How to Declutter One Area When You’re Distracted by the Rest of Your Clutter

May 17, 2023

If you’re overwhelmed by clutter and don’t know where to start because everything feels like clutter or you’re distracted by the reset of the clutter, a little perspective switch might be just want you need.

Instead of saying ‘I need to declutter the whole house and then looking around and not knowing where to start, try breaking it down into manageable steps.

Daily Planner Notepad / Cloths & Towels / Scubbing Sponges / Laundry Detergent Spray

Split the space up in a way that works for how you’re feeling and how much time you have.

  • One of my favorite methods for breaking down the space is to tape off a small section with painter’s tape and work in that section. Once that small section is completed, stop OR move the tape to a new section and work on it. Put ‘blinders’ on and don’t look anywhere else while you declutter your section.
  • Go one box or bin at a time until you’ve completed your decluttering. Set a goal for a box a day or a box a week – whatever makes sense for you!
  • Go wall by wall in a room. Only worry about what’s on one wall at a time. This keeps you focused and worried about a smaller section in a room instead of the whole room.

Use your phone, a kitchen timer, a playlist, a song, or a stopwatch. Choose a time-telling method that motivates you.

  • This can be for 10 minutes or 2 hours, you choose! Set a timer and work as quickly as you can. If you’re working through a lot of clutter, consider adding a little decluttering session to your daily routine. Set a timer for 10 minutes, work away until the timer goes off and then pick up where you left off the next day.
  • Split it up and set multiple timers for yourself during the day so you don’t get overwhelmed or feel unmotivated.
  • Move quickly and try not to overthink yourself as you declutter. Grab a garbage bag or two and get started!

Sometimes it’s helpful to have some rules to follow and while I can give you ‘rules’, you know yourself and your situation and this is typically better for you to decide. Here are a couple rules that might be helpful for you.

  • Turn your hangers. If you haven’t worn that shirt in 3 months or 6 months or 12 months (you decide), it’s time to let it go.
  • Pack it up and give it an expiration date. If you’re unsure of any items, put them in a box or bin and put a date on the outside of the box. Once that date comes around, if you haven’t used or needed anything from that box, don’t open it, just donate it.
  • Ask yourself determining questions. Is this something I use, love, need, etc.?  Find questions that help you narrow down what you own and what you want to keep. This will help you find the best things to keep. You can also think through questions like why am I keeping this or when is the last time I used this to help you determine what to keep.


Join us in Homekeeping Society for a fresh approach to clutter and organization to help you find the clean home of your dreams.

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