Are you ready to declutter a room or your entire home, but you’re unsure if you have the proper decluttering tools to help you get the job done?
Fortunately, you can start decluttering with only a few supplies you probably already have, like trash bags and containers to help you sort your items as you work.
A cluttered home can negatively affect mental health, but clearing clutter can still be a challenge. These tips for decluttering tools can help the process go faster and make it more likely that you’ll maintain your organized space after you’ve finished.
1. Trash Bags
Trash bags are the first decluttering tools you need. You’ll probably be surprised how much trash you’ll remove as you declutter. Any bags will do, but heavy-duty black trash bags work better than white kitchen bags, especially if you have trouble getting rid of clutter.
For instance, if you’ve kept something broken, torn, or stained for years, putting it in a black trash bag keeps it out of sight and out of mind. You won’t be as tempted to pull it out if you can’t see through the bag.
Holding a bag with one hand can slow the process down and cause frustration. One of the best tips for decluttering tools like trash bags is to put your bag inside a large trash can or a cardboard box. Using a can or box will hold the bag open wide and keep your hands free.
2. Large Containers for Sorting
Not everything you need to get rid of will be trash, so how do you handle the items you need to remove from a particular area but don’t want to throw out? A few large containers will let you sort your things into broad categories and help you organize them later.
Any large containers will work. If you have empty cardboard boxes or laundry baskets, you might not need to purchase these decluttering tools. If you don’t have suitable containers, inexpensive bankers boxes or moving boxes work well. Some of the best tips for decluttering tools like these are to have at least two large containers.
Label one “Keep” for items you need to keep but should store in another part of your home. Mark the other one as “Donate” for items you intend to donate to charities like Goodwill or give to friends and family who might be able to use them.
You may also want a container for items you’ll sell on eBay, Etsy, or Facebook Marketplace, but commit to listing them for sale immediately. Don’t let the idea that you’ll sell them “someday, maybe” allow you to hang on to clutter.
3. A Timer
Tips for decluttering tools and techniques usually include a timer to make the process easier and less overwhelming. Set your timer for 15-30 minutes or however long you think you can focus on decluttering, and then reset it for however long you feel you need a break.
You can use the timer on your smartphone, a kitchen timer, or the one built into your smart home device like Google Home or Alexa.
4. Your Smartphone or a Camera
A couple of great tips for decluttering tools like phones or cameras are to take before and after photos and to take pictures of things you know you should get rid of but have trouble removing from your home.
Before and After Decluttering Photos
Take photos of your space before you remove anything. Before and after photos are great decluttering tools because they help you see how far you’ve come.
If you start feeling discouraged in the middle of decluttering, stop and take a photograph. Compare it to the “before” shot to see your progress and motivate you to keep going.
Photos of Items as Keepsakes
Some items are hard to get rid of, like things we don’t use or need but feel reluctant to part with or obligated to keep. Favorite clothes that no longer fit or gifts from people who’ve passed away fall into this category.
Taking photos may help you get rid of those types of belongings because you’ll know you can still look at them anytime. Photos take up almost no space and can be a compromise between parting with something forever or letting it clutter your home.
5. Storage Containers
While you’re decluttering, you need to focus on the items you want to remove from your home and get rid of as much as you can. However, you’ll need some storage containers to help you organize what’s left. Underbed boxes, totes, bins, and baskets let you corral the things you keep and provide a limit.
You can purchase a handheld label maker for your labeling needs, print labels from your computer, or use a Cricut device to create custom labels for your shelves and storage containers.
Labeling helps you know exactly where your things go and makes it easier to keep your home tidy and decluttered. If everything in your home has a designated place, you can avoid junk drawers and jumbles of miscellaneous items that lead to clutter build-up.
7. Shelves, Hooks, and Hangers
Sometimes piles of clutter appear because we lack storage space. Hanging storage on the walls clears the floor and keeps items organized and out of the way.
Hooks and hangers on the backs of doors work well for lightly worn clothing, scarves, or robes, while shelves can help other items get off the floor and surfaces like dressers and countertops to eliminate visual clutter.
8. A Permanent Donation Box
A cardboard box in a closet or somewhere easy to access can help you maintain your decluttering progress. Add things to it as you encounter them during small decluttering sessions or as you notice them.
When the box is full, haul it to your favorite donation center and put a new one in its place to start again.
Put Your Decluttering Tools to Work
One of the most necessary decluttering tools is the willingness to take that first step and make a change. Get started today and see what a difference clearing the clutter can make in your life.