The 10-Minute Declutter Session

Do you ever find yourself going about your day and suddenly stopping to think to yourself, “When did this cabinet become so full, and where did all these things come from anyway?”

Let’s face it; there’s a constant flow of stuff coming into our homes. A party favor here, a freebie there, and all of a sudden, our closets and drawers are overflowing. It happens to all of us, even well-intentioned, aspiring minimalists.

Just as most things in daily life require maintenance and upkeep (think hygiene, cleaning or working out), keeping a home decluttered takes regular effort, too.

However, it can be easier than you think if you start small.

Here’s how to create a quick declutter session to stay on top of conquering clutter.

  1. Pick an area

    Look for small areas that easily accumulate items.

  2. Designate a time

    Gather all those who have vested interested in the space or items (family members, roommates or whoever else lives/works under the roof). Let everyone play a part. It will make it more fun, and you will decrease the risk of getting rid of something belonging to someone else.

  3. Take everything out

    Sort the contents and identify what the items are and who they belong to.

  4. Determine the “donates”

    Decide what to keep, toss and donate. Grab a bag, fill it up and place it in your car to take to your local donation drop-off.


Here’s an example of what it looked like at my (Libby’s) house when it was time for a little maintenance decluttering.

After just one year in our house, we noticed a few categories of items which had begun to accumulate and overflow: the mugs, the food storage containers and the vases.

Mugs: It seemed like we gained a new mug every other week. Our mug collection got to the point where we lost track of where they were coming from and who they belonged to. Besides, only 2 of the 4 roommates drink coffee, so we really didn’t need that many mugs anyway.

Food Storage Containers: We had food storage containers coming out our ears. It turns out that at some point in time, each person had acquired their own set plus some extras.

Vases: Having fresh flowers in the house is fun. However, it seemed like we had a new floral arrangement given to us just about every other week, so the empty vases amassed quickly. Rarely, if ever, did we need to reuse any of them.

After realizing the contents in each of these cabinets were overflowing, I began to spread the word about wanting to gather everyone at some point to declutter and go through the items in each of these areas. Everyone was onboard. Great. However, coordinating schedules was another thing.

One Saturday afternoon, three of us found ourselves in the kitchen with some spare time on our hands. Realizing it was the perfect opportunity to declutter some cabinets, we attempted to round up the fourth roommate. It turns out she was about to leave, but said, “I have 10 minutes before I have to go.” Perfect- that was all we needed.

In just 10 minutes, we tackled all three areas, determined what belonged to who and filled up several bags for donation. That’s all it took, and we ended up with so much more space inside our cabinets.

Go ahead and give it a try yourself. Start small and with items you know you can get rid of. Then turn on some music and have fun gaining back your space. :)