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Decluttering Tips: Pro Hacks for a Cleaner Space

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8 min read

The 20-20-20 Rule Explained

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the chaos in your home, the 20-20-20 rule might be the game-changer you need. The concept is simple yet powerful: for every 20 minutes you spend decluttering, take a 20-minute break from the task, and spend that time doing something completely unrelated. This will not only prevent burnout but also help you maintain focus and motivation throughout the decluttering process.

Decluttering can be a daunting task, especially when you have a lot of stuff to sort through. The 20-20-20 rule provides a structured approach to make the process more manageable. By breaking your decluttering goals into smaller, 20-minute sessions, you can tackle specific areas or tasks without feeling overwhelmed. Whether it's tackling a pile of paperwork or organizing your kitchen cabinets, dedicating focused time to each task will help you stay on track and make progress. Consider checking out the Declutter Fast method provides a step-by-step guide to implementing the 20-20-20 rule for effective decluttering sessions.

Practical Application

To apply the 20-20-20 rule effectively, choose specific areas or tasks to work on during each 20-minute decluttering session. Start by identifying the areas in your home that need the most attention. Is it your overflowing closet or the cluttered desk in your home office? By prioritizing these areas, you can create a plan of action and allocate dedicated time to address each one.

During your 20-minute decluttering sessions, it's important to stay focused and avoid distractions. Set a timer to keep track of the time and commit to working diligently until it goes off. This will help you make the most of each session and prevent you from getting sidetracked.

Additionally, use your 20-minute breaks wisely. Engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, such as going for a walk, practicing meditation, or indulging in a favorite hobby. These breaks are essential for maintaining your energy levels and preventing burnout. By alternating between focused decluttering sessions and refreshing breaks, you'll be able to declutter more efficiently and maintain your momentum.

Everyday Scenarios

The 20-20-20 rule is not just limited to large-scale decluttering projects. It can also be applied to your daily routine to prevent clutter from piling up in the first place. For example, before going to bed each night, take 20 minutes to tidy up your living space. This small habit will ensure that you wake up to a clutter-free environment and start your day on the right foot.

Another everyday scenario where the 20-20-20 rule can be beneficial is during meal preparation. Instead of leaving a messy kitchen behind after cooking, dedicate 20 minutes to clean up and organize your cooking area. This will not only make your next meal preparation easier but also create a more inviting and functional space for future culinary adventures.

Remember, decluttering is a continuous process, and the 20-20-20 rule can be applied in various aspects of your life. Whether it's decluttering your physical space, organizing your digital files, or even managing your schedule, breaking tasks into focused sessions and incorporating rejuvenating breaks will help you maintain productivity and achieve your goals.

Emergency Decluttering

There are times when unexpected guests are about to arrive, and your home is far from presentable. In such situations, the one-hour clean-up technique can be a lifesaver. This method involves dividing your space into small sections and dedicating a focused hour to decluttering each area. Start with the most visible areas like the living room or entryway and work your way through the entire house.

Let's dive deeper into the one-hour clean-up technique. Imagine you have unexpected guests coming over in an hour, and your home is in disarray. Panic sets in, but fear not! With this method, you can transform your messy space into a presentable haven in no time. For tips on emergency decluttering before guests arrive, check out the Declutter Fast guide.

One-Hour Clean-Up

During your one-hour clean-up, prioritize tasks that make the biggest visual impact in the shortest amount of time. Clearing clutter from surfaces, tidying up furniture, and organizing stray items are all effective strategies. Remember to have a box or bag nearby for items that need to be relocated to their proper places later on.

Now, let's break down the one-hour clean-up process step by step. Start by focusing on the most visible areas of your home, such as the living room or entryway. These spaces create the first impression for your guests, so it's crucial to make them as clutter-free as possible.

Begin by clearing clutter from surfaces like coffee tables, countertops, and shelves. Put away any items that don't belong in these areas, such as loose papers, remote controls, or random knick-knacks. You can quickly stash them in a nearby box or bag for later organization.

Next, tidy up your furniture. Fluff the cushions, fold any blankets or throws, and arrange pillows neatly. If there are any visible stains or spills, quickly wipe them away with a damp cloth or use a fabric freshener to eliminate odors.

As you move through each area, keep an eye out for stray items that need to be put back in their designated places. It's easy for things to get misplaced, especially when you're in a rush. Use the box or bag you prepared earlier to collect these items, ensuring they don't add to the clutter.

While decluttering, take a moment to assess your space and identify any quick fixes that can enhance its overall appearance. For example, straightening crooked picture frames, adjusting curtains, or dusting off surfaces can make a significant difference in how tidy your home looks.

Remember, the one-hour clean-up technique is all about prioritizing tasks that have the most significant visual impact. By focusing on the areas that your guests are most likely to see, you can create an illusion of an organized and clutter-free home, even if it's just for a short while.

So, the next time unexpected guests are on their way, don't panic. Instead, grab your cleaning supplies, set a timer for one hour, and dive into the one-hour clean-up technique. With a little focus and determination, you'll have your home looking presentable and welcoming in no time!

The Core 4 Method

The Core 4 method is a powerful decluttering strategy that focuses on streamlining categories and setting priorities. By identifying the core areas in your home that contribute to the majority of clutter, you can save time and energy while making significant progress in your decluttering journey.

Clutter can easily accumulate in various areas of our homes, making it difficult to find what we need and causing unnecessary stress. The Core 4 method offers a solution by honing in on the key categories that tend to be the main sources of clutter.

When implementing the Core 4 method, it's important to start by assessing the different categories of items in your home. From clothes to books, kitchenware to sentimental objects, identify the areas that tend to accumulate the most clutter. This step allows you to gain a clear understanding of where your focus should be directed.

Streamlining Categories

Once you have identified these categories, create a plan to streamline and organize them systematically. Take the example of a cluttered wardrobe. By implementing a capsule wardrobe or donating items that no longer serve you, you can significantly reduce the amount of clutter in this area.

Streamlining categories one at a time allows you to see tangible results and maintain your motivation throughout the decluttering process. It's important to approach each category with a thoughtful and intentional mindset, ensuring that you only keep items that bring you joy or serve a practical purpose.

By decluttering and organizing your home in a systematic manner, you'll not only create a more visually appealing space but also improve your overall well-being. A clutter-free environment promotes a sense of calm and clarity, making it easier to navigate your daily life.

Setting Priorities

While decluttering can be a time-consuming task, setting priorities can help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Determine which areas or categories are causing the most stress or hindering your daily life, and prioritize decluttering those spaces first.

For instance, if your kitchen cabinets are overflowing and making it difficult to find what you need, start by decluttering and reorganizing them. By tackling the areas that have the most impact on your daily routine, you'll quickly experience the benefits of a cleaner and more organized space.

Setting priorities also allows you to break down the decluttering process into manageable steps. Instead of trying to tackle your entire home at once, you can focus on one area at a time, giving each category the attention it deserves.

Remember, decluttering is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. By implementing the Core 4 method and consistently prioritizing and streamlining categories, you'll be able to maintain a clutter-free and organized home for the long term.

Mental Blocks

Decluttering is not just about physical objects; it also involves addressing the mental blocks that may be holding you back from achieving a clutter-free lifestyle. Let's explore some common mental blocks and how to overcome them.

When it comes to decluttering, one of the most significant obstacles is procrastination. We find ourselves putting off the task, making excuses, and convincing ourselves that we'll get to it eventually. However, breaking through this mental block is crucial in achieving long-lasting results.

One effective method to overcome procrastination is by setting specific goals and deadlines for yourself. Create a decluttering schedule or enlist the help of a friend or family member to hold you accountable. By breaking the task into manageable chunks and sticking to a plan, you'll be more likely to overcome the temptation to procrastinate.

But what causes procrastination in the first place? It can stem from various factors, such as fear of making the wrong decision, feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to declutter, or simply not knowing where to start. Recognizing these underlying factors can help you address them head-on and find strategies to overcome them.

Another common mental block is the emotional attachment to our belongings. Letting go of sentimental items or objects that hold memories can often be challenging. However, it's essential to recognize that decluttering is a process of simplifying and creating space for what truly matters.

To break through this mental block, consider adopting a minimalist mindset and focus on the freedom gained by releasing unnecessary possessions. Celebrate the memories associated with sentimental items without holding onto the physical objects. With time and practice, letting go will become easier, and you'll experience the joy of a clutter-free space.

It's also important to acknowledge that our possessions do not define us. Our identity and worth are not tied to material things. By shifting our mindset and placing value on experiences and relationships rather than stuff, we can begin to let go of the emotional attachment and embrace a more minimalist lifestyle.

Furthermore, decluttering can have a positive impact on our mental well-being. A cluttered environment can contribute to stress, anxiety, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. By creating a clean and organized space, we can promote a sense of calm and clarity in our minds.

When decluttering, it's helpful to have a vision of the end result in mind. Imagine how you want your space to look and feel once the process is complete. Visualize the benefits of a clutter-free environment, such as increased productivity, improved focus, and a greater sense of peace.

Remember, decluttering is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. It's normal to encounter setbacks and moments of resistance along the way. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories. Each step you take towards a clutter-free life is a step towards a more peaceful and fulfilling existence.


Decluttering your space is not just about creating an aesthetically pleasing environment; it's about creating an atmosphere that promotes clarity, peace, and overall well-being. By implementing these pro hacks and expert-level strategies, you'll be well on your way to achieving a cleaner and more organized space. Remember, decluttering is a journey, and it's important to be patient and kind to yourself as you progress. Get started today and unlock the benefits of a clutter-free life! If you're ready to declutter your home once and for all, be sure to check out the Declutter Fast system. Their proven strategies will help you tackle clutter efficiently and create a peaceful living space.