Now that you have decided to start decluttering, you are wondering where to start. While there is no hard and fast rule on this, here is a suggested sequence to follow:

  • Clothes
  • Books, papers and documents
  • Sentimental items, gifts, “just in case” items
  • Photos
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Store


First of all, anything that is the wrong size or wrong colour has to go. What is the point of keeping that dress you have which is 2 sizes too small, hoping that one day you will be able to fit into it again? Or that blouse that is out of fashion, but may become fashionable again in say, 20 years! It has got to go.

If it is torn, or buttons missing, moth eaten, elastic worn out or just not your style, bin it. And that old T-shirt that has certainly seen better days but is so comfortably worn-in, if you won’t be seen in public in it, then it should not be seen at all.

Then there are items which you may have bought for “that occasion” which has not happened, or the bargains you picked up because the discount was too good to turn down, yet remains unworn.

Ask yourself for what purpose are you keeping those items of clothing. Do they serve any purpose apart from taking up space in your wardrobe. Stop kidding yourself that you will make use of it. It is only wishful thinking.


All important papers and documents should be filed neatly so that they can be found and accessed easily. Easier said than done as it is likely that they are all over the place rather than kept in a “to file” drawer or box. Again, like your clothes, you should take all your papers and documents and put them into a pile on your table (or floor) and sort them in one go.

Anything that is not important can be put in the recycling pile (or shredded). Those that you had planned to read but have not done so, time to throw them away into the recycling section. With the Internet bringing information in seconds, most of the papers we collect are not really needed. This included recipes that we may have cut out from newspapers and magazines as it is much easier to google for them.

If you are anything like me, you probably have at least 20 books in your home that you had bought but just never found the time to read. And the likelihood is that you never will. If the topic is not appealing enough, then give it away. Face the fact that the money spent on the book will benefit someone else, just not you.

Old books that have been read should also be given away. With the exception of classics and special books that you truly love (and will re-read), there is no need to keep a fully stocked library of books just to look well read. Let others enjoy them after you. You will be glad you did.

In our next posts, we will look at decluttering the next items on the list.

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