declutter your space

10 Easy Decluttering Baby Steps

By now, have seen seen the Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” or have at least seen the endless internet memes featuring some of her rules for decluttering your home.

All of my bookish friends had this kind of reaction to her “book rules”


To be fair, she really only meant to keep the books that really spark joy…and if you are someone like me, yes, they ALL spark joy! Well, all that remain in my library–I DO donate to the local library used book sale every year!

One of the joys of the Marie Kondo method, which she outlines in her best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is that if you follow her carefully prescribed system, (and yay! I am SO a systems girl) your result will be a much more orderly space.

The downside, however, is that a system such as Kondo’s takes a significant time commitment.

What can you do if you really want to get started with decluttering and organizing, but you only have a few 15 minute blocks of time?

declutter your space

Here are some great ideas for getting started with decluttering:

Declutter Just One Surface

Clear your kitchen table. If that’s too overwhelming, choose a section of your countertop. Make it a surface you see daily, and be sure to keep it spotless. A key factor here, is teaching your family to repect this clear space as well!

Declutter a Shelf

Now that you have a surface cleared that you will see every day to provide you motivation, you can move on to another small task. Empty just one shelf. take everything off of it, then decide very carefully what is worth putting back. Remember to continue to keep it neat.

Designate a Paper Zone

Nothing accumulates and gets out of control like papers. Designate an area as a catchall for your paperwork, and always place new papers in that tray or box.

Find Homes for Five Things

We all have a few items that never seem to get put away. Carefully choose your five most commonly left-out items, and find special places to store them.

Donate Three Pieces of Clothing

Clothes are often the worst to declutter. Choose just three pieces to give away each day while getting ready. Soon you’ll have a bag full.

Dump One Drawer

Pick just one drawer in your home to declutter. Then dump it out. This lets you see everything at a glance and makes the sorting process easier.

Organize Your Medicines

Medicine, bandages and other health supplies should be kept together. Tackle just your medicine cabinet, creating a neat and tidy place to keep the up-to-date items you use most regularly.

Create a Simple File System

Remember that paper zone? Soon it will overflow. Designate just a few file folders to hold your most common categories of paperwork. Then sort through the documents in your tray to file them quickly in their place.

Take That Bin to the Car

Once you have a few tiny tasks underway, you’ll likely end up with a sizeable amount of stuff to donate. Take the bag or box out to your car to deliver to the thrift shop. See how easy it is to get rid of stuff?

Envision Your Finished Room

These small decluttering tasks are adding up. Take a look around and picture how your room might look when completely pared down and organized. Visualization is a powerful motivator.

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