Feature Stories

Three Easy Steps to Declutter for a Happy Home

Most of us have endured a long cold winter here in Vermont, but Spring is upon us and that means it’s time to tidy up. Maintaining an organized and clutter-free home can seem like an overwhelming task but having a tidy home has been proven to be a happy home. Indeed, a recent study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin1, showed that the presence of clutter in our homes can create feelings of stress, and depression; whereas a tidy home can have restorative effects on our mood. With the advent of Spring, it’s a great time to address our clutter. Keep reading as we explore three simple steps to help you tackle those tricky spaces and create a restorative and organized living environment just in time for warmer weather.

Identify Your Clutter

As humans, we develop blind spots to clutter. We do this even though we instinctively know that clutter causes us stress. So, let’s take off our blinders and answer this question: Where is your clutter? Take a moment and identify the top 3 problem areas in your home. If you need more help identifying clutter, pretend the Royal Family is coming over for tea. Stroll through your home and think about what you need to tidy up before tea-time. Take note of areas that consistently accumulate clutter. Common trouble spots include entryways, closets, and kitchen countertops.

Once identified, prioritize these spaces based on their impact on your daily life. For example, if your entryway is always cluttered, it may affect your mornings and set the tone for the day. Tackling high-priority areas first will bring immediate benefits and motivation to continue decluttering.

Sort and Tidy

After identifying the trouble spots, the next step is to sort through the items in those areas. Create three piles: keep, donate, and discard. Be ruthless in your decision-making – if an item hasn’t been used or appreciated in the last year, it’s likely time to part ways.

For closets, consider a seasonal approach. Keep only the clothes and accessories suitable for the current season, and store off-season items in bins or under-the-bed storage. In the kitchen, clear countertops by stowing away rarely used appliances and organizing utensils and dishes. Make use of storage solutions like baskets, bins, and drawer organizers to maintain order.

Establish Systems and Habits

The key to maintaining a clutter-free home is to establish systems and habits that support organization. Invest in storage solutions that work for each specific space – hooks for the entryway, shoe racks for closets, and drawer dividers for kitchen utensils. Labeling containers and bins can also help family members easily identify where items belong.

Additionally, develop daily and weekly habits to prevent clutter from accumulating. Spend a few minutes each day putting items back in their designated places and set aside time each week for a quick decluttering session. Consistency is key, and over time, these habits will become second nature, ensuring a continuously organized living space.


Spring decluttering your home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these three simple steps – identifying the clutter, sorting, and tidying, and establishing systems and habits – you can transform even the most challenging areas into organized, restorative spaces. Take it one step at a time, and soon you’ll enjoy the benefits of a happy home.

Ben Durant is a leading Senior Real Estate Specialist in the State of Vermont and has a passion for supporting and defending his clients through the process of downsizing, right-sizing, and relocating in Vermont. Ben lives with his wife, Amy, and three children in Williston, Vermont. He can be reached at Ben@TransitionsVT.com or by calling directly at 802-355-6688. Visit his website at TransitionsVT.com.

  1. Saxbe DE, Repetti R. No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol. Personality Social Psychology Bulletin. 2010 Jan;36(1):71-81. doi: 10.1177/0146167209352864. Epub 2009 Nov 23. PMID: 19934011.

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