The First Step On Your Organizing Journey

Decluttering is a dreaded but unavoidable task if we are serious about getting organized. There are many ways to approach the process, but sometimes you want to get this unappealing job done as quickly as possible. If that’s how you feel, you’ll want to read on to discover tips on how to declutter an entire room in one afternoon.

How to Declutter an Entire Room In One Afternoon
How to Declutter an Entire Room In One Afternoon

1. Gather Your Tools

You’ll need some tools to make this job more manageable. Be sure to have large garbage bags for trash and recycling. Get some baskets to hold things you plan to keep or sort and cardboard boxes for donations. You’ll also need post-it notes and a marker for labeling. Finally, a timer will keep you on track. Set aside ample space for sorting; this can be on a bed, a card table, or just the middle of the floor.

2. Label Your Baskets

Use the post-its and markers to label your baskets. You’ll want one for Keep, one for Action Needed (for repairs, returning to friends, etc.), one for Sell, and one for Move (to another room). You may also wish to label your boxes if you plan to donate to separate places, but this isn’t always necessary.

3. Make A Game Plan

Strategize how you plan to tackle the room. I recommend always going in a single direction, clockwise, starting on the left of the main door, focusing on one shelf or drawer, and committing to never returning to an area you’ve already hit.

You may wish to start with the back of the room and work from left to right, then toward the door. Or you could begin at the side of the room, moving steadily across to the other side. Just have a plan.

4. Remove The Big Stuff First

Before you get down to the nitty-gritty of emptying drawers or clearing shelves, it makes sense to get rid of any large items you can.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and enlist a friend to help carry and start moving any big stuff you plan to get rid of in some way.

Items like furniture fall into this category. Take another 15-minute sweep if need be.

5. Next, Comes The Medium Stuff

If you’ve got some big things out of the room, you probably now have more space for sorting. Medium-sized items come next in this decluttering process.

Repeat the same steps you took for the large items, except you will put them in their designated containers instead of completely removing them from the room.

6. Now The Small Stuff

Once again, repeat the process with the small things. This is likely where you’ll need your sorting space like the bed or card table. Handling the smaller items might take longer due to the sorting process, so feel free to set your timer a few extra rounds.

Even with the most cluttered room, following this process will help you declutter any space and start organizing.

Be firm with yourself when it comes to deciding what to discard. Keep only what enhances your life. If necessary, come back the next day to organize. Today, the critical part is removing what is no longer needed.

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6 Comments

  1. Kristin Wendlandt says:

    My goal is to become organized and have my house that way so I can actually enjoy some of the hobbies I used to do when I was an at home mom (8 years ago). My week-ends just seem to be cleaning, cooking for necessity (instead of pleasure) and groceries, errands etc… I want real time to enjoy my creative side.

    1. Hi, Kristin.
      I hear you! House chores can be so time-consuming. To save me time, I like to order groceries and have them delivered, as well as having most bulk items on a delivery schedule on Amazon. It makes a huge difference.

      1. I use this when I can. I have FM and it free’s up time for other things that I can/want to do. So I’m not ruined for a week. Like cooking the food they deliver. Bursts of Energy are few and far between sometimes and you have to use them! Any suggestions for the infatigatably fatigued?!

  2. I like the idea of getting rid of large items first. That is a great way to get clear space in your home.
    I decided to get rid of colorful shoes, slacks and skirts. I only kept neutral colors. I got rid of all shoes that hurt my feet. You would be amazed at what a huge purge that was.
    I’m making at least one trip to Goodwill a week. I will probably be doing this for a long time.

  3. Ditto to the shoe purge but I keep 2 sizes for swollen days

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