Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we may earn a small commission, if you choose to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

If you feel overwhelmed by your cluttered surroundings, we’ve got your path to how to declutter quickly and efficiently

Before I wrapped my brain around the idea and implementation of decluttering, I felt like I was constantly cleaning. I was so frustrated about things not having their own place, odd thingamajigs scattered over the counters in my kitchen, tons of products in my bathroom that just took up space, throwing everything into the junk drawer (we all have one!) just to get it out of the way and never feeling truly ‘zen’ in my home. And the toys, craft things, and more toys.

Then I saw a show on TLC (a gazillion years ago) that really was all about decluttering your home. They talked extensively about how cleaning it all out and making your “stuff” manageable would change your mindset and, in turn, your life. This seemed dramatic and very overwhelming, especially when starting from scratch (and having just watched shows about extreme cases). But one day, I decided to I just had to conquer the physical chaos of my house. And WOW! What a difference it made to clean out all the clutter!

Messy Room text How to declutter quickly

Getting Inspired to Declutter

There are so many resources to help you get inspired and started with decluttering. Listen to a podcast while you’re doing housework, or watch Marie Kondo on Netflix. These actions can really get you in the motivational mindset of decluttering. You’ll discover so many new ideas and creative tricks from people who have actually done this already and live this organized and light lifestyle.

3 Podcasts About Decluttering:


The Minimalists Podcast

The Art of Decluttering

Give them a shot! They help me change how I see my material belongings more than I thought possible.

Benefits of Decluttering (Beyond Company Coming)

When I start to clean, my kids usually say, “Is someone coming over?” Insert giant eye roll here. Decluttering has many benefits beyond avoiding your company thinking you live in a zoo. There’s no better time to conquer the clutter than now!

Benefits of Decluttering Your Home:

  • Faster and easier to clean your home with less stuff
  • Live in a less stressful environment
  • Be able to find things quickly
  • Have more space
  • Gain clarity and a sense of control over your surroundings
  • Reduce anxiety
  • You will LOVE your home!

So how do you tackle what seems like an absolutely ginormous, overwhelming task? The same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.

Make Your Declutter Fast Plan

Where in the world do you begin?

Start with the room that you spend most of your time in. Is that the kitchen? Living room? Office? Wherever it is, we’ll start there.

Why? Once you’ve finished decluttering the room in your home where you are most often, the sense of accomplishment and enjoyment you’ll get will be so great that you’ll be motivated to get the rest of your home decluttered – fast. Okay, so it’s not always quite as magical as I just made it sound, but think of it like the snowball method of decluttering. Get one room checked off the list and you have the motivation to move onto the next.


Block Out Some Time to Focus & Knock It Out

Even if it’s just 30 minutes at a time, working in small chunks keeps me on track. When you can really focus on the task at hand without getting distracted, everything moves faster. It’s helpful to have a sense of how much time you need to spend cleaning each room moving forward, so when you set aside blocks of 30 minutes for decluttering, pay attention to how much you get done.

If you have little ones under foot, this may mean cleaning up a little at a time after they go to bed. You can enlist the help of the kiddos, but sometimes that makes a bigger mess than you started with!.

The 4 Bucket Hack

Many years ago, I read an article post titled something like When You Have to Clean Fast and Company is on Their Way Over I was reminded of the 4 Bucket system that I’d first seen on the TLC show. I use the big buckets for belongings we are keeping, a box for belongings we are donating, and a trash bag for, you guessed it, trash.

Getting Rid of Stuff – Things to Go in the Trash

Broken things, formerly sentimental items that you’ve been hanging on to for years, expired food, junk mail, random pieces of toys – you get the idea. Also, anything that you think about donating but would “need to do x, y, z to it”. Toss it. Trust me. All things trash go in the – you guessed it – trash bag.

Getting Rid of Stuff – Things to Recycle

Do your part to save the planet! What can you recycle instead of throwing out?

Lexington County has a wide variety of containers for a wide variety of materials to recycle at the collection stations. There are some odd guidelines for what goes where for a few odd things. The basics like cardboard are easy to navigate. Electronics with or without chords, ask someone. The staff is usually very nice and happy to direct you to the right place.

There are also recycle events held regularly around Lexington and Columbia.

Check out this pdf with recycle and collection station information for Lexington, SC. And this link will take you to upcoming events and latest information.

Getting Rid of Stuff – Things to Give to Charity

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? The beauty of giving things to charity is that there might be someone out there who couldn’t normally afford quality clothes, furniture, or books, and because of your donation they’re able to buy it at a reasonable price. 

Mission Lexington is one of our favorite local organizations serving local families. Donations of non-food items usually go to their Thrift Store.

“When our Lexington neighbors arrive in the social services department and qualify for a clothing voucher, they are directed to shop at our thrift shop, Misson Store, to choose the items they need most at no cost. Your generous donations allow us to provide this invaluable service to our Lexington County neighbors. In addition to offering free clothing to our neighbors, Mission Store is also a fun place to shop, and is a treasure trove of goodies and specially priced items!”

Check out their website for donation center information, hours, and a list of what they can and cannot accept. https://missionlexingtonsc.org/

If you are in need of extra cash, take the items you could donate and sell them instead. This requires a little extra work, but can pay a bill or two if need be – or the cash can go straight into your savings account.

Not Getting Rid of Stuff – Things You Want to Keep

If the item you’re keeping doesn’t bring you joy or make you feel fantastic when you’re wearing it, do you really want to keep it? Be ruthless here. The aim of the game is to declutter and get rid of everything that isn’t currently necessary in your life.

Keep items that are truly special, irreplaceable, necessary, genuinely beneficial.

donation box in car trunk

Finish the Job

That wasn’t so bad, was it? But your job isn’t done just yet!

Put the trash bag… in the trash!

Take the recycling to your local recycling center.

Contact charities close to you who would be willing to take or even collect your things, then list the things that are worth selling on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

  • IMPORTANT TIP! If/when you are meeting someone to buy or sell an item online, meet at one of the parking spaces at your local police station designated for that very reason. Town of Lexington, SC has a few. Lexington County has a few. Just about every police station has them to help keep you safe.

Find a home for all the things you’re keeping, or put them back where they came from.

Look around and admire your awesome work!

Keep Up the Good Work!

Now you can use this exact set of actions on the rest of the rooms in your house. Simply rinse and repeat! Don’t feel like you have to do all of this in one day, but if you do feel like you can – that’s great, go for it!

When you’ve finally finished this task, the next habit you need to get into is not reversing all of your hard work. How can you keep your house clutter free? What systems can you put in place to ensure the clutter doesn’t stack up again?

Keep a small box in each room for clutter. It will accumulate quicker than you think! You will start looking around like “how did all of this new stuff get in here?” At the end of every week you can go through this in just a few minutes and figure out where all these things belong.

Invest in the right kind of storage for your space. Once everything has its permanent place, you’ll find it far easier to keep on top of things and you’ll never have to go hunting for something you need.

Make Decluttering and Maintaining a Team Sport

If you live with other people or have children, show them around and explain where things go now. Getting everyone involved will make this way of living simpler and less of a chore for you all. Especially with kids, making it fun and clear (using pictures or pretty letters) is key to keeping everything in its place. Studies have shown if you repeat an action over the course of two months it will become a habit. I know, I know, two months seems like a long time, but it will have long term benefits – so stick to it!

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, remember why you’re doing this in the first place. You’re on a journey to a much simpler, stress free life where you can reclaim your time to do the things that matter the most to you.  Your home should feel like a sanctuary, not another chore to add to your list. So put your favorite music on, turn up the volume and let’s get to it!

And if it’s truly too much, outsource it. There are companies that will come in and work with you to create a plan for decluttering and organizing what’s left. Not only will they do the work of sorting, hauling, organizing all of the things, they’ll design and set up your “new” space in a way that is that works really well for you family to use and to keep organized. ReSolve Home Organizing and ReStyling is a local, mom-owned business you should check out. I’ve known Kim, the owner, for over a decade and she’s a genius at her job! Her staff is wonderful at their work and truly respectful of their clients’ belongings and space. Just need some help to get started? They also offer custom DIY plans where they work with you to come up with a plan for you to follow based on your needs, wants, and goals.

You can do this! Keep your eye on the prize, your mind on the mission, and your hands moving from one item to the next. Which room will you start with?

Once everything is clean and fresh, check out 15 Ways to Brighten Your Home with Color

Similar Posts