20 Game-Changing Decluttering Hacks That Actually Work

Today I want to share a great list of super-effective decluttering hacks with you – and guess what? Most of them are quick and easy, and some of them are even a little bit fun and quirky. 

We’re ditching the overwhelming, time-consuming methods of clearing clutter for these easy declutter hacks that fit into your busy life and maybe even bring a smile to your face.

Will these hacks organize your entire home instantly? Well, probably not. But they WILL make a difference QUICKLY and help you transform those clutter zones into spaces of serenity without the stress. Let’s make decluttering fun (yes, it’s possible!), manageable, and something you just might look forward to. Ready to get to it?

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7 Quick Decluttering Hacks

When you’re short on time, try some of these fast and easy hacks and decluttering tips to get rid of the mess super-quick!

10/10 Challenge: Pick a room or area in your home and challenge yourself to find 10 items to declutter within 10 minutes. Set a timer and go!

Why it works: This approach turns decluttering into a quick and manageable –but still surprisingly effective — task, perfect for those with a busy schedule. Transform your space with these quick, high-energy bursts — making a big difference in small increments.

Mystery Grab Bag: Have someone hand you 5 items from a cluttered space; decide immediately to recycle, donate, or toss.

Why it works: This method forces you to make quick decisions and eliminates any second-guessing or hesitation. It also adds an element of fun and surprise to the process, making it less daunting.

Urgent Unsubscribe: Take 5 minutes to unsubscribe from promotional emails contributing to digital clutter.

Why it works: Less clutter in your email box means less clutter in your mind. By taking a few minutes to unsubscribe from unnecessary emails, you can free up mental space and reduce stress. Plus, every time you do this, you’ll save even MORE time later by not having to wade through so much digital clutter… which means you’ll have extra time to declutter the physical stuff. 😉 

Declutter Duel: Challenge a housemate to see who can declutter more items in 10 minutes. (One ground rule: No revenge decluttering! Work on your own stuff.)

Why it works: By turning it into a competition with a housemate, you not only make clearing clutter more fun and engaging, but also hold each other accountable and motivated to declutter as much as possible in a short amount of time. And the best part? You both benefit from having a cleaner and more organized living space.

Ad Break Dash: During TV ad breaks, quickly find and set aside a few items to declutter. Bonus points for decluttering during every commercial break.

Why it works: Ad breaks are usually a few minutes long and can be a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some decluttering. By setting a goal of finding multiple items each time, you’ll be surprised how much progress you can make over the course of just one TV show. Plus, it’s a great way to make use of otherwise unproductive time.

Roll-the-Dice Decluttering: Roll a die; the number it lands on is the number of items you declutter right then. If you roll a six, declutter six items.

Why it works: This game adds an element of fun and randomness to the decluttering process. You may even find yourself wanting to keep going after your first roll! And with each roll, you’ll be one step closer to a clutter-free space.

Two-Minute Toy Toss: If you have kids, quickly go through their toys, removing broken or unused ones. Set a timer for two minutes and see how many toys you can declutter in that time.

Why it works: With a short amount of time dedicated to decluttering, it may not feel overwhelming or like a chore. Plus, kids will be less likely to resist if they know it’s only for two minutes.

7 Easy Hacks For Clearing Clutter

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Although they won’t create an instantly clutter-free space, using these hacks as part of your decluttering journey will make it feel nearly effortless to clear the clutter

Reverse Hanger Trick: Hang all your clothes with hangers facing backward; turn them the right way after wearing an item. After a year, donate clothes on hangers still facing backward.

Why it works: This classic closet hack is a great way to declutter your wardrobe without having to make any tough decisions in the moment. Instead, you’ll find the decisions have basically been made FOR you over a period of time. This makes it easier to let go.

One-Category Sweep: Pick one category (e.g., pens, socks, books, items from that one decor style you’re sick of dusting) and declutter it across the whole house.

Why it works: This is great for anyone who can’t deal with an entire pile or room of varied clutter. It prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by trying to tackle everything at once because you can develop ‘tunnel vision’ — in a good way! — by narrowing your focus to just the one category.

Spotlight Sorting: Create a ‘decision zone’ in your space, like an easily accessible hook or a special shelf. Place items you’re uncertain about in this zone. For instance, a couple of clothing items you rarely choose to wear. Label this their ‘trial week.’ If they go unused, directly move them to a donation box. 

Why it works: It’s a fun and clear way to decide what stays and what goes. Plus, it gives you a chance to revisit those items one last time before letting them go.

One-In, Two-Out Rule: For every new item brought in, two items must go… the same day.

Why it works: You’ve heard of the one-in, one-out rule — but that’s only for maintaining the status quo when it comes to clutter. With one-in, two-out, you’ll think even harder about whether or not you really want to bring home any new stuff if it means finding two things that will have to go.

Capsule Wardrobe Trial Run: Limit your wardrobe to 30 items for a month. 

Why it works: This challenge forces you to be intentional with your clothing choices and really evaluate what pieces you love and are essential to your daily life. It also helps you realize that you don’t need as many clothes as you think, and can inspire you to declutter even more items from your closet at the end of the month.

Gradual Growth 30-Day Strategy: This 30-day challenge is uniquely structured: on the first day, you choose one item to remove from your home. On the second, two items. By the time you reach day 20, you’re identifying and decluttering 20 items in a single day. 

Why it works: This increasing scale not only helps in making significant space in your home but also enhances your practice of decision-making skills. Do the math — in one month you could remove 465 items from your home!

One-A-Day Challenge: Remove one unnecessary item from your home each day.

Why this works: It’s so simple and NON-overwhelming that anyone can do it… every.single.day. It also helps shift the mindset from ‘How will I ever get rid of everything?’ to ‘I can do this one item at a time.’

6 Mindset-Shifting Decluttering Hacks

Bright and beautiful kitchen and dining area without clutter.

These hacks are especially for those who might feel overwhelmed by the entire process of dealing with clutter. It’s not just the stuff, but it’s also your brain getting in the way! 

Here are some tried-and-true hacks to help you start shifting that mindset so you can finally make progress on decluttering…

Pre-Make Decisions: Experience has taught me to ALWAYS make firm decisions BEFORE decluttering, such as deciding to donate everything instead of agonizing over whether to sell/donate/regift/etc. 

Why it works:  Making these decisions beforehand removes the emotional attachment and greatly reduces decision fatigue.

We often feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even guilty when faced with the task of deciding what to do with clutter and ‘making sure it goes to a good home.’ This can lead to procrastination and avoidance, meaning the stuff never actually leaves. But with pre-made decisions, we don’t have to think about it. The stuff just goes and we don’t have to feel guilty or overthink every item. 

Stay On Your Toes: To maintain a productive mindset during decluttering, try wearing shoes and avoid sitting down. 

Why it works: It sounds a little silly, but shoes and movement signal your brain that it’s time for ‘action mode.’ It’s a simple yet effective way to keep up the momentum and get the job done efficiently. 

Watch Hoarders: Watching old episodes of decluttering shows like ‘Hoarders’ is a sure-fire motivator. 

Why it works: These shows are always sobering and sometimes frightening. You almost can’t HELP but start clearing clutter. 

*Just remember that real-life decluttering is different than what they show on television. Get motivated from watching the show, but use a way to declutter that works for you.

Related: Do These 3 Things When You’re Overwhelmed By Clutter

The Big Black Bag: Introduce the ‘Big Black Bag’ into your decluttering routine. This is a regular black trash bag where you permit yourself to discard anything, no questions asked. (Don’t give yourself a chance to rethink this… put your Big Black Bag into the trash bin immediately after your decluttering session.)

Why it works: The idea is to allow yourself the freedom to let go of things, even if they’re still functional or valuable. This hack acknowledges the emotional hurdles in decluttering and offers a guilt-free solution. It’s a way to honor your mental well-being and acknowledge that sometimes, the best thing for you is to simply let things go. Once it’s in the bag, nobody ever needs to see it or think about it again.

While I do advocate donating or recycling MOST of the time, let’s be real… sometimes it’s just not possible, and sometimes you just have to do SOMETHING to begin clearing the clutter. This is that something. And it’s likely that you won’t discard ALL of your clutter this way, so relax and let go of the guilt about a few things going to the landfill. You can balance that later by NOT buying a bunch of new stuff that would eventually get tossed. See? It all works out.

Establish a ‘Memories Not Things’ Gifting Policy: Firmly — yet kindly — set a policy with family and friends to exchange gifts of experiences rather than physical objects. 

Why it works: This policy helps shift the emphasis from accumulating possessions to creating cherished memories, actively preventing clutter and enriching relationships through shared experiences. An alternative option would be allowing gifts of consumable items, but that can end up being just as tricky as getting a bunch of ‘stuff’ you’ll never use.

Related: Perfect Gifts For The Minimalist In Your Life

Flip the Script: Instead of the traditional approach of expressing gratitude to items, try a playful twist where you loudly ‘call out’ your items as you let them go. 

Why it works: Vocalizing all the reasons you DON’T love or need something can be surprisingly liberating. This lighthearted and slightly rebellious method can help prevent second-guessing your choices to let go of things that no longer serve you. By turning decluttering into a fun activity, you’ll find it easier to part with items without the usual hesitations.

For even more ideas to handle clutter, check out my full collection of decluttering tips.

More Decluttering And Organizing Resources

Clear Your Clutter: 10 Tiny Tasks to Get Big Results

5 Wardrobe Management Tips To Always Have An Organized Closet

Your Successful Decluttering Field Guide

62 Things to Declutter That You Won’t Miss at All

And there you have it – a treasure trove of home decluttering hacks, right at your fingertips! But remember, the true magic happens when these tips move from the screen into your living space. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start transforming your home, one clutter-free space at a time.

Don’t let the clutter win. Start small, maybe with just a 10-minute session today, and watch how these small victories add up to big changes. The beauty of these hacks is their simplicity and adaptability to your unique lifestyle. 

Pick a hack, any hack, and let’s get decluttering! Share your progress, successes, and your favorite hacks in the comments below — let’s inspire and motivate each other on this journey to clutter freedom.

Happy decluttering!

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3 thoughts on “20 Game-Changing Decluttering Hacks That Actually Work”

  1. Thanks for sharing! I was an episode of hoarders. I finally hired a team to come out and help me. To think back it’s amazing I was able to function. Yes I would have relapses & not invite anyone over for a month lol It’s been 3+ years now. I thank you and the other you tubers for giving me a guideline to follow. I am bipolar and sometimes there is no motivation but binge watching helps my mind set. I do thank you…. I love the surprise emails …this is a challenge. I can attest with the right help there is always hope!!! Thanks

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