Decluttering for beginners


When you want to declutter but only have 10 minutes, use a laundry basket.

Grab hold of a laundry basket. In a five minute period, make one circle around the house, picking up and putting into the basket everything that doesn’t belong. Now recirculate around the house one more time (5 additional minutes), delivering all the items in the basket where they’re supposed to go. The key is not to stop to ponder things or get sidetracked!


When you have more time to organize a room, use the Group and Pile Method.

  • First, group similar items together. For example, if you’re organizing the garage, similar item groups might be Sporting Goods, Tools, Automotive, Entertainment, Pets, Gardening and Other. These groupings reveal what you have and how much you have. As a result, decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of can be made more efficiently. For instance, by grouping similar items, you might discover that you possess 14 crescent wrenches of the exact same size and that you can give some to your neighbor.
  • Next, create decision piles, such as: Keep here, Move to somewhere else (specify where), Toss, Shred, Recycle, Donate, and Sell. I use index cards to clearly label each decision pile.
  • Finally, execute your decisions!

Thoughts on this? Other ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!