Ultimate Guide on How to Start Decluttering Your Home & Life

Decluttering is a fabulous way to energize your home and your life. The clutter that surrounds us can take a toll on us physically and emotionally. Taking time to evaluate what you have, what you don’t need anymore, and what you want to keep can be therapeutic and freeing.

Clearing out the unnecessary clutter will almost certainly reduce stress and mess, and create more opportunities for peace, creativity, and relaxation in your home.

Why Decluttering is So Hard

One of the biggest reasons decluttering your home is hard is due to the decision-making factor. A great way to make the decisions easier is to follow a checklist.

Decluttering can come with a lot of emotions. We sometimes hold onto things because we feel sentimental about them. Or maybe it’s not even sentimental, we just feel guilty about throwing things out.

Other times we hold onto things from a scarcity mindset. We’re afraid that if we throw something out that we don’t use, we might need it “someday” in the future. These are usually small items that are replaceable, that we can borrow, or find a substitute for if that “someday” does come around.

Give yourself permission to let go of the guilt and live in abundance. Believe that if someday you need that random ball of twine that has been in your drawer for years, you will be able to get some in the future.

Alright, now that you’ve decided you want to start decluttering your home and your life, where do you start?

We’ve got you! Start with our checklist and take it one room at a time.

Declutter Checklist

A checklist isn’t only helpful with giving direction as to what to do next, but it also gives you that satisfying feeling of being able to check something off of a list. It’s a simple act that can keep you motivated and help you to feel empowered.

50 Things That You Can Declutter in Your Home Right Now

Tips to Declutter Your Home | Declutter Checklist | BrainMD


  • Expired makeup, medication, and sunscreen
  • Skin care products you haven’t used in a while
  • Old towels or washcloths
  • Empty or almost-empty products
  • Dried-out or old nail polish
  • Skincare samples
  • Stretched out hair ties and broken bobby pins
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Duplicate hair tools like combs and brushes (keep only your favorite)
  • Hotel toiletries
  • Anything else that you no longer need, use, or want


  • Paper clutter
  • Books that won’t be read again
  • Unused or unnecessary furniture
  • Worn out sheets
  • Clothes that no longer fit
  • Clothes that you haven’t worn in over a year
  • Worn out shoes
  • Extra hangers
  • Socks with holes
  • Broken jewelry
  • Old and excess purses or baggage
  • Anything else that you no longer need, use, or want


  • Expired food
  • Excess cooking tools
  • Excess dishes
  • Appliances you don’t use
  • Old dish rags
  • Cleaning supplies that you don’t use
  • Fridge magnets that you don’t care about
  • Unmatched food containers
  • Excess plastic or paper bags
  • Anything else that you no longer need, use, or want

Living Room

  • Old magazines
  • Paper clutter
  • Excess blankets and pillows
  • Decor that you no longer like
  • Excess electronics or remotes
  • Extra cables or chargers
  • Hobby items that are no longer used
  • Anything else that you no longer need, use, or want

How to Declutter Your Playroom | BrainMD

Kids Rooms & Playroom

  • Broken toys
  • Unused or outgrown toys
  • Paper clutter
  • Games or puzzles with missing pieces
  • Used up activity or coloring books
  • Outgrown clothing
  • Old shoes
  • Extra blankets or pillows
  • Anything else that the kids no longer need, use, or want

Now that we’ve gone through your home room by room, it’s worthtaking a moment to mention a few of the intangible things in your life that you can get rid of today.

3 Intangible Things That You Can Throw Out of Your Life Right Now


We all feel unnecessary guilt from time to time. Remind yourself to let it go with these positive affirmations: I am enough. I am doing enough.

Excess Media

It’s easy to consume social media when we’re feeling bored, tired, or stressed. Throw this out, and you can feel new energy and productivity right away.

People Pleasing

You don’t need to please everybody, it’s impossible actually. Setting boundaries and only saying “yes” to the things that are important to you is a powerful way to feel less clutter in your life.

How to Make Decluttering a Daily Habit

Tackling everything all at once can be overwhelming. Instead, try doing a little at a time. Look for a place in your daily routine to add a few minutes of organizing or decluttering. The end of the day is a great time to reset and do a little decluttering.

Set a Timer

If you have a limited amount of time to spend on decluttering, set a timer. This simple act can keep you motivated to keep working and allow you to stop when it ends.

The 10 Item Trick

Make it a habit to choose 10 items at a time to clear out of a room or space. This little trick will give you a concrete number of items to work on. The items can be large or small. This 10 item trick can be used daily or weekly.

Declutter Your Home in Your Down Time

When you’re waiting for food to cook, or clothes to finish in the drier, take those few minutes to look in the junk drawer, or toss out old papers. Those little minutes will add up over time, resulting in a tidier space.

Anything you decide to purge, should be thrown away on the day of decluttering. This will help you see the physical results of your work as well as help you to avoid spending more time thinking about your decisions.

TIP: Ask yourself these 5 questions when deciding if you want to keep an item: 

1.     Do I love it?

2.     Do I use it?

3.     Would I buy this item now?

4.     Is this item worth the space it’s taking up in my home?

5.     Could this item benefit someone else?

Make It Fun

Add an element of fun while you declutter your home to make it go faster and be more enjoyable. Plus, it can be a great way to multi-task!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Turn on music
  • Listen to an audiobook or podcast
  • Call a friend to chat with while you work
  • Invite someone over, or enlist your partner to help
  • Treat yourself to a reward when you complete an area


Don’t forget about donating! Old clothing, old shoes, and old hobby items are all great things to consider donating. It can be rewarding to donate something that you don’t use, that you know someone else will enjoy.

Focusing on the joy of giving can make it easier to part with the items you no longer need.

Learning to Let Go

Letting go can be a challenge for all of us. When you feel intimidated by the process of decluttering, try repeating a positive affirmation or mantra such as, “I create the life I want.” This can help remind you that you’re capable, and that letting go can benefit you.

Start today and do a little at a time. When you declutter your home, you’ll be better able to make the most of your space and feel the positive effects of a decluttered life.

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Amy Huffmire