Minimalist Living How to Declutter Your Home One Room at a Time

Minimalist Living: How to Declutter Your Home One Room at a Time

Creating a minimalist home is truly a dream come true for me and my family. We love being surrounded only by things that bring us joy. But, don’t be fooled, the stress-free life with less, didn’t happen overnight.

Many posts will tell you that you can create a minimalist, clutter free home in a weekend. While this is an appealing idea, creating a quality, peaceful space isn’t quite that simple.

My biggest suggestion, especially if you have a lot of clutter to work through, is to take it one room at a time. Trying to run through an entire house in a few short days will probably leave you with a big mess and a defeated attitude. In this post I’m going to walk you through how to start minimalist living by declutter your home one room at a time.

*This post contains affiliate links through which I may make a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Keep, sell, donate toss.

The first thing to do is find yourself 5 good sized moving boxes and get them labeled.

  • Keep
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Toss
  • Put Away

You can take these boxes with you from room to room as you declutter so that everything stays easily organized instead of ending up in piles on the floor.

Having these boxes laid out will also help you clear your space so you can tidy it up and make some changes. If you’re going to put in the effort to downsize each room, I think you should take the time to make any other changes in order to make that room feel more welcoming and homey.

Start with paper clutter 

I told you, I’m all about starting small. Before you begin pushing furniture around or digging under beds, start by gathering any paperwork or paper products that might be laying around. The funny thing is, you could toss furniture, get rid of old toys and makeover the room, but somehow, if there are still papers scattered everywhere a room still seems cluttered.

When it comes to decluttering a room, paperwork is a great place to start. If you have a room with old school papers, bills that have been paid, or stacks of magazines, start working your way through them.

What to do with paper clutter:

  • Old school work –  If you’re like a lot of parents and have a hard time letting go of your kid’s old school work, report cards or paintings, set them in your “Keep” box. Using a 3 ring binder is a great way to keep all of these things together and organized in one spot.
  • Bills and other important documents – Sure, there is always the filing cabinet you can stash these important papers away in. However, there is a whole new craze sweeping the minimalist world and that’s creating a paperless home. We are living in a digital age and while you can get bills, reports and bank statements all sent to you digitally, there are still some papers that we need to keep around. There is an easy system to getting all your papers in one digital location for easy access across all your devices. Read this full story of a family who made the leap into paperless life.
  • Old magazines – There are two places I put my magazines: in a craft bin for my kids or put them in the “Toss” box. You can burn them for your bonfires, recycle them, or “Donate” them. Whatever you decide to do, get those bad-boys outta your house!

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Clear knick knacks and electronics

Ok, we’re working our way up in the world! Once you’ve cleared through all those pesky papers, work your way to those little things scattered around. Maybe I’m the only one who has DVDs, tinker toys and bobby pins scattered in every room of my house. These objects are a minimalist nightmare. Every time my kids bring home a “goodie bag” from a birthday party I die a little inside. But enough about me…

What to do with small clutter

  • DVDs and electronics – If you rarely use or watch these items, see if you can “Sell” them!  There are places online like Decluttr that will take your used electronics, DVDs, books, Legos and more. They give you a price estimate right away, you send all of your items to them and wait for your check to come!
  • Tinker toys – I’m going to get really honest with my parenting skills here. More often than not, when a tiny toy has been lingering in my house it ends up in the “Toss” bin. However, you may choose to show some compassion and put it in the “Put Away” bin. Way to take the high road.

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Furniture and Bulky Items

Hooray!! It’s finally time to declutter the bigger items like nightstands, dressers, chairs, lamps…

Chances are you have thought long and hard about which of these items you want to get rid of and know the ones you aren’t yet ready to let go of. If you are still having a tough time deciding, what should stay and what should go, here are some things to consider:

What to consider when clearing furniture

  • Size of the room – If you have big items that are consuming a lot of space, consider putting them in the “Sell” bin and maybe downsizing to a more practical size.
  • Function of the object – Do you have a chair (or treadmill) that sits in the corner collecting dust and dirty clothes? Be honest with yourself about how much it’s serving a purpose in your life. If it’s not, move on and “Sell” it if you’re able.
  • Is there a better place? – Now maybe you have those items that you really do love, but perhaps there is a better, more functional place for it? Set it aside and keep it in mind as you continue to work through all the other rooms in your home.

Related Posts

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Tidy up time! 

Now that you’ve created a clear space to work with, it’s time to get in there and clean. Sweep, vacuum, dust or mop; whatever you have to do to give that space the TLC is deserves.

I swear magic happens after this step. Now you’ll find yourself with a totally clear, totally clean, fresh slate of a room. The possibilities seem endless!

Mini-makeover 

Ok, your room is clear, cleaned and ready to be lived in again, but maybe you want to fix it up a bit first? Have you been considering a new paint color or some more stylish curtains? Then make those changes now!

Creating a minimalist home is all about creating a simple, clear space that you love. I’m not saying go break the bank and buy a whole bunch of new furniture! In fact, I’m telling you not to do that!

What I’m saying is find a few minor touches you can make in order to make this space more cozy and welcoming.

Empty your boxes 

It’s time to put your “Toss” in the trash (or recycling,) bring in your “Donate” box, get everything “Put Away” in the correct place, “Sell” whatever items you can and then start putting away your “Keeps.”

Additional ideas for selling

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Finishing touches 

Once you’ve cleared away the things you don’t want, you can start getting intentional about your minimalist space. You have decluttered, made-over and all around gotten your space ready to be lived in again.

This might be the time that you find there is more in your “Keep” box than you actually want to keep. That’s ok. Those other boxes are still right there waiting for you!

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Time to chill

Now is the best day of them all…the day you get to sit back and breathe in all of your hard work. Even when I was a kid I loved this time. There is something so soul calming about a clean room. This one clean room has the power to totally amp you up to continue on your decluttering journey and inspire you to keep on going!

Don’t Forget to PIN This

Declutter your home and start a minimalist lifestyle in just a few easy steps. #minimalist #downsize #declutter #home #minimalistlifestyle #declutteryourhome

About The Author

Renee

Renee is the blogger behind The Fun Sized Life. After downsizing with her family, she also took the time to get serious about he finances. Now she is sharing the wealth with all of her readers.

65 COMMENTS

  1. Sarah | 30th Jan 18

    Ooh i want to read the Paperless Home now! I’m a minimalist but sometimes paper even gets the best of me.

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      It is so well laid out and helpful. Paper is one I don’t do good with either! I’m quick to shove it somewhere to get it out of site but then can’t find anything when I need it! So I definitely need The Paperless Home.

  2. Jenny | 30th Jan 18

    Love the idea of taking it one day at time. You can see progress, but don’t get too overwhelmed. I love Half Priced Books. I knew that they would purchase some books, but didn’t know they would take all off your hands. I will have to make a trip there!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Yup! I have never had a problem cleaning house with Half Priced Books! Plus you get to share books with other book lovers! It’s such a win/win.

  3. Sunrita | 30th Jan 18

    Great post with really useful tips! I am going to start from my attic and work down!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Oofta! You are a brave woman. I love your enthusiasm.

  4. Keri | 30th Jan 18

    You make it sound pretty easy to declutter a room in one week. Thank you for all of the tips!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Hopefully everyone finds ease in it!

  5. Ginger | 30th Jan 18

    Thanks for linking over to Decluttr – I am going to check that out!

  6. Melanie | 30th Jan 18

    This is such a great guide! I am totally going to use it before I start my spring cleaning.

  7. Amanda | 30th Jan 18

    These are such great ideas, and help to take the anxiety out of decluttering! Having a day by day break down is so helpful!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      So glad you like it, Amanda.

  8. Ashley | 30th Jan 18

    This is an amazing way to do it!! I have been decluttering and looking for new ways to keep motivated to do it… Loving this breakdown in one week! 🙂

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Absolutely! It can be overwhelming and I think it’s so easy to try to do too much at once and then burnout. That’s no fun.

  9. Hebah | 30th Jan 18

    These are some really great tips!! I need to get around to selling my stuff online – I have so much lying around that I don’t use!

    https://www.hebahpervaiz.co.uk

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Same! Once I learned about Decluttr and checked them out I can’t WAIT to sell!

  10. Wendy | Life and Business with Wendy | 30th Jan 18

    I love this post. I’m a big fan of decluttering. I love focusing on one room at a time. I get such a sense of satisfaction and joy once it’s done.

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Me too! Almost kind of sad when I’m done haha.

  11. sonal | 30th Jan 18

    It’s one of my fav topic. Decluttering and organising. Ur post is absolutely right, a room one week at a time. I also do the same, one day i’ll organise wardrobe n other day i’ll organise my vanity. Easy to do and time saver. Thanks!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Absolutely! Thank you.

  12. Heather | 30th Jan 18

    I read a great book about tidying that has made me so much better about not accumulating clutter. I’ve adopted the standard of “if you don’t love it or use it, it’s clutter”! Great post!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      That mindset can totally change everything! I love it.

  13. Jen | 30th Jan 18

    I’m definitely checking out the Decluttr site! So smart!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      They lay things out so nicely too!

  14. Chelsie | 30th Jan 18

    I need to do this! I love that you broke it down to do it a room at a time – I often feel like I need to do my whole house in one sitting and it just is TOO much to do that!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      I don’t think you’re alone in feeling that way.

  15. Nicole | 30th Jan 18

    I’m so overwhelmed by the decluttering process that my house NEEDS! Doing one room at a time until it is not only decluttered but also cleaned and fixed up is brilliant. I also really like your paperwork suggestions – I’ve started piling things on top of my filing cabinet because I don’t want to look inside! Gotta get it under control

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Personally fixing everything up just encourages keeping it clean and clear!

  16. Dani | 30th Jan 18

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s actually just what I needed to read. There’s only two of us living in a three-bedroom house and we’ve accumulated so much RUBBISH. I love the idea of the four boxes, keeping everything nice and defined.

    I think we might attempt this next week

    Dani x

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 30th Jan 18

      Hope it goes well!!

  17. Anissa | 30th Jan 18

    Awesome tips! Nothing like going home to a clean, organized home!

  18. Erin Haugerud | 30th Jan 18

    I love to de clutter! Makes life so much easier!!

  19. Rebecca | 30th Jan 18

    Clutter causes me stress. Learning to de-junk and live clutter free feels wonderful. You have some great tips and ideas. I like that you do it one week at a time as to not overwhelm. Nice post!

  20. TheHappyFoodKitchen | 31st Jan 18

    Right, this is printed and pinned on the board in the office which has been stacked with stuff since we moved in three years ago! I am determined this is the year we can actually get in there to work rather than on the kitchen table!!!!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 31st Jan 18

      Hooray! You got this!

  21. Rhonda | 31st Jan 18

    Great post and awesome tips! I seriously need to declutter our office. We do horribly at purging old mail or just paperwork that’s sitting around.

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 31st Jan 18

      Check out The Paperless Home! It’s a great way to hang on to everything and still get it out of the house!

  22. Heather | 31st Jan 18

    What a great post with so many amazing tips! I can’t wait to get started organizing. This step-by-step makes it seem so simple.

  23. Valerie | 31st Jan 18

    I love this! Taking a room one week at a time is a wonderful idea. It seems to make it less daunting. I will definitely be putting these tips to use! Thank you!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 31st Jan 18

      For someone who has done a lot of decluttering…yeah I think one room at a time is the best.

  24. ShootingStarsMag | 31st Jan 18

    Great step by step guide! Over the weekend I just went through a bunch of things in my room and DVDs to figure out what to keep, toss, or donate/sell. I now have quite a bit to bring to Half Priced Books too. 🙂

  25. Rachel | 31st Jan 18

    I just started to declutter my workspace and love your ideas as I am nowhere near finished yet! Love the feeling of being a little bit cleaned up though!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 31st Jan 18

      Every little step is one step closer!! You got this!

  26. Erika | 31st Jan 18

    All of these tips are very important. My family moved last year, and I just didn’t realize how much we had accumulated until it was time to move. We live in an apartment now so we can’t hold onto things like we used to. If we aren’t using it then it is time to get rid of it.

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 31st Jan 18

      I understand that all too well! It’s so refreshing to really clear out the unnecessary!

  27. Sarah | 31st Jan 18

    Definitely going to need to look into the paperless home! It would be great to reduce the paper clutter more

  28. Dr. K. Lee Banks | 31st Jan 18

    Thanks so much, this is a great post! Clutter has controlled my life for FAR too long, as evidenced every time I look at photos taken around our home. There’s always a background of clutter and it’s depressing! I started doing some serious de-cluttering back during the first week of November, when we had a statewide power outage for nearly a week! Couldn’t do much else, so I made a large dent in clutter in various locations. Now I just need to continue and do so in a more organized manner, as you have outlined. Thanks!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 31st Jan 18

      It makes you feel so great, doesn’t it? Good luck as you continue on!

  29. Cori - Sweet Coralice | 31st Jan 18

    I like this breakdown. A little at a time so I don’t get overwhelmed or want to throw EVERYTHING away at once! Pinned 😉

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 31st Jan 18

      haha exactly!!

  30. Indya | TheSmallAdventurer | 1st Feb 18

    I’m currently going through a de-clutter and reorganisation for the New Year, and I think I’m doing pretty well, but one thing I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do is go paperless! Technology is so unpredictable these days, I just couldn’t risk losing an important document! But they DO take up a lot of room, so it may be something I should look into ?

    Indya || The Small Adventurer

  31. Kalyn | 1st Feb 18

    Such a great guide! I remember when I first started decluttering – this would have been so helpful! I’ll have to check out your other minimalism posts!

  32. Patricia @ Grab a Plate | 1st Feb 18

    This is a great step-by-step guide. I think about doing this and get so overwhelmed, but your “one day at a time” approach makes it easier! I’m going to check out Decluttr, too!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 1st Feb 18

      Yes, definitely check them out! They are great when it comes to clearing out old electronics especially!

  33. Caitlin | 1st Feb 18

    Great list! I need to declutter so badly, but finding the time with a 3-month old is so challenging. Thanks for the great steps, though. I’ll get started on this Saturday (:

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 1st Feb 18

      Oh yes! Babies sure do have a way of making life a little bit tougher! Good luck to you!

  34. michaela | 1st Feb 18

    I love this so much! Thank you for making it seem easy and do-able; definitely want to tackle my house before our lil’ baby comes!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 1st Feb 18

      Oh my goodness yes….now is a good time to do it!

  35. Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy | 1st Feb 18

    I love this so much!! I really need to go through all of my kids toys to do this. It’s so hard when you don’t know if you are done having kids yet or not…

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 1st Feb 18

      Oh yes…that is tough! Hopefully you can find a nice compromise!

  36. Bethany | 1st Feb 18

    I love your excitement in number 6! 😀 Such great ideas.

  37. Rebecca Rice | 2nd Feb 18

    Glad I found this article when I did! I now know what my husband and I are doing this weekend!!!!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 2nd Feb 18

      Lucky hubby! Haha! It’s such a great feeling to get all that clutter out of your way!

  38. Amy - Loving Our Messy | 2nd Feb 18

    YES! This is exactly what I need. The clutter around our house is stressing me out but I’m feeling too overwhelmed to know where to start! Perfect post!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 2nd Feb 18

      I’m so glad!! Happy tidying!

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