If you think you’ve seen it all in the world of decluttering, think again. Here are 20 decluttering hacks that focus on removing things from your home—hacks you probably haven’t considered.
1. The Reverse Hanger Trick
Turn all the hangers in your closet the other way. Every time you wear an item, place it back with the hanger turned normally. After six months, any clothing item on a hanger that hasn’t been turned should be donated or sold. This method shows you what you’re truly not wearing.
2. Memory Box Method
Designate a small box for sentimental items and keepsakes. Once the box is full, that’s it. Take photos of sentimental items that don’t fit and let them go. This box acts as a physical boundary for nostalgia and encourages you to prioritize.
3. The 20-20 Rule
If you can replace an item for less than $20 and in less than 20 minutes from your home, consider it for removal. This rule is particularly helpful for kitchen gadgets, hardware items, and other small articles you might hesitate to part with.
4. One-Item-A-Day Challenge
Commit to removing one item from your home every single day. It could be a piece of clothing, a book, or an old electronic device. It might not sound like much, but that’s 365 items in a year!
5. Mystery Box Decluttering
Place items you’re uncertain about into a box and seal it. Label it with a date one month from today. If you don’t break the seal by then, donate or discard the box without looking inside.
6. The Forgotten 30
Each time you leave a room, spend 30 seconds identifying an item that you don’t need. Either discard it immediately or place it in a ‘to-go’ box. It’s about continually reassessing your spaces.
7. The Expiration Date Sticker
Stick a small note with a “to be decided by” date on items you’re unsure about. If the date arrives and you haven’t used or needed the item, it’s time to say goodbye.
8. The Traveler’s Limit
Pretend you’re moving overseas. Think about the costs and logistics of taking your belongings. What would you genuinely take? It helps you think in terms of essentials and emotional value, rather than just utility.
9. Digital Declutter Hour
Schedule one hour each month to reassess your digital life. Unsubscribe from newsletters, delete unused apps, and archive old files. The idea is to make your digital life as clutter-free as your physical one.
10. The Hotel Toiletries Challenge
When you get back from a trip, make it a rule to use or donate those tiny hotel toiletries within a week. They can quickly accumulate and take up space.
11. Social Media Purge
Go through your list of friends and people you’re following. Disconnect from accounts that don’t bring you joy or add value to your life. This virtual decluttering can bring clarity and focus.
12. Local Buy/Sell/Trade Groups
Get involved in community trade groups to quickly sell or give away items. The faster you can offload these items, the less time they have to find their way back into your life.
13. The Toy Rotation
Store half of your children’s toys and rotate them monthly. You’ll notice what toys your kids actually play with, making it easier to get rid of the rest.
14. The Box in the Car
Keep a donation box in your car. Whenever you decide that an item needs to go, put it in the box. Once full, drive it to a donation center. Out of sight, out of mind!
15. Project 333
Choose 33 items to wear for the next 3 months. Box up the rest of your clothing items and store them away. This forces you to live with less and understand what you truly need.
16. Clutter-Free Gift Policy
Communicate with your family and friends about your wish to receive experience gifts instead of material things. This shifts the focus from stuff to memories and prevents future clutter.
17. Cord Cutting – Literally
Collect all stray cords. If they don’t belong to any devices you own, it’s time for them to be recycled. No more “just in case” reasoning.
18. Use It or Lose It Kitchen Gadgets
Identify kitchen gadgets that haven’t been used for the last year. Challenge yourself to use them within a week, or donate them. This ensures your kitchen holds only items you actually use.
19. 10-Minute Dash
Set a timer for 10 minutes. Choose a room and remove as many unnecessary items as you can before the timer goes off. It turns decluttering into a fun, focused mission.
20. Joshua Becker’s 12-12-12 Rule
Find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper place. This offers a balanced approach and brings immediate results to your decluttering efforts.
These hacks aim to transform not just your living space but your relationship with material things. Challenge yourself to try at least one this week, and experience the liberation of true decluttering.