Quick Tip to Save Time While Decluttering

posted by Andrea | 03/23/2011

Have you ever started to clean, organize, and declutter an area of your home, only to realize there were a bunch of things that needed to be brought to the basement, the garage, the trash, or another room?

….so you bring those items to the other room, and realize THAT room could use a little organization…

…so you start organizing that room, only to realize {once again} there are a bunch of items that need to be returned to their proper homes in other areas of your house.

It’s a never-ending cycle!!

If you’ve been in this situation before, I bet you were really frustrated at the amount of time you “wasted” for not-so-great results…right?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Plus, I have a really simple solution!



Simply bring a basket into the room you want to declutter and put everything that doesn’t belong inside your designated basket. {You¬†could also use a laundry basket, a trash bag, a cardboard box, or whatever you have on hand.}

The idea is that by dumping everything that doesn’t belong into one central {and portable} location, you’ll be able to stay focused on your specific area and not be tempted to waste time, traveling around the house to deliver various items.

Yup, these items were actually all in our kitchen!

  • Extra pasta sauce for the pantry downstairs
  • Toothpaste, floss sticks, and hairspray for the bathroom
  • A huge bag of nails from Lowes
  • 2 random DVD’s that I’ve been wanting to watch
  • Reusable shopping bags that need to go back in my car
  • Dave’s tennis racket… no¬†explanation!

So yesterday, I delivered these items to their proper homes, and our kitchen is neat and organized… for now!

Give it a try!

The next time you tackle a room or area in your home, bring in a bag for trash, a box for giveaway, and a basket for items that need a new home. You’ll be able to stay focused, you’ll save time, and I garuntee you’ll get more accomplished {believe me, I’ve done this a few times before!}

Do you have any great time-saving tips to help you get organized? Please share!!


Filed under: OrganizingPurging

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  1. deborah


    I love the “realness” of your posts and pictures! We can all relate to these same things in our lives! A neighbor recently told me about your blog and I am enjoying checking it out and browsing through it.


  2. Kate


    We do the same thing… unfortunately, some things tend to stay in the basket for a bit too long. As in, there are a pair of shorts I’ve been meaning to return to the store since last summer. It’s become a bit of a “holding area” for things I’m not sure what to do with. In theory, it’s fantastic… I just need to be a little better about emptying it every night – no excuses!


    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, that happens to us sometimes too! But I try really hard to empty the basket every day — or at least a few times per week.


    Lorianne Reply:

    I have this same issue too. Whenever I organize I end up with baskets that are just full of the stuff that was in the way (clutter) and then the baskets sit in the closet etc but all the stuff is still there.

    My question is this, when you’re so overwhelmed how do you get started and not give up? I have so many tubs and baskets full of stuff (I’ve moved into a smaller place and also adopted two boys) I’ve purged all their stuff and some of mine but I have so many boxes to go through an no where to put the stuff anyway I don’t know what to do!

    I have implemented some organizing techniques but I never have enough or it doesn’t seem like I’m maximizing the storage areas I do have (I have one of the things that goes over the toilet but feel like even the space in there is kind of wasted)

    So I would love some advice on where to start and how to not be overwhelmed! Thank you so much


  3. Meghan


    The movie Love Happens is great! Be prepared though, you’ll need tissues! Aaron Eckhart is simply heartbreaking.

    Four Christmases is hilarious!


    Andrea Reply:

    ha!!! Thanks for the advice Meghan!!


  4. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles


    You would laugh if you could see the decluttering going on at our house right now. We’re preparing for a little remodeling in our kitchen, and it’s sending the whole house into a reorganizing frenzy! But…it really does feel good…big pile of boxes in the basement, ready to go to our church’s Christian Closet and Goodwill.


    Andrea Reply:

    oooo Brenda — a Kitchen remodel!!! How fun {and I can totally relate to the huge mess too!} We’re still in the middle of all our projects, and I’m already dreaming up plans for the NEXT projects…

    I guess we’ll both be doing lots of decluttering for a while!


  5. Marci


    Don’t tell me that your basket of things to go elsewhere actually looks that neat, you must have organized it for the photo:) I love this method too, but my basket usually looks like a disastrous pile of stuff falling everywhere.


    Andrea Reply:

    Oh Marci — thanks for blowing my cover!!
    No my basket usually doesn’t look THAT neat and tidy — but I wanted to make sure people could see what was in the basket. However, I do like using a smaller “decorative” basket because then I don’t care if it sits out…and I’m forced to put things away when it starts overflowing!!