Inside: Learn the top ten things you need to know about decluttering according to my daughter who is apparently a decluttering pro in training.

A guest post by my eleven-year-old daughter

A few months ago I talked to my two daughters about them each writing a guest post for the blog. I knew they’d have different perspectives to share and hoped that their insights could benefit kids and adults alike.

We discussed what topics might be good, but I didn’t give them much direction beyond that. I wanted it to be written in their words so they could share what works (and what doesn’t) with decluttering and organization.

Reading what they both wrote was quite surprising. We don’t talk much about what I write on the blog. They both know what my work is, but they aren’t interested in listening to me talk about it at length.

Reading what my eleven-year-old wrote below was eye-opening. So many of her tips on the things you need to know about decluttering are topics I’ve written about at length. If you’re interested in diving deeper, many have a related reading link listed after them.

Our house isn’t perfect and we may not always get it right, but I loved the wisdom she shared here and hope it’s helpful for you and your family too.

things you need to know about decluttering

10 Things You Need to Know About Decluttering

Here are ten things you need to know about decluttering from my perspective.

Decluttering is very important because it helps keep your house neater with less effort. If your house is cleaner, it will be more attractive to guests and you won’t be embarassed to host.

Here are 10 tips to help get you started.

1. Pick a room

Find a specific area in your house to start with such as a bathroom or a bedroom. This helps keep it divided into sections to break it down and to help make it easier and more bearable because it can seem like a hard project at first.

Related reading: How to declutter your bedroom in 6 easy steps

2. Ask yourself why you’re keeping it

If you feel the need to keep something because it belonged to a relative, consider, whether that person would have wanted you to keep it. Do you want it? Do you have a use for it? If not, consider donating it or throwing it out if it is not in the best condition. It will help you have less stuff and feel better about your space.

Related reading: 12 common reasons for keeping clutter (& how to overcome them)

things you need to know about decluttering

3. Do I truly need it?

If you have an item that you don’t love or hate, ask yourself, do I really need this? Could someone else use this more than I could? If you think yes or even maybe I would donate it, give it to somebody you know, or sell it online.

Related reading: The best decluttering questions to help you make decisions

4. Use containers

Consider using organizers to keep your space neat. You will have a clean, decluttered, beautiful space afterward and it will make it easier to find your stuff.

5. Create an organizational system

Make an organizational system that works well for you and your family to keep the space clean after it has been decluttered. For example, put labels on whose is whose for duplicates of things and keep them in two specific areas so that people won’t get confused (mom’s note: you can tell we have two girls close in age with several duplicate things).

Related reading: Create the best organizational system for your home

habits that will keep your home neat and tidy

6. Make it part of your routine

Try to routinely pick up things you have left out, and after getting them out put them away. I would set a specific time to clean up each day.

Related reading: How to make a daily routine for yourself

7. Don’t keep gifts you don’t love

If someone gives you a present that you do not prefer, if possible return it, if that is not possible do not feel ashamed to donate it. I have had multiple presents that I do not prefer before and I have returned them and gotten other things instead. Donate the unwanted gift to someone who has a use for it.

Related reading: How to deal with unwanted gifts

8. Clean it up

Try to find the time to dust, mop, sweep, clean windows and window tracks, and clean other areas with the cleaning products you have. Creating a routine will help make sure you get all of the cleaning tasks done.

Related reading: How to stay on top of chores by creating a cleaning routine

make do instead of buy new

9. Limit what you buy

Do your best not to acquire more items after you declutter. This starts the clutter cycle all over again, and the item number never ends up diminishing. 

Related reading: How to be more intentional with shopping

10. Re-evaluate seasonally

Plan a time to declutter once, twice, or a few times a year (I would around New Year’s) to reset, organize, declutter, and clean to be ready for whatever holiday or season is coming next. I organized my dresser drawers around New Year’s and I have kept them organized all through the year so far.

It takes dedication and hard work to maintain a clean organized, pretty space, but it always pays off.

Personally, I really don’t like having a messy space so I try not to let stuff pile up on my desk and bookshelf (for me that is usually where stuff collects). I try to clean it pretty regularly so it doesn’t add up too much. Because when it does add up too much it’s way harder to clean.

decluttering kids toys

5 Bonus Tips for More Decluttering Motivation

As a kid, to me, it feels like there are much more fun things to do than declutter and some adults probably feel that way too. You could read, hang out with friends, watch something, play games, and lots of other stuff.

Here are some things that help motivate me to declutter (you can also check out my sister’s list of ways to motivate teens to declutter).

1. Focus on the goal

Even if I do not enjoy the experience, it leaves you with an amazing result. 

2. Reward yourself

Having an occasional reward after cleaning or decluttering.

Related reading: 9 fun ways to celebrate your decluttering wins

3. Listen to something you like

You can listen to music, a podcast, an audiobook, or something else you like.

4. Consider the end result

After you’ve decluttered you have a better work environment or just a nice space to relax and enjoy.

5. Have more fun!

You will have more time to do the fun things you want to do afterward and you don’t have to worry about needing to go clean your room.

Related reading: How to enjoy decluttering your home

things you need to know about decluttering

Final Decluttering Tip: Make It a Habit

If you make a habit of decluttering your space regularly, like using the rule that if you get something out you have to put it away, and organize it occasionally, your space will end up being much cleaner all the time. Plus you won’t have to have days where you dedicate the whole day to cleaning, decluttering, and organizing your room, because it will already be clean.

Decluttering can be hard and stressful sometimes, but if you break it into smaller pieces it will make it easier. 

I hope these tips will help you in your home!

What tip was most helpful from the list of things you need to know about decluttering? Let us know in the comments section.

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