September 4


Overwhelmed by Clutter? Here’s How to Start Decluttering Today!

By Joshua Turner

September 4, 2023

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the clutter in your home? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with decluttering, especially when they don’t know where to start. But with a few simple steps, you can get your home organized and clutter-free.

The first step is understanding what clutter is and why it’s a problem. Clutter can be anything that’s taking up space in your home and causing stress. It can be physical items like clothes, books, and papers or even digital clutter like emails and files on your computer. Too much clutter can make it hard to focus, find what you need, and even relax in your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand what clutter is and why it’s a problem.
  • Start small and create a decluttering kit.
  • Use a room-by-room guide and deal with sentimental items.

Understanding Clutter

Clutter is the accumulation of items that are no longer useful or necessary. It can be overwhelming and stressful, but it’s important to remember that clutter is not just physical. It can also be mental and emotional. When you’re overwhelmed by clutter, it’s easy to lose focus and feel like drowning in a sea of mess.

Decluttering is the process of removing unnecessary items and organizing what’s left. It can be daunting, so start small and work your way up. Begin with one area or room and focus on decluttering that space before moving on to the next.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking a step back and assessing the situation is important. Ask yourself why you’re feeling overwhelmed and what’s causing the clutter. Is it due to a lack of organization, sentimental attachment, or simply too much stuff?

Understanding the root cause of your clutter can begin to develop a plan to tackle it. It may involve setting aside time each day to declutter, enlisting the help of friends or family, or seeking professional assistance.

Expect to tackle only some things at a time. Take it one step at a time and celebrate small victories. Patience and persistence can help declutter your life.

Getting Started

Decluttering may feel overwhelming, but taking the first step will go a long way. Start small by choosing a specific area or task to tackle. Break down your goals into simple steps and create a plan that works for you. The key is to start decluttering and build momentum.

Motivation is vital when decluttering. Find a source of inspiration that will keep you motivated. Create a schedule that fits your lifestyle and stick to it.

Organizing your space can help you stay motivated and on track. Start with one room at a time and focus on decluttering and organizing that space before moving on to the next. Baby steps can lead to considerable progress, so take it slow.

The goal is to simplify your life, not create more stress. Keep it simple and focus on the progress you’ve made. Celebrate your accomplishments and keep the momentum going. With a little motivation and a plan in place, you can start decluttering and transform your space.

Creating Your Decluttering Kit

When decluttering, it’s necessary to have the right tools on hand. Creating a decluttering kit can help you stay organized and focused. Here are some items you might want to include:

  • Garbage bags: Start by gathering a few large garbage bags. These will be used to collect items that you no longer need or want. Be sure to label them as “trash” or “donation” to avoid confusion later.
  • Cleaning supplies: A clean space can help you feel more motivated and energized. Keep basic cleaning supplies on hand, such as an all-purpose cleaner, paper towels, and a broom or vacuum.
  • Storage containers: If you plan on keeping some items, you’ll need somewhere to store them. Consider investing in some storage containers or bins. Label them clearly so you can find what you need later on.
  • Sorting tools: As you go through your belongings, you must sort them into different categories. Keep some sorting tools, such as sticky notes, markers, and a clipboard.
  • Donation resources: If you plan on donating items, research ahead of time to find out where you can take them. Make a list of local charities or thrift stores that accept donations.

Creating a decluttering kit will make you better prepared to tackle your cluttered spaces. You can make the process easier and more efficient with the right tools.

Room-by-Room Guide

Decluttering can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. A room-by-room guide can help you make progress and keep you motivated.

Start with the kitchen, which is often the heart of the home. Begin with the kitchen counters, removing everything that doesn’t belong there. Next, move on to the pantry, checking for expired items and donating anything you won’t use. Finally, tackle the junk drawer, throwing away anything broken or unnecessary.

Toys can quickly take over a home, so keeping them organized is vital. Start by sorting them into categories, such as puzzles, board games, and action figures. Donate anything your kids have outgrown or no longer play with.

The bathroom can be a small space, but it can also become cluttered quickly. Begin by decluttering your toiletries, discarding any expired or unused items. Next, tackle the medicine cabinet, disposing of any expired medications.

The bedroom should be a peaceful sanctuary, but clutter can disrupt that. Start by decluttering your wardrobe, donating anything you haven’t worn in the past year. Move on to your nightstand, removing anything that doesn’t belong there.

Paperwork can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to keep it organized. Start by sorting it into categories, such as bills, receipts, and important documents. Shred anything no longer needed and file the rest in a designated spot.

Break down the process into smaller zones and tackle one area at a time. This room-by-room guide will allow you to make progress and feel motivated to keep going.

Dealing with Sentimental Items

Sentimental items can be the hardest to declutter as they hold emotional attachments and memories. Take the time to evaluate each item and determine its actual value. Consider asking yourself if the thing brings you joy or serves a practical purpose.


One helpful tip is photographing the sentimental item before letting it go to keep the memory without the physical clutter. Another option is repurposing the object into something useful, such as turning a sentimental t-shirt into a quilt or using old family photos to create a collage.

If you’re struggling to release sentimental possessions, limit how many items you can keep. For example, you may only keep one sentimental thing per year. This forces you to prioritize and choose only the most meaningful items to keep.

Letting go of sentimental items does not mean letting go of the memories they hold. Cherish the memories and remove the physical clutter to create a more organized and peaceful living space.

Tips for Maintaining a Clutter-Free Home

Once you have decluttered your home, maintain it to avoid falling back into old habits. Here are some tips to help you keep your home clutter-free:

First, make decluttering a habit. Set aside a few minutes daily to tidy up and put things away. Whether it’s before bed or first thing in the morning, having a routine will make it easier to stay organized.

Second, create a system for everything. Assign a specific place for each item in your home so that you always know where to find it and where to put it away. It will also help prevent clutter from accumulating.

Third, regularly reassess your belongings. As you go about your day-to-day life, you may accumulate new items you don’t need or use. Look at what you have every few months and eliminate anything that no longer serves a purpose.

Following these tips can maintain a clutter-free home and enjoy the benefits of an organized and functional living space.

Overcoming Decluttering Challenges

Decluttering can be stressful, especially when you’re overwhelmed by the mess. However, you can overcome the challenges with a few simple strategies and start your decluttering journey.

Firstly, manage your expectations and start small. Trying to tackle a large area simultaneously can be overwhelming and lead to procrastination. Instead, break the task into smaller, more manageable areas and set a timer for a specific time. It will help you stay focused and avoid burnout.

Secondly, enlist the help of a friend or family member. Having someone to support you and hold you accountable can be beneficial. Plus, it’s always more fun to declutter with a friend!

Thirdly, create a task checklist to help you stay on track and ensure you get everything important. You can also use this checklist to track your progress and celebrate your successes.

When decluttering, it’s important to remember that not everything needs to be thrown away. Large items, such as furniture, can be donated or sold. Clothing and shoes that are still in good condition can also be donated, while things that are no longer useful can be tossed.

If you’re struggling with letting go of items, adopt a more minimalist mindset. Ask yourself if the thing brings you joy or serves a valuable purpose. If not, it may be time to let it go.


Professional organizers like Marie Kondo can also be an excellent resource for overcoming decluttering challenges. They can provide guidance and support throughout the decluttering process.

Be kind to yourself and take breaks when needed. Decluttering can be messy and emotional, but the result is worth it. Plus, you can feel good about making eco-friendly choices by recycling and donating items.


Decluttering your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By setting a clear goal and creating a plan, you can start to see results quickly. Stay motivated and remember the difference a clutter-free home can make.

Getting organized is key to maintaining a clutter-free home. Establishing a routine can help you stay on track and make decluttering a regular part of your life. Prioritizing items based on usefulness and sentimental value can also help you free up space and create quick wins.

Consider donating or recycling items that are still in good condition. It is not only eco-friendly but can also help someone in need. For broken toys, bottles, and furniture, consider recycling or disposing of them in an eco-friendly way.

Embracing minimalism can help you maintain a clutter-free home in the long run. Prioritizing what you truly need and love can create a calm and inviting space. Maintaining a clutter-free home is an ongoing process, but the benefits are worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first rule of decluttering?

The first rule of decluttering is to start small. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, pick one area or category. This could be a single drawer, a closet, or even your shoes. Starting small will help you build momentum and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Where do I start cleaning when overwhelmed by clutter and mess?

Start with the area that bothers you the most. This could be a room you spend a lot of time in or an area guests see when they visit. Once you’ve tackled that area, move on to the next most bothersome area.

What is the 20 rule decluttering?

The 20 rule decluttering is a rule that suggests that you get rid of anything that you haven’t used in the last 20 days. If you haven’t used it in that time, likely, you don’t need it. This rule can help you decide quickly what to keep and eliminate.

How do I stop being overwhelmed by decluttering?

Break the task down into smaller, more manageable steps. Set a timer for 15-30 minutes and work on decluttering for that amount of time each day. Celebrate small wins and progress, and be easy on yourself if you get everything done at a time.

Decluttering tips for hoarders?

Decluttering can be especially challenging for hoarders, but it’s not impossible. Seek the help of a professional organizer or therapist specializing in hoarding disorder. Start with small areas and work with a support system to decide what to keep and eliminate.

How to declutter a room in 30 minutes?

Set a timer for 30 minutes and focus on one area of the room at a time. Start with the largest items and work your way down to smaller items. Make quick decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. Once the timer goes off, take a break and celebrate your progress.

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