How to declutter in Minutes

De-cluttering can be frustrating and tough to tackle.  Here are some ideas to transform the way that you see clutter and allow you to declutter in minutes.  You will feel light and fit and free in your living space.

First take everything out of the space:

Removing everything will open your mind to new ideas, possibilities, and options.  Sometimes when we have seen something be in a particular place for many days, months, or years we think “That is where it goes forever.”  That might not be the best home for the item.  Just take everything out of the space and put it outside of the room.

(Note:  The room will look worse before it looks better.)

Wash off the surfaces:

You can do a little spring cleaning anytime of year and wash the shelves and floors.

Choose your regions:

Decide what regions you need in the room.

I just did this with my laundry room which was overflowing with clutter.  I had 14 regions and got it down to 12 regions and it works like a dream!

Here were the regions:

  • a sewing region,
  • a clothes sorting region,
  • a table for the folding region,
  • a washer/dryer region,
  • the laundry pans region,
  • a clothes hanging region,
  • a bed linen region,
  • a clothing and shoe storage region,
  • an emergency preparedness region,
  • a cleaning supplies region,
  • a mending region,
  • a donation region,
  • a stain removal region,
  • and a swimming suit storage region.

That was 14 regions for an L shaped room that’s about 200 square feet or less.  Needless to say, the room was not a peaceful place.

I eliminated the emergency preparedness region and put it in an old entertainment center, and I created a non-working bathroom into my new sewing room!  I gave a ton of stuff to charity and it’s a lovely room to work in now.

Although the room has 12 regions which is still probably too many – it stays organized because everything is labeled, there are no lids, and we discipline ourselves to put things away correctly.

What are your regions?


Have you ever tried to wrap a present and realized that you had to first find the gift, then go to another room for the gift wrap, then another room the scissors, then another room for the tape.  By that time you were interrupted, someone got into the gift wrap and they are using it as a light saber, and the gift has already been opened by a helpful toddler.  Put all your supplies in one gift wrap region – the present, wrapping paper, cards, pen, tape, scissors and wrap it quickly in one sitting.  It will save you time.

Get out your pencil and paper and write down your regions.

What are your regions and what are the supplies that you will need in that area.  You could have a cookie baking region, with all the supplies you need minus the fridge items in one spot.  You could also have a pancake mixing region, or a laundry folding region.  There are so many regions to create!  Creating regions will help you streamline your home and make it very efficient.

Speed Sort:

  • Have I used it?
  • Does it inspire me?
  • Is it trash?
  • Do I love it?
  • Will I miss it?
  • Could it bless others more?

Answer these questions in seconds so you gain momentum.

If you struggle to make quick decisions, then get a buddy.  Even a child can be a buddy that can help you declutter your space.

Label Everything:

Print big, bold, labels and laminate them with packing tape or some other means.  Label everything or you won’t know where anything goes in about a week.

Finish Up!

Put back everything that you really use or love – AS LONG AS YOU USE IT ONCE A MONTH OR MORE!  If you use it at least once a month then it can go in your prime real estate areas.  Prime real estate areas are the areas that are easy for you to reach from your knee to your shoulder.  If the shelves are below the knee or above your head then those are secondary real estate areas.  If you don’t use it at least once a month than it can either go in long-term storage or it can go bye-bye.

Finish up all the loose ends.  Endure to the end.  Prove to yourself that you can finish completely.  If you can’t finish then give it a “lick and a promise” to finish completely at a later time.

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