How to Declutter: 50 Ideas for a Tidy Home in a Hurry

How to Declutter: 50 Ideas for a Tidy Home in a Hurry
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decluttering the home

The fight against clutter seems like a never-ending battle for most moms. Between kids, work, and just life in general, it's all too easy to go a few days (or weeks) without properly tidying up. Before long, those random piles of junk and dirty laundry turn into an overwhelming mess that seems impossible to clean up. If only it were practical to move to a new house every month or so and start over (we kid!). Luckily, there are some easy ways to declutter the house that won't take all day (really!).

There are a lot of reasons to want to declutter in a hurry. Maybe guests are coming over on short notice. Maybe there's a room or area of the house that's in a particular state of chaos. Or maybe it's time to get rid of the outgrown clothes and broken toys that are taking up all the storage space. Whatever the decluttering goal, there's a hack to make the process easier and faster. (And no, we're not talking about calling a cleaning service -- though that's always an option!)

Yes, there will be a bit of work involved. Yes, some items might have to be parted with forever. But those efforts will be totally worth it, and then some. After a good declutter, the house will be easier to clean, everyone will have less trouble tracking down their belongings, and even cooking will be less of a hassle. There might even be some money to be made selling unwanted items at a garage sale. After all, one person's clutter is another person's bargain!

  • Declutter the Medicine: Bin It All Together


    We have organizer bins for tools of all kinds, so why not use the same strategy for medical supplies? This is a way to take all the space in the linen closet and consolidate it to one easy-to-access organizer. 

  • Declutter the Detergent: Bins Make All the Difference


    It's incredible what a good bin or two can do for organization. Even if there is the same amount of stuff on the washer and dryer, placing the items in a bin makes everything look and feel so much more put together. 

  • Declutter the Closet: Organize Belts


    Some things tend to make an area look messy, and belts are one of those items. That was until this person came up with a genius way to pool them all together and find a way to reduce the space they take up. 

  • Declutter the Storage: Rehome Reusable Bags


    Many families are using reusable bags in place of plastic or paper ones in an effort to help the environment. Of course, the downside of that is finding where and how to store them at home. This method of folding them and placing them in a organizer is the perfect solution. 

  • Declutter Tupperware: Find Space for All Those Lids


    There's a reason people love a good declutter and bringing purposed space to all the food storage containers into the home makes it easier to find it all later. We've all been on the frustrated end of trying to find the matching lid to the container, and this solves that issue. 

  • Declutter the Cleaning: Place Supplies in Bins


    Laundry room organization is often overlooked, but this is a smart way to make sure everything has its right place. Putting like products in each bin means one can grab a bin, use all the products for the laundry, and easily place it back. 

  • Declutter the Pantry: Jar Up the Essentials 


    Some items need to be kept on the kitchen counter, but they'll look cluttered if they're not organized and labeled. Housing all the dried beans and pasta in similar jars on the counter brings some personality while keeping clutter at bay.

  • Declutter Shelves: Organize With Rainbows


    Having space for every little knickknack helps the home feel open and airy. Bringing some purpose to what's on the shelves also opens up the space and organizing the books in order of the rainbow adds an extra layer of fun for all eyes. 

  • Declutter the Tea Station: Put It All in One Area


    For families who love tea and coffee, or who entertain a lot, having a space for all the different tea options and coffee pods clears clutter from the counters. This is an easy way to make them available without having them on display.

  • Declutter the Clutter: Get Rid of Old Paperwork


    So many of us have years of paperwork that we're holding on to for no reason. All those old bills, contracts, and school work piles up, but getting a paper shredder keeps all information private and helps one get rid of the clutter in bulk. 

  • Declutter the Toiletries: Organize Monthly Products


    There is something about having organized drawers that makes the whole home feel put together. This declutter move helps keeps the bathroom organized and reduce waste, while making these product easily accessible. 

  • Declutter Before Guests Arrive: Collect Misplaced Items


    A great way to declutter fast is by taking a laundry basket and going from room to room, collecting items that aren't where they're supposed to be. When the basket is full, all the things inside can be returned to their proper places. 

  • Declutter All Over: Sort Unwanted Things Into Categories


    Most clutter turns out to be stuff nobody needs anymore. Follow this sorting tip from Simple Living Country Gal and put items into boxes labeled "donate," "give away," "maybe," "sell," and "recycle." The "maybe" stuff can stick around for a while but everything else can make its way out the door pretty quickly.

  • Declutter the Kitchen: Clear the Counters


    In many homes, the kitchen counter becomes the place where everybody empties their pockets and backpacks. Declutter kitchen counters with tips from Penny Pinchin' Mom, such as removing things that don't belong there (keys, grocery receipts) and putting away barely used appliances, leaving only items that get used every day.

  • Declutter the Closet: Do a Quick Purge


    Bedroom closets are famous for collecting clutter. Many of us are reluctant to part with clothing even if we don't wear it often. To really declutter bedroom closets, Wrapped in Rust recommends taking out every item one at a time and determining whether it will (honestly) ever get worn again. (If not, toss, consign or donate it.) This can be done quickly, but will take some careful thought.

  • Declutter Anywhere: Set Space Limits


    A potentially life-changing hack from The Mostly Simple Life is setting space limits. This means deciding how much room a category of items is allowed to take up, then getting rid of any excess. For example: Only as many books as can neatly fit on the bookcase can be kept; toys all have to fit in one closet or cabinet; board games can only go on two shelves, etc.

  • Declutter the Freezer: Use Bins to Categorize Items


    Practically Functional recommends using dollar-store bins to organize the frozen foods in a chest freezer. They allow for easy stacking and prevent foods from getting "lost" under or behind other things.

  • Declutter the Pantry: Do a Purge


    Is pantry pandemonium an issue? Do a quick pantry pick-up following steps from The Penny Pinchin' Mom. These include throwing out expired, empty, or soon-to-be empty bags, containers, and boxes, checking the shelves and floor for stray food (like crackers that fell out of the package), cleaning up crumbs, and grouping items neatly by category and size. Transferring food to glass or plastic containers can really curb chaos, too.

  • Declutter Papers: Tackle the Mail Pile


    It's all too easy to grab the mail every day and put it on a table somewhere to be dealt with later, except later never seems to come. Sort through any stacks of neglected letters by immediately throwing out all junk mail and dividing the rest into categories (bills, cards, school forms, etc.). Then, it's easier to tackle one group at a time.

  • Declutter Loose Change: Consolidate It Into a Jar


    It's shocking how much money all those random piles of pennies, nickels, and dimes can add up to. Go on a coin-finding mission around the house (look on counters, between couch cushions, under the furniture, and elsewhere) and consolidate the cash in a dedicated jar where everybody can toss their change from now on.

  • Declutter Electronics: Separate &  Label Cords


    Most of us have about a million cords of uncertain origin lying around. Clear up the confusion and mess with these cute toilet paper tube cord holders that were dreamed up by Simple Most.

  • Declutter Drawers: Make Cardboard Box Dividers


    No more sock drawer madness! Create organization with easy-to-make cardboard box drawer dividers -- get the how-to from The Krazy Coupon Lady.

  • Declutter Shoes: Organize Flats & Flip-Flops in Magazine Holders


    They're not just for magazines: Magazine holders easily become shoe organizers, as demonstrated by The Krazy Coupon Lady. This is an effortless way to keep everybody's flats, sandals, and flip-flops together and to save on floor space.

  • Declutter the Play-Doh: Use a K-Cup Holder 


    Play-Doh is fun to play with, but it sure can be messy. And those containers end up all over the place! That's why this K-Cup holder Play-Doh organizer from Extreme Couponing Mom is borderline brilliant.