Step by Step Guide on Decluttering

The Spring season had sprung and I don’t know about you but I am seriously feeling the urge to do some spring cleaning and decluttering. In one of my earlier posts, Decluttering for Self-Care, I described the negative impact of clutter and how decluttering can work wonders for your self-care. In this post I am going to share actionable and practical tips for how to crack on and do some decluttering.

Decluttering can be a daunting task, especially if there is a lot to declutter. It is also an extremely satisfying task and definitely worth it because of the benefits it can bring to your mood, time, energy, and life in general.

  1. Understand why you are doing this. Identify the reasons why you want to declutter. What prompted you to make this decision to declutter? Is it because you are focussing on your self-care? Or maybe you are due to move house and need to reduce the amount of stuff that you have before packing it and moving. Whatever the reasons make sure you know why you are doing it and if the decluttering gets a bit tricky at times you can remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing it and it will help you to stay motivated.
  2. Assess the situation and write a list. Take a good look around, open the cupboards, look under the bed etc, and discover how much there is to declutter. Is it just a few cupboards or is every room full of stuff that needs to be sorted through. This is a good time to write a list; break it down by room and then write down which areas that you want to declutter. Here is an example from my own decluttering list:
    • Bedroom.
      • Wardrobe
      • Shoe cupboard
      • Bedside table
      • Make up/body care
  3. Choose one thing on your list to get started. Choose whatever you think will benefit you the most. If you have no fear you might find that tackling a big job first will benefit you the most. Or if you don’t have much time but really need to just get started then the most beneficial decluttering task might be something very small and simple.
  4. Set yourself up a workspace. You will need some cleaning equipment (cleaning cloths and things), bags/boxes and some space to spread things out a bit. Depending on what you are decluttering you will need to have bags or boxes to put things in that you are going to either:
    • Sell (via ebay or depop or something)
    • Give away – to charity or friends
    • Recycle
    • Throw away

I haven’t suggested a bag for the things you are going to keep. I have assumed you will be putting them away where they came from or in a new location. If you are packing to move house you will need a box for things to keep as well.

5. Take all the items out of the cupboard, box, or off the shelf (whatever you are decluttering). Remove everything and put it in a pile/spread it out so you can see it all. This is the perfect opportunity to clean the cupboard or shelf before putting anything back into it.

6. Decide what you are going to do with the items. You have several options for what to do with each item. Put the items in different bags or piles depending on what you have decided to do with them.

Keep the things that are valuable to you, are genuinely useful, and things that you really want and enhance your life in some way.

Sell or donate the things that are in good condition or if someone else would find it useful.

Throw away or recycle the broken and damaged items that are beyond repair or have parts missing (like a board game with missing and irreplaceable pieces). Put things that you are keeping back where they belong. You’ve emptied the cupboard, cleaned it, decided what to keep and what to do with the things you are not keeping. Now it is time to return your ‘keepers’ to their appropriate places. This is a very satisfying process where you can see how your hard work has really paid off.

7. Take action on the items you are not keeping. Do not delay this process – the last thing you want after all this hard work is to have fresh bags of clutter waiting for something to happen to it. Whilst you are in the decluttering mind-set, do what needs to be done to clear yourself of the things you are not keeping.

This step by step process looks simple (and it is!) but it will take time and involve careful thinking and decisions. I recommend you allocate yourself more time than you really need so you can make sure you can have some breaks and not feel rushed.

If you are really short on time or are struggling to get started because it is overwhelming just do something really tiny, there is no need to over complicate it. Here are some really tiny declutter projects to get you started right now. 

  • Remove an unused app from your phone
  • Unsubscribe from an email subscription that you no longer read
  • Delete 10 old emails that you don’t need, like old delivery dispatch confirmations
  • Throw away some makeup or other beauty products that have been opened for a really long time. 
  • Throw away old pens that have dried up
  • Give a book you no longer want to a friend or to the charity shop
  • Throw away socks with holes in them
  • Donate or sell an item from your wardrobe that you no longer wear.

If you’re still feeling like you need a bit of extra motivation I recommend heading on over to It’s All You Boo’s post on Motivational Spring Cleaning Quotes (my favourite quote is number 37)!

I hope you have found these tips useful! If you have any declutter tips of your own, or have any requests for specific decluttering posts please write them in the comments below.

Until next time



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