Declutter your kitchen to make space for new things and thoughts.

How To Declutter: The 4-Step Method

Start with any room in your home and follow these 4 steps.

Step 1: Categorise

First, categorise the things you want to declutter and organise, such as your books, papers, clothes, kitchen cupboards, electronics, etc.

Step 2: Prepare 4 Declutter Boxes

Have four declutter boxes ready: one to discard, another to recycle, a third for items that belong elsewhere at home, and a fourth for items that you are undecided about.

Step 3: Fill the 4 Declutter Boxes

Pick one of your categories and start to fill up those declutter boxes. For the fourth declutter box, once the box is filled up, seal it and open it six months later when you have had time to know if the items are still useful.

Step 4: Decide What to Keep

Instead of deciding what to throw, decide what you want to keep. A good rule is to keep things that you used within the past three years. Throw away any objects that don’t serve a purpose anymore.

Once you finish decluttering and organising, take a moment to enjoy your clutter-free space.

Related: Can Decluttering Lead to Better Mental Health?

7 Decluttering Hacks for Effective Decluttering

1. Take Manageable Bites

For instance, if your wardrobe has too many items to declutter in a single day, try to go through a sub-category such as tops or bottoms first. The other approach is to make each category into one big project.

2. Have a “Home” for Everything

This makes tidying up quick as you know where everything goes. Spend 10-15 minutes at the end of each day, whether at your work desk or at home, putting things away in their “homes”.

3. Keep Things Away Quickly to Stay Clutter-Free

Any new items that you receive, such as mail, gifts or new purchases, should be kept the day you receive it. This makes it easier to stay clutter-free.

4. Go Paperless to Declutter Quickly

Pieces of paper (receipts, magazines, bills or bank statements) have a way of growing into unsightly piles if we aren’t careful. Avoid this by paying for your bills online, opting for e-statements, reading books and magazines in digital form, and rethinking printing documents where possible. To get rid of clutter, scan and digitise the important documents and throw out the rest.

5. One In, One Out to Reduce Clutter

A useful rule to apply when new items come into your life is to remove at least one to two older items, whether they are gifts, clothes, shoes, books or magazines.

6. Plan Monthly Decluttering Sessions

Declutter a different aspect of your life or an area of your home each month. For example, you can declutter your kitchen in January, and get rid of clutter in your living room in February.

​​Seal away boxes of items you are undecided about and decide what to do about them 6 months later

7. Learn How to Declutter and Organise

To find out more on decluttering, we recommend reading these books:

  • The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  • 30 Days to a Simpler Life by Connie Cox and Cris Evatt
  • Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter by Elaine St. James

This article is part 2 of a 2-part series. Continue reading the first part here: Part 1: Can Decluttering Lead to Better Mental Health?

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