21 Ideas to Declutter + Organize Your Home

January 27, 2021

Every year I go through it. The sudden urge to declutter, organize, and minimize every corner of my life. It doesn’t come naturally to me, and I have to really think through and write a list to make things happen. It’s a habit I am working on for the overall flow and function of our home! Writing a list made it seem instantly less intimidating. Sharing the list I tackled last year in case you also hit turbo clean mode at any point this season. I have experienced in my own life that physically decluttering gives our minds mental clarity and space to breath! ​​​​​​​

pantry organization

Our walk in pantry from our old house at it’s finest. Our current pantry needs serious help. (All sources linked in the pantry post.)

1. Schedule the time. Take a look at your monthly calendar, and pencil in time to declutter all of the physical spaces in your home that you have been avoiding. Do the surface cleaning prep so you are ready to deep dive.

2. Pantry clean out – toss expired food, and donate excess to your local food pantry. Take stock of what you have, and make a list of needs.

3. Meal plan at the start of your week. Make a list of all items needed for a week of meals. It saves me time, money (avoids all the take out delivery), and energy to not have to stress about it at 5pm every day.

4. Medicine and spice cabinet organization – go through and toss expired prescriptions or empty containers. Re-organize in a way that allows for easier use.

5. Utensil or silverware drawers – I don’t know about you, but these tend to get messy around here. I found some wooden dividers that really helped organize our utensil drawers as well as this organizer for silverware!

6. Fridge organization – I have come to the conclusion that if it is out of sight in the fridge, it is out of mind. All food that gets pushed to the back ends up going to waste, so after a good deep clean a few times a year, I take stock of what is in our fridge weekly. Items needing to be used sooner stay in the front! I found some great affordable fridge containers and storage to help with this project!

kids closet organization

Girls bedroom closet. Baskets used: Seagrass baskets

makeup organization

Makeup and Skin are Organization caddy

7. Dresser tops – Declutter dresser tops, nightstands, or any bedroom areas that may have become dumping zones. I have to do this monthly as my dresser tops are my catch all at the end of a day. This jewelry organizer was a really helpful find for a simple way to store jewelry.

8. Clothing Detox – Go through a closet you have been avoiding and minimize. Donate, sell, or recycle what you will no longer use.

9. Coat closets/Cold weather gear. Pull out any items not being used. Find a local non-profit collecting coats for the homeless, or donate to a local shelter or thrift store.

10. Bathrooms – declutter drawers and find organization solutions for makeup and personal care products. (This vanity organizer has been a nice space saver I’ve been using.)

11. Junk drawers – You know the ones! Go through the drawers that you have been avoiding to sort and organize. We just did this in our kitchen, and it was humorous how many odd ends and useless things end up in those drawers!

12. Desk Areas – If you have a desk or work space at home, clean and arrange until it is an area that will give you a little motivation to actually use! *I have the kids clean theirs when they do weekly room pick ups because they are much more likely to use it for homework.

lego organization

Boys’ room which rarely stays clean, but having a place for everything helps them with weekly room cleaning time. Bins used: Woven baskets, Plastic bins, Grey bins, Wooden boxes

styled bookshelves
linen closet

Linen closet. Bins used: Medium and large felt bins.

under the bed storage

These Kuggis bins make really great under the bed toy storage!

13. Toy Organization (if applicable) – Put aside what is broken and no longer used. Encourage your kids to find a few gently used items to donate. I shared some ways we organize toys in this post.

14. Organize kids art (if applicable) – I keep a few pieces of the kids art that they personally love (per 1000 they bring home from school), and store it in an accordion folder that goes into our storage benches. Some of you recommended taking photos of the art to keep in a chatbook.

15. Linen or Hallway closet – This is a closet I avoid! It always becomes a disaster. I took a lot of time to sort through what we actually used and what I could donate, then stacked the rest according to sizes. (Check the before and after here.)

16. Books – Go through your bookshelves or book drawers and pull out ones you no longer need to donate! Organize in a way that is easy for you or your family to access whether that be by color, genre, or title. We have places for books in the kids’ rooms as well as our family room.

17. Storage room – This might require a full weekend! It’s easy to have things stack up in storage spaces. Our old home had a larger storage room than our current one and it forced us to minimize a ton during the move. It made me feel like I shed a big burden though!

garage storage - bike storage

18. Garage – Another painful spot to go through. We have so many bikes, foldable chairs, and bulk items we store in there that it can become a graveyard quickly. Here are some simple utility hooks Gabe has used to get things from the floor to the wall, as well as stacking shelving units.

19. Clean out and de-clutter your car. (This is a place I avoid all year.)

20. Set up a folder system for your mail. Go through old mail stacks and organize into folders or file cabinet.

21. Receipts – Create a folder (physical or online) to file receipts in. It can be in the same file box as your mail organization. (I just use a simple accordion folder.)

It’s time for me to go through this list again in our new home! We have slowly minimized due to downsizing in storage space, and I can honestly say it has been FREEING! ​​​​​​​Every room has some form of hidden storage or basket storage and it has made it much easier to maintain some level of tidyness.

I also have just accepted that my home will never be perfectly clean for longer than an hour at a time until my kids are grown. It just means it’s a home well lived in! Hope this gives you some good thought starters for your own homes.

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  • So, to fix the van clean out issue (#7 is due for us soon, too, solidarity!), we ask the kids to help and “pay” them with Dollar Tree treats. They’re excited and I don’t have to wrestle the vacuum . win-win!

  • This is an awesome list! Will be referring to it often. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for this list! We don’t have a basement or much storage in our house, so it feels like every few months, we need to heavily declutter so we (mostly me haha) can stay sane. I too will be referring back to this post šŸ™‚

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