[Download video or download audio]

Getting started tackling a house full of clutter can be difficult because the task is too overwhelming. It’s important, then, to start small.

You don’t need to take on the mountain. Just start with one rock at a time.

A good idea I got years ago from the Fly Lady is to start with your kitchen sink: Clear out your sink (wash any dishes), clean it well, and get it nice and shiny. This is something you can do in 5-10 minutes (depending on how many dishes there are), and it has a motivating effect.

Now the trick is to keep this sink clean and shiny. From here, you can expand: clear your kitchen counters, and wipe them clean. Clear your kitchen floors of clutter. Keep these areas clean for a few days.

Expand to other rooms — table tops, then floors, then shelves, then closets. One surface at a time. But keep the sink clean, and any areas you’ve already decluttered and cleaned, keep them clean.

You don’t need to tackle all of this overnight. You can do it a little at a time — just 10 minutes a day, or more if you like. If you want, you can schedule a weekend of decluttering, but it’s not necessary. Gradually, you’ll get there.

To Keep Going

Other than by expanding on your clear, clutter-free zone … you can continue this progress in two good ways:

  1. Start by realizing you already have enough. We’ll talk about this soon, but it’s good to start thinking about it. Being content with what you have is important, or all the decluttering in the world won’t matter, because you’ll just want more.
  2. Start simplifying your schedule. Cut back on commitments, start saying no to new commitments, take the unnecessary stuff out of your schedule, and leave some breathing room. Allow yourself to focus on the important stuff.

Doing these two things will help you find the space to continue decluttering, and also start developing the mindset of contentment and enough.


Start with your kitchen sink today, using your 10-minute declutter session.