Are you avoiding opening your cupboards for fear that the contents will spill out onto you?

Or are you tripping over belongings that don’t seem to have a home because you never seem to get around to finding one?

Then you are due for your annual declutter (yes I repeat, your annual declutter!).

Decluttering will not only avoid injuries around the home, but it will also improve your life. Here are some tips on how to declutter:

  1. Find a home for that ever growing pile of paper. We all dread the pile of bills, junk mail, school notices, magazine/newspaper articles and shopping lists, to name a few. Paper often finds its way on dining tables, coffee tables, kitchen benchtops and any other free surface available. Some will need to be filed and some will need to be binned. With what is left, I suggest buying an in-tray and placing it in an easily accessible drawer or cupboard. Place all the current papers in this in-tray and make sure that you assess it each week so as to avoid missing important deadlines.
  2. Where to start decluttering? Choose a ‘zone’. This could be a room or a cupboard in the house that is bothering you most – start here to keep up the motivation levels. Move from zone to zone and you will find that zones overlap as you start making room in one area for items from another area. Try to concentrate on one zone at a time or else the task will become overwhelming.
  3. Before you start decluttering, grab yourself 3 boxes (big ones!). One labelled rubbish, another charity/ebay and the last storage. Anything that doesn’t have a home or is no longer needed should be placed into either rubbish or charity. Some items may even hold value and can be sold on eBay or Gumtree (nothing like making some money off your items to motivate you to declutter annually). Items that are hard to let go of should be placed into the storage box. These should then be stored in the shed or garage and reviewed again in 6 to 12 months time. At review, they may feel easier to let go of or you may find they are only needed occasionally and can remain in storage.
  4. Wardrobe clean outs are not for the faint hearted, but I suggest completing these every six months. Consider each item and whether a) it still fits b) its still in fashion and c) when was the last time you wore it? If its been over 12 months since you have worn it, chances are, you are not going to wear it again. If it’s still in good condition, donate it to charity and let someone else enjoy it!
  5. Lastly, I must warn you that decluttering can be addictive! Once you start you will feel lighter and happier. It will take motivation and energy to move through your home but I suggest you turn up your favourite motivational tunes and go for it. If you dont’ have a family member or friend to help, you can always call in the professionals.

Do you have any decluttering tips to add to this list? Please SHARE in the comments below.

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  • Were lucky in that we have quite a small home with a huge amount of storage and not much to actually store but I do like to declutter whenever I get a moment


  • When my drawers can no longer close from my burgeoning t-shirt collection, it’s time for a clean out. As I wear my clothes until they’re just holding themselves together, my partner scores himself a bag of rags which he really appreciates.


  • I need to do this!
    over the last week I have been feeling so anxious about starting but these tips will help! :-)


  • I certainly need to work on the paperwork.


  • Some papers can be scanned and stored electronically.


  • I love decluttering and fortunately don’t get too attached to things. I


  • I have just sold, so need these tips!

    • Congratulations! Good luck with your move. I’d suggest a good declutter well before moving day. In fact, I often find that while we declutter with clients, we can also start the packing too which makes the moving process a lot easier. Start with one cupboard and room at a time and begin with zones you won’t be needing leading up to the move. Good luck! D


  • The hardest part of decluttering is definitely getting rid of clothes. I used to have the attitude that:

    a) It would fit me if I lost weight
    b) I might still go someplace where I could wear it
    c) Even though I had not worn it for over a year – I might wear it someday!

    If you can get over those hurdles, cleaning out your wardrobe then becomes fun. You now have lots of space for new items!


  • it is just finding the time and motivation which is the hardest!


  • Deanna is right – decluttering is addictive!!


  • Great, helpful tips. I’ll be saving this somewhere to read again…. & again ;) Thanks


  • At the moment I have 2 clothes baskets of paperwork to sort and either file or it goes into File 13 (the recycle bin) after names, addresses and other private information has been removed and destroyed.

    • Have you considered shredding the paper work to ensure private and personal information is destroyed correctly? Its an easy and efficient way to get rid of paperwork! D


  • These are clear steps, thanks. Making the time to start is hard, but rewarding. Instead of big boxes, I use small shopping bags so that I can pat myself on the back when a rubbish bag or charity bag is full. That way I don’t have an enormous box looking at me for weeks until I finish filling it. Another trick I learned was not necessarily having the children around when you go through their wardrobe. Two of our kids hate getting rid of clothes they have clearly grown out of, whereas they don’t complain or even miss them if they “disappear”. Its finding what works best for you, and finding the motivation to start.

    • I agree! When I try to declutter with my daughter, we are busy for ages and at the end she lets me give away just a couple of things and that’s it. Not really a good use of time.


  • I think that starting is the big problem. That’s why is nice to work in zones indeed. Or using 10-15 minutes a day to start decluttering. It could be a drawer or a small shelf. Once you start it’s difficult to stop indeed.
    I like to declutter the book shelves regularly. I’ve always got too many books. Some books I give away to friends, other books I bring to second hand book shops so they can sell them. The idea is to keep just what I love.
    I think that’s also the main idea of decluttering. Giving away things that we don’t really love. Keep just what makes us happy! :-)

    • I agree that starting is often the hardest part! This is why preparation is the key. Put your favourite music on and work through zone by zone. I love books too and my tip is that if your bookshelf is still overflowing after donating, use your books on a display shelf, coffee table or as a bedside table stand. :)

      • Music helps with getting all work done – housework and de-cluttering.

      • Thanks for the idea! We’ve always got too many books. We are all avid readers. Now if one book doesn’t fit on the book shelf anymore, it means that another one has to go! No buying more bookshelves just to find space to new books. :-)


  • The benefits of doing these things regularly are well worth the pain.

    • Agreed! We recommend a wardrobe clean out every 6 months and a house declutter each year. If you have the energy to do so more often then you’re a star!! Unfortunately, most people don’t find the time and therefore moving house is a great excuse to get stuck into it. :)


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