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  • Writer's pictureTheFineRefine

The Ultimate Decluttering System

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

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The ultimate home decluttering system 5 steps

Less is More

My home is my castle, my sanctuary, my temple.

It took me a very long time to develop the habits and systems I use to keep my home in order.

In this post I'll be detailing a "decluttering system" I use as a Certified Professional Organizer and in my own home to keep clutter at bay.

Clutter definition items that have no use are not entertaining and have no decorative or sentimental value.


Why is clutter so bad?

You want your home to be easy to live in and especially easy to care for. The easier it is to care for your home the easier it will be to have more time and space for actually LIVING!

The goal when organizing should always be to increase livable space.


Where to Start

We live in a time of excess! Excess products, excess shoes, excess makeup, excess skincare, etc.. Owning 10 of each and continuously trying new products is a vicious cycle that hurts your wallet and your home.

This is why the first step to EVERY organizing project I tackle is

DECLUTTERING using the Tools, Toys, Trash, and Treasures system

Decluttering system for purging and sorting tools, toys, treasures and trash.

*Disclaimer: this organization strategy was covered in the book: Guide to Becoming a Professional Organizer by FabJob. Linked here.


01. Sort

*Rule: Please sort ONE area at a time, don't attempt to sort an entire room all at once.

Sort your items into 4 piles:

System for decluttering, purging, sorting, toys, tools, treasures, trash.

  1. Toys - items that are entertaining and frequently used. (Ex: your speaker, candles, books, TV remotes, games)

  2. Tools - items that are useful and frequently used. (Ex: hairbrush, shampoo, lamp, tissues, wall art. Remember decorative items serve a purpose (Ambiance).

  3. Treasures - items that have sentimental value but have no use. (Ex: antique hand mirror)

  4. Trash - items that are rarely used, are not entertaining, are expired, damaged or items you have more than one of. (Ex: expired make-up, the shampoo you don't use anymore, that sponge that smells weird, that old epilator you hate, the 10 extra nail clippers you found, that vase that's just not your style)

System for decluttering, purging, sorting, toys, tools, treasures, trash.


02. Edit your Tools

Group the like items in your tool pile together and EDIT.

This is where we can truly visualize PRODUCT EXCESS. If you have multiple items that do the same thing why not just keep the best items and donate, gift or sell the rest? Just because something is in good condition doesn't mean you need to keep it. Especially if you're trying to keep your home organized and functional.

You can manage with just the essentials and there is no real reason to have multiple items that do the same thing.

So go through your "TOOLS" and revise how much stuff you actually need. I guarantee you will find something that you either have more of or you don't need at all.

Re-locate these items to the TRASH pile.

**This doesn't mean they're going to be thrown away. Relax.


03. Edit Toys

If you're the type of person who likes to read, or you have a hobby you love then you may not have much to edit here but skim through your items anyway make sure you only keep what you're actually going to use.

Anything you won't gets relocated to the TRASH pile.


04. Edit Treasures

Display or Transform your treasures. for example: Frame a family heirloom and display it, hang your father's guitar, turn those old baby clothes into a quilt.

Sentimental items should be treated as important pieces because that is exactly WHY you are keeping them.

If you're just going to stuff them in a box are they really that important to you? Are they really treasures?


Related: How to Organize according to your Lifestyle and Personality


05. Edit Trash

Go through your trash pile and sort items into a DISCARD bag, DONATE bag, or a SELL bag.

There are wonderful sites like eBay, and Poshmark that will help you easily sell your unwanted clothes and items.

(*Use Promo Code: THEFINEREFINE for a $15 Poshmark credit)

Nothing should be leftover from this pile unless it is an item that DIDN'T belong there, to begin with.


Now that you only have the essential items you are ready to organize and contain them :)

Related: Organize your bathroom in 15 steps

the ultimate bathroom organization guide




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