Let’s face it, you can’t properly clean your house if it is cluttered. And a cluttered house is never going to look clean. It can also make you sick. So the first thing you really need to do before you clean is declutter your house. Some people get overwhelmed by clutter and don’t know where to start. Thanks to Patricia Fairchild in her book Learn How to Organize and Declutter in 15 Minutes, decluttering is as simple as 3 easy steps.
1. Gather Boxes
According to Fairchild, you want to gather and label a box for each room in your house. For example, you will have a kitchen box, a bedroom box, bathroom box, etc…They can be cardboard boxes, baskets or anything big and container-like. You are only going to use them for sorting purposes.
2. Pick one room
Pick a room in your house to start. It doesn’t have to be the most cluttered. In fact, Fairchild says to start small and get the hang of it. Now put all of the boxes on the floor of the room you choose. You’re going to declutter one room at a time.
3. Pick a corner
You want to start in one corner of the room and work your way around each wall. It doesn’t matter if you move to the right or left, whatever is most comfortable for you. “Tunnel vision is your best friend when decluttering,” Fairchild says. If you look at the whole room, you might get overwhelmed.
So you have your boxes in the room you chose and you’ve picked a corner. Now what? Let’s do a run through.
For this example we’ll pick the bedroom. We have our boxes on the floor (or on the bed) and the dresser is in the corner we’ve chosen. What’s on the dresser? Lipstick, a hammer and nails from hanging that picture, empty cups and some socks.
Now you employ the boxes and sort the things on the dresser into the corresponding boxes. Lipstick goes in the bathroom box. Hammer and nails go in the laundry room box (or wherever you keep them). Cups go in the kitchen box. Socks, and any clothes can go in a pile on the floor. You can sort through them later.
Then move to the left (or right). You come to the nightstand. Do the same thing that you did with the dresser. Sort the items into the boxes. If there are things on the floor in between the dresser and nightstand, do the same. Go along the wall until you get back to your starting place. Then pick up anything left on the floor and sort into the boxes. You’re going to do this for each room in your house.
And before you know it, you will declutter your house in no time!
Patricia Fairchild breaks this process down into simple terms and even adds a few more boxes to streamline the whole process. Download her book Learn How to Organize and Declutter in 15 Minutes to read all about this simple method.
If you are more geared toward decluttering by category of items, see my review of Marie Kondo’s method.
“Short, simple and to the point. Perfect for those who don’t like reading pages and pages of detail and drivel to get the main points. Definitely motivates you to get up and start decluttering.” – Amazon reviewer
About The Cleaning Lady
I’m a professional house cleaner with 20 years of experience cleaning houses under my belt, and I’ve learned alot about cleaning, organizing and how people react to these tasks. I’ve worked with hoarders, people will mental disorders and the young and old. What I’ve learned is everyone has different levels of “clean” and most people hate to clean. I try to give you cleaning and organization tips that are easy to use and don’t take all your time. Click anywhere on this bio to see my full bio.