77 Minimalist Tips to Declutter and Organize Your Home

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Decluttering your home is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. Here are 77 of the best tips to help you declutter and organize so you can create a minimalist home.

1. Declutter old shoes that don’t fit

I’ve been guilty of saying “But they’re so cute!!” If they make your feet hurt, are you wearing them? If not, one of the best things to declutter is old shoes you’ll never wear again (or if you don’t, they hurt!)

declutter and organize old small grey shoes

2. Set a goal for the number you want to declutter (and cross things off as you go)

One great strategy for decluttering is to say “I’m going to declutter 10 things today!” or even “I am going to declutter 1000 items from my house this year.” I ADORE a checklist to cross off too! These tips can help you reach your goal of a minimalist home because you have a tangible plan.

3. Cubbies can be helpful (just don’t let things get lost in their depths)

Cubbies can be like a junk drawer, they are great to put things you need to access on a whim, but can easily become cluttered. Be mindful of what you store and consider only keeping defined items in them (gloves, mittens, etc.).

4. Identify the most important things and only keep things that matter or that you use

One way of looking at what to keep is if you like something (artwork), if it’s important (sentimental), or if you use it. I love this tip to help organize and declutter the home more easily!

5. Take before photos!

One of the best things to do on your decluttering journey is to keep a record of your progress. This is a fun tip to do before you organize or declutter because you can see how far you have come (even if you’re not done yet!). It can be scary like bikini photos before starting a new health routine, but you will thank yourself!

6. Get a label maker and use it to label your organized things

Can’t find things? Use this tip after you declutter and organize. A well intentioned label maker is a fantastic tool! This also helps the family know where things go when they’re putting things away.

A hand holding an old label maker using the label tip to declutter and organize

7. Use a dish rack

If you don’t have a dishwasher, drying items on a tea towel can take up a lot of space. Using a dish rack (and emptying it quickly) is a great way to save space.

8. Load your dishwasher as soon as you can

I don’t love having dirty dishes all over my counter (despite what it might look like right now), so loading the dishwasher right away can give you a fresh start in the morning when you walk in your tidy kitchen.

9. Empty your dishwasher as soon as you can

I also love emptying the dishwasher ASAP because that way you can add dishes as they come in.

10. Create a maybe pile (penalty box) for items you’re not sure about

I’m obsessed with the penalty box (hockey reference for us Canadians) for placing items in for a specified time (maybe 3 months). If you don’t go looking for the items during a specified period of time then you know you don’t use it, so you can declutter it!

11. Use hooks to hang & organize

Getting things off surfaces and crammed drawers can be as easy as hanging them up. 3M makes great hangers for brooms. There are handy hooks for things from coats to wreaths!

12. Use clear storage containers

Clear storage containers are helpful because we can see what’s inside. I personally prefer to keep this style of storage container out of sight mind you because the clear containers can be less visually appealing.

13. Use the Kon Mari method and only keep items you love and enjoy 

Marie Kondo’s Kon Mari method is handy for keeping only what “sparks joy.” I like this strategy for the sentimental things we are on the fence about.

14 Don’t donate items in poor condition (throw away or recycle–if possible)

Donation centres get a lot of items each day. I like to only donate things that are in decent condition. No rips or broken things…that said, some places will recycle what you give them. Check your local municipal recycling centres for options and directions.

15. Keep your reusable bags organized

Reusable shopping bags are so handy! I LOVE the collapsible boxes that make every cashier love me because they are so easy to use. Keep them organized in a closet or even your car so they are ready to use.

16. Keep items you use often in an accessible location

Keeping things near the point of performance is great! Like keeping your tea near your tea kettle! Just make sure they are tucked away and tidy.

17. Use baskets sparingly 

Ugh baskets! Clutter catchers extraordinaires! Baskets are OK, but I like to make sure they have a designated job and have a specific content type. Like pasta or blankets. What else does one think of when they think of baskets? Also sort through them regularly.

18. Keep your makeup organized in an organizer

I like to keep makeup in a small bag. If you like to use a lot of makeup, an organizing box (remember caboodles??) would work great!

19. Go through makeup to ensure it’s not outdated 

Did you know makeup has an expiry date? Yep! Check it and be sure it is not outdated. I found this handy site to see if your makeup is expired or not https://checkcosmetic.net/

old lipstick and mascara on a counter. going through makeup is a tip to declutter and organize

20. Use vertical storage to keep things off the ground

Getting things off the ground is one of the BEST ways to organize and declutter your home! I had a small shelf built for my pantry and it is AWESOME not having stuff on the ground.

21. Use under-bed storage for things you don’t use often

If space is limited, under your bed can be a fantastic place to hide things you don’t use regularly like wrapping supplies, luggage or more.

22. Use a caddy to organize cleaning supplies

A handy caddy is great for toting your cleaning supplies around, so you always have what you need right with you!

23. Use a closet organizer to organize your closet

Closet organizers can be great for keeping things separate in your closet or even creating a fun capsule wardrobe. Many have small spaces for things like scarves and ties, and some also have rods to hang blouses and more.

24. Only keep clothes you wear

Consider this tip when you declutter and organize, don’t keep clothes that make you feel bad!

If you take one thing away from this, only keep what you use. If you don’t fit something, but might soon (especially if it’s only a size or two off and you’re actively working at shrinking), consider keeping it. If you’re not sure, try the next tip.

25. Turn the hanger backwards to see if you wear those clothes within the year

Turn hangers around to see if you wear something during its next season. If you don’t, you can donate it in good conscience.

26. Keep a donation box in your garage or a spare room

Having a spot to put things to be donated handy can make decluttering on a regular basis easier. Just make sure you do the following regularly…

27. Donate on a frequent basis

If I’m in an active decluttering phase, I like to drop things off weekly. It’s not great to sort a bunch of things only to have them stay in your garage for another year.

28. Use a storage bench to keep things off the floor & tucked away

A great solution to mittens, scarves, baseball hats and gloves is to keep them in a handy storage bench.

29. Use a spice rack to organize your spices

Once I put these spice racks up on my wall, it made finding spices SO much easier…it would help even more if I kept them alphabetized…I need to work on that!

three spices sitting on wall rack should be decluttered when expired
three of my fave spices that don’t get old, but declutter the old ones

30. Use a tool organizer

A workbench is great or even just a tool organizer in the garage, shed or utility room is an easy way to tackle areas with so much stuff.

31. Organize your jewelry in a jewelry box

No more random boxes or drawers, I like to make sure things are safe in a jewelry box.

32. Use a towel rack to keep them neat & organized

Does anyone else have teenagers who like to throw things on the floor? A towel rack can help! If people use them that is…

33. Use the ”one in one out” rule 

One of the easy things to practice is the in-one-out rule. Whenever you buy a shirt, declutter one or two. This is a great minimalist tip to keep decluttering as you shop.

34. Organize your pans from large to small

If you keep pans and pots in your kitchen organized from large to small, it makes your kitchen storage spaces neater AND makes it easier to find things.

35. A minimalist colour scheme can create a peaceful & cohesive environment

One of the easiest ways to create a nice, peaceful minimalist home is to limit using multiple colours. I’m not saying no colour, just to use careful colour. What is the purpose of a room? In your living room, it’s hanging out and relaxing with family. I like to limit visual stimulation in spaces like this.

36. Storage shelves are handy, but only keep what you need (no need to fill them!) 

Storage shelves are great, but I also like to make sure no one is going to have a hard time putting things away. So have some of what truly needs to be stored, but don’t hang onto things you don’t need.

37. Use a hamper (with sections is best)

A hamper with sections so you can sort as you change your clothes is super handy so you spend less time on wash day!

A 4 section hamper is a great way to stay organized and tidy

38. Organize your cutting boards on their sides

A nice easy tip is to organize things vertically. Tipping them on their sides is a great professional organizer tip!

39. Keep a minimalist mindset when agreeing to commitments

A great key to a minimalist lifestyle is recognizing you don’t want to clutter your time either! So yes to what you truly want (or need to do). I always like to say “I’m not sure, I’ll check my calendar and will get back to you IF I CAN” (don’t yell that last part)

40. Ask for help with decluttering (and listen!) 

A great way to get family members involved with the decluttering process is to ask your family or friends for help. Even children can start in easier spaces. If you are struggling and you ask a friend to help you stay on track, be sure to truly consider their advice.

41. Keep a running list of things to buy when shopping

This is a great way to avoid impulse buying and to keep your clutter-free home decluttered. Don’t buy what you don’t need and what is not on your list.

42. Don’t go shopping hungry

Just like above, it is SO easy to fall into temptation when you’re hungry and those brownies are looking oh-so-tasty! Avoid shopping when you’re hungry, or sad because you might end up bringing home things you don’t even want or need.

43. Explore why you feel you need to shop

Shopping can scratch a lot of itches for many of us. When we dropped my son off at college, all of a sudden I was visiting online shopping sites. It occurred to me that I was looking at Lululemon because I was sad. Keep in mind your mental health when shopping.

44. Use 3M devices to organize brooms & handles

There are a lot of home organizers you can find. The 3M broom handles are awesome for just pushing them onto the wall and walking away. You know I love when things are off the ground.

45. Have designated spots for things like keys or mail

Keeping things in a specific area can make them easier to find AND keep your space tidier.

keys in a bowls are a way to keep your home minimalist

46. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year (or in its designated season)

Another part of minimalist living is to review what we are using and not using. Did you use your skis last winter? Are you going this winter? Be honest with yourself and use the penalty box to decide if you need it. 

47. Keep a minimalist mindset when gift-giving or receiving

When giving gifts to people, consider if you are giving them out of obligation or if it is something you believe your loved one will truly use and/or need. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be adding to anyone’s problems, especially around clutter. When receiving, remember you don’t HAVE to keep gifts just because a loved one gave it to you. 

Consider if you’ll use it and where you will keep it when deciding if you want to keep the gift. You can always return, donate or sell gifts. I know this is a weighted topic.

48. Prioritize functionality when deciding what to keep

There is nothing wrong with keeping things you use. Sometimes though, we keep things that require a lot of upkeep. I had an alarm clock once that needed you to hold the button down for 1 full minute to turn the little light on. NOT worth keeping something that doesn’t work well. Replace it.

49. If it’s too much to look at, it’s too much to look at

Oh my goodness, YES. Let’s allow our precious eyes to have a break every now and then. One of the great things about hotel rooms is that there is a bit of bare wall with one or two wall hangings. Plus, minimal decor. White space is SO nice to really allow the decor you love to pop. Less is more with decor!

50. Declutter duplicates

I LITERALLY just finished deleting some digital photos that had duplicates, so there’s that option. One common thing you’ll notice in a minimized home is we tend to limit multiples of different things. 

I had a client years ago who had 15 spatulas because her mom would give her one every year. Now, in my daily life, I do need more than 1 spatula, but I don’t need 15! 

Truly evaluate what similar items can stay or go.

51. Declutter anything not bringing you joy or serving an actual purpose.

Keep in mind that if you enjoy looking at something and you are being honest with yourself, yes, keeping some pieces of artwork is very important. This is one of the wonderful things about the Konmari method. If it brings you joy, keep it.

If it doesn’t bring you joy and it doesn’t have a purpose, let it go!

52. Use a minimalist approach to social media (you can use your phone settings or apps to help)

Some of us pick up our phones for short bursts of social media multiple times per day. Like 50! Maybe a better idea is to schedule it in and use social media for a little bit.

53. Use digital storage for documents & photos

A nice way to organize photos is to keep them digitally. If you’re like me, and you had kids after digital cameras were invented, you’re in luck, but that doesn’t me I don’t have a pile of photos to digitize. Yes, it may take a long time. but it is SO great to keep things organized in a safe digital manner.

54. Maintain a clutter-free zone

I find it SUPER helpful to limit areas of the house where we are allowed to put things. Flat surfaces are a no-go! Have a basket for things meant to go upstairs and deal with things as they come up.

55. Use multipurpose items that save space

I know it might sound crazy, but an Instant Pot can do many things AND save you space! A Vitamix that is a blender, but also has a food processor attachment is genius!

56. Practice mindfulness to stay in the moment 

It’s so easy to let our minds and hearts wander. Staying in the moment can be hard, but I like to try to be mindful of what I’m doing.

57. Store storage containers with the lids on

I used this tip the last time I ventured into my drawers to declutter and organize. I used to resist this idea, but now I know it’s SO much easier to keep the cupboards clean.

58. Keep commonly used utensils in an accessible spot

I keep my knives, spatulas and turnings in an easier place like right next to the stove.

59. Keep less used utensils in the more inconvenient spots

I keep the potato masher and things I don’t use daily (or even weekly) further away from the stove.

60. Learn to let go of sentimental items that aren’t serving you or make you feel bad

The burden of clutter is more than just unwanted items, it can also be keeping things that have negative connotations to them.

61. Practice self-discipline and resist the urge to impulse buy

Consider your burden ratio when shopping. Where are you going to keep it? Where’s the first place you would look for it? 

62. Don’t keep or buy unitaskers

Alton Brown would call an avocado scoop a unitasker. If you use it, keep it, but if it just does one thing and you can use a knife or something else, consider letting it go.

63. Use a minimalist approach to home organization 

Less stuff equals more time and energy. Declutter, then organize. Even working in small chunks will have you living in a decluttered paradise in no time.

64. Simplify your daily routine and prioritize the essentials

I love the idea of getting the annoying bits out of the way early! Do them first! Laundry, blech!

65. Don’t over-schedule yourself

This brings me to only doing what you truly need to or want to do.

66. Learn to live with less and appreciate the things you have. Life is not about things

A big part of decluttering and minimalism is the mindset shift of living. Not living with less, but LIVING.

67. Only keep the cookbooks you use 

If you only use one recipe or none at all, let it go! (you can always take a photo or photocopy).

over twenty cookbooks on their sides. tip is to organize cookbooks by colour size or cuisine after you declutter.
My little cookbook addiction

68. Consider the one-in-one-out method with cookbooks too

I have a cookbook addiction. This is the first year I didn’t get one for Christmas (and that’s ok), however when I do get a new one, I remove at least one!

69. Practice gratitude instead of acquiring more

On my minimalist journey, I realized that I have a LOT in my life. Not just stuff, but gifts! I have air, I have a home, I have clothes. Gratitude is a beautiful thing.

70. Don’t keep just-in-case things

If you don’t use something, yet you’re keeping it thinking “I could use it someday”, you’re not considering the clutter cost of keeping something that you’ll likely never use. If you are CERTAIN you WILL use it one day, keep it in a small area and revisit the idea in the future


71. Always celebrate your wins (I drink tea to celebrate)

I love tea and that’s often how I celebrate hitting small goals. Perhaps a bigger goal (like decluttering a whole room or some harder spaces) deserves dinner out!


72. Focus on quality over quantity for entertainment 

Maybe it’s big or small destination points, but the important thing is the people


73. Experience gifts are some of the best!

Even a small trip can be fun! I have a friend who took her kids on the ferry to Vancouver (from Vancouver Island). Not far, but very fun!

74. Schedule your decluttering sessions

Have a little plan to declutter which can help you reach your decluttering goals fast.

75. Make a plan AS you work

Don’t get stuck in the planning phase, make sure you’re still working towards your goals as you plan.

76. Donate towels and some cleaning supplies to animal shelters

I like to get a donation pile ready to take to animal shelters. They don’t mind if the towels are a bit frayed.

77. Tackle mail immediately when you receive it

Junk mail goes in the recycling, shred what needs to be shredded and take photos of what needs photos. This will keep paper clutter at bay.

Other helpful articles

A to Z Minimalist Home Decluttering Strategies 2024 

The 30-day Minimalism Game to Declutter your Home in 2024

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