How to Build Decluttering Habits Into Your Life

Decluttering isn’t something you do once, and then you’re done with it forever. It is an ongoing process that you need to address and keep on top of.

Here we explore how to build decluttering habits into your life.

The key to decluttering is realizing it needs to be a mindset, a set of habits you develop that not only cleans the extra stuff out of your life but keeps the clutter out as you move forward. 

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Keep reading to find out simple ways you can build decluttering into your life.

Have a Donation Box System in Place?

A lot of the time, we tend to procrastinate about decluttering an item as there is nowhere to put it.

My suggestion is to create a donation box and leave it somewhere convenient and accessible, like the floor of your closet or in the hallway cupboard.

This means getting rid of things is as easy as throwing the unwanted item into the box.

Your family should be encouraged to add to the collection in the donation bin as well.

Once the box is full, put it in your car immediately so you can drop it off at a donation center when you’re out on your usual errands.

Break The Twitch shares some popular decluttering methods.

Don’t Procrastinate About Decluttering an Item

If you find something you no longer want, in your home or life. I would recommend you get rid of it immediately. If you leave it for later that time may never come.

Either toss the item in the garbage or put it in the donation box. Just make sure you will not be tempted to keep it later.

Why put off what’s will only to take a moment to do?

Step By Step Declutter has some great tips on avoiding procrastinating while decluttering.

Try Decluttering in Short Bursts of Time

‘You Can Eat an Elephant…A Bite At a Time’

said an ancient Chinaman

You don’t need to declutter your whole house all in one go. Instead set a timer and just do 10 to 15 minutes burst of activity.

You will be amazed at how much can be done in a short space of time. This works really well if you commit to doing this every day.

This has the advantage that you then don’t need to set aside huge chunks of time to get everything decluttered.

The Peaceful Mom has a 10 minute a day challenge you could follow.

Make Sure Everything Has a Home

If you don’t have a place to put something, how can you ever put it away? Find a home for every object you want to keep.

By designating a spot for everything you own, you know just where to put it when you tidy up.

If you can’t find a place for it, you have to ask yourself if it’s something you genuinely need.

If so, ask yourself if another item needs to go to make room for it

Hey! There Home has been decluttering like crazy.

Declutter First Then Organize

The biggest mistake people make is in thinking they can organize things as they declutter. Also, they think you can organize clutter which you can’t.

The problem comes when you start wasting time organizing things which you’re not even sure if you’re going to keep.

Declutter everything first and then spend your time on the organizational side of things to optimize your time.

The Simplicity Habit has some tips on why you need to declutter more and organize less.

Avoid Overwhelming Yourself

When you start decluttering, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. You start out with a great deal of enthusiasm and throw yourself at the project.

You need to acknowledge that decluttering is a lengthy business, that in some ways will never end.

Set yourself boundaries on the time spent decluttering to prevent burnout.

For example, don’t say I’ll do the decluttering over the weekend, instead mark out 2 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday and that’s it.

Do something enjoyable for the rest of the time.

Balance Through Simplicity explains why setting boundaries is the best self care.

Don’t Buy Storage Solutions as you Declutter

One top tip I can share with you is it never buy storage boxes or systems as you are decluttering.

Storage systems are often just a way of trying to organize the clutter and you won’t be able to move forward.

If you have a cluttered home I bet you have plenty of storage systems that you have bought in the hope that these would be the answer to clearing up the mess. {HInt: They never are!}

As you declutter have a look around the home to see if any storage boxes or systems can be reused.

As you reduce the number of your possessions the need for storage solutions becomes less.

Only buy storage once you have finished decluttering. For example, you might like to buy a nice bookshelf to house your cherished book collection.

Simplify Stuff has 5 reasons why its vital to declutter before organizing.

Keep on Top of What You Own

One of the main aims of decluttering your life is to ensure that you have a good idea of what you own.

If you have a jumble of possessions in your home it will affect your mind, by making it hard to see through the mess. This causes immense stress and anxiety.

By reducing all the stuff you own the anxiety goes away with it. Leaving you calmer and happier.

Nourishing Minimalism explains how to stop the clutter depression anxiety cycle

Keep Checking You Love Everything You Own?

Even after you have decluttered you need to keep looking at the items you own, ask yourself do I still love them, or are the still useful to me.

If the answer to either question is no then they need to leave your home.

If you’re not sure about keeping something, ask yourself how you feel about the item. Things with negative connotations need to go.

Only keep what makes you happy when you see it or use it.


As you can see building decluttering into your life can result in a huge increase in happiness and satisfaction.

Decluttering can become a way of life. Good habits start with doing the same things over and over.

By spending a little time daily tidying and decluttering in small ways, you’ll soon build a mindset of change impacting your home and wellbeing in positive ways for years to come. 

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