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Less is More — Simple Tips and Tricks for Decluttering Your Home

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Less is More — Simple Tips and Tricks for Decluttering Your Home

Minimalism isn’t going anywhere

And we’re okay with that! We’re addicted to simple tips and tricks for home decluttering with inspiration from Marie Kondo, Swedish death cleaning, and capsule wardrobes. And we’re totally on board with focusing on possessions that matter and discarding what simply takes up space.

No matter the time of year (spring cleaning or not), it’s always a good idea to check-in with your household to rid your space of unnecessary clutter.

1. Start with a checklist of things to organize.

simple tricks & tips for decluttering your home — printout of decluttering checklist

If you don’t know how to get yourself started, print out our checklist to help you begin your decluttering journey. It breaks down the process by category rather than by room as per the KonMari method. This focus makes attacking your clutter much more approachable so you’re not overwhelmed by an entire room’s worth of work.

When organizing your wardrobe, Lina wrote THIS great post about how to fold your clothes using a technique inspired by Marie Kondo. You’ll start by fully cleaning out dressers and use a special space-saving folding trick that allows you to see ALL of your clothes.

“I’m purging like crazy right now and find it’s easier to start with kids clothing that doesn’t fit or is too worn. I also go through their books and toys they don’t use without them being there. 😂 I’ve been trying to focus on one small space, closet, or drawer a day so it’s not overwhelming. And if I haven’t worn something or used it lately, it’s out! I’m not an expert organizer at all and I struggle like everyone else, but I feel better when stuff isn’t cluttered.” — Lina

“When my kids go to camp or my husband goes out of town, I go on big de-clutter sprees and throw a ton of their stuff out — they have never noticed thus far. We also get a community dumpster ($40) every few months to get rid of anything big. I can’t keep up with cleaning when there is so much stuff, like McDonald’s toys will be the death of me. 😳 ” — Michelle Petersen

2. Or organize by room.

simple tricks & tips for decluttering your home — garage filled with clutter and unorganized

For some people, it’s easier to organize with a grand scheme in front of you. If you follow the organizing method from A Simplified Life by Emily Ley, you tackle the task by going room to room only focusing on that space until you’re finished. Once complete, you can move on to the next.

“I like to focus on one area at a time by taking that one area and emptying it out completely. Then, I bring back what I absolutely cannot live without. So when decluttering a junk drawer (in which I currently have 3 🙈), I empty it out completely, put back what I need, and ditch the rest! ” — Erica

“I do a week-long decluttering purge two times a year, usually Fall and Spring, where I go through one room a day and clear out clutter by keeping only the best, the necessities, and my favorites. Everything else gets pitched, sold, or donated. Keeping up with this just twice a year makes me feel less stressed throughout the year. I was not always in this mindset but I seriously realized that having more stuff really does lead to mental clutter, too.” — Amber

3. Donate, sell, or toss anything that doesn’t make the cut to stay.

simple tricks & tips for decluttering your home — amazon box

You’re probably going to end up with quite a bit stuff that needs a new home, whether it’s with another person or in the trash can. If it’s stuff from your kiddos, this is a great opportunity to teach them the importance of giving back. Some of our favorite options for selling and donating are:

  • [Selling] Marketplace websites and apps – Get the most for your finds on sites like eBay, Poshmark, Tradesy, Swap, and ThredUp.
  • [Selling] Facebook — Know all the tips and tricks for selling and buying in “Swip-Swap” groups on Facebook.
  • [Donating] Amazon GiveBackBox — Fill your old Amazon boxes with all the items to be donated and ship it off. Charitable donations allow for small tax deductions* when you file your taxes.
  • [Donating] Freecycle – Freecycle is the perfect way to keep things out of the landfill. You just list your item and set up a time for the recipient to come and score their new find.

*Keep in mind since the standard deduction has gone up under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, you may have less opportunity to claim charitable contributions.

“Old blankets, old towels, etc. = Animal Shelter… I had NO idea until I picked up the phone to verify it was true. Now those random old towels, blankets, etc. that I’ve been holding on to for no reason will have a good home.” — Emily

“I have my kids pick out 5 toys every so many months that they don’t play with anymore that we donate. It cleans out my house and allows them to donate something of their own.” — Alana

“I loathe clutter. I used to save everything but I have 4 bins, one for each kid, and throw stuff in their bin if I think they may want to save it. I keep their school work for about a week so that I don’t get in trouble for throwing it out and in case they still need it.” — Michelle

4. Find fun ways to keep the memory.

Some items are easy to toss. Others, not so much… like your kid’s artwork or greeting cards. For the kiddos, try setting up an organizer that can house their memories from each school year, like photos, drawings, or A+ work. It’s easy to store away so it doesn’t take up space around the house and you can revisit the memories when they’re older.

You could also make a rotating art gallery where the little Picasso (aka your child) decides which piece is worthy of the spotlight. Any old artwork can either be filed away or tossed when it’s replaced with something new. Too many masterpieces to choose just one? Try creating a galley with these artwork display wall ideas or create a photo memory book to keep all of the art forever!

“I do seasonal purges of kid’s clothes and my clothes. If it hasn’t been worn or won’t fit them by this time next year, it goes. We go through their rooms before birthdays and holidays and get rid of toys they no longer play with. Some that they are hesitant to get rid of go to great grandma’s house which she likes because it gives her a constant rotation of toys at her house for the 18 g-grandkids. She donates the old ones when we bring new ones. And they get excited when they get to revisit those toys.

Kids crafts/drawings are posted on the fridge for about a week then tossed. If it’s one they are particularly proud of, we take a photo.” – Stacy

5. Avoid buying poor quality home goods.

simple tricks & tips for decluttering your home — dumpster full of trash

We love IKEA, but sometimes those cheap home goods aren’t meant to last forever. While you save a ton of money up front on inexpensive items for your home, you’ll likely be replacing them after a few years which will cost you your time and money having to toss them and re-purchase. Instead, figure out which pieces you can buy that will last you a lifetime, such as a well-made cooking vessel as opposed to a single use kitchen gadget.

These investment pieces can also be passed down between generations so you’ll be buying for now AND for the future. Love that!

“I am definitely a minimalist except when it comes to my kitchen. I am a dessert connoisseur and baking is my passion so my kitchen reflects that in the most minimalist way. When it comes to decor, furniture, toys, clothes and everything else, I always ask myself, ‘Does it have a purpose and function and if so will it stand the test of time?’ If something will be outdated in 3 years or is made cheaply I don’t buy it. I stick to quality items that serve a purpose beyond instant gratification or decorative nature that can stand the test of time.” — Jami

“I religiously follow that book “A Simplified Life” and it’s all about keeping life simple with less clutter so there is more room for the intentional things in life. STUFF creates mental clutter. I personally used to buy stuff to just have it but I have learned over the years that I end up throwing it away or getting rid of it — then I’m mad about how much money was wasted. For me, it’s better to focus on higher quality (for most things) and only buy things that you truly like and enjoy.” — Amber

6. Create habits to stop clutter from forming.

simple tricks & tips for decluttering your home — daily cleaning schedule printable in frame

One of the simplest ways to fight clutter is to prevent it from ever happening! With our cleaning schedule printable, you can get ahead of the mess by doing small tasks every day so the daunting decluttering project isn’t as overwhelming.

You can also equip your space with organizational products to keep your home tidy to encourage the practice of keeping everything in its place.

“Before I walk in the house with my mail, I go straight to the garbage can outside and drop the junk mail in there so it’s not even in my house. All bills are auto-pay and statements are via email.” — Michelle

“My house is small so I lean toward minimalism. One thing out of place and the whole room seems cluttered (which makes my skin crawl) so I toss everything that isn’t useful or makes me happy to look at. My kids, on the other hand, hoard all the things. I do clean out my youngest’s room every season and donate the things she’s outgrown and any toys she no longer plays with.” — Cass

I like to keep bins from the Dollar Store everywhere so everything can be placed in something (I think it makes “stuff” look a little more organized or “neat”). I learned to just not get attached to anything, HOWEVER, I fail big time with my daughter’s art projects — I have boxes and boxes of those in the basement.” — Jessica

How do you like to stay organized?

Let us know your decluttering tips and tricks in the comments!

makeup storage hacks using household goods hip2save

Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer in self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.

Join The Discussion

Comments 35

  1. Lori

    I feel like this post had me in mind lol. Earlier today i decided to give up all my decorative canisters in my kitchen. They served no purpose other than collecting junk I thought I’ll use at some point. Proud mama here, I threw all the junk out and gave away the canisters lol

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Good for you, Lori! Decluttering ends up feeling so great in the end, no matter how cute the clutter may be 😆!

  2. Lana

    We spent 18 months clearing out our house from top to bottom after raising 5 kids here and we need to just start all over again. It is the elderly parents who will not part with a thing. My 80 year old parents just moved from 2000 sq ft to 950 sq feet and they packed it ALL. We don’t know what to do to convince them to let go of all the stuff. Dad wants to get a huge storage building in the backyard to pile all the boxes in. They moved unopened boxes from their last move 35 years ago! I am in deep trouble for suggesting a dumpster.

    • Jessie

      When my husband and I were first married his parents did the same thing. They had SO MUCH STUFF and were preparing to move to a smaller home. I tried, to no avail to help…but eventually gave up. They had 2 storage sheds for years and years and would go through one box at a time. In the end, you cannot force someone to dispose of old linens and Xmas decorations from the 1970’s, they have to realize they don’t need certain things in their life anymore and move on by themselves. My motto is if I have not used it or thought about it in a year I dont need it. If I cant rememeber if I wont miss it (obviously not sentimental things like keepsakes or photos).

    • Mika

      Just start throwing stuff out a little at a time. I guarantee you that they won’t miss anything especially if they’ve been locked away in a box for years.

  3. Stacy K

    Look in your area for someone that comes and picks up your donations. in our area we have Vietnam Veterans of America, and you just go online (, schedule a pick up, leave your stuff by the curb and it’s gone! I like to schedule 3 to 4 weeks at a time to challenge myself, then I have to get rid of stuff, I have an appointment!

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      What a great idea, Stacy! That makes donating a breeze and holds you accountable to actually start decluttering — love it!

  4. ana

    I’d like to save this post for when I have time to read it, can someone tell me how to do that?

    • Lana

      There is a print button at the bottom.

    • Stacy K

      Their search feature is really good, when you’re ready to look at it just search for a key word and it’ll come up for sure!

    • Kate

      There are lots of ways to save posts for later, it just depends on what you use. You can print it or use a bookmark in your browser. For me, I use one of the options at the top of every post. It will depend on what device you use, but mine, right under the title of the post there are a bunch of circles. Any of them work to save the post. You can share it on Facebook, pin it on Pinterest, email it to yourself, or add it to your hip list on this site. Any it those options could help you find it easily once you are ready to read it.

    • Babzko

      I ise the app on my phone, and I click the heart and it saves it.

    • chaeysa

      Click the Heart and it will save to your favorites.

    • ana

      Thanks guys!

  5. GR

    The Epson Ecotank printers are my favorite because we are done buying expensive ink cartridges. It comes with 2 years worth of liquid ink bottles. When empty you can refill with low priced ink bottles! Yay!

  6. Kate

    I love the idea of sending some of the toys to grandma. That way the kids don’t have to completely give it up and grandma doesn’t have to buy toys. It’s a win for everyone!

  7. SaraJ

    We give our used toys to our before/after school program and local church.

    My kids will get to play with them, they are out of our house, my kids learn about “giving back,” and our friends benefit too!

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That is so sweet, SaraJ! I love the idea to have the kiddos involved in a situation where everyone wins!

  8. Emily

    I am fighting this battle so badly right now. My other half wants to keep everything and I want to purge. We have five dressers that we don’t use. They have NOTHING in them in a spare bedroom. They’re from our college days and they need to go. In another few weeks, I’m going to organize a big yard sale and all that stuff is going into the driveway and then whatever doesn’t sell is going straight to Goodwill for a tax deduction.

    • J

      Better to ask forgiveness than permission…dump it, he will thank you in the long run.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That can be such a struggle when you’re on opposing sides to decluttering! Maybe you can convince your SO that the money you make from the sale will treat you both to a nice night out together — everyone wins!

  9. Erin

    I take Happy Meal toys, small stuffed animals, games, and school/art supplies that are used but still have life to school. Teachers use the toys and stuffed animals as treasure box prizes, games for indoor recess, and extra supplies for when kids run out.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Fun idea, Erin! Classrooms are a great recipient for gently using toys and supplies. I’m sure the teachers are just as grateful as the kids are!

  10. Gretchen

    I normally have off every year between Christmas and New Year, and I always put together a huge donation for Big Brothers Big Sisters. New stuff in, old stuff out! Clothes that don’t fit, books to pass on, items “gifted”/forced on us from elderly relatives.

  11. Susan Crawford

    My husband forced me to declutter. We did a head to toe clean up of our smaller house. Having a yard sale was the first step. I got ruthless and got rid of things I have been holding onto for years, things I bought and never used, gave as gifts, on and on. What did not sell when right to the Goodwill box. So i made some money and got a tax write off also. And now unless I really need it, I don’t buy it. It is freeing to get rid of things you don’t need. Since I don’t have kids, but I would take their art work and make copies of it and when Shutterfly offers a free book, and make a book out of it. I think it would be a nice way to save their artwork. And the books are not that big and you really can put a lot of photos in them.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s amazing, Susan! Good for you to take the plunge to not only to declutter, but to start practicing ways to prevent new clutter from forming. 😁

  12. Dawn

    Donate your collected happy meal toys, and unwanted little clutter item from your kids rooms to local schools. Clean them first with a quick wipe down or wash. Teachers can use them for prize boxes—especially nice if there is a title 1 School in your area

  13. Ihearthip

    I use Fly Lady’s method of baby steps. I love baby steps for most things I do around the house. I feel that tasks are less daunting if I can work on them a little bit here and there (consistently) rather than blocking off a whole day or weekend. I do not tolerate paper clutter in my house. As soon as I get mail, I immediately throw away the junk mail. There is a small pile of to-do papers in my kitchen that I go through at least once a day. For a lot of things, I’ll get the info I need off of it and text myself so I can toss it. Now, laundry and toys are different animals! I struggle with these areas, but continue to stick to my baby step methods.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I love this! 🤩Starting small can create little rewarding moments that snowball into huge decluttering accomplishments — thank you for sharing!

  14. 50ShadesofLipstick

    Growing up with absolute hoarder parents taught me to be a serious minimalist and pretty much OCD about letting any sort of clutter or junk pile up in my house. A big part of it is becoming a very conscientious consumer (and not just shopping to fulfill an emotional need or just b/c something is on sale etc.) but another part is making sure that every family member pitches in to keep the house clean and very organized. This means we don’t go to bed nightly without decluttering the kitchen, den, and bathrooms…but if you do this daily it’s not a lot of work at all.

    Not only does this make it easy to entertain guests frequently (without needing to speed clean every room in the house), but open space is good for the mind as well…it’s been proven that clutter negatively impacts your mental health.

    People sometimes hold onto things due to emotional attachments (and that is something to work through w/ your loved ones), but if it’s a serious problem then therapy can help (talking about spouses/elderly parents that absolutely refuse to throw out junk from years ago that serves no purpose).

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      This is so true about important it is to get the whole family involved. It makes the work faster, easier, and teaches everyone the value of a household working together. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Andrea

    Consider dropping off gently used children’s books at a laundromat. Children are sometimes there with family and not much to do – they would love to have a book to read and keep.

  16. Linda

    Most RV parks have a book exchange and will take your used books and magazines. Some churches in my area also have a “clothes Closet” for needy families to get clothing.

  17. Pauline

    My apartment has a mini library where I donate all the gently used books I have in my home (think novels, motivational books, Christian and self-help books, children’s books, magazines etc). I feel good that people can just come in and read at their pleasure and at the same time it helps with decluttering my home!

  18. Sandra

    I’ve been de-cluttering a little bit over time and have been using the Buy Nothing Project with great success. They have Facebook groups in most areas, you get to meet the neighbor you are giving your things to and you can often receive great stuff that other people no longer need.

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