Common decluttering mistakes revealed

Clutter is one of those things that we try our hardest to avoid, but in reality, it often gets the best of us and leaves us with an undefeated mess.  We want to make sure that clutter doesn’t become a recurring problem during your next cleaning spree.

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Here are our top five common decluttering mistakes and how you can steer clear of them in the future:

Mistake #1: Not developing a game plan

One of the biggest decluttering mistakes is underestimating the project at hand. If you’re cleaning several rooms within your home, we recommend developing a checklist; this will help track your progress and allow you finish in plenty of time. If you are cleaning one mess in particular, be sure to divide the project into tasks that can be completed in small chunks of time – this way, it will be done before you know it!

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Mistake #2: Not giving yourself enough time

Let’s be serious: no one likes a rushed job! If you don’t allocate enough time to complete your next decluttering project, then it will most likely cause you to cut corners (not to mention, you’ll likely become frustrated and less efficient as the day progresses). To avoid this mistake, be sure to analyze your mess before you start cleaning it. Then realistically estimate how much time the job will most likely take you, and add some extra time as a buffer…just in case.

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Mistake #3: Not using the proper type of storage

When it comes to decluttering your living space, storage should always be your Holy Grail! Forget about littering your closets and cupboards; instead, take advantage of ‘hidden spaces’ within your home, such as the basement, garage, attic or crawl space. We also recommend using see-through boxes, wooden crates, baskets, or empty jars to stash away smaller items, such as knick-knacks or mementos.

And who will clean up this mess?

Mistake #4: Not sticking to a routine cleaning schedule

When it comes to staying organized and tidy, everyone should have a ‘Quick Clean Routine’; this is a specific portion of your day (around 10-15 minutes) where you clean up any obvious clutter within your home. This will allow you to stop a clutter disaster before it gets out of control! If possible, we recommend doing this ‘Quick Clean Routine’ every evening – that way, your house is spic-and-span the moment you wake up. Talk about the perfect way to start a new day…

Mistake #5: Not getting rid of unwanted items

We know how hard it can be to let go of sentimental items, or items that you think you’ll end up using again one day.  The bottom line? If you’re not using it, get rid of it! Decluttering and donating your unused items is the perfect opportunity to help someone in need.

Sam Landa is Content Manager and social media manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on  or LinkedIn. Cover image courtesy of

When you clean your living space, what is the mistake you seem to make time and time again? Tell us all about it below.

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