Declutter Your Home on a Budget: The Ultimate Guide
Living in a cluttered home can make you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and out of control. Clutter collects everywhere – countertops, closets, drawers, basements – making it difficult to find things and keep spaces clean and organized.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a fortune to declutter your house and get organized. With some decluttering tips, motivation, and elbow grease, you can make serious progress without spending much money at all. This ultimate guide covers everything you need to know to tackle clutter in your home room-by-room on a budget.
Why Decluttering Is Important
Before diving into the how-to’s of decluttering, it’s helpful to review why getting organized matters. Here are some of the top benefits of decluttering your home:
- Reduces stress & anxiety – Cluttered homes contain excess items and unfinished tasks that can weigh on your mind. Decluttering helps lift this mental burden.
- Saves time – Knowing where things are and having systems in place lets you quickly grab what you need instead of searching every drawer and cabinet.
- Increases productivity – With clutter out of the way, it’s easier to accomplish tasks efficiently. You’ll get more done.
- Improves your mood – Having clean, tidy rooms boosts your outlook and mental health. It just feels good!
- Saves money – Getting rid of excess stuff saves you money on storage units, replacements when items get lost in the clutter, and even makes packing/moving easier.
Now that you know all the reasons why decluttering matters, let’s look at tips to declutter your entire home without spending much, if any, money.
Budget Decluttering Tips By Room
The key to affordable, effective decluttering is tackling one room or zone at a time. Here is a breakdown of tips and tasks for each room grouped into quick wins and bigger projects:
- Clear counter clutter
- Organize pantry shelves
- Purge old food from fridge/freezer
- Clean out drawers and cabinets
- Label containers and shelves
- Categorize kitchen tools in divider trays
- Install pull-out shelving
- Replace worn-out appliances
- Dust shelves/surfaces
- Put away books/media
- Hide cords & wires
- Declutter coffee tables
- Add storage furniture
- Install wall organization
- Rearrange furniture
- Categorize media
- Make bed daily
- Fold/put away laundry
- Dust ceiling fans/lights
- Declutter nightstands
- Organize closets
- Add shelving
- Purge clothes
- Buy mattress/pillows
- Wipe down surfaces
- Toss expired products
- Fold & put away towels
- Organize under sink
- Add built-in storage
- Install new fixtures
- Replace accessories
- Categorize toiletries
Garage & Basement
- Sweep floors
- Toss trash & recycling
- Hang tools/gear
- Consolidate boxes
- Add shelving units
- Label bins & shelves
- Repaint walls/floors
- Install lighting
7 Decluttering Strategies to Use Room-by-Room
As you tackle decluttering your home on a room-by-room basis, employ these key decluttering strategies to make the process more manageable and effective:
- Set a timer – Work in focused 15-30 minute bursts then take a short break. This keeps momentum going.
- Start with “junk spots” – Clear the flat surfaces like counters and coffee tables first to make quick progress.
- Toss as you go – Have a trash and donation box on hand to immediately discard unneeded items.
- Categorize into “like with like” – Group items into matching categories using baskets, bins and dividers.
- Limit storage furniture – Adding too much storage just gives you room to clutter up again later.
- Maintain an “entry/exit policy’ – Only allow an item in if another item leaves to avoid buildup.
- Touch items once – Decide whether to toss, donate or keep each item the first time you pick it up.
Combining these guidelines with the room-by-room game plan outlined earlier will set you up for affordable, long-lasting success as you declutter your home.
Decluttering Supplies List
You likely already have many of the supplies needed to declutter your home right in your closets and garage. But here is a list of useful items to support your efforts room-by-room:
- Shelf dividers
- Plastic bins & canisters
- Small trays
For Living Room:
- Storage ottomans
- Basket organizers
- Cable clips & ties
- Media storage
- Underbed containers
- Shelving units
- Drawer organizers
- Under sink caddies
- Matching bins
- Wall storage
- Tiered shelving
For Garage & Basement:
- Storage hooks
- Utility shelves
- Totes & storage bins
- Peg boards
You certainly don’t need to buy all of theseORGANIZER products. Choose a few key items for rooms you plan to tackle first. Check dollar stores, thrift shops and garage sales for deals before buying supplies new.
Top 10 Affordable Decluttering Tips
If your decluttering budget is very tight, use these completely free or nearly free tips to make progress:
- The “one in, one out” rule – When bringing something new home, something old must leave. Prevents buildup.
- The packing party trick – Fill boxes as if you’re moving then unpack only essentials. Gets rid of excess.
- Photo favorites then purge the rest – Photograph keepsake collections then keep only true favorites.
- Garage sale – Sell unwanted furniture, decor, media and clothing rather than donating.
- Trash bag tidying – Fill large contractor bags then toss without opening them up again.
- Offer items for free on community boards – Giving working electronics, furniture and housewares away takes some decluttering effort.
- Purge then reorganize – Reduce volume of belongings first, then use budget bins and baskets to categorize.
- File paper piles – Use $1 binder clips to quickly sort paper stacks. File or recycle each batch after sorting.
- Do a 33% rule purge – Remove 1/3 of your stuff from each room as a quick way to eliminate excess.
- Borrow organizing tools from the library – Check out shelving and storage items to experiment with what works best before buying.
With a little dedication and creativity, these affordable tips will help you make decluttering progress and keep your home tidy long-term.
Make Decluttering a Habit
The real challenge when trying to declutter is maintaining order long-term after initially cleaning up. Here are some habits to put in place to prevent clutter creeping back in:
- Reset surfaces like counters before bed.
- Quickly put things back where they belong after each use.
- Group like items together using trays and baskets.
- Limit flat surfaces that allow clutter to accumulate.
- Purge seasonal items as you swap them.
- Continue using the “one in, one out rule” for new items.
- Do maintenance decluttering sessions at least monthly.
Building these simple habits into your daily and weekly routines will keep decluttering from becoming an overwhelming, expensive overhaul down the road again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have some questions about decluttering your home affordably? Here are answers to some common FAQs:
What should I do if I can’t afford storage furniture or a storage unit?
Focus on purging first before storage. Remove the excess stuff taking up most of the space, then utilize inexpensive shelving, stackable bins and multi-use furniture like ottomans and bench seats with storage inside secondhand if needed.
How can I declutter quickly working full-time?
Aim to spend just 15-20 focused minutes per day decluttering. Set a timer to work in short intense bursts. Having an “exit only” donation box or trash bag handy lets you make quick progress.
What’s the best way to get family members to follow the new decluttering systems?
Make it a team effort! Have everyone spend 10 minutes picking up common areas before bed. Assign chores like cleaning off surfaces and wiping counters to prevent buildup. Lead by example maintaining your own spaces.
How often should I redo my decluttering to avoid mess relapse?
Plan to do mini maintenance decluttering sessions each month to keep your systems in place. Set aside 20-30 minutes to touch items that have accumulated and purge excess. Then reset your storage tools like bins and dividers.
What do I do if I struggle with letting some things go?
Start by just removing the easy excess first – old paperwork, scattered kids toys, extra linens piling up. Revisit favorites you struggled to part with after making overall progress. Or take sentimental photos then keep only true necessities.
Decluttering an entire home is a big project, but totally doable without spending much money. Stick to these key guidelines:
- Tackle room-by-room using the tips outlined above
- Use the decluttering strategies to streamline the process
- Add storage furniture/tools only after purging excess items first
- Take advantage of free and cheap supply sources like dollar stores or borrowing from libraries
- Prevent future clutter buildup by building maintenance decluttering habits
Focus on making continuous small progress rather than trying for perfection. Even decluttering for short 15 minute bursts will make a big difference over time. As the clutter clears out, so will your stress levels leaving you feeling happier, calmer and more motivated.
Room-by-Room Decluttering Supplies Comparison Tables
Use these handy comparison tables to decide which few key organizer products are worth investing in for each room as you decline on a budget:
Kitchen Decluttering Supplies
|Customize cabinet space, stack plates neatly
|Can slide around, may not fit all shelves
|Seal in dry goods, arrange by food type
|Take up counter space
|Sort utensils or food items by use/type
|Add clutter if too many
|Customize cutlery and tool storage
|Won’t fit every drawer well
|Efficient corner storage, spins to access items
|Must have corner spot to install
Bathroom Decluttering Supplies
|Under Sink Organizer
|Use wasted space to neatly store cleaners/toiletries
|Won’t work for pedestal sinks
|Customize drawers for makeup/accessories
|Not helpful if you lack drawers
|Add extra storage for toiletries
|Require drilling into walls
|Tension Pole Shelving
|Freestanding extra storage without drilling
|Can get in way in small bathrooms
|Portable personalized storage for daily items
|Adds visual clutter
I hope this massive guide gives you everything you need to successfully tackle decluttering room-by-room in your home without spending much money! Let me know if you have any other questions.