How to Declutter Your House in One Day

If the clutter problem in your home has been running rampant for far too long, you may find the idea of eliminating it all in one go to be an appealing option. You may be getting ready for company or just trying to tackle the problem quickly before you lose your gumption. Either way, the key to decluttering your house in just one day is proactive organization and good time management.

  1. Remove all obvious trash using a lawn and leaf garbage bag. A large garbage bag will help you move efficiently through every room. Don't think about other tasks until you've finished this one; getting rid of the litter will make the rest of the day's work seem less daunting.

  2. Pick up the recycling. If you've got a lot of it, grab some large boxes or bins for those as well; if you keep the large recycling bins outside, save time and energy by bringing them inside for this task rather than carrying multiple loads out.

  3. Divide the remaining clutter into categories. Walk from room to room and observe what sorts of items are sitting out and where they belong when put in their proper space. Most often, household clutter comes in the form of commonly used items that don't get put away after use, so you'll likely be making categories such as, "books," "clothes," "office supplies," "games," "toys," and "dishes." Notice how much clutter fits into various categories.

  4. Create more storage space. Excessive clutter is often caused by inadequate storage space. Items are left out because the effort to put them away requires reorganizing storage to make room for more things. If this is the case with your clutter, take some time in your day to make a run out to the nearest "big box" or department store and buy some storage units. If you're working on a budget, buy inexpensive storage like plastic storage bins and hanging cloth shelves, or simply use clean cardboard boxes that can be stored in closets or under beds temporarily.

  5. Organize your remaining time by tasks. Make a cleaning schedule for yourself and set time limits, giving yourself some free "catch-up" time at the end of the day. Divide your tasks by room or by the clutter-type categories from Step 3, depending on which seems easier to you.

  6. Set alarms. Set a watch or phone alarm to ring and indicate to you when the allotted time for a task is about to end (with, say, a "warning alarm" of 15 minutes to allow you to finish) and another when the time is over. This will help you keep track of time and encourage extra hustle to get things done on time.

About the Author

Lauren Vork has been a writer for 20 years, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "The Lovelorn" online magazine and thecvstore.net. Vork holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from St. Olaf College.