Where To Start Decluttering


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Where to Start Decluttering. Have you ever felt stuck at the beginning of decluttering? When you look around, you don’t see a way out? You might want change but you don’t know how to make that happen.

“What should I declutter first? Because looking around, it’s a little overwhelming.”

“If it’s this hard to declutter at the beginning, I’ll never be done.”

“This is hopeless, I’ll never be a minimalist because my family…”

“Girl, I know I need to declutter but I don’t even know where to start.”

These are real life issues I get asked a lot. So, I figured I would do a podcast about them. 

If this is you, this podcast episode is for you. I give you three actionable tips that you can use to build momentum and peel back a few layers of clutter, even if you don’t know where to start. Even if you feel overwhelmed right now.

Building Momentum

Momentum is a funny thing. You have the desire to want the change but you just can’t seem to ACTUALLY do it.

The remedy for inaction is action. Little action. And that little action has to be easy action.

The worst thing you can do at this point is take on a huge project. You’ll burnout.

Your first tip is all about looking for the easy stuff.

You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again- become a heat seeking missile looking for the easy to let go things.

The idea is two fold: first you begin to more quickly identify clutter, second you get better at parting with it.

You’ve learned how to add clutter, and I will teach you how to declutter and how not to Reclutter.

But we start by building that decluttering muscle, that hasn’t been worked in a while, and that will make the whole process easier.

I have a tip sheet you can use, here’s the link. It’s filled with ideas and prompts to find the easy stuff. Remember, little action, easy action.

Hyper Focus on Smaller Pieces

Once you’ve gotten moving and you feel like you are ready to go a little deeper, don’t do a large space. Focus your efforts to smaller, bite sized pieces. The surest way to befuddle your efforts is to bite off more than you can chew.  

I’ve spent hours in our old basement of doooom and then exhausted, I would leave the space, looking back and feeling defeated as it didn’t look like I even made a dent in it. That feeling of defeat would stop me from doing more for weeks, and sometimes months. I don’t want that for you, friend.

Real Life Example

Let’s look at my favorite area to declutter: The Kitchen. You might look at this room and start thinking of the pantry, the drawers, the cabinets AND the surfaces needing to be done. That thought moves to the rest of the house and all of the things… You are doomed before you even start! 

That thinking is sticky thinking. If you want this process to feel like you’re walking through molasses… up to your knees… in the winter… then that’s the way to do it. 

However, If you would rather make it feel easier I want you just to focus on what you can see. Then focus on one square foot cube at a time. (Remember, this is only the stuff you can see. Once you’ve got the surfaces done, you can move on to the drawers, cabinets and pantry etc. But that’s further down the line… right now, just focus on that square foot cube.)

Collector of Little Successes

I want you to become a collector of little successes. When you start and finish that one square foot cube, you get a little success story. Those build momentum faster than a small chunk out of a big room, that you rarely use. When you do little by little, you create momentum with your progress you can see. But if you spend a bunch of time on the storage room, you close the door and forget about it, or worse, you don’t see enough of a dent in the stuff compared to your time and effort. 

This is the little action in the formula of little action, easy action.

Prioritize Your Spaces

Learn to prioritize Your Own Home and The Spaces Within It. Not every room is created equally.

There are Primary (the most common areas and most used areas), the Secondary (the more personal areas) and the tertiary (the areas that are more utilitarian and storage spaces).

The primary spaces are areas that you and your family would be in and you would also host guests in, or guests would use. The Kitchen, Dining, Living Room and Guest Bathroom would be my Primary areas.

Yours might be different.

These PRIMARY spaces are the areas that I suggest focusing on first. They have the biggest impact on your entire family and you.

If these spaces are easier to tidy up at the end of the night, you can breathe easier.

This strategy is aimed at giving you a spatial reset, some breathing space. Because when you’ve been treading water for so long, it’s better to just get in the boat!

When decluttering, start from the outside and move inward in each space.

Do those surfaces first, THEN and only then, move into the cabinets, drawers, closets and pantries etc. This is decluttering from the outside in rather than decluttering from the inside out.

To Summarize Where To Start Decluttering

The Three Actionable Strategies:

  1. Look for The Easy Stuff – easy action
  2. Focus Your Efforts to a smaller area – little action
  3. The right spaces and areas 


These are just three small examples from my toolkit that I use with clients and within my training programs.

I believe…

  • solutions need to be targeted to what YOU are going through, not a step by step generic plan based on rooms to declutter.


  • that when you take targeted action in your space, you will move through the layers of clutter faster.


  • in getting to the root cause of clutter and mindshifts to minimalism for lasting change. Because who wants to spend all of that time decluttering, only to end up decluttering and then needing to declutter again?


Stop treading water and get in the boat!

Beneath every piece of clutter is a feeling. And beneath every feeling is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focusing on just decluttering, we begin to deal with the root cause not the symptom. When you begin dealing with the root cause, you will stop the cycle.

I hope that gave you some solid actionable steps to your questions about where to start decluttering.

If you want to learn more, go to www.cozyminimal.com/solutions to see everything I offer for every budget.


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