Ready to declutter your home? Start with these simple 5 steps to get started decluttering!
Welcome to Day 10 of the 30 Days to Less of a Hot Mess Challenge! We’re decluttering, reorganizing and taking a breath of fresh air to create a home we love. If this is your first time at the challenge, you may want to start here at the beginning. This post is sponsored by Kirkland’s as a part of their Resolve to Organize campaign. Affiliate links used for your convenience.
Update 2019: This is from my Less of a Hot Mess Series from January 2017. In 2019, I revamped the content and created a Less of a Hot Mess 30-Day Declutter Challenge (e-mail series) that you can join here!
30-Day Decluttering Challenge
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If you’ve been following my 30 Days to Less of a Hot Mess posts or Instagram and Facebook, then you have caught wind that I’ve decluttered and organized my office! Yay! I can’t wait to share all about that today. I’m using this room as my example for how to declutter an entire room! It’s not too hard, I promise.
My office is actually a corner of my guest bedroom. The space pulls double duty, which can sometimes be a challenge. In the past I have had a hard time keeping it clean and guest-ready, so it really stressed me out. Honestly it just stressed me out to walk in there most days because it looked like this:
And here’s another angle from the door …
I certainly didn’t want to work in there! (I’m trying to gloss over my embarrassment that I even shared those pics, because even my closest friends don’t necessarily get to go in this room. 😬) I ended up working at the kitchen table or the couch or wherever I wanted. It sounds like fun, but it’s not very conducive for productivity and running a business. I need to have a room and work without the clutter.
So, my #1 New Year’s goal was to declutter the whole room. The whole dang thing! I was tired of not being able to find what I needed and having to buy things I already had. I was tired of tripping over random junk laying all over the floor. I was tired of spending my time looking for things instead of spending them with my family.
This method works, my friend. And it will work on any room in your home. And in time as your work through your home and declutter your kitchen and your living room and get rid of clutter throughout, you’ll reap the benefits of decluttering your life. Less stress. Less wasted time. And more time spent living your life instead of managing your things. It’s really a win/win!
Side note: if you’re going to try this at home, it may take some time, depending on your schedule and your clutter. Give yourself grace to work on it a little at a time and not just get frustrated and walk away. Commit to it for the entirety of the process!
How to Declutter an Entire Room: Decluttering Tips
1. Empty the Entire Room – So, I did what I’ve learned to do: I pulled everything out. And I mean everything (except for the furniture, but you can do that too). Things will look so much worse before they look better, but trust me on this. You want to touch every item that is coming or going in that room (or closet or drawer or space). This is key!
Use the box method, having one for each category: trash, donate and keep.
Have the donation box set up and as you bring things out as well, so if you immediately know you want to donate, toss them in the box. Pull everything, and I mean everything out of the room. You’ll be shocked as to what you find.
I even cleaned out the drawers and closet. It was all gone. I promise that you will purge more and throw away more if you touch it all. Here is some of my stuff in the dining room; this wasn’t even all of it!
2. Consider Your Needs for the Room – Once everything was gone, I analyzed the furniture layout and reorganized it a little bit.If you want to get rid of something or add something, or rearrange it, then this is the time to do it! I left the desk in that corner, but I moved the bed over to the opposite corner so that there is more floor space. I have plans to change out the bed and redo some night stands for the room, so that’ll come later this year, I hope. But for now it’s much easier to walk through the room.
I also realized that the extension cord, modem and router weren’t working for me in the corner of the room. They were plugged into the middle of the wall next to my desk, so it was just unsightly! And I got rid of my brown filing cabinet (see this post), so my printer needed a home as well.
I found this gorgeous farmhouse table at Kirkland’s (similar) that fit my needs perfectly. The new monogrammed basket (similar), also from Kirkland’s, fit nicely on the bottom shelf and holds all of my electronics that used to live in the corner.
And my printer found a new home, too! I’m so happy with how it looks now. Rethinking your space to fit the items you need to keep is a key part of organizing your home to work for you.
3. Group Like Things Together – Once I’ve pulled everything out, analyzed the furniture and done the initial trash and donations, I start grouping like things together. I put all of the ribbon in one pile, all of the notebooks in one spot, all of the office supplies in another.
And slowly, but surely, I grouped everything with something like it. If something didn’t work into an obvious category, then I made my own miscellaneous pile. And at the end of the day if I still couldn’t figure out a category (place) for it and it didn’t spark any joy, then I got rid of it.
You know you’ve hit the right mix of your home decor favorites when you make excuses to walk by the closet just because it looks so pretty in there! (from Instagram)
4. Take Out the Trash – Now that you have your piles of like items, go through each group and ask yourself these two questions: “Do I love this?” and “Do I use this?” If you’re anything like me, then you may struggle with this step. Here are some key phrases that mean something does NOT spark joy.
- I was going to use this later for something; I just can’t remember what it was.
- Aunt Sandy bought this for me, so I can’t get rid of it, even if it’s been sitting in the back of my closet for 7 years.
- But we might need it someday.
- It’s a perfect good, working lamp, so I hate to get rid of it. What if I decide to change out all of my lamps tomorrow??
I think you get the picture. If you ask yourself if you should keeping something and your yes is not a resounding yes, then I’d question whether or not it brings you joy. If you have to hem and haw about keeping something, then it needs to go. You will feel so much freer and won’t remember what you got rid of 30 minutes after you’ve dropped it off.
I am the worlds worst at making up excuses to keep unused and unloved items just because I might want it again someday.
Nope! Just let it go.
I’m getting better at it by the day. I trash everything that is actually trash and donate the rest to a wonderful local thrift store that is an amazing asset to our community. I choose to donate and take the tax deduction rather than hanging on to it and doing a yard sale or trying to sell online.
5. Put it all back in a way that makes sense! – Nail down a vision for how you want the space to work for you! And the put things back in place in an organized and thoughtful manner. It’s ok if there is empty space. Let your home breathe and don’t rush to fill it just to fill it with something.
I have rearranged the closet tremendously from its original state, but I’ll share that in another post. I want to share my new office corner with you in its pretty and organized state!
Gah!!! I’m just so obsessed with how it turned out! I love, love, love how pretty it is and how functional it is all at the same time! (Don’t mind the bed post in the picture, I’m going to replace it soon!)
I also added a new galvanized bucket “inbox” to my desk, which I talked about in yesterday’s post on eliminating paper clutter for good! And I bought the chalkboard and file organizer from Kirkland’s, which functions as my “to do” box and my “outbox.” And an awesome dose of daily inspiration as well. More to come on that chalkboard art, soon!
RELATED: DIY Abstract Art
Yay! I can’t believe that this is actually my work space and that it’s actually organized with everything I need and love and nothing more. So absolutely fun. It’s quite freeing to not be cluttered and able to find everything I need. I have plenty of room to spread out and get my work done.
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Disclosure: I was compensated for my time and this blog post by Kirkland’s as a part of their Resolve to Organize campaign. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Kirkland’s.