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Tidy Living: A Guide to Decluttering

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

You might not be a stranger to clutter as you find yourself with more and more items in your home as time goes by. You may not even realize the items piling up to form a clutter until it gets too much. However, it is never too late to declutter. Whether you want to get rid of clutter to organize your home or to move, we bring you a handy guide to decluttering.

1. Tidy First Before Buying Storage

One of the most effective ways to declutter your home is to have sufficient and proper storage for your items. However, don’t be hasty and make the mistake of buying too many storage boxes or trays because that will only add on to your clutter. Make sure that you tidy up first and that you truly lack storage space before you expand it. You could also repurpose items instead of purchasing new storage, such as making use of takeaway containers or shoe boxes.

2. Determining Which Items to Toss Out and Which to Keep

Now you may want to hold onto some of your old items with the biggest reason being for nostalgic purposes. However, ask yourself if you really have a use for such items anymore. It is understandable to be reluctant in getting rid of items that bring back memories, but these will only pile up over the years. Sort out the ones you really want to keep and the ones you could do without. Keep the things that spark joy in you and put a smile on your face as you recollect the memories from that time. At the same time, don’t be pressured by feelings of sentimentality. If you find that you have no use of an item, then you would be better off without it. As for the items that you don’t even remember owning, those are definitely to be tossed out.

3. Toss Out Items by Donating or Selling

Once you have determined which items you no longer need to keep, think about how you want to get rid of them. Rather than throwing them away, you could try to find them a better home by donating or selling them. For example, books could be donated to a library if not sold, and old clothing that you used to love wearing as a teenager but would no longer don could be sold to current teenagers who would be more than happy to take it off your hands. Donating to charities is another option. Not only will you be decluttering, but your actions will be greatly appreciated.

4. Organize by Category Instead of Location

Think Marie Kondo, organizing consultant sensation who has sold millions of copies over four books. Organizing by location will most likely result in the same space being cluttered again with items being all over the place. Organizing by category allows you to understand the purpose of each item you own and access them with ease. Kondo suggests the following order of categorization:

i) Clothes

ii) Books

iii) Papers

iv) Miscellaneous items

v) Sentimental items

Once you have categorized them, it’s time to begin putting them in their rightful place.

5. Delegate A ‘Home’ For All Items

Clutter forms as a result of things not being put where they belong. To eliminate clutter, each item needs to have its purpose and a home within yours. For each item you own, assign them a space to belong to, such as cables in a specific drawer and pins in a particular box. You could also make use of labels for ease of access. This also ensures that items are returned to where they were taken from.


Decluttering may seem like an overwhelming task, but take it one step at a time, do it in stages and keep these tips in mind to find yourself with a much tidier home.

For those of you who are decluttering to sell your home, do check out one of our YouTube videos where we help one of Mothership’s staff declutter and successfully sell his home:

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