Here is a list of the top 10 decluttering supplies you may need when clearing clutter from your home, using the Declutter 365 system, including a free printable list.
To start decluttering you don't need a lot of supplies, since decluttering is about getting rid of stuff, not gathering more of it around you.
Further, since the Declutter 365 system is designed around the concept of doing a little each day, every single day, you usually don’t have to be wearing anything special to declutter either.
That being said, here are some decluttering supplies you may want to have as you work through the missions. I've divided it up between what to wear, and what to have on hand:
I suggest wearing comfortable clothes, since you'll be moving around, picking things up and putting them back down again, throughout the decluttering process.
Many times these areas can be a bit dusty or dirty as well, if you haven't been in them frequently, so when necessary make sure the clothes are also old, and washable.
In addition, always wear shoes to protect your feet, since you'll be lifting and moving items, which increases the risk of stubbing your toe or dropping something on your foot.
If you're working in a dusty area you may also want to consider wearing a dust mask, especially if you have allergies or are particularly sensitive to dust in the air.
It's better to wear a mask, which can be a bit hot and stuffy, and be able to repeat further decluttering sessions in the future, than to do a task without a mask and then feel ill and unable to take on another session until you recuperate.
The idea behind the Declutter 365 missions is to declutter for 15 minutes at a time. The timer is such a fundamental part of this method for decluttering I’ve written an entire article on why it's so important, which you can read here.
No special timer is needed for decluttering. The timer on your phone, a kitchen timer, or the microwave timer will all do!
Since decluttering is all about removing excess and unwanted stuff out of your home, you've got to have some types of containers to haul it out, and so a couple of parts of this decluttering supplies list discuss the types of containers you can use for this process.
(It's also why one of the first missions within the Declutter 365 missions is to set up a clutter collection station, where you’ll temporarily hold the items you identify as clutter from your home, before you remove them completely from the premises.)
The first of the main types of containers for hauling out your clutter are garbage bags. It's ideal to have two colors of garbage bags available, such as white kitchen bags as well as black garbage bags.
The reason for two color bags is to help you differentiate where you'll be taking the stuff in the bags. For example, I typically throw actual trash into the black garbage bags, to differentiate it from the stuff in the white trash bags that is being donated. This differentiation between types of bags (along with labels, mentioned below) helps me, and anyone helping me, keep track of what stuff is going where, so there's no confusion or accidents such as delivering trash to a donation center, or throwing away donatable items.
You can also use bag alternatives, if you wish, when decluttering. For example, if you have just a few items to get rid of at once an old plastic grocery bag, or a gift bag you want to get rid, as well as reusable shopping bags you’ve decided to declutter can all work as alternatives. These types of alternative containers are a great way to declutter two types of things at once from your home!
While bags are one type of container for carrying clutter out of your home, you will also use cardboard boxes, and other types of more rigid containers for this purpose as well.
When using any type of container to hold items, consider its size, in comparison to the weight of the items you're putting in there. For example, don't choose a huge box to put books in, otherwise you're not going to be able to easily pick up the box to carry and transport it. Typically, you should use bags for lighter or bulky items, and boxes for heavier items, or items that might rip or tear a bag.
As you begin decluttering consistently, you may find that you begin to run out of boxes and other containers, and will begin to treasure each and every one you come across. My advice is to use all the cardboard boxes that you can, such as diaper boxes, and boxes you receive from online shopping.
In addition, you can also re-use boxes by removing the stuff from the container when you get it to the donation center, so you can keep your box to refill it over and over. I will caution, however, that this is a bit of a pain, so avoid having to do this extra step if you can, and use garbage bags as much as possible, saving the boxes only for stuff that cannot be put into bags.
If you're in dire need of boxes for your decluttering you can purchase some, usually the same types that you use for moving. I also recommend banker boxes, which I find to be a reasonable size to fit a lot of stuff in, but not so large that they're hard to pick up and move around. I also like that banker boxes have built in handles for carrying the box, and can be closed by placing the top on the box, without needing to tape it all up.
Another alternative for boxes for decluttering are old plastic storage tubs. You will find, as you do more and more of the Declutter 365 missions, that you'll empty many of these old storage tubs out, and no longer need that much storage space, and then you can use the tubs to hold donations, and get rid of two different kinds of clutter all at once! In fact, that’s the subject of one of the missions you’ll do this year.
If you’re using cardboard boxes, you will need packing tape to construct, or close up the boxes. In addition, you will also need packing materials, like bubble wrap, old newspapers, etc. if you've got fragile items you're removing from your home, so that these items don't get damaged in transit.
Along with the shorthand method of designating white garbage bags for one destination, while black ones head to another, mentioned above, you also need other ways to keep track of where various boxes, bags or piles are destined to go, or what they contain. That's where markers and labels come in handy, and keep things from getting confusing for you and any decluttering partners who are helping you sort and clear clutter from your home.
The purpose of these Declutter 365 missions is not to clean your home, but instead to remove clutter from it, so I don't want you to think you've got to do a deep cleaning in every area you are decluttering (at least not while you're focused on decluttering).
Such deep cleaning is not normally necessary, or even productive, while decluttering, and leads to you getting sidetracked.
However, depending on what area of your home you're decluttering, if you encounter a heck of a lot of dust or debris, you don't access the area you're decluttering frequently, and you've already got it temporarily emptied while doing your sorting and deciding of what to purge, in these circumstances it can make sense to do a quick removal of dirt and grime to save time and effort, overall.
That's why, for the purposes of decluttering supplies related to cleaning, it's the vacuum cleaner and dusting rags that are the most useful to have on hand.
Keep in mind that if you come across big messes while decluttering, such as something that has spilled or leaked, that's a whole different scenario, and yes, you should clean it up, but then you've switched into clean up mode, not decluttering mode at that point.
Some of the places you'll be asked to declutter as part of these Declutter 365 missions will be harder for you to reach, such as high up cupboards or shelves.
Safety is very important when doing any decluttering task, so please don't do anything you don't physically feel capable of doing, and always ask for help when necessary.
But if you need a bit of assistance to reach an area, using a small step stool or step ladder can make the process easier, and potentially safer as well than trying to reach it on your tiptoes.
Finally, the Declutter 365 missions regularly contain missions where you're asked to make sure that the clutter you've identified actually leaves your home, through donation, sale, recycling or trashing it. That's because it's not 100% decluttered until iit leaves your home!
Be prepared that your trash can, and potentially your recycling bin, will get very full while you're doing these tasks, because unfortunately not everything can be donated or sold.
Depending on the amount of trash you identify in a given week, while doing these missions, you may want to get a second trash can. Alternatively, just be very careful to always take your trash out on trash days, and not forget a collection day by keeping up with your trash day routine, so you can throw away as much stuff as possible each week without getting a trash back up.
And if you anticipate identifying a whole lot of trash over a relatively short period of time, you may want to even rent a dumpster, although with this slower method of decluttering in Declutter 365, that shouldn't be necessary in most circumstances
Here's your printable decluttering supplies list, that you can download and print from this PDF, and add to your household notebook.
Click here to get your printable
(opens into new window, as PDF)
I hope this list of supplies you'll need to declutter your home was helpful. I've got a whole lot more decluttering tips here.
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