Before you dive head first into that clutter packed space let’s go over some purging rules to keep in mind.


One year rule

If you haven’t worn it/used it/looked at it in a year, get it out of your house.

Broken beyond repair

It’s broken, it’s busted, it’s a goner.  Get it gone.

Not even yours

This is the worst type of clutter – you don’t even own it!  Give it back to the person who does.


Life gets busy, and you shouldn’t put more pressure on yourself by feeling responsible for things.  They are just things, and don’t get you any closer to your goals.

‘Just in case’

Think about your items you keep for this reason.  Have any of those events come up when you actually needed them?  Maybe, but it doesn’t matter right now.


Magazines and newspapers are old; the information contained in them is likely outdated.  All of this information is easily found on the web.  This goes for books also.


There are items we are just done with, but haven’t gotten around to getting rid of them.  Now is that time.  Done.

Simply the best

Only put back into your closets and cupboards the best of what you own or things that you simply cannot part with.

Keeping these rules in mind will help you really make the most of your purge.  Are you ready to start getting organized by letting go?

Your plan of attack – 3 simple steps

Step 1 – Sort through the room and put purged items into appropriate boxes

Step 2 – Organize the items you are keeping

Step 3 – Dispose of Purged things

Before you start your purge, you need to set the stage so to speak.  Get boxes together, you will need lots of them.  Label four boxes with the following:

    • Garbage
    • Recycle
    • Sell/Donate
    • Deal With

Step 1: Sorting

To support your goal of a clutter-free space, you are only going to keep what supports you.  Everything else goes.  Use your handy ‘Deal With’ box.  You want to keep up your purge momentum going and later on you can spend more time contemplating those other items.

Traps & Pitfalls: Cleaning

Sometimes it’s easier to just clean instead of making those tough decisions because it’s familiar and simple to do.  Do not spend all of your time doing this.

Step 2: Organizing

Traps & Pitfalls: Perfection

Sometimes ‘good enough’ is just good enough.   Don’t steal time from the purging to make your place perfect, there will be time for that later.  Keep up your momentum.

A Right Place for Everything

Take time to think about how you use the space you’ve just cleared and place items back accordingly.

Keep like with like

There isn’t much more to say here.  Group similar items together; it’s simple and it just works.

Step 3: Finishing Up

Getting purged items out of the house

Since you worked so hard to get here, make sure you get rid of the clutter you worked so hard to dispose of.


You are clutter free!  What a great accomplishment!  Now you can relax.


56 Responses to Declutter Rules

  1. […] no longer need or use. Keep only those things that are necessary, beautiful, or valuable. Visit 31 Days to Declutter Your Home – for a list of rules and a practical plan of […]

  2. […] Rules to live by when decluttering […]

  3. […] You can use certain de-cluttering “rules” to get rid of physical stuff.You can use resources like “Your Money or Your Life” to […]

  4. […] do I turn to — well for fun, I did a quick google search.  My first hit — 31 Days to Declutter Your House which sets out 8 decluttering rules as follows […]

  5. Ron Pickle says:

    You are bang on about guilt there are lots of things to which we are unnecessarily attached and feel guilty about disposing them off.
    Ron Pickle´s last blog post ..How Clogged Gutters Cause Roof Leaks

  6. Karen Biko says:

    I do still struggle with this, but I am also pretty good at finding places where things can go (like to other people who can use them).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge