How to Declutter Fast – 10 Simple Steps

Did you just find out that your in-laws are coming for the weekend, and now you need to know how to declutter fast?! Don't panic! Follow these 10 steps to find out how to declutter quickly. When your in-laws (or whoever) arrive, they will be amazed at your housekeeping skills. Win-Win! Now – let's get started.

How to Declutter Fast – in 10 Simple Steps

Step 1: Evaluate the Amount of Time You Have

Do you have 2 hours or 3 days? Your time frame does matter. If you are in the 2 hours group – you need to hustle. You will want to focus on the areas your guests will see first. Think of the guest room, living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. Spend your time and energy on the areas your guest will be using.

Now, if you have lots of time, you can breathe more easily. I recommend checking out my blog post on decluttering rather than this one since it should only take a few days to declutter your home.

Step 2: Grab Your Supplies

When trying to declutter fast, you will use fewer decluttering items than you would for whole full-blown home decluttering sessions. Basically, you want to grab anything to help you carry the clutter to its next destination.

  • Empty Boxes
  • Empty Totes/Bins
  • Trash Bags
  • Cleaning supplies (Windex, Dust Cloths, Rags, etc.)
  • Ziploc Bags

Step 3: Pick a Room and Start

Pick a room, any room you need to declutter quickly, and just start. Don't take the time to him haw around on where to begin. It all has to be decluttered anyways, right? So don't delay – you're the one who needs to know how to declutter fast and easy – keyword: FAST.

Step 4: Implement Staging Zones

Decide where you will put items as you are making decluttering decisions. For instance, have a pile for items that belong in another room and a separate pile for things to be thrown out. I use staging zones regularly in my home to keep up with my home organization, which I highly recommend for EVERYONE to do, but just a few so that you can logically clear clutter fast will work. Start with these:

  • Items to be Donated
  • Items to be Trashed
  • Things to go in Another Room
  • Keepsakes
Staging Zones

Step 5: Touch EVERYTHING!

You can not be all willy-nilly regarding how to clean and declutter your house fast. In order to ensure that you don't miss anything, you need to touch everything. Empty the shelves, dump the drawers, and reach into the back of the closet. You will have to make a mess before you have a clutter-free home – so don't just grab items and nudge things around. Focus on decluttering!

Step 6: Clean as You Go!

I completely understand that you are trying to get a quick decluttering in; however, cleaning is a part of it. Don't skip this step! You've already taken everything out, so take the extra 5 seconds to wipe the dresser off. You can vacuum the whole house later, but for now, wipe it down before you fill it back up!

Step 7: Put the Keepers Back – Neatly

Once you've decided what you will keep from an area and what you will not, you can put the items you intend to keep back where you got them. Try to make it easy on the eyes. You can look around for any extra containers you might be able to use – and put those Ziploc baggies to work! Try to have more significant, less clutter-like-looking items at the front. This will be more appealing to your guests.

Step 8: Move on to the Next Room

Rinse and repeat this process in all the rooms that need to be decluttered. As you move through the house, you should take any items you find in an incorrect room with you. For instance, if you find an item in the guest room that belongs in the kitchen, go ahead and grab those items when you head to the kitchen. You will likely still have some back-and-forth as you continue the decluttering process, but it will be much less than if you leave them all to be dispersed until the end.

On the flip side, you don't want to slow yourself down by taking every item where they belong when you find them. This is not efficient. Use those staging zones you implemented, and keep an eye out for anything that makes sense to disperse—keeping these tips at the front of your mind is how to declutter faster.

Step 9: Pick Up the Clutter

Now that the rooms are how you want them, it's time to remove the clutter. Use the boxes to move items where they need to go. Take the things that are trash to your dumpster. Most of the items that belonged in other rooms should be moved, but for those stragglers, go ahead and get them put up where they go. It would be best if you put anything you are going to donate in your trunk or the garage. BUT- put it somewhere you will see it so that they actually get donated, and you don't just have a new box of clutter lying around.

For any keepsakes you found, the items you want to keep, but it doesn't make sense in the “house,” box them up for now. I recommend getting those big plastic storage bins and putting any keepsakes in those. My husband and I have one that holds our high school keepsakes, and we've started containers with family heirlooms and things we want the boys to remember. Once they are safely in a tote, I recommend storing them in the attic. Make sure it's clearly labeled!

Step 10: Vacuum and Take a Shower!

Lastly, make sure to vacuum your floors before the guests arrive. And, if you are anything like me, the act of vacuuming will add to the sweat you incurred while trying to declutter your home fast, so go ahead and freshen up with a shower. Whew! You did it!

Decluttering Maintenance

After you speed through and get your home in shape, I hope you will realize the benefits of decluttering. Having your house in order can significantly help streamline your mornings, lessen stress, and improve daily life. So, if you like how your home feels after following our fast decluttering tips, keep it that way! It's simple – there is no secret – PUT THINGS BACK WHERE THEY GO!

Yes. That is all the maintenance you need to keep your home decluttered. Now, will you need to reorganize and straighten up the areas after decluttering? Yes. But- the act of decluttering is finished if you continue to put things where they go. Check out the Declutter Boot Camp course if you want a guide to hit all of those commonly cluttered areas in your home! It's the first step in our Whole-Home Organization series. You're gonna love it!

The Declutter Boot Camp course can help you tackle all of those commonly cluttered areas
The Declutter Boot Camp


When you've let the clutter in your home go for way too long, and now you need to know how to declutter a house fast, follow this guide to get your home back in (enough) shape! Gather those supplies, make a plan, and get to work! Now that you know how to declutter a house fast and put all of that work in, don't let it be undone! Putting things back where they belong is the best maintenance plan. I hope this guide helps you get your home back in shape for your guests!

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