The beginning of a new year is a great time to organize your home. Living with clutter can zap energy, cause stress, and make you depressed. If you often waste time looking for things, feel out of control of your surroundings, and can’t seem to get organized, it’s time to declutter your home.

It’s a job that may seem overwhelming but one that will give you a sense of accomplishment and make day-to-day living easier. The following guide on how to declutter your home will make a big job much more manageable.

Use Categories to Clear Clutter

Having a system for sorting items is essential for knowing how to declutter your home. Try the popular “three box method.” You’ll be forced to make a decision on where to place each item.

Have separate boxes or storage bins for things to keep, get rid of, and put in storage. It’s helpful to remember the 80/20 rule when deciding what items to get rid of. Generally, we wear only 20 percent of the clothing we own about 80 percent of the time.

This rule is usually true for things like toys, DVDs, books, video games, etc. Use the following guide to dispose of things in your “get rid of” box.

  • Recycle: take recyclables like paper, glass, plastics, and electronics to your recycling center
  • Donate: many household items and clothing can be donated to charities
  • Rent a dumpster:  this is a good option if you have large items to throw away and it will also help you finish the project within a timeline

Declutter by Starting Small

Begin the decluttering process by tackling a couple of small jobs first. Starting with baby steps will teach you how to declutter your home further. Clear out one drawer of a desk, dresser, or other storage space. Set a timer for five minutes. You’ll be surprised at home much you accomplish in a short amount of time.

Next, you’re ready to move on to flat surfaces. Countertops, shelves, and tabletops are clutter magnets in most homes. Only keep frequently used items on display on kitchen counters. Store small appliances that you don’t use every day in cabinets. Be sure to dispose of anything you never use according to the sorting system described above.

Declutter Your Home One Room at a Time

With your system in place, an 80/20 rule mindset, and a few small jobs behind you, you’re ready to tackle the rest of the house. The decluttering room-by-room method is the most efficient way of how to declutter your home.

Getting rid of the clutter will allow you to organize each room and keep it that way. Begin with hidden spaces first like closets, cabinets, and drawers. Go through any piles of stuff stashed in corners or under beds. Keep only necessary items on flat surfaces.

Use clear plastic storage bins to organize and store smaller items, so that you can see their contents when you are trying to find something. Consider storing away sentimental items in the attic or top closet shelf.

How to Declutter Your Home for Good

After your home is decluttered and organized, you’ll be inspired to keep it that way. Use the following tips on how to declutter your home to help.

1. Have a designated place that every item in your home belongs. If an item doesn’t have a place, ask yourself if you need to keep it. If the answer is yes, find a place for it to live.
2. Eliminate potential clutter. Before buying something ask yourself if you really need it and where you would keep it.
3. Use the one in, one out rule. For each new item, get rid of something similar.
4. Rent or borrow. If you need a certain book, tool, or other items only for a short time, borrow from a friend, the library, or rent the item if possible.

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