When we live in a world that is full of clutter we can become overwhelmed in every way. This then forces us to live a life in which we are constantly in a state of stress.
When we declutter our lives we create a less stress filled environment and we bring order to our lives.
We have no wasted minutes on searching for keys or important papers and we gift ourselves with a less cluttered mind.
When our mind is not overwhelmed with minutiae we are more open to seeing the happiness that surrounds us.
The first steps in this pursuit seem to fall quite logically right in the center of the matter, the home.
I have put together my Top Ten list of ways to declutter your home. They work for me and I am hoping that they work for you too.
1. Make your bed everyday.
2. Set the timer for 15 minutes and go through your home gathering items that are not where they should be.
3. Set the timer for 15 minutes and place these items in the correct room.
4. Create a task list for every room in your home that includes everything that needs to be done to keep that room clean. For example, the bathroom list may include: empty trash can, swishy toilet, wipe down sink, pick up dirty towels.
5. Fold your bedsheets into a matching pillowcase. No more time looking for matched pieces.
6. Open your mail next to a recycle bin. Toss the junk mail right away. Shred anything with personal information.
7. Create a daily chore list for every household member.
8. Every time you wear something and then hang it back up turn the hanger. If in one year’s time the hanger has not turned toss the item (to charity).
9. When you buy new clothing staple the receipt to the price tag. If you do not wear it within the month return it. You did not need it.
10. Place all of your returns in one area of the home (or better yet in the car) and make sure that receipts are in the bag or taped to the item.
If you love these ideas then wonderful. Go ahead and use them. If they do not resonate with you then think about what really will. Share those in the comments below. I can always use more tips for organization and my readers would love to hear from you.
You may also like to read and follow the principles of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Fly Lady is also an amazing source of information and organizing tips to help you get started and to keep going for a lifetime.
If you enjoyed this post then please do share and do not forget to share your best tips in the comments. Thank you.
24 thoughts on “10 Tips to Declutter and Invite Happiness In”
Clutter of any type oppresses me, distracts me, makes me feel edgy so your opening paragraphs really spoke to me Elise. Too much decor can do that to me as well. Home decor items are so trendy, if you can’t use them update them and if you buy more, donate the ones they replaced.
You give great advice. We are redoing our house and I have purged so many things and I am being super mindful about bringing anything new in.
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Thank you for your support.
Ok I am a clean freak. I know the fly lady very well. Love decluttering
Answered this post twice now.
My answers to questions
1 yes 2 no timer I just do it same for 3
4 I have a list 5 Husband does this
6 yes 7 no only two of us
8 yes 9 good idea 10 good idea
Just finished moving my office today and decluttered like crazy.
I see that something keeps pulling you to this post… I sure would love to see that organized office 🙂
I like all you tips except #2 and #3 – not that they aren’t good tips – it’s that I despise using timers. I know a lot of people are into using timers for managing projects and tasks these days but just the thought of that irks me. Otherwise, I’m definitely on the same page. It’s especially important to me to keep my desk clear. Thanks for the suggestions!
You are so very welcome. I also think that it is really important to find what works for you. A tip for inviting happiness in that totally stresses you out would not be a good tip to follow, at all.
Thanks for all the tips. I especially love number 9! I thought that I had heard them somewhere before and then when I scrolled down I realised I had read the book you recommend. I’m getting much better at decluttering as I get older.
I love that tip #9. If I do not do that I will lose my receipts and then have a difficult time with returns (unless I bought at Nordstrom’s as no receipts are needed there.)
Elise, I do your #8 a little differently. I turn the hanger backwards for items I know haven’t been worn recently. The shirts we wear all the time stay in the usual direction. Turning the hanger backwards did show my oldest two boys (ages 16 & 12) exactly what shirts they did and did not wear over a three month period. They were shocked to see how the shirts they ‘thought’ they wore never got taken off of the hangers. I love your tips as they are all good reminders on how to reduce the clutter in our homes!
I’ve been a FlyBaby since 2002 or 2003! I have not always been on the Fly Wagon but her principles have stayed with me. My husband and older boys are ‘used’ to hearing FlyLady terms. 🙂 My friend (and accountability partner) in WV is also a FlyBaby and we do 15-minute missions most days via online chat. It helps both of us keep focused with the tasks and things of the day to accomplish.
My friend in WV started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and recommended it to me. I’m still reading it.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is so good to hear from various people so that we can glean what may work really well for us.
I love that you have a FlySister 🙂
Hi Dr. Elise,
This is a cool list. My wife and I make it priority to make the bed first thing as soon as we wake up. For us, the kitchen needs to be spotless before we go to sleep. When I come down to make my cup of tea in the morning, I like to see a clean kitchen.
Great tips. It is so lovely to wake in the morning to a clean kitchen and to retreat to the bedroom in the evening where you find a tidy bed. You begin and end the day in peace with these habits.
Hello Elise! You did an awesome job with this post my friend! Decluttering my house is the easy part, it is the garage I need hep with HEHE
Everything from in here seems to end out there. Yikes this is on my to do list..
Loved #8 I do have a lot of clothes I dont wear..
Thanks for sharing
OYE – the garage is the receptacle for everything. Currently I have a mattress to get rid of. If you split the garage into zones then it will not be as overwhelming and you can conquer the mess!
I like #8 too 🙂
Great ideas for organization. I used to be a very organized person but not so much as I’ve gotten older. I do still try though, so maybe it’s not a lost cause yet. LOL
Thanks for sharing and doing all that you do. 🙂
You are too cute and nothing is ever a lost cause if we keep trying 🙂
I am the Queen of de-clutter.
First thing I do every morning is to make my bed, that’s one job done!
Having less to deal with the key. I feel more able to deal with life and not the clutter.
I especially thought these were very good ideas.
8. “Every time you wear something and then hang it back up turn the hanger. If in one year’s time the hanger has not turned toss the item (to charity). I just cleaned out my clothes closet today.
9. When you buy new clothing staple the receipt to the price tag. If you do not wear it within the month return it. You did not need it.”
Great article. I loved it!
I love that you make your bed first thing in the morning. That starts things out just beautifully. I am so pleased that you liked the article. I get the feeling that you have some wonderful tips to share too. The receipt one is one of my favorites too. I used to have a tendency to not be able to return things due to loss of a receipt.
Hi Dr Elise
These are great ideas to declutter a home. I am wondering why I never thought of such idea. Thank you for sharing and have a pleasant week. Take care
You are so very welcome. Sometimes we just hear things when we are meant to.
De-cluttering is so important and you have made some very good points here. I have recently started to empty spaces that have items in that haven’t been looked at for years (for example the loft!) If I haven’t touched them I don’t really need them, do I!
Enjoy the journey!
I am willing to bet that not only is your room lighter of clutter but you are lighter of spirit. Thankyou for visiting.