7 Simple Ways to Start Decluttering

Don’t know where to start to get your clutter under control? Are you ready for spring cleaning but are overwhelmed before you even start? Clutter makes me crazy and I know I’m easily overwhelmed. I want a perfectly organized home but it’s going to take me awhile to get there. That’s why I’m sooo glad that Heather from Simply Save offered to give us 7 tips today on simple ways to start decluttering.

I was following Heather’s Minsgame journey on Instagram and Facebook and was so proud of all she accomplished. Heather is an inspiration in living minimally, intentionally and frugally. You’ll want to stop by her blog and check out her ideas for saving money. 

Please give Heather a warm welcome to Mom’s Small Victories as my guest today!  

Note: This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog should you decide to purchase.

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Simple Ways to Start Decluttering

By Heather from Simply Save

Spring is around the corner and soon we’ll all be getting the itch to do some spring cleaning! Many of us will include decluttering in our cleaning, going through our things and getting rid of what we don’t use or want any longer. Decluttering can be overwhelming! Even just the thought of it can make you want to shut down and avoid it. Where do you even start? How do you stick with it? Here are some tips to make it a little less overwhelming!


1. Look for areas of redundancy

If you’re not sure where to start, look for areas of redundancy, areas where you have significant  multiples of the same types of items. For me it was flip flops, pajamas, workout clothes, and coffee mugs. It occurred to me that I could only wear one pair of flip flops and pajamas (not together!) at a time so I didn’t need 15 pairs of each. I also don’t work out often enough to justify 12 different outfits. These hot spots are different for everyone but are an easy way to get started.

2. You don’t have to do it all at once

I recommend breaking it down. Take it a room at a time, closet at a time, or even a drawer at a time; do a little each day or each weekend. Decluttering is a process. At first you may feel like you need to keep things, but after a second sweep later on, you may feel differently. Even though you don’t need to do it all at once it can be addicting! I’ve found myself on decluttering frenzies, so I don’t recommend starting at night. 

Decluttering your home: Break it down,  take it one step at a time @simplysavemn Click To Tweet

3. Turn your hangers

Not sure which clothes to part with? Turn your hangers around so they’re facing the opposite direction. As you wear things put them back facing the usual way. Every 4 to 6 months, revisit your closet and see which items are still facing backwards. This gives you an easy snapshot of your favorite items. 

4. Check for expired products

As a finance blogger I’m into stocking up on items when I can get a great deal, so I’m embarrassed to say that when I started decluttering I found a crazy amount of expired items in my home. Unopened items; medicine, food, beauty products, pet food, and more. So much waste. Now I’m much more intentional about stocking up. Take a quick look at the expiration date on things and you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of things without a second thought.

5. Play the Minsgame

Last November I played the Minsgame and it had a huge impact on me. Here’s how it works: On the first day of the month you get rid of 1 item, on the second day 2 items, third day is 3 items, and so on until you get rid of 30 items on the last day of the month (or 31 depending on the month.) When played in months with 30 days you end up getting rid of 465 items in a month! Wow! You can also start small by playing a modified Minsgame where you get rid of one item a day for a month. The Minsgame is a great way to be consistent with your decluttering goal. For motivation and encouragement you can join a Facebook group like this one, filled with other people on a mission to declutter.

Play the #Minsgame and get rid of 465 items in 1 month! @simplysavemn Click To Tweet


6. Do a pantry challenge

The pantry challenge was what opened my eyes to all of my expired food. Pick a week or month where you try to eat from your pantry. The only grocery shopping you should do is for fresh staples such as eggs, milk, bread, fruit, and veggies. It’s a great way to clean out the pantry and break the cycle of always eating and buying your same few favorites while ignoring the rest.

7. Make it your own

Don’t be hard on yourself and take breaks when needed. Decluttering can be mentally exhausting! Don’t compare your decluttering challenge to others; what we choose to get rid of or keep are personal choices and are different for everyone. These steps will help you get started on your decluttering, but you really get to make it your own! Best of luck!

7 Simple Ways to Start Decluttering Without Being Overhwelmed by @simplysavemn Click To Tweet

About Heather

Heather from Simply Save writes about Simple Ways to Start Decluttering as a guest on Mom's Small Victories.

Heather is a personal finance blogger who strives to find the balance between planning for the future and enjoying the present. She shares her personal finance journey on Simply Save and also writes about saving money, simplifying life, minimalism, and living with intention.

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I love these simple ways to start decluttering from Heather and I really need to do the Minsgame to get rid of more clutter. I’ve been using the decluttering mission calendars in my planner to try and get control of our clutter and it’s a slow but meaningful process. But as I always say, baby steps and small victories! 

Free Decluttering Your Scariest Space Challenge

Don’t you have that one space in your house where you dump everything and it’s totally gotten out of control? That’s the laundry room for me, and it’s become overrun with outgrown kids clothes, toys and old files. There isn’t any room to do the laundry and that’s something I have to do everyday in a house with a 4 boys/men! It’s overwhelming.

So I’ll be working through this Free Declutter Your Scariest Space Challenge* hosted by Dana K. White and Ultimate Bundles this week. I’m so excited about this challenge because I was just listening to Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White on audiobook a few weeks ago and it had so many simple, actionable tips about how to take the emotion and stress out of decluttering and to make do with what space you have (instead of buying more and more containers for stuff you don’t really need).

The Free Decluttering Challenge* comes with a quick 15 minute video and free workbook which recaps the book perfectly so you can hit the ground running and tackle your scariest space. Register for the free challenge now, there’s nothing to lose except for clutter and overwhelm and we could all do with less of that! 

I enjoy collecting tips on planning, organizing and productivity. If you do too, stop by and follow my Planners, Organizing and Productivity Board on Pinterest. 

Follow Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories’s board Planners, Organizing & Productivity on Pinterest.

How do you get organized and decluttered? Gimme your tips, I can use all the help I can get!

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  1. I LOVE Decluttering! I do it every year, my kids hate it. Sometimes we do it several time a year. I am surprised have have anything left. Thanks for playing the Pinterest Game

    1. Lol, I feel the same way. I declutter & reorganize and then a couple weeks later it looks like a tornado zone again. I think our stuff regenerates itself! 🙂

  2. Great tips! I’ve been doing the hanger thing for a couple of years now and it’s a great way to prove what’s in your closet that you don’t love. I forbid my husband from buying anything at the grocery story today that we didn’t actually need – no matter how great the sale was – to force us to use what’s in the pantry. I hate the idea that we have so much food there’s hardly room for more but then we keep buying more anyway.

  3. I just started my Spring Cleaning today and unlike a lot of you, I didn’t like it all! It’s hard to decide what to get rid of but even harder deciding where it should go. Great tips in this post and the comments and just in time. I can handle the one a day and then two a day idea. I may have overdone it trying to get rid of a truckload in just one day. Thanks so much!

    1. I’m with you and don’t like the act of physically decluttering but I sure do love the results. I wish someone would do it for me 🙂 every little bit helps, good luck with your spring cleaning!

  4. Excellent tips!! I seriously get a high from decluttering and getting rid of things. I am the opposite of a hoarder. lol I can’t wait to get started on a few hot spots in my home! Good idea to not start a project at night!

    1. Lol, I get a high from decluttering too but we are a family of pack rats. We aren’t quite to hoarding status but we have a lot to get rid of. Thanks for commenting Roxanne

  5. Where you ease dropping on me and my hubby? I promise we were talking about this very same thing. We are planning a spring cleaning of all spring cleanings .. the struggle for me is getting rid of things I know in my heart can be recycled

    1. Decluttering is a popular conversation, the renewal of spring gets me in the mood to spruce up the house. Good luck with your spring cleaning of all spring cleanings, I need to get moving on mine too!

  6. Tis the season for spring cleaning! We started last week and I donated a fair amount to the church for their clothing plus more giveaway. Cookbooks we never used anymore… gone! Sheets for a bed that we no longer own… gone! Feels so much better when the space isn’t cluttered with junk.

    1. I’m so bad with cookbooks, I love to collect them but realistically I don’t use them. Good for you getting rid of things, every bit helps!

  7. I am in the process of decluttering as we speak and you have hit the nail on the head. I agree that taking time out is a great idea and helps you evaluate decluttering.

  8. boy you aren’t kidding! i am in the midst of an all over purge-fest in my home & it so draining!!!! but I am trying to have fun with it and remember how great it will be when I get somewhere with this 😉

  9. I love the hanger tip. I am going to have to try that as I feel like I have a ton of stuff but only wear the same things over and over.

  10. Love the turn your hangers and the Play the Minsgame ideas – I’ll go through my closet once a month a note the things that I haven’t worn and put them in a bag to give away – I’ll hold onto the bag for about another month and then off it goes, if I’m not missing anything.

  11. awesome tips! I’m so lucky that I don’t have to worry about clutter. I’m a self confessed ocd, everything has to be in place, germ free and squeaky clean.

  12. #2 hits home with me. I get so overwhelmed and have to remind myself that you need to start somewhere. One room, one space at a time.

  13. Very helpful tips for getting rid of stuff you really don’t need. As I’m become a beauty blogger, I find myself cleaning out my makeup more and more to eliminate expired items or to get rid of items I don’t wear or use.

  14. Great tips here – I do some of these on a regular basis, but some I’d never thought of. Sometimes it’s so hard to clear out clothes – that’s where I struggle the most. Even if they don’t fit I’m still reluctant to pass them on.

    Any tips to actually get the “unwanted” stuff out of the house? I have a box of books and a pile of clothes that I’m not motivated to move out. I try to give stuff away over FB but it seems no one else wants my junk either! 😉

    1. I’ve listed things on Facebook but give myself a time limit. If it’s still there are 30 days, I donate it. If your neighborhood is on NextDoor that is another good place to sell things. I sell things to stores that may pay cash, like books, clothes, etc and then whatever they turn down I immediately take to Goodwill on the way home. Hope that helps! 🙂

      1. That’s a great idea to take items to stores that pay. I’m usually too lazy to seek out places I can sell clothes to, I just end up donating it.

  15. I just read a tip I like yesterday. For every new item you bring in an old one has to go. It is supposed to help you think twice about bringing more stuff into your life. Also my co-worker who is a male puts post-its in his wife’s shoes with the date, if after a year the post-it is still there they have to go. Not sure what his wife thinks of that.

  16. Great ideas, Heather, and many new ones I would like to try. The hanger turning is so clever since it incorporates data gathering first. Also clearing out expired items is a big step. We all have them. And this can be a guide to careful puchasing in future. Thanks, Heather, and thanks Tanya, for featuring these ideas for spring!

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