15 Effective Ways to Declutter Your Life (+ Free Printable Checklist)

Let’s talk about some of the best ways to declutter your life!

Decluttering is all about simplifying and streamlining. It’s the process of actively sorting, organizing and removing the excess baggage in our lives.

This includes physical items in our homes, digital content on our devices, and the mental clutter that clouds our thoughts.
It’s not just an act but a lifestyle choice that encourages us to assess what we need and let go of what no longer serves us.

The importance of decluttering cannot be overstated. An organized life is synonymous with efficiency, serenity, and environmental control.

This is more than a cleaning exercise – it’s about enhancing the overall quality of life.

So let’s get ready to start your decluttering journey and experience its transformative power today!

💡TIP: Pin this article to your organization board on Pinterest so you can always find it when you need some inspiration! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

Need help getting organized? Learn how to declutter your life, home, and mind with this easy-to-follow guide.

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#1. Make A Plan

Colorful post-its on a wall.

Getting organized is the first step to a decluttered life.

It starts with prioritizing the things that matter most to you. Write out everything you want to accomplish and put it on a to-do list, categorizing tasks based on importance and urgency.

This gives you a clear roadmap of what needs to be done and helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks.

Make use of apps or traditional notebooks, whatever works best for you. Remember, the goal is to streamline your tasks and responsibilities, making them manageable.

#2. Purge Unnecessary Items

Woman taking out the trash.

The next way to declutter your life is to purge all unnecessary items. Look around you – the physical clutter in your life often reflects mental clutter.

Letting go of things you no longer need is a liberating experience. Physical items carry emotional weight; by decluttering your space, you also declutter your mind.

Start small; it can be as easy as a single drawer or a small cupboard. Take each item by hand and ask, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is no, consider donating, selling, or recycling it.

Remember, the goal is to only keep things that add value to your life. This purging process will allow you to focus on what truly matters, creating room for positivity and growth.

#3. Declutter Your Home

Beautiful, clean, uncluttered living room.

Decluttering your home is the third step towards a more manageable life. It’s more than just tidying up… It’s about transforming your living space into a sanctuary where you feel at peace.

Start with a manageable area – maybe even a kitchen countertop or a coffee table. Gradually work your way through the rest of the rooms.

Implement a ‘one in, one out’ rule to maintain the decluttered state; for every new item you bring in, one has to leave.

Be ruthless about the things you allow in your space. Are they functional? Do they make you happy? If not, it’s time for them to go.

Remember to involve the whole family in the process and make it a fun, collective effort. By decluttering your home, you create a space that reflects your values and aspirations, allowing you to live a more focused and intentional life.

#4. Clear Your Workspace

Clean, organized workspace.

Next, let’s talk about where you work. A clean and organized workspace can significantly boost your productivity.

Start by removing all items from your desk, then only return what’s necessary. Dispose of old papers and clear away unnecessary items. Organize your stationery and keep your electronics in designated spots.

Files and documents should be classified logically and stored in corresponding folders. Regularly update the files and get rid of the obsolete ones.

Remember, an organized workspace reflects an organized mind.

#5. Use Organizers

Organized bathroom drawers.

Invest in some organizers to keep things neat. These can be physical containers to sort your items or digital tools to manage your tasks.

Organizers help maintain order and make finding what you’re looking for easy. They can range from shelves, baskets, and boxes to task management apps and calendar tools.

Remember, the goal is to make your life easier, not more complicated. Choose organizers that fit your needs and personal style.

#6. Go Through Your E-mail

Woman on a laptop.

Start by devoting time each day to manage your email. Sort through your inbox, reply to important messages, and delete or archive the ones you no longer need.

Unsubscribe from newsletters or updates that no longer interest you.

Use folders to organize your emails based on categories that make sense to you, such as work, personal, bills, or reading material.

Set up filters to automatically sort incoming mail.

Remember, the goal is to reach inbox zero… or at least have a manageable number of unread emails.

Regular email decluttering will definitely reduce stress and increase productivity.

#7. Delete Old Apps

Woman looking at her phone.

Take a moment to look at your phone or tablet. How many apps do you have installed?

And more importantly, how many of those do you actually use? Unnecessary apps take up storage space, create visual clutter, and lead to distractions.

Review each app and ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” If it’s been several months, it’s probably time to delete it.

Also, consider the function of each app. If you have multiple apps for the same purpose, choose your favorite and uninstall the rest.

#8. Organize Your Files

Files in a blue filing cabinet.

Living in the digital age, we accumulate vast amounts of data over time, and managing these files can be daunting.

Start by deleting obsolete files and organizing important ones into relevant folders. Make use of cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox for files you don’t use often but still need to keep.

Not only does this free up space on your device, but you’ll also be able to access your data from anywhere.

Maintain a logical and intuitive directory structure for your folders. A good practice is categorizing your files by type, such as images, documents, videos, etc., and sub-categorizing them based on projects, dates, or events.

Remember to backup important files regularly to prevent data loss. Using a file naming convention makes it easier to search for specific files.

Lastly, remember to clear your download folder regularly, as it accumulates unnecessary files over time.

#9. Streamline Your Social Media

Woman looking at digital pictures.

You can’t declutter your life without talking about social media. From endless scrolling to constant notifications, these apps definitely consume your time and mental space.

Start by auditing your social media use. Which platforms do you enjoy most? Which ones add value to your life? If a platform is causing more stress than joy, consider deleting your account or uninstalling the app from your phone.

Next, curate your feed. Unfollow accounts that don’t inspire or uplift you. Instead, follow accounts that align with your interests, values, and goals.

Set boundaries for your social media use. This could mean designating specific slots for social media browsing, turning off notifications, or even setting a daily time limit for each app.

Remember to regularly reassess your social media habits and make adjustments as necessary. By streamlining your social media, you’re decluttering your digital space and making room for more meaningful interactions.

#10. Clean Up Your Finances

Woman paying her bills.

Let’s talk about cleaning up your finances, as this pro way to declutter your life is often overlooked.

Start by reviewing your financial documents and discarding the outdated ones. Go paperless whenever possible to reduce physical clutter and to have easier access to your documents.

Next, organize your bills, receipts, and statements into categories and store them in labeled folders. This will make it easier for you to locate important documents when needed.

Create a budget to help track your income and expenses. You’ll get a clear picture of your financial situation, and it’ll be easier to identify areas you can cut back on.

Regularly review and update your budget to reflect any changes in your financial circumstances. Consider a financial management app to track your spending, savings, and investments in real-time.

Lastly, set financial goals. Whether paying off debt, saving for a vacation, or building an emergency fund, having clear financial goals will motivate you to stay organized and disciplined with your money.

#11. Manage Your Subscriptions

Woman sitting in bed, looking at her phone.

It’s way too easy to subscribe to all the things.

Subscriptions come in many forms – magazines, online platforms, streaming services, etc. – and while they offer convenience and entertainment, they also drain your finances if not properly managed.

Start by making a list of all subscriptions and review each one. Do they still align with your interests? Are you making the most of the service? If not, then it might be time to unsubscribe.

Next, consider the cost. How much are you spending on subscriptions each month? Are there cheaper alternatives for the same services?

Be especially conscious of auto-renewal features. While they offer convenience, they can lead to unwanted charges for services you no longer use.

Your needs will change over time, and so too should your subscriptions. By effectively managing these, you’ll only spend on things that add value to your life.

#12. Limit Screen Time

Woman reading a book on her couch.

In the digital age, computers, smartphones, and TVs often dominate our time and attention.

While these devices can be helpful for productivity and connection, too much screen time can lead to physical discomfort, eye strain, poor posture, increased stress, and sleep disturbances.

Start by assessing your screen time. Most devices have a setting that tracks how much time you spend on different activities.

Once you can see where your time is going, start setting limits. Consider allocating certain hours of each day to be screen-free. Or you can even cap the time you spend on specific platforms.

Various apps and settings are available to help reduce your screen time. I like to turn off notifications, set time limits, and use “Do Not Disturb” modes.

While it can be challenging at first, reducing screen time has significant benefits. You might find more time for hobbies, reading, or simply being present in the moment… and you’ll feel a lot better in the long run.

#13. Journal it Out

Woman writing in a journal.

Journaling is one of the best ways to declutter your life since everything starts in your mind. It gives you a safe space to express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, helping you gain clarity.

Start by committing to a regular journaling schedule. It doesn’t have to be daily; even a few times per week can make a difference. You might journal in the morning to start your day with a clear mind or relax and reflect on the day in the evening.

Your journaling method is entirely up to you. Some people prefer the traditional pen and paper, while others might find a digital journal more convenient. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable.

And don’t worry about perfection. The goal is not to produce a literary masterpiece but to get your thoughts out of your head. Just write what comes to mind without censoring yourself.

Remember, your journal is for you and you alone. It’s a judgment-free zone where you can be honest and open with yourself. So let it all out – you’ll feel so much better when you do.

#14. Set Boundaries

Woman setting boundaries in the workplace.

Boundaries are personal limits created to identify safe and permissible ways for others to behave towards them… and they’re crucial for maintaining a balanced life.

Start by identifying where you need to set boundaries. This could be at work, in relationships, or even with yourself. Consider where you feel drained or overextended and recognize that these are areas where boundaries may be needed.

Setting boundaries can be as simple as saying no. It’s okay to decline a request that takes too much time or energy. You don’t owe anyone an explanation; your well-being should be your top priority.

When establishing boundaries, be clear and assertive. Communicate your needs openly, and don’t be afraid to reinforce your boundaries if they’re not being respected.

It’s also important to respect the boundaries of others. Just as you have the right to set boundaries, so do they.

Remember, setting boundaries is a form of self-care. It’s about acknowledging your needs and protecting your physical, mental, and emotional energy.

#15. Practice Mindfulness

Woman meditating.

The absolute best way to declutter your life is to practice mindfulness.
This is the act of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It’s a great way to reduce stress, enhance your emotional well-being, and bring clarity to your life.

Start by incorporating simple mindfulness exercises into your daily routine. This could mean focusing on your breath, paying attention to the sensations of eating, or mindfully observing your surroundings during a walk.

Another effective way to cultivate mindfulness is through meditation. There are many different types of mindful meditations, ranging from breath-focused practices to loving-kindness meditations.

If you’re new to the practice, consider starting with guided meditations, readily available through apps or online platforms.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t about achieving a certain state or feeling – it’s about noticing whatever is happening in the present moment without judgment.

This means you might have to acknowledge feelings of discomfort, boredom, or restlessness that arise during your practice.

Being more mindful doesn’t mean you have to carve out large chunks of time each day. Even just a few minutes of daily practice can significantly impact your everyday life.

By being more mindful, you’ll become attuned to your inner and outer experiences, enabling you to declutter your life by focusing on what truly matters in each moment.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts Icon

Remember that decluttering isn’t just about tidying up your physical space. It’s about dumping the things that no longer serve you to make space for what’s important. 

Making time to declutter your life will alleviate stress, increase productivity, and enhance your overall well-being. 

But remember that this is more of a continuous journey than a one-time event… make it a daily habit for lasting benefits. 

Start your decluttering journey today and watch your life transform.

Until next time,


Your Turn: Are you ready to declutter your life now? Are there any other tips I should add to this list? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

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