So you’ve decided to de-clutter your home, and now you want to know how to do it. Follow our simple step-by-step process to reduce that clutter now. How to de-clutter in 6 basic steps will get you on your way.

Many families are on a tight budget, and don’t have the luxury of being able to afford a clutter coach. If this is the position you find yourself in, don’t despair!

Just follow our simple step-by-step process, and very soon your house will look like something out of the Your Home and Garden magazine!

How to de-clutter in 6 basic steps

Step One:  Pick a Room

To get started, you need to pick a room to attack first.  I have to admit that I’m a complete wuss, and I usually head for the smallest, least-cluttered room first!  This might be your bathroom, kitchen or a bedroom.

Step Two:  Strip the Room

Your next step is to work through that room methodically, and remove anything that shouldn’t be there.  Doesn’t that feel better already?!

Step Three:  Find a Sorting Station

Take all of the extra clutter from this room to a “sorting station”. This could be your garage, a carport, or a room in the house that is not used very often, so it can serve as a sorting station for a few days as you are working through this process. (Note – do NOT leave it cluttering your hallway!)

Step Four:  Sort out Your Stuff
Now you need to sort your clutter into four piles:

  • A Rubbish (& Paper Recycling) Pile – which goes straight into rubbish sacks to go out in the next rubbish collection.
  • A Charity Pile – items which would benefit other families, and can be bagged up to be taken to your local opp shop or favourite charity.
  • A Selling Pile – these are things which you might like to sell on TradeMe or through your local newspaper.
  • A Find a Home Pile – all those things which need to be filed in their proper place, in another room of your house.

Step Five:  Filing

Now pick up all of the things in your Find a Home pile, and take them to their appropriate places in your house.

Step Six:  Creating Systems

Your final step is to future-proof your home (and your life) so that you don’t get into this mess again!  Get agreement from the family about where things will live, and who is responsible for putting them there.  Some helpful ideas are:

  • put some hooks on the wall for your car keys (right next to the door where you enter the house).
  • agree that the tv, video and dvd remote controls are always returned to the TV cabinet.
  • buy a big plastic toy box with a lid for each child, where their toys must be stored each evening.
  • buy a concertina file or filing cabinet for your personal and business papers, set up the appropriate categories.. and use them!
  • create a “Memory Box” where you place all those family mementoes that you can’t bear to part with (such as birthday cards, the kid’s “love notes” to you, their beautiful  artwork, and family photos).  No more excuses for finding these littered all over the house!

Bite Size Chunks

This process can be quite hard work, so you may want to complete all tasks associated with a single room first.  For example, you get rid of your rubbish, do a charity drop and sell some items on TradeMe, before you move on to the next room.


A word of warning – this task can be quite time consuming, tiring, and overwhelming! We recommend that you make it a fun family task, put some bouncy music on the stereo, and reward yourself when you have successfully sorted out each room.

Check out Clear room, clear mind: Clearing the clutter in 7 areas of your life for the rest of this great series.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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