Is “decluttering” even a word? Spell check is telling me it isn’t but the Internet says it is a word and everything on the Internet is true. Duh ; ) One of my favorite things to do around this time of the year is to declutter – get rid of things we really don’t need anymore in an effort to simplify our lives. Once it’s all said and done, it kind of feels like we have a new house. By getting rid of all the clutter, we can look at things in a new, refreshed light – a perfect way to start off the holiday season and a new year.

7 Tips for Decluttering the House / 7th House on the Left

With decluttering on my mind, I thought it would be fun and motivating to put together a list of seven quick tips that help when decluttering the entire house. Yep, lists are my kind of fun.

01 // This first tip may seem kind of redundant, but being a lover of lists and a slightly obsessive over-organizer, this is the very first thing I do after deciding it’s time for our bi-annual “Operation Declutter”: make a list of every area in the house and cross rooms/closets off as I go. This helps me to organize my thoughts, and it helps me keep my goal in sight. Plus, it feels so, so good to cross something off a to-do list.

02 // If a lack of time gets in the way of conquering the clutter, choose one room (or even just one piece of furniture, like a dresser, if you’re really pressed for time) to tackle each day. By focusing your energy on one small space at a time, you’ll still make good, steady progress… and keep your sanity intact.

03 // Go through everything. For instance, when organizing your closet, make sure you go through every purse compartment, jacket pocket and zipper pouch. You might even come across a rogue $20 bill if you’re lucky!

04 // This is probably my favorite method of getting rid of clutter, especially in our closet. When I’m torn between keeping something and getting rid of it, I ask myself The Golden Question: If I were shopping right now, would I buy this? If the answer is no, it belongs in the yard sale / donation pile.

05 // Speaking of the yard sale pile… As you come across “yard sale stuff”, keep it all in one designated space. If you’re feeling super productive, go ahead and price the item when you add it to the pile. Once you’re done decluttering, you can store everything in a box for your next yard sale. That said, if you know deep down you’re not going to actually have a yard sale anytime soon, go ahead and take it all to the GoodWill. You won’t make any money off of it, but it’s better than having a yard sale box floating around the house or attic for months at a time.

06 // If you’re having trouble getting yourself motivated to start the decluttering process, try setting a timer for 20 minutes and commit to declutter for the entire time. When the timer goes off, set it for five or ten minutes and reward yourself with a glass of iced tea or a change of scenery by taking the dog out for a quick walk. When the timer goes off again, set it for another 20 minutes and get back to work.

07 // Be practical and don’t “cling” to things. Remember the whole point of decluttering the house is to get rid of things that are unneeded, don’t serve a purpose or don’t have sentimental value.  Simplify.