How to Declutter in 5 Easy Steps

Get your Clutter Under Control

Over two hundred million Americans are living in cluttered homes that are literally being swallowed up by stuff. As an organizational expert, Peter Walsh has helped thousands of families realize that clutter is destructive. Now, Peter is on a mission to help people across the country get rid of their stuff one step at a time.

Here are Peter's simple steps to help you clear out any room or space in your life.
Decluttering Step 1

Step 1: Empty the Space

Start with the first big step in this process: Take every single thing in the room and move it out. Make sure to arrange like items together. This will make it easier to sort them later.
Decluttering Step 2

Step 2: Create a Vision for the Room

Now that you have a completely clean slate, ask yourself, "What do I want from this room?" It's really important to have a clear vision for the room because once you know what you want from a space, you can then decide what to eliminate and what to keep.
Decluttering Step 3

Step 3: Sort Everything into Two Piles

Sort every item into either a "Vision Pile" or an "Out-the-Door Pile."
Decluttering Vision Pile

The Vision Pile

The first pile is the "vision" pile, and contains anything that you want to hold on to that holds strong memories and reflects the kind of things that you want from the room.
Decluttering Out the Door Pile

The Out-the-Door Pile

The second pile, your "out-the-door" pile, contains items that are going to either be donated or trashed.
Simple Sorting Tip

Peter's Simple Sorting Tip

If you get stuck sorting through a large quantity of items of a similar type, for every four you keep, get rid of at least one.
Decluttering Step 4

Step 4: Donate or Trash Items

Get rid of items in the "out the door" pile by either donating them, or throwing them out.

To clear out your donation items, get a hamper, a trash bag or bin. Whenever there is something you no longer need, use or want, put it inside. When the bin is full, put it in the trunk of your car and take it to donation. Don't procrastinate! As Peter always says, "later is the best friend of clutter."
Decluttering Step 5

Step 5: Rebuild With Items from the Vision Pile

Reload everything that you are keeping back into the room, and rebuild according to the vision you created in Step 2.