Conquer Clutter for Good: A Room-by-Room Declutter Checklist


Dec. 30 2023, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

Three piles of clothes on a table, with paper signs saying, keep, donate and recycle on them.
Source: iStock

Have you ever found yourself in a wrestling match with your overflowing closet? Do your crowded countertops leave you defeated? If your clutter seems to multiply faster than dust bunnies under the fridge, it’s time to calm the chaos.

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This comprehensive declutter checklist will help you transform your home into the peaceful sanctuary you’ve always wanted. Grab a trash bag and some boxes for donations, and get ready to conquer your clutter for good!

Use this declutter checklist to transform your home room by room.

Decluttering improves your living space, but according to Psychology Today, it’s good for your mental well-being, too. Talk about a win-win!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task, try breaking it down. Focus on one room or category at a time, and be sure to follow the advice of Juliana from The Simplicity Habit and celebrate your progress!

Read on for our declutter checklist, organized by different rooms in your home.

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Woman looking into a cluttered closet holding her head in a state of overwhelm
Source: iStock

Clothing closet:

  • Clothes that haven't fit in years
  • Clothes with moth holes, mysterious stains, or those that are now questionable fashion choices
  • Duplicate items (how many black turtlenecks does one person need?
  • Seasonal wear you never reach for (Hawaiian shirts in Minnesota? Not likely.)
  • Uncomfortable shoes that make your feet cry
  • Accessories you haven't touched since the dawn of dial-up internet
  • Clothes you only wear for laundry day (because nobody sees you then, right?)
  • That fast fashion blouse that lost its shape after the first wash.
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  • Expired spices and condiments
  • Chipped mugs and cracked plates (what would Marie Kondo say?)
  • Utensils with more rust than function
  • Single-use appliances you haven't used since that one Pinterest recipe
  • Tupperware lids with nowhere to go (and their lonely, orphaned bottoms)
  • Gadgets that promised culinary revolution but only served as dust collectors.

Living Room:

  • Glossy magazines from 2007 (face it, that vision board ain’t gonna happen)
  • Coffee table books you've never cracked open
  • Decorative knick-knacks that are finicky to clean (and you don’t like that much anyway)
  • Furniture that no longer sparks joy (or structural integrity)
  • Expired electronics that belong in a museum, not your media console
  • Remote controls that have missing buttons, no batteries, and nothing to control.
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Uncluttered living room with wooden floors and a blue sofa, pot plant, and standing lamp creating a welcoming feel.
Source: iStock


  • Almost empty shampoo bottles languishing in the bathroom caddy
  • Expired makeup that’s older than your first AOL screen name
  • Towels that resemble sandpaper
  • Bath products you received as gifts but would never use on yourself
  • Mystery medications whose purpose is lost to time.
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  • Bedding that’s so worn you can see right through it
  • Pillows flatter than your Monday morning motivation
  • Books you started but never finished (donate them; they'll find their perfect reader)
  • Sentimental items that evoke more sadness than joy (it's okay to let them go)
  • The New Year’s resolution treadmill you used exactly once (and now drape your clothes on).

Bonus points:

  • Garage/basement/attic monstrosities that haven't seen the light of day in years
  • Expired car insurance papers, warranties, and receipts (digitize or ditch!)
  • Spare buttons, keys, and cables for appliances you no longer own
  • Instruction manuals for technology older than the internet
  • Dead batteries that mock your reliance on modern conveniences.
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Livingroom with piles of clothes on the floor and two boxes with donation written on the side
Source: Getty Images

Remember to declutter intentionally.

Decluttering isn't just about throwing things in the trash. Rather than send your unwanted items to the landfill, see if you can give them a new life elsewhere. Here are four things to consider doing with the stuff you don’t want:

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1. Donate: Give your gently used clothing, furniture, books, and household items to people in need, or to thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

2. Sell: If you need the extra money, online marketplaces, and garage sales are great for turning clutter into cash.

3. Barter: Find a Buy Nothing group in your area and give away your unwanted items for free.

4. Recycle: Some things, like textiles and electronics, often have specialized recycling options, so make sure to do your research.

Remember to approach decluttering like a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself, have fun, and enjoy the transformation of your home and the inner peace that comes with it.

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