If you need to clean your home without exhausting yourself, this post talks about the best decluttering strategy that will maximize your efforts and help you avoid decision fatigue.

If you have read Marie Kondo, Peter Walsh, or Swedish Death Cleaning, they all give the same advice: GATHER AND SORT SIMILAR ITEMS before deciding what to keep, what to donate to charity, and what to throw in the trash.

This is the big *secret* to decluttering like a professional that could make all the difference in how you organize your space. As long as you can nail this one simple task, your decluttering project will be much easier than if you went into it without a plan.

So how does the best decluttering strategy work? Keep on reading for step by step details.

If you prefer to watch my YouTube video on the BEST decluttering strategy, click the video below. Otherwise, keep scrolling to read on!

Here are the first important steps of the best decluttering strategy there is

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Step One: Pick one room to declutter

This is the easiest part of the decluttering strategy: pick the room you are going to declutter.

The reason you choose just one space is so that you do not get scattered trying to organize your entire home at once. The fastest way to get overwhelmed is to try and do ALL THE THINGS at one time.

A good place to start could be your bedroom, or a more common area like the kitchen.

Step Two: Examine the room

The next step is to look around the room and make a mental note of all the objects and types of items in that space.

For example, if you are going to declutter your bedroom first, take a mental inventory of what is filling the room. This could include things like clothes, books, electronics, cosmetics, toys, decorations, plants, and linens.

Recommended reading: How to Downsize your Home in 10 Simple Steps

Step Three: Gather like items together

The next step in the best decluttering strategy is to start gathering in piles things that are in a similar category. You will want to put similiar things with similar things.

For example, gather all the clothing, linens, electronic, books, etc. and put them in different piles so that all the clothes can be in one pile, all the books in another pile, and so on and so forth.

However, do not think about what to keep or toss (we will get to that in a bit). This step is just focusing on organizing your stuff into categories.

Quick Tip:

I like to start with the largest category of things in a space and then work my way down to the smallest category. For a major decluttering project, focus on the big category. If it’s a light pick-up, you can focus on smaller categories.

Recommended reading: The Best Way to Organize Clothes in a Small Closet

Step Four: Look at your first category

Now that your things are organized into categories, ask yourself: Does it belong in this space OR does it live somewhere else in my house?

Basically, does something in your bedroom actually belong in the kitchen?

If that category does not “live” in that space (like dirty dishes) return it to where it belongs (the kitchen). Move the items to their appropriate room but it’s very important to NOT get distracted by now organizing that other room! 

As you move things out of the room you are working in, you reduce the visual clutter in that space so you can focus on things that really matter. 

Now you should just be left with things that belong in this space. Before you start making decisions about if you want to keep these things, or how you want to organize them, gather everything else from every room in the house that belongs in that same category.

a stack of clothes with a donate sign - best decluttering strategy

Only now are you ready to start the process of deciding what to keep and what to toss. 

So WHY do all those steps before just jumping in and making decisions? You could find duplicates or other things that work better and serve the same purpose. Having too many of one type of thing in your home makes up a lot of your clutter.

Recommended reading: How to Live like a Minimalist

Let’s talk about delaying your decisions to avoid decision fatigue

The reason why you gather everything from the house into one category is to help you see duplicates, find similar things that serve the same function, and realize what items you no longer need. This is called delaying your decisions and it’s very important to the best decluttering strategy.

By delaying your decisions, you make more informed decisions without being frazzled or overwhelmed.

You also reduce Decision Fatigue by making decisions about groups of things instead of individual items. Decision Fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. Decision Fatigue is REAL!

If you pick up individual items and try to make decisions without considering how your house functions as a whole, you may end your decluttering session in total frustration without accomplishing organizing bliss. You know you are experiencing Decision Fatigue when you can no longer make good decisions. I notice Decision Fatigue in my clients when they either try to get rid of everything without any thought OR want to keep everything even when it is completely illogical.

So remember to gather and sort all the like items in your home before making decisions about what to get rid of – your brain will thank you and your decluttering efforts will be more productive and peaceful!

Once you have completed your sort, ask yourself the questions listed in the video How to Declutter Your Home | Five Questions to Ask When Clearing Clutter


If you’re someone who LOVES organizing, consider starting your own organizing business.

Get a copy of my free guide “Professional Organizer’s Launch Guide” HERE.

There are many things to consider when starting an organizing business including:

  • When will I name my business?
  • Where will I find clients?
  • How do I become an organizer?
  • Do I need to be certified to get started?
  • How will I structure my business?

You have come to the right place!

When you are ready to start your own professional organizing business, check out all my courses on working as a home organizer. My course bundle has the best prices on courses so that you can create and market your organizing business and design a system of organization that will work with all your clients no matter how small or large their volume of clutter is! Check out the course bundle here: Online Boot-Camp for Organizing Bosses

You can also check out my other blogs on how to start a home organizing business:

Happy Organizing!