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How to Declutter Your Home Fast (in Under 30 Minutes)

A clean drawer in a kitchen
Sarah Colussi

Don’t put off decluttering your home for another minute! If you’re looking for speedy, easy and effortless ways to declutter parts of your home — minus the hassle — organizational expert Sarah Colussi has you covered. 

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From tips on where to start to not thinking twice about items and focusing on the end goal, here’s how to declutter your home fast in 30 minutes or less.

An open drawer in a clean kitchen
Sarah Colussi

Step 1: Tackle One Area at a Time

Start small and tackle one area at a time. Decluttering can be an overwhelming process for a lot of people, especially if you’ve never done it before or have many items. “Baby steps [are] key. By doing one small area at a time, you are making the process more manageable and less daunting,” Sarah explains. Try to declutter daily, weekly or bi-weekly. 

Decluttering once a week is suggested so it eventually becomes part of your lifestyle and routine. “My home is 90 per cent decluttered and I still make it a weekly habit,” Sarah says. 

Pro Tip: Everything should have a designated home — this will keep surfaces clean and tidy. 

Step 2: Set a Timer for 30 Minutes

Setting a timer allows you to focus on the task at hand. It forces you to go quickly and “think less.” For drawers or cupboards, set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes. “You don’t want to get stuck in a slow process of deciding what to keep and what to toss,” Sarah says. All decisions should be swift when going through your items, ensuring you don’t linger on them. Chances are the longer you sit on one item, the less likely you’ll want to get rid of it. 

Related: Spring Cleaning — Tips, Tricks and Mistakes to Avoid

Step 3: Keep a Donation Bin Handy

Have a cardboard box ready when you start decluttering and going through items. It’s helpful in distinguishing what you want to get rid of and is perfect as a donation bin. Aim for it to be filled up each week, or whenever you declutter. 

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Pro Tip: Keep boxes from online shopping orders or groceries as your donation bin instead of recycling them. 

An empty drawer in a kitchen island
Sarah Colussi

Step 4: Lay Everything Out on a Flat Surface

Pull everything out of your drawers or cupboards and lay them all out on a flat surface. This will let you easily see everything as you go through them. Aim to touch items once with the “One Touch Rule.” “Rather than putting it down and having to move or touch it again later, be sure to put it back where it belongs the first time around,” Sarah explains.

Pro Tip: If you use your hairdryer in the morning, don’t put it down because you’ll need to touch it again later. Instead of putting it down, put it away as soon as possible — one touch. 

Related: How to Organize Kitchen Cupboards to Optimize Your Storage Space

Organized kitchen drawer
Sarah Colussi
Birds-eye view of a clean kitchen drawer
Sarah Colussi

Step 5: Be Ruthless!

This is probably the most important rule of all. If an item isn’t an immediate “yes” then it’s a definite “no” and belongs in the donation bin. “Get rid of the guilt when it comes to keeping sentimental items and old gifts,” Sarah suggests. 

A clean uncluttered kitchen
Sarah Colussi

Step 6: Keep the End Goal in Mind

Once you’re done decluttering, put all the items you’re keeping back in their designated homes. The goal is to have some space left, so just because you have some room left over, doesn’t mean you have to fill it. “Keep the end goal in mind. Just remember how good it will feel with less clutter, [because it means] less stress and less cleaning,” Sarah adds. 

If you repeat this process often, you’ll fall in love with your home again and taking care of it will be a breeze.  

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Looking for more inspiration? Check back for more tips and tricks from our experts who are ready to answer your burning home questions. 



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