Schedule a date.
Just as you would make an appointment for a checkup, make one to declutter. Decide how long you want to work and set a timer.
15 minutes of tidying.
Every day, straighten pillows on the sofa, clean kitchen countertops, take out the trash and start the dishwasher.
Pet peeves first.
Which messy area bugs you the most? Zero in on that area, even if it’s as small as a shelf or a drawer, and focus on cleaning that spot only.
Put your emotions aside and sort objectively. Do you really use this item? Do you need it? Set up three boxes: Keep, Sell/Donate, Storage. Whatever doesn’t go into one of these three should go into a garbage bag.
Group like things together.
Pencils go with other pencils and pants with other pants. In your pantry, put vegetable cans with other vegetable cans. In closets, group like pieces of clothing. You get it.
Install open shelving and add some attractive baskets or bins to hold everything from linens to off-season clothing to toys. Label each container and make sure the items you use most are easiest to reach.
Clear the countertops.
They’re the catchalls in most homes. Divide the clutter into piles of like items. Find containers and find a place for every item.
Put one in every room so it’s easy for your family to throw things out right away.
Clean as you go.
Whenever you leave a room, pick up something that should be moved to another room or thrown away. Keep a laundry basket or box near the stairs for single-trip convenience.