These 21 January Decluttering Rules – Suggested By Experts – Help Reset A Home For A Fresh Start

Starting the new year with a clean and organized home can make a huge difference in how you feel and function on a daily basis. The busy holiday season often leaves homes in disarray, with clutter and mess accumulating in every room.

January is the perfect time to tackle decluttering and get your spaces simplified and sorted. With a decluttered home, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, reduced stress, and overall greater wellbeing. Experts suggest following some key rules and strategies to make your January decluttering as effective as possible.

Why Declutter In January?

January is a natural time when many people feel motivated to declutter and organize their home. Here’s why it can be the ideal month for a major reset:

  • The new calendar year offers a fresh start and clean slate. Decluttering helps match that new beginnings energy.
  • Holiday clutter and mess has piled up and needs to be dealt with. Get your home back in order after the busy season.
  • Cold weather makes it tempting to hibernate at home. Use extra indoor time productively to tackle projects.
  • Many people have time off work around New Years. Use vacation days for decluttering initiatives.
  • Decluttering sets you up for success all year long with clean spaces.

How To Mentally Prepare For A January Declutter

Decluttering takes effort and commitment. To stay motivated, get yourself in the right headspace before you begin:

  • Set a decluttering goal – Knowing your end goal will drive your work. Examples: “I will declutter and organize the basement” or “All closets will be cleared out”.
  • Block time – Protect days or weekends for focused decluttering blocks. Scheduling it makes it happen.
  • Get inspired – Look at before and after photos, read productivity books, or watch organizing shows.
  • List benefits – Visualize how you’ll feel with clutter-free spaces to stay driven.
  • Gather supplies – Stock up on bins, bags and labels so you have what you need.
  • Enlist help – Having someone assist keeps you accountable and makes it more fun.
  • Go room by room – Decluttering one space at a time prevents feeling overwhelmed.

With the right mindset, you can stay focused and positive as you work through your home room by room.

21 Expert Decluttering Tips For January

To help you reset your home for the new year, here are the top 21 January decluttering tips from expert organizers:

1. Start With A Quick Declutter

Go through your home doing a speedy pick up and put away session first. Gather trash, put away stray items, collect dishes, and quickly tidy every room. This creates a clean base to begin deeper decluttering.

2. Declutter On A Sunny Day

Sunlight helps motivate decluttering efforts. The brightness makes it easier to evaluate items and envision how spaces will look cleaned out. Open blinds and curtains to let light in.

3. Declutter Early In The Day

Don’t leave decluttering to late in the day when you’re tired. Knock it out first thing in the morning if possible. You’ll have more energy and be able to stay focused.

4. Tackle One Space At A Time

Trying to declutter your whole house at once can quickly become overwhelming. Concentrate your efforts one area or room at a time for the best results.

5. Work From Top To Bottom

Start decluttering from higher surfaces and work down in each space. For example, in a bedroom do shelves first, then closets, then under the bed, etc.

6. Declutter Fast At First

Go through rapidly at first, making quick yes or no decisions about items. You can reevaluate later if needed. Fast initial decluttering builds momentum.

7. Group Similar Items

As you declutter, group like items together before making decisions, such as toiletries, clothing types, toys, etc. This makes evaluating easier.

8. Declutter By Location

Focus your efforts based on location rather than by item type. For example, do your whole kitchen rather than all home decor throughout the house.

9. Declutter Room By Room

Another option is to systematically work through your home one room at a time. Fully finish a space before moving the next.

10. Declutter By Sections

Break bigger spaces like basements and attics into sections and tackle one section completely before moving to the next.

11. Declutter On A Rotation

Declutter different types of items on a rotating basis. For example, Mondays target paperwork, Tuesdays kitchen items, Wednesdays clothing, etc.

12. Categorize As You Go

As you evaluate items, group them into clear categories: donate, recycle, trash, sell, stay, or undecided. This streamlines decision making.

13. Declutter With Boxes Or Bags

Have empty boxes, bins or bags at the ready to immediately get discarded items out of your space and out of sight.

14. Only Handle Items Once

Resist setting an item aside to deal with later. Make a keep or discard decision the first time you touch something to stay on task.

15. Declutter When Your Energy Is High

Tackle it early in the day or when you have the most energy. Decluttering when already tired leads to poor decisions and lack of progress.

16. Declutter For Short Time Periods

Work in focused 15-30 minute bursts so you don’t burn out. Take short breaks between sessions to regroup.

17. Create A Declutter Hotspot

Pick a central “hot spot” like a spare room or basement area to temporarily hold items after sorting.

18. Listen To Uplifting Music

Make your declutter playlist full of energizing songs. Upbeat music keeps your momentum steady.

19. Involve Your Family

Have kids and other family declutter their own spaces and contribute to shared areas. More hands make less work.

20. Reward Your Progress

Celebrate meeting milestones with rewards like a special treat or break. Recognition keeps you motivated.

21. Maintain As You Go

Stay on top of spaces you’ve decluttered by quickly putting items away, cleaning and organizing daily. Don’t let messes regain.

Using these professional tips will help you power through your January decluttering efficiently and effectively. Before you know it your home will be reset with clean, clear, organized spaces!

How Decluttering Impacts Your Life And Wellbeing

Once you’ve done the work of thoroughly decluttering your home, you’ll start experiencing many positive benefits in your daily life. Here are some of the major ways decluttering improves your life:

  • Reduced stress – Clutter contributes to chronic stress. Decluttering significantly reduces this stress and anxiety.
  • Increased productivity – Time wasted looking for items in mess plummets after decluttering. You’re able to get more done.
  • Better sleep habits – Peaceful decluttered surroundings help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  • Improved concentration – Clutter is mentally distracting. Removing it leaves you better able to focus.
  • Healthier habits – Like exercise, healthy eating happens more easily in an organized, clutter-free environment.
  • Time savings – You’ll get hours back not searching for lost things in clutter and disorganization.
  • Money savings – Decluttering helps stop buying duplicate items you already have but can’t find.
  • Calm surroundings – Open and airy decluttered spaces have a peaceful ambiance that relaxes your mind.
  • Increased positivity – Order around you fosters inner calm, optimism and confidence.

The mental and physical benefits of decluttering demonstrate why it should be a priority, especially after the holidays. Seize January as your opportunity to reset your home for a happier new year.

Prioritize These Areas In Your January Declutter

Certain areas of your home likely collected extra clutter and mess over the holidays. Be sure to tackle these key zones as part of your January reset:


The entryway got high traffic from guests coming and going. Restore order by decluttering coats, shoes, decor items and storage spaces. Create a welcoming first impression.

Living Room

Return living room to a tidy state after holiday parties and gatherings. Declutter decorative items, shelving, media and gaming stations.


Kitchens easily get overwhelmed with servingware, extra dishes and new appliances. Pare down and organize food areas, cabinets, countertops and pantries.

Dining Room

Dining rooms and eat-in kitchens hold extra holiday dishes, serving pieces and table decor. Declutter and find proper homes for everything.


Bedrooms accumulate discarded clothing after holiday events. Clear out closets, dressers, nightstands, and under beds in all sleeping spaces.


Bathrooms get cluttered with gift sets, guest supplies and new items. Edit down toiletries, cabinets, counters and storage.

Hallways & Stairs

High traffic areas like hallways and stairs hold stray clutter piles. Thoroughly clear and declutter paths and stairways.

Office & Paperwork

Holiday cards, mail and documents pile up here. shred, file or store paper trails and organize office supplies.

Garage & Attic

Gifts, decorations and packed away seasonal items wind up in garage and attic spaces. Declutter, organize and store properly.

Targeting high clutter zones first ensures you tackle the worst problem areas. Once you reset the hotspots, move throughout the rest of your home room by room.

Decluttering By Room – Detailed Checklists

To make decluttering by room as effective as possible, utilize detailed room-by-room checklists. Here are helpful guides to reset key areas:

Living Room Decluttering Checklist

  • Clear coffee and side tables of stray magazines, books, mail, etc.
  • Declutter media storage like DVDs, video games, remotes.
  • Remove excess decor items from shelves, walls, surfaces.
  • Pare down throw blankets, pillows, accessories.
  • Organize charging stations for devices.
  • Declutter and clean out fireplace if you have one.
  • Go through all drawers, shelves, cabinets and storage clearing clutter.
  • Vacuum under and around all furniture to clear dust and debris.

Kitchen Decluttering Checklist

  • Clear countertops completely except for essential appliances.
  • Go shelf by shelf and declutter food items, dishes and small appliances.
  • Clean out pantry, tossing expired and duplicate food items.
  • Empty and declutter the fridge and freezer.
  • Go through all cabinets and drawers, decluttering as you go.
  • Declutter under the kitchen sink and all cleaning products.
  • Go through dishware and servingware, donate extras.
  • Pare down cooking utensils and gadgets to just essentials.

Bedroom Decluttering Checklist

  • Make bed and clear bedside tables of books, devices, papers, etc.
  • Declutter clothes by category from closet floor to ceiling.
  • Go through all drawers, decluttering jewelry, accessories, tech.
  • Under bed should store minimal items neatly in bins. Clear it out.
  • Pare down decor items, throw pillows, blankets to only loved pieces.
  • If you have one, declutter the contents of your dresser top.
  • Declutter and organize any desk, office nook or workout area.
  • Go through any other shelving, storage benches or ottomans.

Bathroom Decluttering Checklist

  • Clear countertops except for necessities used daily.
  • Go through all drawers, cabinets and shelving decluttering items.
  • Toss expired medications, skincare, cosmetics, hair products.
  • Pare down to one makeup bag with most used essentials.
  • Organize all toiletries into bins, baskets or storage containers.
  • Fold and organize towels and linen closet, toss stained items.
  • Store limited bathroom cleaning supplies neatly under sink.
  • Have just one or two air fresheners and declutter rest.

Entryway Decluttering Checklist

  • Clear entry furniture like benches and tables of clutter.
  • Declutter coats, hats, scarves inside entryway closet.
  • Corral stray shoes into storage bins or racks.
  • Add baskets or organizers to hold keys, sunglasses, dog leashes.
  • Create designated charging area for devices coming and going.
  • Remove excess decor pieces and accessories.
  • Store a minimal amount of shoes in entry rather than all.
  • Add a catchall tray for wallet, keys, sunglasses when entering.

Home Office Decluttering Checklist

  • File away loose papers and documents into cabinets or drawers.
  • Clear surfaces of everything except current essential projects.
  • Go through all desk drawers and declutter contents.
  • Toss old pens, dried out markers, random office supplies.
  • If you have one, declutter the contents of your desk hutch.
  • Pare down books and materials to only in-use references.
  • Shred old documents you no longer need.
  • Organize office supplies in bins and trays for easy access.

Decluttering Supplies You May Need

Having the right supplies on hand will make your January decluttering go faster and smoother. Stock up on these handy organizational tools:

  • Trash bags – For discarded items headed to the garbage.
  • Bins and storage containers – For keeping categories separated as you sort.
  • Labels – For clearly marking bins to know what’s inside.
  • Packing tape – For sealing boxes to transport to donation or trash.
  • Sharpie – For clearly labeling bins and boxes.
  • Hangers – Replace broken ones and use for hanging organized clothes.
  • Vacuum – For cleaning up floors and surfaces once decluttered.
  • Dusters – For dusting once items are removed from surfaces.
  • Cleaning supplies – To wipe down shelves, drawers, cabinets during the process.
  • Donation bags or boxes – For holding items destined for charity.

Having these supplies ready to go will make your decluttering work much more efficient. You’ll be able to power through your spaces.

Where To Donate Or Sell Decluttered Items

As you declutter, you’ll likely fill bags and boxes with items to donate or sell. Here are some options:

  • Local thrift stores – Many accept an array of household items, clothing, furniture, etc.
  • Homeless shelters – They take donations of clothing, toiletries, blankets, non-perishables.
  • Domestic violence shelters – Gently used clothing and household items help families rebuild.
  • Animal shelters – Old towels, blankets and pet supplies assist rescue animals.
  • Churches – Many congregations organize donations to those in need locally and globally.
  • Charities – Goodwill, Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity accept donations.
  • Consignment shops – They resell lightly used clothes, shoes, accessories for you.
  • eBay/Craigslist – List higher value items for local sale yourself.
  • Facebook Marketplace – List items for free or priced to sell locally.
  • Buy Nothing groups – Gift quality goods to others in your local community.

Choose charities and organizations important to you to know items help meaningful causes.

Maintaining Decluttered Spaces

A decluttering cleanse is useless unless you maintain it. Build these daily and weekly habits:

  • Quickly put items back into place after using.
  • Assign homes for your most commonly used items.
  • Deal with paperwork and mail right away.
  • Do maintenance cleaning during natural breaks in your day.
  • Put away laundry immediately so it doesn’t pile up.
  • Make your bed each morning so clutter doesn’t accumulate there.
  • Do light tidying like wiping surfaces and vacuuming high traffic areas daily.
  • Give items a home right when you acquire them.
  • Schedule 15-30 minutes per day for general straightening and decluttering.
  • Review problem zones weekly and edit items that creep back in.
  • Thoroughly clean bathrooms, kitchens, floors on a weekly basis.
  • Take out trash and recycling daily before it overflows.

Making decluttering maintenance part of your routine will help spaces stay pristine all year long. Embrace the habits that work for your lifestyle and family.

Frequently Asked Questions About January Decluttering

If you’re feeling inspired to declutter in January but have some questions, here are answers to common FAQs:

What are the benefits of doing a January decluttering reset?

The benefits are reduced stress, better organization, improved productivity, more peaceful surroundings, increased focus, and a general feeling of wellbeing from resetting your home after the holidays.

How long does a whole home decluttering take?

It depends on the size of your home and the level of clutter. For an average 2 bedroom home, aim for 10-25 hours total to fully declutter all spaces.

What daily decluttering habits keep a home organized?

Daily habits that maintain order include quickly putting items away, doing light tidying, making your bed, cleaning as you go, assigning homes for items, and taking out trash and recycling.

Should I declutter room