9 Home Decluttering Tips That Spark Joy


“Does it spark joy?” recently became a meme when minimalism evangelist and bestselling author Marie Kondo’s Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo became a surprise hit in early 2019. The main concept behind Kondo’s decluttering philosophy for women over 50 is to focus on surrounding ourselves with things that make us happy — which means discarding the things that don’t.

Of course, a lot of people misunderstood what exactly she meant, either taking their decluttering projects too far or injecting different meanings that were unlikely to have been part of the original intent.

Whatever you think of the Marie Kondo phenomenon, it’s clear that most of us have too much stuff and starting with the central idea of hanging on to things that “spark joy” is as good a starting point as anywhere else.

fall scents for your home

If you’re thinking about decluttering your house, here are some time-tested tips to help you get started:

1.) Toss out expired products

We’re not just talking about the ketchup and hot sauce packets you’ve been hoarding either. Outdated clothes, reference materials, magazines, and encyclopedias are all fair game as well.

2.) Dispose of clothes you haven’t used all year

If you haven’t been using something for well over a year, you’re probably not pleased to wear it for one reason or another. Reclaim your closet and drawer space by donating, selling, or throwing out everything that you don’t need or doesn’t catch your fancy anymore. It might also be a good time to just replace all your undies that have extra holes and stains on them.

3.) Give everything an assigned place

Clutter is often caused by things not having a “home” in your house. Your keys, the mail, sunglasses, and other such items have a tendency to be scattered about the house, often getting lost and turning up where you least expect them days or weeks later. Make sure these small items have a specific place or holders where they could be easily found when you need them.

4.) Keep kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom countertops clear

Clutter is a visual problem. It’s caused by having too many objects in a space competing for your attention to the point that nothing stands out anymore and everything is easily lost in the visual noise. 

While it can happen anywhere, it’s often your countertops and tables that tend to get the most cluttered, particularly in your bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom — the parts of the home where we tend to spend the most time in. 

If you have the cabinets, hooks, or containers to keep your countertops clear, then use them. If you don’t, you may want to invest in more storage space.

5.) Choose one style of storage when possible

It’s almost a given that we can never have too much storage. Unfortunately, the type of storage we choose can also contribute to clutter, especially if they are not matching or stackable. 

By having only as many types of storage solutions as is practical for your living situation, you can further decrease the clutter in your home and you’ll find it much easier to organize everything. Sell, give away, or dispose of any other “odd” storage solutions that don’t fit in with everything else.

6.) Throw out everything that irritates you

Feel free to throw out unwanted gifts and knick-knacks that don’t hold any meaning for you. Definitely throw out or give away anything that gives you bad memories.

7.) Rent a skip bin

Rather than renting a ute and taking all your junk to the dump yourself, consider renting a skip bin. They’ll send you skips in the sizes you need and they’ll send them to the right processing centers themselves. Skip bin rental services will usually let you dispose of a wide range of safe-to-handle items, including clothes, magazines, and even furniture. Be sure to use a skip bin price comparison site like Skip Compare to find the best rates near your location.

8.) Maximize your cabinet and drawer space

Cabinets and drawers are great not just for storing items, but also for keeping them out of sight when we don’t immediately need them — which is an important part of reducing clutter. They can also contain much more space than we expect, and several storage solutions let you organize and expand the use of your existing cabinets and drawers. 

9.) Don’t do all your decluttering in one day

Decluttering isn’t just about deciding what to throw out — it’s also about deciding what to keep. Choosing what’s important to each of us takes time and requires mental and emotional changes that can’t always be rushed. Also, if you do all your decluttering in one day, chances are that you might throw out something important to you or a family member without realizing it, which can lead to tragic results. 

Give yourself a week to a month and do your decluttering in stages. You can choose to do one space at a time or do it however you like. The important thing is that you’re able to make steady progress without accidentally throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

What other decluttering tips can you share? Spark joy by telling us!


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9 Home Decluttering Tips That Spark Joy
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