How to Overcome Clutter in your Home in 8 Simple Steps

How to Overcome Clutter in your home in 8 simple steps UCAN blog
How to Overcome Clutter in your home in 8 simple steps UCAN blog

A cluttered environment makes us feel overwhelmed, anxious and fretful. Chaos around us not only leaves us feeling uneasy; we become less productive as our attention again and again turns to the chaos and clutter around us. Whereas as soon as we overcome clutter we become relaxed and regain our ability to focus, becoming more productive as a result.

Getting rid of belongings we no longer need, can be an emotionally draining process. It takes time and effort to get rid of toys, broken pieces of cutlery and all the bits that have landed up in the recesses of our cupboards.



If followed exactly, these 8 steps can work wonders for dealing with clutter in our lives. At first these steps may seem quite easy, but following them can be difficult if we are used to hoarding. If we remain persistent in our efforts they will become a part of our daily routine.

Step 1: Set and Meet Small Goals First

It is important to first set small goals like cleaning your drawer instead of focusing on the entire room. Setting small goals will give you a quick sense of achievement and will motivate you for the next task. 

Step 2: Buy Rubbish bags, Bins and Containers

Before you begin implementing your declutter plan, look for any containers you may already have. Thereafter buy rubbish bags and additional storage solutions that you will need to either take away items, or organise them. If you don’t have labels, get these too.

Step 3: Start with Surface Clutter

While you may feel tempted to, it is not advisable to nose dive into a massive, deep-cleaning effort all at once. Rather, focus on the most used spaces first – kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. Mop and dust the rooms, get a rubbish bag and put any unwanted or broken items you find directly into it. By the time you’re done with this, a huge part of clutter will be gone and you will be raring to go for your remaining spaces.

Step 4: Decide what You Need

Once you have dealt with surface clutter, you will now have to dig a bit deeper. Now is when you tackle spaces where you really have to look closely at what items you need, want to get rid of or that requires organisation.

Step 5: Be kind to yourself

Sometimes your home de-cluttering effort may not go according to plan; the time you need is elusive or your efforts seem to never be enough. In times like these people often fall into a negative pattern of self-blame where they are too hard on themselves. It is important not to belittle yourself for small delays in this process and to understand that the clutter that took years to accumulate and therefore cannot be cleared in a few hours or days even.

Step 6: Stop and Focus on How you feel

As you proceed with the de-cluttering process, it is important to stop for a while and observe the effect of the neat and clean surroundings on your mood and mental state. You may have noticed that sparking fresh surroundings immediately make you feel less anxious and more in control. Use this to keep going.

Step 7: Reward yourself

Every time you clean a particular area, reward yourself with a cup of tea, a chocolate or any other favourite indulgence. In addition for every space you clean buy something new and fresh for that area, for instance if you have cleared your desk buy a new pen-holder or organisational tool, this will remind you of a job well done.

Step 8: Continuously Monitor and Maintain

Once you are done with the de-cluttering effort, just like achieving your goal weight after a diet, don’t lose sight of the big picture. You will have to continuously monitor and clean to make sure clutter does not creep back into your life. In addition, every night take 10 minutes to pick up items lying around and put them back where they should be. This is especially useful if you have children.


In order to live an anxiety free life, it is important to consistently get rid of things you no longer need and maintain order in your spaces. If you fall off the wagon, so to speak, then follow these 8 steps again. Eventually it will become habit and clutter will no longer overwhelm you.