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How to Declutter

Tuesday, June 13, 2017   /   by Caroline Maki

How to Declutter

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A Bag a Day Keeps the Clutter Away…That’s my mantra for the year!

1. Pick whatever clutter category (sample categories I plan to use are below) you are most inspired to work on first. You don’t have to follow the monthly format, choose whatever works best for you.

2. Each category also suggests an area of the house or room to focus on, but adapt it all to suit your home and needs.

3. Tackle each area/category by filling up at least one bag per area and donating it (or dispose of trash.)

4. Keep on going every day, each month, even into the next year, eliminating the excess, until your home is clutter free! Keep up the bag per day concept (even if your bag gets much smaller!) to keep any clutter from sneaking back in. :)

5. Just say NO to more clutter coming in. You will get better at saying no to clutter as you see the results of your hard work! Be firm about it so you can break the cycle of TOO MUCH STUFF.

Here are a few decluttering tips:

1. The important thing is identifying the clutter hot spots that you need to focus on with “gazelle intensity” (a good ol’ Dave Ramsey phrase) each month– and then make it a mission to get it done! Even if you only have a few minutes a day to declutter, it all adds up.

2. To reach your organizing goals, you’ll have to commit to consistency in decluttering.  Make it your goal to get rid of as much as you can in each category, donating at least one bag of stuff at a time, can until there is NO clutter left like it. Then you can move on to the next category! Don’t worry about organizing it as you go, just get rid of stuff. Organizing can happen along the way if it makes sense, or save it for later, just try to stay focused on ridding your home of a bag of clutter a day.

3. Only keep what you actually use or need. Be ruthless and focused on the end goal, a clutter-free home and the peace that will come with knowing where everything is and having nothing in your home you don’t use or love!

4. Even if you think you *might* need something down the road, just let it go unless it’s precious to you. If it’s not precious, it’s not worth keeping for “just in case.” Only keep what you really love or actually use on a regular basis.

5. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. It might take you a year, or more, or less, depending on how far along you are in the decluttering journey already. But you will see progress!

This “Bag a Day” plan isn’t a declutter project that you start on New Years and work on for a few weeks and then quit, it is about developing the habit of finding joy in a clutter free home.

A bag a day keeps the clutter away!

So where should you begin decluttering? Here’s a year long plan, choose what works for you!



Clothes, bags, shoes, accessories {including seasonal items}, dressers, closets, nightstands, Master bedroom.


Papers, files, calendars, office drawers, command centers. Home office. (Check out this article I wrote on eBay for tips on tackling paper clutter)


Beauty products, medicine cabinets, bathroom cabinets. Bathroom.


Linens (towels, sheets, blankets) and cleaning supplies. Laundry room and linen closets and under sinks or anywhere you store cleaning supplies.


Pots, pans, dishes, kitchen electronics, pantry items (spices, food, baking items), kitchen cabinets. Kitchen and Pantry.


Books, magazines, DVDs, electronic devices, games. Family rooms.


Tools (yard tools, ladder, power tools, hardware, cleaning tools), project materials and supplies on garage shelves. Garage, tool bench and storage areas.


Keepsakes (sentimental, photos, albums) and kids’ drawings and mementos. Closets and bookshelves, anywhere mementos are stored.


Other family members’ clothes and kids’ toys.  Closets, bedrooms, playrooms, school supplies.


Hobby supplies (sewing, crafts, gift wraps, gift cards, etc.). Craft cabinets or closets.


Decorative items {seasonal, decorative, furniture, extra items you don’t need}. Wherever you store excess. Garage, Basement.


Christmas and holiday items, entertaining supplies. Basements, cupboards, garages.

Happy Decluttering! Come back and share in the comments how things are going for you, or post updates on your blog so we can see! You can share the link to a post in the comments, too, if you want to share your own journey.