donate any utensils you don’t use to keep your drawers tidy.
- Cabinets – Cups, mugs, pots, pans and dinnerware should all be easily accessible. If opening your kitchen cabinets leads to an avalanche of containers, or you own more mugs than you care to admit, it’s time to get culling. Keep only what you need and donate the rest to keep your cabinets organised and functional.
Bonus Tip: Use desk organisers to arrange the items in your fridge. This will maximise your fridge space and stop your tinnies from rolling around.
How to Declutter Your Living Room
For a lot of people, the living room is the most used space in the home, and the main place visitors will see (and judge). Declutter your living room to impress even the most pretentious nosy neighbour.
- Newspapers, magazines and books – Chances are, you’ve got a stack of these somewhere in your living room. Having a pile of magazines on the coffee table may have been trendy once upon a time, but if no one is reading them, they’re just making your space look untidy. If your newspapers, magazines or books are old or you no longer want them, bin or donate them. Otherwise, find them a better home on a bookshelf.
- Furniture – That armchair in the corner that no one uses is making your living room look cramped. When it comes to furniture, stick to the essentials and only hold on to what you use. The rest can be donated, thrown out, or put into storage (compare these options here).
- Soft furnishings and accessories – What began as a fun way to express your personality can quickly become a sure-fire way to collect dust and clutter every surface in your living room. Get rid of any accessories or knickknacks you don’t truly love. This will make your space look less busy. The same goes for soft furnishings – you don’t need 27 throw pillows and 19 ottomans. Less is more.
Bonus Tip: If pesky remotes make your living room look untidy (and seem to join those Tupperware lids in Narnia at times), keep them out of the way with Velcro strips. Simply attach to the inside of your entertainment unit and the backs of your remotes.
How to Declutter Your Bathroom
How can you possibly be expected to wash, condition, treat, blow-dry and style your luscious locks to supermodel standards when your bathroom is in shambles?
- Shower – Do you hoard shampoo bottles and those sad remaining slithers of soap bars? Stop it, you animal. It’s time to cull your toiletries and have just the necessities on hand.
- Vanity – Is your vanity cluttered with lotions and potions? You don’t need to fill every empty surface space, you know. That’s what your drawers are for. Keep your vanity or bathroom sink bench looking tidy with just the essentials (toothpaste, toothbrush, framed signed photo of Cher – you know, the essentials).
- Cupboards and drawers – Throw out any out-of-date medicines and anything you don’t need or use. Don’t forget to make a list of the medicines that need replacing and make a trip to the chemist.
Bonus Tip: Keep your stuff organised with drawer dividers. This way, your Panadol doesn’t get mixed up with your hair and nail vitamins, and your antiseptic cream isn’t confused for hand lotion.
How to Declutter Your Home Office
Finding the motivation to work from home is tough enough without having clutter to distract you.
- Furniture – Say it with us: I don’t need 4 chairs in my home office. Unless, of course, you do. In which case, carry on. Otherwise, take a leaf out of The Minimalists’ book and cull your furniture down to the basics. This will make your home office appear larger while giving you more space to spin around on your office chair.
- Desk – While kitschy figurines can add character and charm to a space, your desk should be clear of distractions and hold only the necessities for getting down to business. Keep the items on the surface of your desk to a minimum.
- Drawers – From crumpled post-it notes to yet another half-eaten Mars Bar, the drawers in your home office can offer a ‘delightful’ range of surprises. Clear your drawers of rubbish and any items you don’t need (hello, 30 pens that have run out of ink).
Bonus Tip: Stop confusing your printer cord for your laptop cord and get labelling with bread tags. We’re not kidding. These are a cheap and easy way to label cords that are in use. Check out this super helpful post for more creative storage hacks for your home.
How to Declutter Your Garage
Because it will hail at some point, and you will wish you had space in your garage to protect your car.
- Grab the bin – Chances are, your garage will contain its fair share of junk you don’t want. Be equipped with a wheelie-bin or trailer on hand to get these items (old paint tins, broken or malfunctioning items, etc.) off to the tip.
- Only keep what you need – If the items in your garage surprise you, or you haven’t used them in months, it’s time to move on. Clear out anything you don’t use or need to free up space. You can either donate these items or sell them at a garage sale or online (read about the pros and cons of garage sales vs. selling online here).
- Get organised – Now that your garage is looking a little less cluttered and a little more functional, get yourself some storage solutions to keep your items organised and easily accessed. Shelving is great for keeping bits and bobs in their right places.
Bonus Tip: If your decluttered garage still doesn’t have enough space for your vehicle, it’s time to get your stuff out of the way and into one of our clean and secure self-storage units.
Now you know how to declutter your home like a pro, read up on our tips for what not to do when decluttering your home.