The Complete Guide to Decluttering

Spending a lot of time at home? What better time to get organized?

a woman organizes clothes in living room of her home.
(Image credit: ©2020 Susumu Yoshioka)

The urge to purge our homes of clutter comes naturally in springtime, and we may feel it more urgently this year, as we hunker down and shelter in place. Tackling a decluttering project doesn’t just clear your closets, basement or garage of stuff you no longer need and let you check off a major item on your to-do list. In times like these, when the world is full of uncertainty and anxiety, decluttering can also give you a sense of control—and even help reduce stress. In a 2019 spring-cleaning survey sponsored by OfferUp, a resale website, almost two-thirds of respondents said they felt de-stressed after decluttering.

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Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.