21 Painless Ways to Declutter Your Home When You’re Tired of the Mess

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As a busy mom, you want to find ways to simplify your life, right?. Only, you look around and see….junk and clutter everywhere.

It’s not very calming, is it?

Because honestly, who can relax and feel comfortable in a home that’s full of “stuff”? (Well, some of those people on “Hoarders” seem to be able to swing it but I definitely can’t.)

And you probably can’t either otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. What you want instead are some ways to declutter your home so you can conquer the mess for good.

Only, it can be overwhelming if you’ve let stuff pile up. And up. And up.

What you need to declutter your home (and do it painlessly) is a plan. And that’s what I want to help you with!

Benefits of Decluttering Your Home

The thought of trying to declutter your house could make you feel a little anxious. Or a lot anxious.

So you might be tempted to just put it off. But there are so many benefits to decluttering once you decide to do it.

For example, how does this sound?

You’ll have less to clean.

Cleaning is not one of my favorite things at all. It may not be yours either. But when you buckle down and focus on ways to declutter, you end up with less to clean. And that means less stress and more time to focus on things you DO enjoy.

It’s easier to enjoy your home.

Having a house packed full of stuff can almost make it feel claustrophobic. When you get rid of things you don’t use, don’t need or don’t love, it makes your home feel so much more open and inviting.

You can save money.

Once you get on a decluttering schedule and start to love the benefits of having a tidy home, you’ll realize you don’t need to buy so much stuff. And when you cut out the unnecessary spending, you free up money you can save instead.

You’re less likely to lose things.

How much of a pain is it to look for something in your home and not be able to find it? When you make a conscious decision to declutter and simplify your home, it’s easier to get organized and keep track of things.

It can make you calmer and happier.

Did you know that living in a cluttered house can actually give you anxiety? Finding ways to declutter your home for good could help ease stress so you can be a happier mom.

So, decluttering? It’s a good thing. You could even look at it as a form of self-care.

And if you need some help figuring out where to start, I’ve got just the thing.

declutter and simplify your home

Simple Ways to Declutter Your Home

Ready to get control of the mess? Awesome!

I’ve got my best decluttering tips ready to go. And the best part is, many of these decluttering tasks are things you can knock out in just 10 or 15 minutes.

Here we go!

1. Organize paper clutter

If you’re overwhelmed by paper clutter, it’s time to get it under control. Round up all of your papers — bills, junk mail, important documents, school papers — and go through it.

Here’s how to organize paper clutter quickly:

  • Sort it into “keep” and “toss” piles
  • Throw away the toss pile right away so you’re not tempted to go through it again
  • Pick one spot in your house to organize paper clutter (a wall-mounted folder system works great!)
  • Go paperless as much as possible so paper doesn’t pile up again

Once you’ve got your system down, pick a day once a week to sort through your papers and decide what to toss or keep.

Bonus tip: Streamline your bills with Trim

If you can’t go paperless on some of your bills, getting rid of those bills altogether is the next best thing for managing paper clutter.

The Trim Financial Assistant can help with finding expenses you can cut out of your budget. Fewer bills = less paper + more money saved.

2. Organize your entryway

Do bookbags, shoes, coats and other junk just seem to magically congregate around your front door?

If simply leaving the house or walking in makes you feel overwhelmed, that’s no good.

One of the best ways to declutter your home is to invest in an entryway organizer to stash bookbags, coats and shoes.

If you can’t or don’t want to spend money, see what can repurpose around the house to organize your entryway.

For example, you could turn an old bookcase or kids’ toy cubby into a shoe rack. Or you could set up a basket for each child so they can toss their stuff in when they walk in the door.

The goal is to get stuff off the floor and out of the way ASAP.

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3. Clear off your kitchen counters

If you don’t have the energy to tackle decluttering your kitchen cabinets, start with just the counters.

Find a place to store unused appliances. Put away any food items that were left out. Round up anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen and put it back where it goes.

Set a timer and give yourself 15 minutes to get the job done so you can move on to decluttering another part of your home.

4. Do a daily declutter challenge

If the thought of trying to declutter your home all at once just isn’t working for you, break it down.

Pick five things a day to toss, donate or keep. And find a place for whatever ends up on the keep list right away.

5. Toss anything that’s expired

This is one of Marie Kondo’s rules for decluttering your home.

Head to the kitchen or the bathroom. Now go through and toss out anything that’s expired, including:

  • Makeup
  • Sunscreen and moisturizer
  • Medications
  • Contact lens solution
  • Sample sizes of beauty or cleaning products
  • Condiments
  • Canned or frozen foods

I know, throwing food away is wasteful and I hate doing it. If you’re on the fence about tossing expired food, read this guide to learn what you can and can’t keep beyond its expiration date.

6.  Organize books a shelf at a time

At our house, we love our books. But every so often, I go through and purge them because we can only read so many.

If your family has a lot of books, trying to organize them all at once might feel impossible. So don’t.

Just pick one shelf to go through at a time, tossing or keeping as you go.

7. Get rid of one thing every day

If you donate or toss one thing each day, you’ll have gotten rid of 365 things by the end of the year.

Sounds a lot easier to declutter and simplify your home when you break it down that way, doesn’t it?

So make today your Day 1 and find one thing you can declutter for less mess.

8. Start a toy rotation

Does it seem like your kids have way too many toys? I definitely felt that way when my kids were smaller.

If you’re overwhelmed by toy clutter, starting a toy rotation is the answer.

Pull out all of your kids’ toys, going through and sorting them into toss, donate and keep piles. Then, organize the toys you want to keep in groups.

You can put like with like toys together or mix up different items, depending on how your kids like to play. Decide how often you want to rotate toys (i.e., daily, weekly or monthly) and leave out whatever is in the first group for your kids to play with.

The rest goes in storage until it’s time for the next group to rotate in. A toy rotation is one of the best ways to declutter your home because it also keeps kids from getting bored with their toys.

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9. Declutter clothes one trash bag at a time

Grab a trash bag from under the sink. Head to your closet (or your kids’ closet).

Now go through the clothes and sort out what you want to keep from what you can donate. Once the bag is full, stop.

This is a quick way to declutter your home that doesn’t take a lot of time and you’ll appreciate having an organized closet afterward.

10. Declutter and organize your car

If you don’t have a car organizer, let me tell you, it will change your life.

I use an organizer in my car and it makes it so much easier to keep it clean, especially when you have kids.

Having a place where they can toss trash and store snacks or other items is a simple fix for keeping car clutter at bay.

Ways to declutter your home

11. Do a 10-minute clean-up in the morning and at night

Give yourself 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night before bed to go through your house and tidy up.

Sweep the floors, wipe down the kitchen counter, throw away any trash. It’s another quick way to make your home feel a little cleaner and less cluttered.

12. Follow the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule basically dictates getting rid of anything you don’t use or wear 80% of the time and keeping the rest. It’s a really simple way to declutter your home fast.

Pick one area of your home — a closet or even a corner of a room is good — and apply the 80/20 rule to whatever you find, donating or tossing anything you don’t use or wear regularly.

13. Dump a drawer

Drawers are sneaky because that’s where clutter can pile up fast.

You toss something in, then forget about it. And you don’t realize how much junk is crammed in there until you can’t get it open. (It’s happened to me more than once.)

So pick a drawer, dump it out and sort through whatever is in it. Take anything in your keep pile and put it back in neatly.

And if you want it to stay neat, consider splurging on some pretty drawer organizers so you don’t come back to a mess later.

14. Store over the door

Your bedroom, bathroom and laundry room doors are prime real estate for storage when you’re trying to declutter and simplify your home.

If you don’t have any over-the-door storage hangers, you’re missing out on an easy and space-saving way to organize clutter.

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15. Keep your desk clean

If you’re a work at home mom like me and you have a desk, declutter it top to bottom. And limit what you keep on it.

Stick with your laptop, your favorite planner and a pen, then store any non-essentials in drawers, baskets or cubbies.

Related post: 10 Tips for Working From Home With Kids (and Staying Sane)

16. Use overlooked areas for storage

Think about your home right now. Where do you have storage space that you’re not using?

Under the bed is a great example. You can use under the bed storage containers to stash linens, winter clothes or anything else you don’t need right now.

Get creative and put even the smallest spaces to work in your home to organize and store clutter. 

17. Use the rule of 3 for home decor items

I love home decor as much as the next mom but at some point, you have to know where to draw the line.

Too many pictures on the walls, too many knickknacks on shelves, too many throw pillows or blankets — it all becomes too much.

That’s where you can put the rule of 3 to work to declutter your home.

If you’re decluttering shelves, limit yourself to displaying 3 decorating items at a time.

Decluttering the couch? Stick with 3 throw pillows.

You get the idea. If you absolutely have to have more than 3 of anything, store the others and rotate them the same way you do the kids’ toys.

18. One in, one out

The one in, one out rule is simple. If you’re bringing one of anything into your home, then one of the same thing needs to go out.

For example, you don’t buy a new winter coat unless you’re getting rid of your old one. Or you don’t buy the latest magazine until you’ve read and donated or discarded last month’s issue.

This little decluttering hack keeps things from piling up in your home. And it forces you to be more intentional when you’re buying things.

19. Set up a family command center

A family command center can help you keep your family organized and control clutter.

This is where you keep your family schedule, meal plans, reminders, phone and tablet chargers, keys, our family binder — everything you need to run your household from day to day.

It doesn’t have to be anything super fancy — a corner of the kitchen will do. The key is to designate a space for managing your family’s daily life and organizing all the things you need to do it.

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20. Give yourself a cooling-off period before you shop

Impulse spending can test your budget and it can also junk up your house.

So the next time you’re tempted to buy more “stuff”, impose a 48-waiting period.

That’s enough time to think about whether it’s something you really need and what you plan to get rid of if you’re following the one in, one out rule.

declutter your home

21. Turn your clutter into cash

Being able to make a little extra money is great motivation to declutter your home.

If you’ve got a bunch of stuff you no longer need, consider selling it through the Decluttr app.

Decluttr makes it easy to turn your unwanted stuff into cash that you can add to savings or use to pay down debt.

Simplify and Declutter Your Home With Fewer Headaches

Decluttering and simplifying are good things and they can make for a happier home. The biggest hurdle might just be getting in the right mindset to do it.

These decluttering hacks are designed to help you get the job done in less time so you can enjoy your home and family instead of feeling overwhelmed by the mess.

If you have an awesome idea for ways to declutter your home fast, I’d love to hear it! Head to the comments and spill the beans.

And don’t forget to grab your free decluttering checklist before you go! It’s just one of the goodies you’ll find inside the Busy Mom Vault.

Read these posts next!

8 Genius Organized Mom Hacks You Need to Try Now

10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms Who Hate to Clean

11 Time-Saving Laundry Hacks for Moms Who Hate Doing Laundry

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32 thoughts on “21 Painless Ways to Declutter Your Home When You’re Tired of the Mess”

  1. This is a great list of ways to declutter your home! There are so many things I could start and do right now. I still have a hard time with “one in one out” policy…but I am working on it!

    Reply
  2. We needed this at home. This is a good post for the spring cleaning and organization around the house. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  3. Great tips on decluttering! Now that many of us have stay-at-home orders, it might be a good time to get everything in order before it is time to get back to work. I will definitely use some of your tips. My main problem is accumulating so much paperwork. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. These are some really fantastic ideas! I love the “rule of 3s” that’s brilliant! Thanks so much for the solid and useful suggestions. I really hate clutter and you are right, clutter definitely causes stress!

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  5. I’m sitting here looking at the clutter in my home as I read this. Clutter can really make you less productive at home and just make life difficult in general. You’ve kicked me into gear to tackles some spaces this weekend! I’ve never even heard of Trim so I can’t wait to look at it.

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  6. This was so perfect for me to read right now! I have been working on decluttering my home but have lost a bit of motivation. Thanks for sharing! I’m ready to jump back in!

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  7. I’m already trying to apply some of the techniques you mention. But I need to start by NOT bringing more stuff into the house! With my Amazon Vine membership and my blogging, free stuff is constantly arriving at the front door. I need to learn to say “NO” any more things.

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  8. Great ideas! I love the idea of tackling just something small each day. Too often we get caught up in the ‘all or nothing’ mentality, believing that we have to tackle everything and anything if we’re doing anything at all. The truth is, however, that little bit each day is much easier to manage for most people and they add up! Before you know it, you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come!

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  9. I love the idea of one in, one out. I feel like this is the best past time at the moment as we all have time to do things at home. My kids are finding new ways to arrange their closets and I am very happy with it as it is giving them some activity and life long skills.

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  10. This is just what I’ve been looking for! I have a cross country move coming up and looking for every way possible to de clutter and not allow the new house to be cluttered!

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  11. Wow, do you have a camera inside my home or something or are you just a good mind-reader, lol?! I despise clutter and it definitely does not make me feel good. These are such smart tips! I especially, love that rule of 3. Sometimes it just seems so overwhelming to tackle but you’ve inspired me to take some small steps toward better organization.

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  12. I really need to go through my boy’s toys. Each time they are in there playroom I am reminded because it looks like toy vomit. That will be on my list tonight now when they go to bed. Thank you for writing this.

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  13. Great list of ways to get your house clean. I especially love #7 when you get rid of one thing a day, what a great idea, it’s not time consuming and after a few weeks you will really notice the difference. I’m starting today with this idea, I’ll let you know how I make out.

    Reply
  14. I love these tips. We moved out almost two years ago, gutted the house, remodeled, and moved back in. I totally decluttered and gave away lots of stuff. But, now that it’s been a while, things are stacking up. Now’s a good time to get it done. I will start with that stack of papers next to the frig.

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  15. These are all great tips! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at the big picture (I feel this pain every day!). Your article breaks things down into small, manageable tasks, which I really appreciate. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. I can attest to every tip on this page. We started decluttering a few years ago and it’s amazing. We do start to pile up on some items but I have a motto, “everything must have a home!” If it doesn’t have a home, it’s new home is the garbage! LOL! thanks for all these tips. I’m sure they will be helpful to many people.

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