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How to declutter your home in 4 easy steps without feeling overwhelmed!

The beginning of a new year provides opportunities allowing us to aspire to reach new goals and ridding our lives from mental and physical clutter.

Feelings of overwhelm are often associated when wondering how to declutter your home. These feelings may even cause you to feel paralyzed, leaving you not knowing where to even begin.

I know I’ve felt this way, especially when there is so much to declutter!

Luckily you and I both have access to someone who is gifted in this area. My mom has been blessed with the gift of organizing and methods for maintaining order. She’s been reducing clutter in the home since she was just a little girl.

While she was growing up, grandma would often give her the responsibility to organize specific areas of their home . I admire my grandma for recognizing this talent and encouraging my mom to further develop these skills.

Today we’d like to share these methods and show you how to declutter your home in just 4 easy steps, without feeling overwhelmed, which can be implemented in every area of your home.

Lets dive right in!

You’ve likely asked yourself similar questions to these:

What should you throw away?

How do you get rid of stuff quickly?

How do I get rid of unwanted items in my house?

Why is it hard for me to throw things away?

These are all valid questions.

As we show you how to use these 4 easy steps to declutter throughout the home, you’ll feel encouraged to tackle this undertaking no matter the size, one area at a time.

4 Easy Steps to Declutter your Home

Step 1: Choose an area of your home to work on.

Be specific. Maybe it’s an entire room, or perhaps it could be the closet or other areas of storage in the room.

Choosing a specific area to work on will eliminating extra mental stress.  Clearly by thinking about ALL of the different spaces that need to be worked on can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed.

Choose an area, work in just this one area, then move on to the next.

Step 2: Analyze the items.

Is it broken? Is it missing part of the item? Have you used it within the last year? Can it be repurposed?

Letting go of “stuff” can be hard, but as you begin to analyze specific items with an open mind, it will get easier to part with them. Sometimes it’s easier to let “stuff” go if you have someone to validate the choice.

3. Is it serving you?

Ask yourself if the specific item is serving you. Does it help fulfill specific needs? Does it have sentimental meaning? Is it something you use on a regular basis? Is it a tool that helps make specific tasks easier?

Through openly answering these questions it will become a lot easier to know if a particular item is truly needed.

Often times we hold on to things that were given to us. Perhaps we may feel guilty getting rid of it, or fear we’ll hurt the feelings of those who gave it to us.

But there is NO rule that says we have to hold onto things! If you’ve never used said item, or it doesn’t serve you any longer, it’s ok to part with it!

4. Decide how to get rid of each item.

When beginning to declutter your home, be sure to have empty boxes or large bags handy for all of the items you’ll be parting with.

More importantly, LABEL them!

After analyzing each item you’ll have a better idea what you can do with the items you no longer need.

Boxes or bags should be labeled with the following:




(You can also deduct the items donated throughout the year on your taxes! Be sure to obtain a receipt upon leaving the donation center. Don’t forget to keep a record of all items donated.)

Follow along as we put these steps into action throughout our own homes.

After seeing the many different items we’re parting with, we hope you’ll be inspired to declutter your home, and will be able to do so with ease!

How to declutter games & Toys

This is an area of the home that can get out of control quickly!

Often we accumulate games from birthdays, Christmas or as other gifts. Quite often the stash just keeps growing and growing!

When was the last time you took stock of your games?

Take a look to see if any are missing pieces, or have broken parts. Are there games your family doesn’t play anymore, or perhaps have outgrown?

Decide which games are worth donating and what needs to be thrown out.

Toys and stuffed animals can also get out of control quickly!

It’s embarrassing to even share these images…but it is real life!

Our youngest has stuffed animals literally overflowing out of his closet! He feels very attached to all of them, which makes parting with them a bit trickier.

While he is away at school I plan to go through them myself and purge those I know he CAN live without. Of course there are those he is particularly attached to.  Explaining that he doesn’t need this many, and that there are other children who could enjoy them will help easy the separation anxiety. Ideally I’d like to limit his stuffed animal stash to 5! Wish me luck!

Need help for organizing toys, then take a look at How to Organize Toys in 3 Simple Steps.

And don’t miss these  clever Toy Storage Ideas!

Another common area that’s hard to keep organized is the game closet.

Board games come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, which make it difficult to keep them tidy.

If you need some inspiration check out Organizing games: Family Board Game Storage You Need to See

Declutter your home from books and magazines

Books and magazine collections can also take over your home if you’re not careful!

Although it’s important to have a good supply of reading material in your home, it’s likely there are those you could part with.

For instance, how many of you are subscribed to your favorite magazine yet never throw any old issues away? Or better yet recycle?

This is an area where my Mom actually does struggle. She has piles of magazines throughout her home (neatly organized of course), but if she’s not careful it can begin to take over!

She admits to keeping them for that one article she might refer to, or the images of a specific DIY project or home decor item she wants to keep for ideas. Her method up till this point has been to go through each magazine periodically and tear out any of these items she plans to reference again. She then has them neatly organized in a filing cabinet. However, she readily admits that she rarely even looks at them once they’re filed away.

The new method she’ll be incorporating this year is to take a picture of the items she wishes to revisit, then she can easily store them in a folder on her computer. This should free up more physical space in her home as well as give her a more practical way of looking at them in the future since more and more items are stored digitally.

Going through bedroom closets

Going through the kids closets is also another activity to tackle while they’re away at school, especially if they’re particularly attached to certain clothes that are worn out and too small, yet they insist on wearing them!

Not only will there be items that have seen better days, but as kids grow so quickly there are always many items they’ve outgrown. This creates another opportunity to donate.

As adults we’re not off the hook here either.

Take a good look through your closet and consider these questions:

-Have I worn this within the last year?

-Does it fit? (Not, will it fit if I lose X amount of pounds.)

-Is it worn out or faded?

You may be surprised to find that there are a handful of outfits worn on a regular basis, yet the other items are just taking up space in your closet!

The same goes for shoes, hats and any other accessories.

If  you haven’t used them in the last year, chances are you can live without it. If the items are still in good condition, plan to donate them.

You’ll find letting go of unnecessary items is liberating. The more practice you have as you declutter your home, the easier it will become.

How to declutter personal care products

An area of the home that is easy to overlook is the supply of personal care products.

How often do you try a new brand of hair or body care only to learn that you don’t like it? And what happens to these items that don’t get used anymore? Well they sit around in your cupboards and closets of course.

Take stock of what items are used on a regular basis and get rid of the rest!

If it pains you to throw these items out, offer them to a family member or friend.

It’s also important to go through your makeup on a regular basis. Not only will you find items that you don’t use anymore, but it’s  also important to remember that many items have a recommended shelf life to prevent bacteria build up and risk of infection.

-Mascara and liquid eyeliner; 2-4 months

-Liquid Foundations; 12-18 months

-Powder, Bronzer and Blush; 2 years

For ideas on keeping a bathroom neat and orderly click here.

how to declutter the kitchen

Another area of the home that tends to accumulate items is the kitchen.

Again it’s embarrassing to share these images, but you know…it’s real life!

Does anyone else struggle to keep their cupboards organized and free from clutter?

Ours seem to start out nice and neat, then somehow we tend to accumulate a plethora of water bottles and other gadgets that take up valuable space!

Upon going through my cupboards I was surprised how many items I was able to clear out! I found water bottles without lids, and lids without water bottles, cracked lids, mangled straws and chewed on mouth pieces.

Many were thrown out, while others in good condition were added to my donation box.

Clearly, a home can only have so many water bottles!

I’m excited to share I was also able to part with some kitchen gadgets and dishes that were rarely or never used.

Now my cupboards actually have extra space!

Looking for ideas for kitchen organization click here.

Going through the pantry

While you’re in the kitchen you may as well go through the pantry.

When was the last time you took stock of what’s in there? Will you find expired food?

Now I realize my pantry is completely lacking in organization! But if a good system is implemented, and there is a place for every item, it will be that much easier to periodically go through the pantry and rotate food to prevent finding items that have expired.

However, check out  30 Affordable Pantry Organization Ideas & Storage Ideas You Need to See

One area I’m happy to say has been organized and stayed that way for a year now is our deep freezer! Everything has its place, and is neatly labeled, which makes it that much easier to keep tidy. Not to mention it makes planning the grocery list much easier as well, as you’re able to quickly take stock of what items need to be replenished.

To see our tips and get your own free labels to organize your freezer, you can visit that post here.

medicine supply

Another area of the home that is often neglected is the medicine supply.

When was the last time you went through yours to see what is expired?

From over the counter pain relievers and cold medicine to prescription medicine, you may just be surprised how much is past its shelf life.

shop our favorite organization products

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Ridding our homes of physical clutter feels so liberating and will also make you feel better mentally! In fact, it will bring JOY in to your life.

We hope you’ve been inspired to declutter your home one area at a time. With these 4 simple steps no area in your home is off limits, and you’ll be clearing out unnecessary items with ease!

What other areas of the home would you purge? What other methods have you used to declutter your home?

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Say hi in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you. You can also learn more about us here.

And as always here at Sunny Side Design


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