The 25-Step Home Decluttering Checklist (Download PDF)

The 25-Step Room-by-Room Decluttering Checklist

Living Room

1: Sort Through Books and Magazines

Go through your books and magazines. Keep only the ones you love or will read again. Donate or recycle the rest. Use shelves to keep them organized.

2: Declutter Electronics and Cords

Organize your electronics. Untangle and label cords. Use cable organizers to avoid mess. Keep only the devices you use frequently.

3: Organize Decorations and Photos

Display only a few favorite decorations and photos. Rotate them seasonally to keep things fresh. Store the rest in a self-storage unit to avoid clutter.


4: Tackle the Pantry

Remove everything from your pantry. Check expiration dates. Donate non-perishables you won't use. Organize by category for easy access.

5: Clean Out the Refrigerator

Empty your fridge. Throw out expired or spoiled food. Wipe down all surfaces. Place items back in an organized manner.

6: Declutter the Freezer

Remove all items. Discard anything with freezer burn or past its prime. Group similar items together when putting them back.

7: Utensil Drawers

Empty the drawers. Get rid of duplicates and items you never use. Use drawer organizers to keep utensils tidy.

8: Bakeware & Dishes

Sort through your bakeware and dishes. Keep only what you use regularly. Store seasonal or rarely used items in self-storage.

9: Food Containers

Match lids to containers. Discard any without a match. Stack neatly to save space.


10: Closet Organization

Remove all clothes. Donate or discard items that don't fit or you don't wear. Organize by season and type.

11: Bedside Table Decluttering

Clear off the bedside table. Keep only essentials like a lamp, clock, and a book. Use drawers to hide other items.

12: Under Bed Storage Solutions

Use bins or drawers for under-bed storage. Store off-season clothes or extra bedding here.

13: Shoe Organization

Sort shoes by type and season. Keep frequently worn pairs accessible. Store others in clear boxes or a shoe rack.

14: Bags, Purses & Totes

Go through your bags and totes. Donate or discard any you don't use. Store the rest neatly.


15: Purge Old Toiletries and Medicines

Check expiration dates on all products. Dispose of expired or unused items properly. Keep only what you use daily.

16: Organize Towels and Linens

Fold towels and linens neatly. Use baskets or shelves to keep them organized. Donate old or unused items.

17: Clean and Declutter Counters

Remove all items from counters. Keep only essentials out. Store the rest in cabinets or drawers.

18: Declutter Shower Caddy

Remove everything from the shower caddy. Discard empty or unused bottles. Keep only the essentials.

Home Office

19: Sort Through Papers and Files

Go through all papers. Shred or recycle what you don't need. File important documents neatly.

20: Organize Desk Supplies

Sort through pens, paper, and other supplies. Keep only what you use regularly. Use organizers to keep the desk tidy.

21: Memorabilia & Important Documents

Keep important documents and memorabilia safe. Use file boxes or a small safe for storage.

Garage and Storage Areas

22: Children’s Toys and Clothes

Sort through children’s items. Donate or discard outgrown or unused toys and clothes. Use bins or shelves for organization.

23: Declutter Tools and Equipment

Sort tools by type. Get rid of duplicates or broken items. Use pegboards or toolboxes for storage.

24: Seasonal Items Storage

Store seasonal items like holiday decorations in labeled bins. Consider a self-storage unit for bulky items.

25: Optimize Space with Shelving

Install shelves to maximize vertical space. Use bins or boxes to keep items organized.

The Four-Box Method

  1. Label Four Boxes:
    • Box 1: Keep
    • Box 2: Donate
    • Box 3: Trash
    • Box 4: Relocate
  2. Go Room by Room:
    • Focus on one room or area at a time.
  3. Sort Items:
    • Keep: Items you use regularly or have sentimental value.
    • Donate: Items in good condition that you no longer need.
    • Trash: Broken, expired, or unusable items.
    • Relocate: Items that belong in a different room.
  4. Process Each Box:
    • Keep: Find a proper place for each item.
    • Donate: Take items to a donation center or schedule a pickup.
    • Trash: Dispose of items properly, following local recycling guidelines if applicable.
    • Relocate: Move items to their correct locations immediately.

10-Minute Decluttering Sessions

  1. Set a Timer: Use a timer on your phone or a kitchen timer.
  2. Choose a Small Area: Pick a drawer, shelf, or small section of a room.
  3. Sort Quickly: Use the Four-Box Method to sort items.
  4. Clean as You Go: Wipe down surfaces and clean the area once it's decluttered.
  5. Stop When the Timer Goes Off: Finish up by processing your boxes (keep, donate, trash, relocate).
  6. Repeat Daily: Do this every day to make steady progress.

How to Stay Motivated

Set Small Goals: Break down tasks into manageable chunks. Don’t let the behemoth dream stop you from getting started.

Track Your Progress: Take before-and-after photos to see the improvement. Use checklists to mark off tasks and rooms completed. Give yourself rewards for completing sections. Make it fun! Decluttering doesn’t need to be boring or dull.

What to Do with Unwanted Items

Self Storage

Store items you want to keep but don't have space for. BoltStorage offers secure, accessible units for your needs.

Recycling Options

Recycle items like paper, plastic, and electronics. Check local guidelines for proper disposal.

Donating to Charity

Donate gently used items to local charities. It's a great way to give back and declutter.

Selling Online or at Garage Sales

Sell valuable items online or host a garage sale. This can be a fun way to earn extra cash.

Proper Disposal of Junk

Dispose of junk properly. Check local disposal guidelines for hazardous materials.

Maintaining a Clutter-Free Home

Create a Decluttering Schedule

Daily Tasks

  • Tidy up living areas: Spend 10 minutes putting away items that are out of place.
  • Sort mail: Go through daily mail and immediately recycle or shred unnecessary papers.
  • Clear surfaces: Keep kitchen counters, tables, and desks clear of clutter.
  • Clean as you go: Wipe down surfaces and do small cleaning tasks throughout the day.

Weekly Tasks

  • Focus on one room: Choose a different room each week for a quick declutter and clean.
    • Living Room: Remove items that don't belong, dust surfaces, and vacuum.
    • Kitchen: Clean out the fridge, wipe down cabinets, and declutter counters.
    • Bedroom: Organize the closet, make the bed, and tidy bedside tables.
    • Bathroom: Dispose of old toiletries, clean the sink and mirror, and organize cabinets.
    • Home Office: File papers, organize desk supplies, and clear the desk surface.
  • Laundry: Stay on top of laundry by doing one or two loads per week.

Monthly Tasks

  • Deep clean and declutter one area: Rotate through different spaces in your home each month.
    • Pantry: Remove expired food, organize shelves, and wipe down surfaces.
    • Closets: Go through clothes and accessories, donating or discarding items you no longer wear.
    • Garage: Sort through tools, equipment, and seasonal items. Organize and clean the space.
    • Storage areas: Tidy up storage rooms, basements, or attics. Organize items and dispose of unnecessary things.
  • Check storage: Review items in self-storage or home storage spaces to ensure they are still needed and organized.

Annual Tasks

  • Thorough declutter and deep clean: Once a year, dedicate time to a comprehensive declutter and cleaning session.
    • Sort through everything: Go through each room, closet, and storage area.
    • Donate or discard: Get rid of items you haven’t used in the past year.
    • Deep clean: Wash windows, steam clean carpets, and scrub floors.
    • Reorganize: Arrange items in a way that makes sense for your current lifestyle.

By following this room-by-room decluttering checklist guide, you can achieve and maintain a clutter-free home. Need extra space for those personal and valuable items that you don’t want to toss? Consider Bolt Storage for your storage needs. Happy decluttering!

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