Get Your House Ready to Sell 30 Day Challenge

10 Steps to Declutter Your Home

Updated: October 25, 2020

Is Your Home Messy Right Now? 

Be honest!  If you’re like most of us, we are NOT visitor ready.  i.e. We secretly hope that friends don’t ring the doorbell without notice. And if they call us that they are on their way over, we run madly around the main floor scurrying up clutter stuffing it away in a spare room, closing the door behind us just as the doorbell rings.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  There is a better solution. Here are 10 easy steps to keep your home visitor ready !

1. Make a date with your clutter.

It helps to pick a day & time to start. Otherwise, it does not get done if left to chance. Start with 5 minutes, 10 – 15 minutes or an area like a drawer – whatever works for you.  JUST START !

Athletes always listen to upbeat music before they start a race.  Why not put your favorite upbeat music on while you declutter?

2. Pick a target. Go through each room one room at a time!

Start with ONE room or area i.e. closet, drawer, pantry, desk, night stand, coffee table etc. Some people pick the area that is bugging them the most.   If that is too overwhelming, pick a simple area and work your way up. JUST START SOMEWHERE!

3. Visualize the room or space of how you want it to look like.family-room-makeover-add-value-to-your-home-debi-collinson

This will help you get to your end goal. Get pictures from a blog, Pinterest or a magazine to help you visualize what you want the room to look like when you’re done.  This will not only help you get to your end goal, it will also help you decide what should stay and what should go!   Motivate yourself and stick up your favorite inspirational piece so you can see it daily.

4. Group like things together. 

Group all your like items together.  This way you can find out if you have 8 serving platters, 5 of which you never use because you forgot you had them or 10 pairs of black shoes when you only wear 3. It gives you a chance to really look objectively at what you have, what you use, or what you can get rid of.

If an item is not beautiful or functional, it serves no purpose and should not be taking up space in your home.

  • Clothes – all your pants, blouses, sweaters etc. – sort them by colour
  • Crafts, fabric
  • Pencils, file folders, office supplies etc.
  • Pantry – all like food together, cans, pastas, cereals etc.
  • Toys – sort by type – get your kids to help
  • You pick an area!

5. Get 3 bins – mark them: donation

  1.  Keep

    If you still use it or wear it in the past year. Trash/recycle – Past the expiry date/broken/won’t work. Be ruthless. Get rid of the stuff you don’t absolutely love or use. Just because someone gave you something, doesn’t mean you need to keep it.

  2. Donate

    Don’t use it or wear it but still in good condition.

  3. Trash/Recycle 

Anything past the expiry date/broken/won’t work.  BE RUTHLESS.  Get rid of the stuff you don’t absolutely love or use.  Just because someone gave you something, doesn’t mean you need to keep it!

If an item is broken or missing a part, and has been like that for a year or over, throw it out or donate it.  Chances are, it will be like that for another year if you keep it.

6. Put the “keep” items back in their place. Everything in your home should have a spot for it.

  1. Buy bins, boxes etc to organize your sorted stuff. Dollar stores have some really cute bins.
  2. Don’t leave items on the floor. If it can’t fit in your closet, desk etc., you may need to relook at what you’re keeping. You might have too much for the size of your space.
  3. Put items in places where they logically belong. Eg Keep hats, mittens etc in a bin by your front closet. Have a basket for shoes too. Put your pots & pans near the stove etc.
  4. You can keep seasonal items like clothes or holiday decorations & plates etc downstairs for example, if you don’t need them for months at a time.

7.  Deal with the papers | Become paperless.

  1. Sign up to have all your bills paperless.
  2. Organzie your computer to keep track off your invoices & bills for income tax purposes.
  3. Have a file drawer for the current year. Keep your health info, bills, manuals, warranties, insurance policies etc. filed away in one area for easy access.
  4. Recycle junk mail as soon as you get it
  5. Unsubscribe to magazines etc that come into the house that you do not read.  Recycle old magazines that you have read.

8.  Never leave a room empty handed.

Every time you leave a room, take something to throw out or to take with you to put away in the where you are going.Get in the habit of picking up and doing something with items that don’t belong in the room where they are in right away.

 9.  Keep the waste baskets handy.

This trendy 3 sort bin station by Pottery Barn can be rolled away when needed
This trendy 3 sort bin station by Pottery Barn can be rolled away when needed

Have your garbage bin, recycling bin, compost bin, and donation bin in an area where it is easy to access (but not on display). If they tucked away and hard to reach, you will think twice about decluttering.

10. Keep it that way.

  1. Treat everything you bring into your home like groceries.   You put your groceries right away. Do that with everything else you bring in.
  2. Make a rule with yourself for that everyone 1 item that you bring into the home, you need to take something else.
  3. Shed your closets seasonally. Go through them at the end of the season to be ready for the following year.  Make a note of items/clothes that you need to get for the following season.


Welcome! I’m Debi Collinson. Home Stylist. Stager. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I staged my very first home. Staging houses was just starting to become popular. I watched every staging show on HGTV that I could find. I was very nervous staging my first house, but the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & designing spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page, and buying “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent them out. Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning and how to sell your house for top dollar!

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