Declutter Any Space With This 1,2,3 Method

declutter tips

Do you know some who is organizationally challenged or as I call it happily messy? I admit that I am guilty as charged but I am also a business owner, wife, and mom that knows the value of time and productivity.  Recognizing when a change is needed is key to success and survival in all my roles. I had to find a method that would keep the decluttering process systematic to ensure that I didn’t make a bigger mess while I organized. Trust me, if anyone can make a mess, cleaning a mess, it would be me. 

Our family successfully used this system when we blended our families into one home, then used it to declutter crowded space, and now as we plan to downsize we are using it to prepare our home for the real estate market. This variation of the box sorting method was the answer to our problems.  Even the kids could follow this easy system to declutter their belongings in any part of our home. If there is any space in your home ready for a declutter just follow the steps using both of the 1,2,3 methods and results are sure to follow. 


Declutter Tips: Questions


This step in this method may seem messy at first. You have to gather all the items in the space and go through each and every object one by one. With each object your goal is to determine if it is needed or where it should be kept. To do this you will need to ask the 3 questions below about each item. 

The first question you will ask is if an item is in good shape. If the item is broken or not working properly it is easy to see that it will go in the Trash/Recycle box. If the item is in good shape, then you need to move on to the next two questions.  Next you will ask yourself, when did I use this last. This is a great way to see if you really “need” something or if you just have been holding on to it for other reasons. If you haven’t used it in the past 30 days you may decide to donate it. You may also determine that you only use this item a few times per year but still need it. The last question helps determine if necessary items are in the right spot. For instance, the best location for a grooming set for the dog that is used a few times a year, may not be a cabinet in the kitchen.


Declutter: 1,2,3 Ask


  1. IS THIS ITEM IN GOOD SHAPE? Is it working properly or broken?
  2. WHEN DID I LAST USE IT? Have I used it in the last 30 days? 
  3. WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO KEEP THIS? Decide if it can kept in a better spot.


Declutter Tips: Sorting

In this part of the system there are 3 categories that will be used to sort the items in the space that you are working on. The store it box is the one that hold items that you need but are not necessarily in the best location in your home. The donate it bag will contain all the items that are in working condition that others may be able to use. Last but not least, the trash it category will contain items that belong in the garbage or recyclables.  Any items left out of the 3 categories will stay in the space.  Before moving on, go through the store it box and items left out one more time to make sure that they do not belong in one of the other categories. 

Declutter 1,2,3 Sort


    1. STORE IT: Items that you need but will find a better spot to store it in
    2. DONATE IT:  Items that are no longer needed and will be donated
    3. TRASH IT:  Items in bad shape that will need to be recycled or trashed

Declutter Tips for Success


 If you follow this process, you should have 25% less stuff then you started with in the space. The combination of these 1,2,3. methods will help you maximize your space while minimizing clutter. Young and old, messy or neat, anyone can use this process and see immediate results.  Any reduction of clutter automatically enhances the looks of the space and gives more opportunities to reorganize and redesign. After seeing so much success with this method, I now share this with others including clients who are remodeling, selling their home, or even moving in to a new space. I have included an easy graphic that you can share for the 1,2,3, method to help declutter any space. 

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Article first published on InteriorFixes


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