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How to Declutter Your Home: 5 Decluttering Tips for the House

Stop & Stor October 29, 2018 Organization

Are you feeling depressed, stressed, or anxious? Do you enter your house and see, not a haven of relaxation and love, but a cave whose floor and walls are obscured by “stuff?” Are you ashamed to ask people over to visit? Do you buy new “stuff” instead of digging through the clutter to find something?

Clutter in the home or office has a definite effect on the mind and body. Obesity, depression, and anxiety stem from a cluttered environment.

How Clutter Affects The Mind

Your email is so full, it will take days to wade through it. Stacks of papers on your home office desk reduce you to the size of a Barbie doll. Your day planner is jammed with appointments and visits. Your home is so full, it takes days to dust and vacuum. This overwhelms you, causing stress.

Psychology Today tells us that it doesn’t take piles of something to define clutter. Clutter begins with more of something than we have room to put it. Jammed closets, desk drawers that won’t close all the way, and tables or counter tops with something that doesn’t belong there all bespeak clutter.

What is Clutter?

Clutter is an excess of something. Do you know someone who saves boxes, wrapping paper, newspapers and magazines, or clothing that no longer fits? This clutter no longer matters or adds something special to your life.

How to Declutter Your Home

Before tackling the job, make a plan. Get a notebook and pen. Write in one column what belongs in the room, and in the second what doesn’t belong. Go from room to room writing this until you’ve covered the whole house from basement to loft. Here are five tips how to declutter your home.

1. Collect three boxes or totes. Mark one “keep,” mark one “toss,” and mark one “donate.” Be ruthless. There are no “maybe” boxes, just those three.

Place into the boxes what is in the “what doesn’t belong” column in your notebook. When the “keep” box or tote is full, clean the room and return the things to their proper places. Put the contents of the “toss” box or tote out with the trash. Take the “donate” box or tote to the Salvation Army, a church, or a community center for the use of the homeless.

Tip: Place a box or tote in each room. Into these will go whatever doesn’t belong in the room. This will prevent clutter from getting a hold in the room again.

2. If you’re wondering how to declutter your home, begin with the most used room: the living room. Take everything off the coffee and end tables. Empty whatever may have been placed on the floor, sofa, and chairs. Dust and vacuum these things as you go along.

If there are electronics, books, or DVDs cluttering the room, ask yourself if they work, if you use them every day, or if they can be recycled. Many cities offer an electronics recycling program. Place what you don’t use every day in the “donate” box or tote. All that should be left on any surface is a picture or two, your grandmother’s crystal vase, or a candy dish.

3. Decluttering the kitchen is a matter of making a file for the bills, letters, and other paper clutter on the counters. Place small appliances beneath the counters. Toss any unused cleaning supplies, out of date foods in the fridge and pantry, and clean off the top of the fridge. All that should be on the counters is the coffee pot and toaster.

Organize cleaning products into a box tray or pail to keep them in one place. Use small gift boxes to organize the drawers’ contents: twist ties, freezer pops containers, extension cords, and menus.

Tip: Instead of cluttering the drawers, place pot holders or kitchen towels with a ribbon for hanging on hooks beside the stove. That will free up a drawer.

4. Bathrooms are simple to declutter. Take everything off the counter, back of the toilet, and sides of the tub. Organize these things into drawers with gift boxes or baby wipes plastic boxes. Clean the bathroom before replacing things.

Put hair care products, personal hygiene products, makeup and shavers in the medicine cabinet. Soaps can go onto the shelves above the tub. Fold the towels and place them in a drawer. All that should remain on any surface is soap and toothbrushes.

Tip: Place a basket or hamper in bathrooms. Clothing and towels will no longer clutter the floors, relieving you of stress.

5. Decluttering bedrooms is a matter of folding clothing into drawers and hanging them in a closet. Clear everything off the dresser and beside tables. Place them in drawers. Dust everything before placing something on the dresser and tables. Lamps, a picture or two, or perhaps a box of tissues should be on surfaces.

Tip: Declutter closets by placing seasonal clothing in boxes and placing them under the bed. Boots, sandals, and flip-flops can go under the bed, too.

When all else fails, using storage facilities will help declutter your home. You’ll be surprised how much space you’ll have if the skis, snow blower, sporting equipment, and yard furnishings are in storage.


If you’re feeling like you’re running out of storage space, contact Stop & Stor today. Established in 1980, Stop & Stor is a family owned and operated business that has become New York’s Self Storage Leader by offering cutting-edge facilities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island – View our New York City storage locations.

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