12 Decluttering Tips to Start Your Decluttering Journey

Have you stood in your house, looking around, wishing a bulldozer was there to just push everything out the door?

Ever dreamed of a house fire? Then all the clutter would just burn up and you wouldn’t have to make any decisions about it, right?

I’ve wished for those things.

But just getting rid of clutter won’t solve the problem.

The issue is habits!

Habits that most clutter-collecting people struggle with:

  • Listening to the all the advertisers.
  • Thinking that I need more to be content.
  • Avoiding housework (by crafting, shopping or surfing the internet, just to name a few).

How do we solve the problem? Change habits.

I know, that is no easy task! But here is a place to start:

12 decluttering tips to start your journey:

  1. Commit to getting rid of at least 20 things each day
  2. Tackle one small area at a time and work on it each day until it’s clean
  3. Set the timer and work for 10 minutes only in that small area
  4. When you have a full box or bag, take it directly to the car, so you can drop off at a charity
  5. When you have a full trash, take it to the garbage can or dumpster
  6. Clean your kitchen sink
  7. Do the dishes and wipe the sink clean before going to bed each night.
  8. Have an accountability partner. This can be a friend who wants to declutter as well, or you can share on the Nourishing Minimalism Facebook page, so others can cheer you on.
  9. If you avoid decluttering and housework, make sure you get rid of you 20 things before you sit down to craft, read or surf the internet
  10. Make it a rule that if you bring something home, something else has to leave. No more filling. One in, one out.
  11. Don’t shop. This doesn’t include groceries, I’m talking about recreational shopping. Find something else to do- walk, hike, bike, join a club, take lessons.
  12. Celebrate each accomplishment! Give yourself a pat on the back. This is hard work, acknowledge it.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do it for a day, or a week, or longer. Just pick yourself up and start again.

Join me in my 2014 in 2014 Decluttering Challenge! Click here to read more about it!

About the author, Rachel

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I go live in my FREE Facebook Groups every weekday- feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Munchkin on 02/21/2013 at 9:56 PM

    Great post, for some people it can be really difficult and some of us might not get it but I guess it’s just that habitual route that the brain is used to, must shop, must have more, must surf each day etc but once you start like you said a step at a time in a short time the clutter will be gone in the house and in the head. And its a great feeling to give things away, and not just used up things, but those that are still in good condition that you don’t need but someone else might.

  2. Pippi21 on 08/31/2013 at 11:27 PM

    Any ideas for purging recipes printed off various food websites or internet, saved from magazines, etc.? I’ve thrown a lot out today and the box is sitll full. Now I need to separate them into catagories(Salads, desserts, main entre, etc.). Some I will pull aside for a young military bride who is also a college student. Some duplicates I can make up a notebook for my granddaughter and her boyfriend. Don’t know when they’ll use it though; she works in a restaurant and he has several jobs, and she starts back to college next week. Should I quickly go through the box and pull out what I want and chuck the rest and let the others print off their own? It’s still going to be time I will need to spend going through the box again. Some I would like to save for myself.

    • Rachel on 09/01/2013 at 1:13 AM

      I suggest the “quickly go through the box and pull out what I want and chuck the rest” method. Recipes are easy to come by these days, most young people just google for a recipe when they want to make something.

      Honestly, unless it’s something that you regularly use, I would pitch the whole box and just google the recipes when needed. Sounds like a big time and space investment to sort them and organize.

  3. Megan Alba on 10/07/2013 at 2:18 PM

    Great post! We recently moved cross-country and had to fit our household belongings in a 6 x 12 trailer. Talk about a great purge! Now we’re staying with family and I’m still paring down. It feels GREAT to have less “stuff”!

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