6 Quick Decluttering Projects You Can Tackle Today

I may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link on this page. Read the full disclosure policy here
Sometimes you just need a quick win - especially when you are starting to declutter! I felt that way when I bought my new baby home. So I did what I do best. I made a list. An instant declutter list.

These quick decluttering projects can be completed in no time.
If you’re anything like me, decluttering occurs in fits and spurts.

As much as I’d love to be able to declutter my entire home in one day, I simply cannot due to a lack of time and a short attention span.

For those reasons, I like to work on decluttering projects as and when inspiration (and motivation) strikes.

This system occurred to me after we brought our newborn son home from the hospital.

I knew it’d be tough downsizing our home with a baby on the way, but the clutter just seemed more prominent when we brought home baby.

And it wasn’t even baby stuff! He’s our second boy so we already had everything we needed for him.

We’d just moved into our small home 1 month before he arrived, but we were adjusting well.

Still, I felt completely flummoxed upon returning from the hospital.

I thought we were OWNING this downsizing and decluttering thing and yet all I could see everywhere I looked was STUFF.

I got a bit panicky and started a hurricane of filling the recycling bin and re-arranging.

Then I got tired and the baby needed feeding so I sat down and did what I do best. I made a list. An instant declutter list of quick wins.

I came up with the following 6 things that I could do to instantly feel more in control, and less cluttered.

6 Simple Decluttering Projects

1. Put a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on the letterbox.

Putting a ‘No Junk Mail‘ sign on my letterbox was tough for me as I love reading all the circulars that come through the letterbox.

They help me plan my grocery shop and see what other bargains are out there. BUT the amount we get is overwhelming and they sit on the coffee table for days before I read them.

So I’m going digital and subscribing to the email blasts of my local supermarkets instead.

2. Declutter one drawer.


Another blogger I follow posted this idea. It’s simple but effective.

Basically, you focus on clearing one drawer at a time (I started in the kitchen). It’s just one drawer. Anyone can manage that.

Or in my case, it’s been one drawer, one cupboard and a hell of a lot of boxes.

I’ve been pretty ruthless with eliminating stuff, especially in my current mood. Stuff = stress right now!

3. Set a gift policy.

Gosh, that sounds awfully formal. But gifts are a big source of clutter and stress.

You might want to sit down and think about how you approach gift-giving and receiving moving forward.

When we had our second child we requested that no one buy us any baby clothes or anything we already had.

It was quite difficult to explain to the family just how drastic a downsize we have gone through – we have ⅓ less living space than our previous house and no garage so we have very little storage space.

I figured that would happen – when you challenge the norm so defiantly it can be hard for others to process.

But in that sense, we’ve set some tough limits for gifts. They are:

Other ideas that could work:

Home-cooked meals to be delivered!
Offering to clean or just help out around the house
Gift cards (they are not impersonal – they are AWESOME)
Travel vouchers!
Anything on this list

4. Unsubscribe and unfollow

I receive so many daily emails that I delete before even opening them. It wastes 1-2 minutes per morning so I’ve started unsubscribing.

I’ve also set some email rules that forward certain messages to folders for me to view later.

For example, all of the emails I receive with weekly supermarket specials go into a folder.

Then when I’m planning my grocery shop I just have to go through that folder for the specials – and delete them once my list is written. You can do the same in Gmail here or Outlook/Hotmail here.

5. Create a home command center

If you need ideas to declutter your life, you'll want to have a read of this post.
My newly transformed office. Don’t look too closely – or you might see my skirting boards need a paint.

Do you have a central command center for your home? It can be as simple as an IN tray stored somewhere out of the way.

Or you can go the full monty and create a dedicated space like I did. It’s called a cloffice – closet office!

This was a spare (well, technically the only) large storage cupboard in our house.

As we’ve managed to reduce a lot of our possessions and store the remaining stuff in the attic it was just sitting idle while I was working at the kitchen table.

We really needed somewhere to store the important paperwork and for bills to hang out until they were paid (also – why can’t all bills just be email now? I hate paper).

After some Pinterest inspiration, I told my husband that I wanted him to paint the cupboard. Because it was going to be my office and home command centre.

He managed to source some plywood to create a desk and used the remaining paint from our house refresh to prime the walls.

Then I applied a feature wall behind my desk with a free paint sample.

We took the back support and armrests off my old office chair (not shown) and BOOM – Emma’s dream tiny workspace.

Total cost for the cloffice = $10 for a new LED bulb.

Now we can eat dinner at the table and put all the letters and paperwork in one spot – an IN tray on one of my office shelves.

It makes a HUGE difference to have a home for all that paper that ends up all over the house.

6. Set a goal

None of this work means anything if there isn’t an end result to aim for.

I’m not inherently frugal or thrifty and I have too many beautiful handbags (from days gone by) to consider myself a natural minimalist.

Nope, all of this is for the travel. Downsizing to a smaller house = less stuff = lower costs = more money for travelling. That’s the reason I’m here, doing this.

Set yourself a goal to keep inspired. Decluttering can truly change your life, and open up new avenues. Go after them!

Have you tackled any decluttering projects lately?

Like it? Pin it for later.

These quick decluttering projects are ideal for when you have some spare time and want to get organized.

About Emma

Hi, I'm Emma. I love to share organization tips, space-saving ideas and practical advice for living small with kids. Click here to read how our family downsized our lives.

11 thoughts on “6 Quick Decluttering Projects You Can Tackle Today”

  1. I’ve just found your blog and it’s so nice to read something written by a kiwi family! We too, are a single income family with two kids and it’s always nice to read how other people live!

    Reply
    • Thanks Kathryn, appreciate you taking the time to comment. It can be difficult to live on one income but I honestly think New Zealand might be one of the best countries in the world to live frugally. It’s so easy to get out and enjoy nature for free and our schools and healthcare are top notch.

      Reply
  2. I love the idea of asking for no-clutter gifts. If you already have everything you need, why get more? The money can go toward college! Or to help people with fewer things.

    Besides, everyone buys the adorable tiny stuff, which they sneeze and grow out of. So it’s not terribly useful anyway.

    Reply
  3. I love your cloffice idea. We use our closets downstairs already, but I could set up a tiny office in our way-too-big master bedroom instead of just leaving my clothes everywhere…I like it. Thanks for a kick in the butt!

    Reply
  4. I love the closet idea! I have a coat closet that we do use, but maybe there could be some way to eliminate that closet and put in an office! Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
  5. For birthdays I sometimes ask for money instead of a giftcard, but only when I have a specific thing in mind that I want but is expencive and/or unique. Like a piece of art. I love handmade art pieces but they can be expencive.

    Reply
  6. Why is the gift issue always so difficult? Ugh, I need to really think this out with the holidays coming up. As families we should be able to just get together and discuss what our children really would enjoy receiving! Then none of us would end up with a bunch of stuff cluttering up our homes, lol. Lots of great tips here! Thanks for the great read.

    Reply
  7. Wow! This was really interesting to see how someone else tackles the idea of a “cluttered” space. Thanks for sharing the ways that you have dealt with this issue too. The command center really hit home for me. I currently live in a small space and somewhat think I have replicated that idea with one of my closets too. It does help to remove the eyesores and put them in the closet for the time being. And it does allow my small living area to look a lot neater.

    Reply
  8. Gift cards ARE awesome, especially when it is to your favorite restaurant, theatre, bookstore, bakery and on and on. I’ve been known to send Holiday and Birthday “Wish Lists” to families saying “All I need for my birthday (Christmas) is your good wishes, but if you decide to gift me with something else as well, I love gift cards in any amount to Amazon.com, B. Dalton, The Melting Pot, Masseuse, Accupuncturist etc, etc. I say thank you when gifted but I also call the person and let them know when I used it, what I bought and how much I enjoyed it. My family is scattered about and this is a wonderful way to give a gift you KNOW they will love. And of course to receive the same. And no clutter!

    Reply
    • Yes, Karen – I love gift cards, they ARE awesome! I have a few sitting in my purse at the moment and am so excited to spend them.

      Reply

Leave a Comment