Decluttering: expert advice on how to do this successfully and effectively

by Mark Bennett

May 10, 2024


Keeping the house neat and tidy is important for positively influencing our mood (and looks nicer too).

Regarded as a thankless chore by many, by following a few, simple "rules" this task can be made more manageable.

Below, we provide some expert advice on how to declutter/tidy up your home.

1. Correct preparation


The first, fundamental rule for successful decluttering is to adequately prepare for the task:

  • create an environment conducive to your ability to concentrate on the task: do you prefer to work in absolute silence or while listening to music playing in the background? You may also feel the need to stimulate your concentration by drinking coffee, tea or some other beverage;
  • visualize your goals: look around your home and ask yourself what results you want to achieve; try to imagine what your rooms would look like after decluttering;
  • change your perspective: sometimes you might not "be able to see the wood for the trees", so to speak; take photographs of your rooms, walk away for a while, then look at the photographs again. Now, you could well see things that need to be done which you missed earlier.


2. Lots of small chores


The idea of decluttering an entire home in one go can be a daunting project to contemplate, causing you to procrastinate.

Tackle your decluttering project by dividing it into smaller chores: tackle one room at a time or one category of objects at a time and divide these smaller chores into different actions to be carried out separately. Decluttering the home will now be easier and quicker to deal with.

3. Planning

Tool Dude8mm/Flickr

Time is precious and limited, so careful planning of your decluttering project is essential.

If you want to do a deep and long-lasting decluttering of your home, avoid setting aside just one Sunday afternoon for this. Rather, make devise a week-long decluttering project plan. Mark off the decluttering chores in your diary (just like you do for other appointments), specifying in detail the task you will take care of at a specific time on a specific day.

4. Room-by-room chores


For each room you declutter, keep in mind the essential chores you need to complete:

  • get rid of everything that does not belong in the room: every object has its place and should be put back where it belongs; take everything that does not belong in the room you are dealing with and put it back where it should be;
  • get rid the superfluous: now, you can get rid of everything that is superfluous, expired, broken, worn out or that is no longer used. In the pantry, for example, throw out all expired foodstuffs;
  • empty out, categorize and reposition: in whatever area of your home you find yourself working in, start by completely emptying it out (as best as possible); then, divide these objects in categories, sort them out (see above) and only then redeploy/reposition your final selection.

Thanks to these tips, decluttering you home will be a more manageable, effective project.