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  • Writer's pictureHeatherAnne Norbury

7 Quick Tips to Really Kickstart Your Decluttering Success

Updated: Jan 24

Decluttering can feel very overwhelming - especially if you focus on the end and not the journey. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there is no "end" to decluttering and simplifying. It is a lifelong journey. Just like the gathering of excess would have been a lifelong journey had you not made a different choice. And I'm guessing you did make a different choice - or at least you'd like to - since you're here! Today I am sharing seven quick tips for getting started on decluttering because mastery and mindset shift start the moment you set your foot on the path! So get started today!


Start with the easy stuff! Trash, broken items, decor you aren't fond it, and things that are easily replaceable. If you start with the harder things, like sentimental items, it will slow you down. Without some quick wins right at the start, it is easy to get disheartened and give up. If you do come across something you aren't sure about, set it aside and come back to it later. Don't let indecision stall your progress while you are still building your decluttering habit.


Remove half your decor items. Literally. Go to a shelf, count the items there, and remove half. Go to the next decor location. Rinse and repeat. You can play around with which half, swapping items you've removed with items you kept until you like the look, but keep the remaining items to no more than half what you started with. You don't need to toss the items removed (yet - you may decide to later), but pack them away for now. Live with the minimized look for a bit and see how you feel about it. You may swap some things or remove even more over time. The immediate reduction in visible knick-knacks and other decor items will immediately make your home feel more spacious and calm.


Hide cords! We live in a wired world - and those wires represent a LOT of visual clutter. Even though wires are useful, they still negatively impact your calm by being visual clutter. There are a variety of ways to hide cords now, from conduit to conceal cords hanging down from your wall-mounted television to charging stations for your phones and tablets that hide the cords inside. Using some zip ties or twist ties to corral the length of an overly long cord or hiding cords behind a potted plant can go a long way to reducing the visible clutter created by all the cords in our lives.


Make a (temporary) Doom Box. Yep - I said it. Doom Boxes can be useful when you have a space that is particularly causing you anxiety and you really need it tidy in a hurry for your mental peace. Grab a large box and toss everything in, even if it is something you intend to put right back where it was. You want to start from a clean slate.

Here's the trick with a Doom Box being useful. Once filled, you need to prioritize getting it empty again in the very near future... like, within a week. Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on emptying the box one item or class of items at a time. Put back what is staying. Put away what doesn't belong and that already has a home. Find homes for things that don't belong and don't yet have a home. And before putting anything "back", really consider if it should stay in that space or not. (See Tip #2 about decor items!).


Get help with decluttering. You may feel like you can't ask your spouse or your kids for help or you may live alone. Joining an online community of other people on the same path, like my free Facebook group, can give you the support you need when the going gets hard.


Tackle the BIG stuff - literally. We often focus on small clutter, while ignoring the elephants in the room - your furniture! Take a look at your furniture and other things that take up a lot of floor space with a critical eye. Can you remove even one or two things to free up more space?


Take photographs of any space that feels cluttered, crowded, or just "off". When we see it in person all the time, we tend to get clutter-blind. Taking photographs and then looking at them with a neutral eye - as if you are seeing a photo in a magazine or on Pinterest - helps you see things that need to change that you've grown blind to in person. Blow up the images on your computer screen then use a markup tool to circle or highlight things that need to be removed or grab a pen and paper and take notes. Declutter the things that need to go, then take more photos. Keep repeating this until the space looks right to you - in person AND in photos. If you get stuck, ask a friend or your coach (hopefully me!) to look at the photos and suggest more changes. You are welcome to post in my free Facebook group!

Rather than focus on everything you have to do, try focusing on one thing you can do right now. Progress is progress, regardless of size. These little tips can help you along the path to a peaceful and clutter-free home - one that is a sanctuary from stress rather than the cause of it.

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