Decluttering tips work great for my friends who embrace an immaculate home and are naturally organized. You know these people. They don’t stress at all about cleaning their home. It comes naturally. Weirdos.
What about my messy people out there? Or what about those normal families that are doing good to pick up every once in a while?
These tips for decluttering your home are for you. They are specific and will give you hard and fast action steps to finally declutter your home. Once your home is decluttered, you will be one of those “weird’ people with a mostly clean house. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.
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Decluttering Tips for the Messy at Heart
1 – Get rid of the “dumping ground“
I threatened once to turn over our dining room table and leave it on its side until the habit stopped.
We had two tables, a kitchen table and a formal dining room table. Since the dining room table was rarely used, it was the perfect place to dump ALL THE THINGS.
If you have a dumping ground, figure out what most often ends up there and then give those items a designated home.
Clear the dumping ground every night.
Chances are, stuff will still end up there every day, but if you get in the habit of clearing it every night, you will create a clear flat surface, which reduces the likelihood of more clutter ending up there.
The best thing to do is to create designated homes for these items. It can be in the form of a family command center or simple hooks and baskets for your everyday items.
2 – Conquer mail clutter
One of my favorite decluttering tips that can take care of piles (and piles and piles) of paper is to create a mail clutter solution. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, simple is better.
Then, create a solution for your mail clutter. If out of sight, out of mind is a problem, you don’t have to hide your piles! Create a system that is organized and reminds you to go through your mail on a regular basis.
You can use baskets, folders, or any number of solutions for the mail. Here are some of my favorite mail organization systems.
The possibilities are endless. The point is to create a system that works best for you and your family. Admit it, the piles make you miss things sometimes!
3 – Reduce the number of dishes to clean
If your kitchen sink is always overflowing with dirty dishes, there is a chance you’ve made it too easy to not wash the dishes.
Hear me out.
How many place settings do you have in your kitchen?
If you have more than two settings for everyone in your family, you have too many. Count the big plates, small plates, plastic plates, etc.
Here’s what happens. You dirty your dishes. You then put them in the sink. There is no incentive to wash those dishes, as you have more settings available to you.
So what do you do at the next meal? You get out another set!
Now, if you only have two settings per person, you are faced with the decision to do dishes now or do them at the next meal. They can no longer keep piling up. This is how you stay on top of dishes by owning less!
Do the dishes, every single night before bed. You don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it. Your morning self will thank you.
4 – Simplify your laundry routine
Those of us who are messy at heart HATE doing the laundry. It is this beast of a chore that needs to be done EVERY SINGLE DAY. Who is wearing all these clothes?!
My laundry decluttering tips:
First, presort all of your laundry.
You can sort your laundry in a host of ways. You can sort it by color or by person. You can put the hampers in your individual rooms or in the laundry room.
Personally, I like to get undressed in my room, so that’s where I want my hamper. I don’t want to walk across the house to put clothes away.
Every person in our family has a hamper. It is their responsibility to either do their own laundry or alert me when it is almost full.
By separating the kids’ laundry by child, it makes folding and putting away clothes ten times faster.
Hang a rod for hanging clothes when they come out of the dryer. This simple laundry room hack will save you time as well.
5 – Simplify your laundry or utility room
If your laundry room or utility room is always a mess, invest in some pretty storage containers for your laundry shelves.
I don’t know why, but the laundry room is the catch-all for all things that don’t belong elsewhere. I throw all these odds and ends (that I use!) into a pretty basket and call it a day!
6 – Clean up your bathroom
The simplest solution and best decluttering tip to making your bathroom always look clean is to keep everything off the counters. Really, it’s that simple.
First, declutter what’s in your bathroom. You have to make room in those cabinets!
Then, create storage solutions for everything that survived the cut. I like to put my everyday use items in baskets so they can be easily reached when getting ready for bed and when getting ready for the day.
Related post: Clear Bathroom Counter Clutter
7 – Linen closet decluttering tips
If opening and closing your linen closet involved any skill, you may need to first declutter the excess, before organizing what is left.
Reduce your bath towels and washcloths to no more than two sets per person. This allows for laundry time and for house guests.
Reduce your bed linens to no more than two sets per bed. Even if you have a kid who wets the bed, two sets are generally enough. It also allows you to forget a set is in the washer and still have a clean set for bedtime.
With fewer linens, the laundry doesn’t build and build before you are forced to do it.
8 – Get shoes off the floor
When shoes are left on the floor, it immediately makes that whole space feel cluttered and messy.
Getting shoes off the floor is a simple decluttering tip for messy people.
Picking up shoes left on the floor has been my youngest child’s “chore” for years, as it is that easy. The trick here is to make sure the shoes have a place to go that’s not in the general floor space.
One of the easiest organizing tricks for messy people is to put a shoe rack in your entryway closet.
We have a rule, no more than two pairs of shoes per person are allowed in the entryway closet. The rest must be stored in your own personal closet. This keeps the closet and entryway from overflowing with massive amounts of shoes, most of which are not worn on a daily basis.
Related posts: Home Decor Mistakes That Make an Organized Mess
9 – Decluttering tips for toy clutter
First, declutter the toys. There are so many benefits to your kids having less.
The best decluttering tip for toy clutter (other than getting rid of more toys), is containers, containers, containers!
Toys your kids don’t “need”:
- Electronic toys that “play” for your kids
- Themed character toys
- Toys they’ve outgrown
- Small plastic junk toys
- 100 stuffed animals
Now, these types of toys aren’t all bad. My kids have Disney princess Barbies and electronic tablets (for long airplane rides). However, when I decluttered their rooms with them, these were the types of toys to go first.
Search out the toys in your kids’ rooms that foster creativity and imagination. These are the toys that will keep them playing for hours.
Finally, get them all in containers!
It’s best to put like items in the same container. This makes clean-up super easy for kids. You can even put labels on the containers if you like.
My kids were a lot less overwhelmed with clean up when I gave them a designated home for their toys.
Related: How to Manage Toy Clutter
10 – Get the right attitude!
This is by far the most important decluttering tip for the messy at heart. You must get the right attitude.
First, get over sunk costs. You already spent the money. It’s gone. It’s why they call it a sunk cost. Learn from your mistakes and buy less clutter going forward.
Related post: 3 Secrets to Less Clutter
Let go of guilt. We have guilt for a host of reasons when we declutter, and it makes us feel miserable.
When you decide to let something go because you no longer use it or love it, let the guilt go with it, no matter who gave it to you, who it used to belong to, or how much money you spent on it.
Related post: Why is decluttering so hard?
11 – Keep like items together
This decluttering tip can transform your home. Why?
When you keep like items together (and contained), they forever and always have a home.
Take for example batteries. We used to keep batteries in a junk drawer, on a shelf inside and in the garage. Now, they all go in a single batteries drawer!
This one, simple change transformed the clutter in our home.
Cleaning your home and keeping the clutter away doesn’t have to be hard, even for the messy at heart. Use these decluttering tips to clear the clutter and make your home look clean all the time.