Decluttering Your Home: Start Small, Really Small


It’s spring time and many of us are thinking of spring cleaning and organizing. I feel like I live in a house full of clutter. I feel overwhelming evening thinking of where to start! Anyone else feel like this?

I read Amy Clark’s book The Good Life for Less and one of her tips, which is so simple, is to start small – really small. Taking this advice, I created a list of over 40 very specific areas to declutter knowing when I have a little extra time, I can work on these areas and feel like I’ve accomplished something by crossing even the smallest task off my list. The list seems extremely long right now but I know with time it will diminish.

Part of my organizing issue is once I get started or I’m in the mood to organize and clean, I can’t stop. So a simple task of cleaning out the junk drawer will lead me to the laundry room which will lead me to cleaning out behind the laundry to cleaning out the washing machine and then my day is gone and I have messes everywhere. My style of decluttering is it has to get worse because it gets better so I will have piles around the house trying to organize where items go or a giveaway pile or even a pile of lost and found items from friends and family.

My Decluttering Plan: 

  • Create a list of small steps.
  • Complete at least one small step on the list daily.
  • Reuse, recycle, donate, sell, or giveaway items I find within one week.
  • Spend 10 minutes a day ensuring the areas I have already decluttering do not get cluttered again.

This is exactly what happened to me on Sunday when I started this list. I got distracted but I was able to accomplish quite a bit on my decluttering list.

Here’s My Start Small, Really Small List:

  1. Junk Drawer
  2. Silverware Drawer
  3. Utensil Drawer
  4. Plasticware Cabinet
  5. Pantry
  6. Drawers beside stove
  7. Pan Cabinet
  8. Spice Cabinet
  9. Medicine Cabinet
  10. Coffee Cabinet (Just my description of the area  – there is WAY more than coffee in that cabinet!)
  11. Dishes & Glass Cabinet
  12. Island Cabinet
  13. Hall Closet (Done)
  14. Bathroom Drawers and Cabinet Half Bath (Done)
  15. Bathroom Drawers Master Bath
  16. Cabinets in Master Bath
  17. Bathroom Drawers Boys Bath
  18. Books in Living Room
  19. DVDs in Living Room
  20. Wine Cabinet
  21. Wii Games in Living Room
  22. Shelves in Office
  23. Cabinets in Office
  24. Master Closet (My Side)
  25. Master Closet (His Side)
  26. Master Drawers (Mine)
  27. Master Drawers (His)
  28. Master Under the Bed (Incentive: I’m sure I’ll find a ton of lipbalms hiding under there!)
  29. Sofia’s Closet
  30. Sofia’s Drawers
  31. Sofia’s Toy box
  32. Sofia’s Toy Stand Organizer
  33. Sofia’s Books
  34. Boy’s Closet (Major Project)
  35. Nightstand
  36. Laundry Room Above W&D
  37. Laundry Room (Drawers under W&D) – Done
  38. Laundry Room Cabinets – Done
  39. Laundry Room Shoe Area – Done
  40. Upstairs Linen Closet – Done
  41. Sock Basket – Done
  42. Baskets on top of Washer & Dryer

I’m sure I’ll be adding items to this list as time goes on. Hopefully, once I cross the item off, it stays decluttered until at least I finish the entire list.

2 responses to “Decluttering Your Home: Start Small, Really Small”

  1. Hi Briana, love the article – good common sense. In my new book, Living Simple Free & Happy, I tackle decluttering by reducing consumption, selling clutter and upcycling (repurposing)!