Preparing for a Decluttering Project

Before you start to declutter your home, read these pointers to make sure you are prepared.

What you need before you dive in:

  • Boxes and/or trashbags
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Vacuum
  • Understanding of local donation centers accepted items policy
  • Understanding of trash/ recycling accepted items policy

Label boxes and bags:

  • Donate– Most of the stuff you decide to donate from one area should be able to go to the same donation center but make sure to have an understanding first so if you come across something your local donation center does not accept you can set it aside or have a separate box ready. (Examples: larger appliance, pillows, stained garments) Many times you can find other donation homes for these items with a quick google search.
  • Sell– Only try to sell your items if you already have a system for getting things out of you house quickly and if you have a place to store the items in the meantime. If you don’t have a system, it is wise to donate theses items or else you’ll just be moving clutter from one place to another in your home and wasting time and space.
  • Trash– This is anything that you can’t donate, sell, or relocate. I make as much as an effort as I can to recycle or give my unwanted items a home but in the beginning stages of a decluttering project you will find a lot of things that simply need to be thrown away. Forgive yourself for adding more to landfills and pledge that you will be more mindful in the future about what you choose to bring into your home.
  • RelocateThis is where you put the items that you find that belong somewhere else in your house or need to be returned to their rightful owner.

**At the end of each session, all of these boxes/bags need to be dealt with so they don’t just become clutter somewhere else. Donations can be dropped off immediately, if convenient. I like to put donation items in my car so I can drop them off the next time I’m out. Either do it or schedule it so it happens. If you decide to sell items, they should be posted online and stored out of the way. Trash should go right out to the curb. Last but not least, items in the relocation box need to be returned. If they belong in your home, take them there. If they belong to someone outside the home, contact that person to make arrangements to pick it up. If they no longer want it, add it to your donation pile.


  • Identify your local donation centers or charities and find out what they accept.
  • Start collecting boxes if you want to use them. There are a lot of free ways to get them.
    • Save them from deliveries
    • Ask your neighbors to save their boxes for you
    • Stop by a local store and ask for boxes
  • Decide where you want to start in your home and set aside some time on your calendar.

You are on your way to clearing some clutter!

What area in your home do you think would be easiest to tackle first? Why?

Published by Suzanne- Happily Decluttered

Hi!! My name is Suzanne and I live in central PA with my husband and three girls. I love yoga, pickleball, camping, spending time with my family, and decluttering!

2 thoughts on “Preparing for a Decluttering Project

  1. Thanks for these tips, I think an easy to tackle room would be the living/lounge room, a difficult one the study (which is really a “storage” room now 🤔😂).

    1. Any room that has turned into a storage room is difficult due to the volume of stuff. Try breaking the room down into smaller more manageable chunks. Focus on a dresser, bookshelf, or closet. You can even break it down even smaller depending on how much stuff is there.

      A living room can be a great starting point, especially if you spend a lot of time in there. You will feel more comfortable in the space once it is decluttered and you will get to enjoy it more!

      Thanks for sharing!!

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