Decluttering your home - 10 steps towards minimalism

"Anyone want to join me on a minimalism journey?" That was the opening question from the first Road to Minimalism thread on Mumsnet.

Thousands of posts later, we've drawn out some key decluttering tips and tricks from Mumsnetters who have been there, driven to the dump and not bought a t-shirt to add to their collection. 


1. To start, it helps to get in the right mindset

"Is it possible to imagine the person you'll be when it's all done and attack it from their perspective, rather than the perspective of the you who had to deal with all of that? I don't know if that even makes sense, never mind whether it is actually possible."

"I often persuade myself to do things I don't feel like doing (like making my bed in the morning or clearing up the kitchen last thing at night) by bearing in mind how grateful the Future Me will be."

"I don't want anything in the house that's not useful or lovely to look at."


2. Make like King Canute and hold back the tide of new rubbish

junk mail

"Sign up with a company like Junk Buster and get to grips with the slew of unwanted marketing bumpf you might be getting."

"I get so many crazy catalogues and I don’t know why! Over time this should reduce the inflow."


3. Two for one

"When you vacuum your home, take a carrier bag along with you and as you move from room to room you can gather paper rubbish for example along with you...there's always bits and pieces with children around."


4. The camera never lies

teen bedroom

"Has anyone tried photographing their room from all angles and then looking at on screen? I found out by accident this is a good way of spotting clutter that you normally tune out or areas that could look better."


5. Be strong - you really don't need all that s***

messy makeup

"Have ditched all pre holiday body scrub, moisturizers, etc. I am not that sort of woman and having it getting dusty on a shelf won't change that."

"I took down all my old uni/college books from the top of the closet and wrote an email to my local high school to ask if they wanted them. Whatever they don't want I will just send to the charity shop."

"Do I really need 32 cookbooks (yep, counted then this morning) when I mainly cook from experience and the Internet?"

"The litmus test for me is: do I love it? Not is it in good condition; it was expensive/cheap; somebody once said it looked good on me."


6. This is why God invented scanners

photo scanning

"I now religiously upload photos every month to a photo book making site and order an album every year." 


7. Be ruthless about weeding out stuff that's no good

mops by a bin

"One steam mop in. Three regular mops and spare heads out."


8. Nostalgia is a bad reason to keep hold of anything

mix tape

"Throw the tapes away. You can listen to most of it online, and if you really miss it, buy it again on CD or MP3, but I bet you don't."


9. Get with the minimal linen programme

bed linen


"Top tip: only have one set of sheets per bed and one set of towels per person. Wash, tumble dry and put them straight back on the bed/in the bathroom. When old, replace and recycle the old ones. No linen storage = a huge gain of space."

"We haven't had laundry baskets for some time now and it works fine. It just occurred to me that we were creating more work by putting them in a holding bay in effect before then putting stuff in the washing machine."


10. And finally... out of sight, out of mind, out of the house


"Put a box under the bed or in the loft taped up with the date to see if you miss them over six months or a year. I did the same with some pre-school games this time last year. DCs haven't asked after them once."

"I have a 'get rid' box. Anything I don't want gets put into it as soon as I come across it then eBay or charity shop once it's full. Saves me keeping hold of crap."

Recommended websites:

Books to read

Banish clutter forever

Useful links:

Last updated: over 1 year ago