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How to Declutter a Room in 30 Minutes

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clutter filling up your home? If you see stuff piled up everywhere you look, it may be time to go through your items to declutter. However, tackling your whole house can feel like an overwhelming task given all the other demands on your time. A better option is to choose one room to start with and set a 30-minute timer. Not only is it easier to start with just one room, but finding a few minutes in your schedule is more manageable than spending an entire day on the project. To declutter a room in 30 minutes, you need to stay focused, make quick decisions, and implement a system for keeping your space clutter-free going forward.


How to declutter a room in 30 minutes step by step


Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies

When you are trying to declutter a room in 30 minutes, time is of the essence. Therefore, you do not want to waste valuable time running around your house gathering supplies to facilitate the decluttering process. Instead, it is better to gather what you will need before you start so that you can spend the entire thirty minutes decluttering and making progress on the targeted room.

Here is what you need to gather:

  • Garbage bags
  • A box for items you plan to give away or donate
  • A box for things you plan to sell
  • Any unused storage solutions you have around your house such as a draw organizer, plastic storage box, or a basket
  • A box for items that do not belong in the room

By gathering these items ahead of time, you will be able to work faster and make noticeable progress on your cluttered space.


Step 2: Set the Timer

After gathering the necessary supplies, it is time to get started. Whether you have chosen the most chaotic room in your house or just the one that stresses you out the most, you can make a lot of progress if you focus. By committing the entire thirty minutes to declutter and setting aside distractions, you can declutter the room quickly.

Setting a timer gives you a psychological boost and allows you to focus on what you are doing. You know that the timer is ticking down, so you will be more motivated to make quick decisions. Also, setting a time deadline motivates you to finish decluttering instead of allowing a project to drag on endlessly.


Step 3: Start With Items on the Floor

Start decluttering the room by analyzing what is on the floor. Pick one section of the room to start with and then pick up each item. Notice what has accumulated on the floor instead of being in its rightful place. How can you avoid this disorganization in the future?

For example, if you drop clean laundry on your bed but do not get around to folding it, you might be tempted to put it on the floor when you want to crawl into bed. Instead, what if you implemented a system where you immediately put the clothes away to avoid having the temptation to move them again later?

As you are decluttering, you will continuously ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this an item I regularly use?
  • Is this item in good condition and worth keeping?
  • Does this item still work/fit/serve its purpose?
  • Does this item have sentimental value where it is worth saving?
  • Do I need to keep it?
  • Do I want to keep it?
  • Lastly, do I have too many similar items?

The items on your floor are probably items you will want to keep. They just need to go in their rightful place. However, if you come across items that you no longer want or need, you can separate them into the give away or sell piles.

After decluttering your floors, you will see a marked difference in the space. Now it is time to tackle another part of the room.


Step 4: Declutter Shelves and Furniture

Look around at the room and notice what shelves and furniture pieces need to be decluttered. Organizing can be part of the decluttering process, but remember that the goal of decluttering is to eliminate things that are no longer useful to you, not just store them better.

Take a look at the furniture and shelves in a room to determine what is trash, no longer used, or an item that does not belong there. Instead of just tidying a space, decide instead what you can eliminate. By touching each item that you have, you will quickly see how easy it is for things to be “out of sight, out of mind.” Ask yourself the questions outlined previously to determine whether something is worth keeping.

This may seem counterintuitive since you are fast, but the method works. There is something powerful about holding each item to help you realize how much stuff you have.

If clutter is a problem for you, consider downsizing the amount of furniture or shelving you have in a room. You may find that part of the problem with holding on to too many things is tied to the number of storage options available to you. There is less incentive to declutter and get rid of things if you have ample space to keep adding new things.

For example, if you notice that having a chair in the corner of the room only means that you have a place to toss your dirty clothes and no one ever actually sits in the chair, it may be better to just declutter the chair. But, then, you are not tempted to use it as a catch-all.


Step 5: Relocate Items to their Correct Place

As you are decluttering, you probably found items that do not belong in the current room you are working on decluttering. Put all of these items in a pile and then relocate them to where they go once the timer goes off. You can use a box or even a laundry basket to allow you to carry multiple items at once easily.

Avoid wasting precious minutes taking them to their proper location as you are decluttering and opt to just make one trip at the end of the time.


Step 6: Get Rid of the Trash/Donation Box/Give Away Items

After completing the quick decluttering project, it is time to actually get rid of the items you decluttered. Putting the unnecessary items in a trash bag or box is a good start, but the process is not complete until they are actually out of your house.

Take the trash to the garbage can. Schedule a time this week to take the donation box to the donation center or to meet up with the people you are gifting the items to. Avoid keeping the donation box in your car for months by making a plan and following through.


Tips for Decluttering a room in 30 minutes


Avoid Distractions

Put your phone on silent or airplane mode to avoid getting distracted while you are decluttering. Instead, listen to a podcast or upbeat music while you are working on this task to help keep you energized.

If you have limited time to declutter, it is best to tackle the project individually. While there is value in getting your family’s opinions on items to keep or get rid of, this will slow down the process. Declutter while the kids are at school or busy with another activity so that you can stay focused on the task at hand. Kids can play a role in the decluttering process, but not when you are up against the clock.


Start with Low Hanging Fruit

If you have way too much stuff in a room, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. It will be easier if you start with the low-hanging fruit. These are quick decisions that require very little thought.

For example, you know that dirty dishes do not belong in the selected room, so you can quickly declutter such items.

Likewise, anything that is broken is an easy decision to toss.

By getting started with low-hanging fruit, you will accomplish two big things. You will make it easier to analyze what you need to think through when decluttering. It will be easier to see what is taking up space in a room once the stuff that does not belong there or is trash is out of the way.

Secondly, you will also enjoy some quick wins. This can help you stay motivated and make progress instead of wondering why you started decluttering in the first place.

The goal to declutter a room in 30 minutes will require focus and determination. Starting with a few things that are easy to declutter will free up more time for harder decisions.


Do Not Fixate on the Money “Lost”

One challenge people often face when they think about decluttering is remembering how much something costs and deciding to hold on to unused items just because they do not want to lose money.

The money is already spent – regardless of whether you are using the item or not.

If an item is broken, regularly unused, or a duplicate, declutter it.

There is no sense holding on to an item just because you hope to use it someday. That idea will just lead to more clutter. When you are decluttering, consider exactly what you do and do not use. Instead of putting something in a closet or out of the way and hoping that you will someday grab it and use it again, just declutter it.

Reselling used items is one way to recoup some of the money lost. The other way is to consider it a valuable lesson and think hard about what you spend your money on in the future.


Separate Decluttering from Organizing

As you are decluttering, you will likely want to clean and re-organize the space as well. However, if you only have 30 minutes and have a lot to go through, you might consider separating the tasks of decluttering and organizing. Maybe one day you can spend thirty minutes decluttering and then spend thirty minutes the next day cleaning and organizing the rest of the items that you decided to keep.

Decluttering time should be focused on making quick decisions and being ruthless about what you will keep and what you will throw out.


Develop a Strategy for Maintaining Your Space

While the exact method will vary, develop a system for managing what comes into your house and what goes out. Decluttering should be a regularly scheduled occurrence. Be mindful of what you buy. Get rid of things that are no longer useful or wanted, but do not feel like you have to declutter your entire home at one time.


Decluttering a room in 30 minutes FAQ


How do you declutter a room quickly?

To quickly declutter a room, gather the necessary supplies, set a timer, and get started. Remove any items that do not belong in that room, toss anything that is broken, and get rid of items that are no longer used or needed. Using a decluttering checklist will help you move faster. 


Where do I start decluttering when overwhelmed?

If you try to start decluttering all the rooms at once and tackle home organization at the same time, you are likely to be overwhelmed. Tips like choosing just one room to work through at a time or decluttering for a certain amount of time can help you overcome the overwhelm.


What is the fastest way to clean and declutter?

The fastest way to clean and declutter is to walk into a room and fill a garbage bag with things that you do not need. After a purge, you can better deep clean your space which will make it a lot easier to maintain, especially if you are conscious of what you are buying and bringing into your home going forward.


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