Unlock a Clutter-Free Space with These 5 Steps from a Decluttering Pro

As the spring season ushers in a time for renewal and fresh starts, many find themselves motivated to declutter their homes, aiming to let in the warmth and light of the longer days. However, the emotional ties to our possessions can often make the process more challenging than anticipated. Enter the Peter Walsh method, a simple, effective five-step approach designed to help anyone achieve a tidier, more organized space.

The Science Behind Decluttering

It’s no secret that the state of our living spaces can have a significant impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Research corroborates this, with findings from WebMD suggesting that eliminating clutter can lead to increased feelings of calm, control, and overall mental health. Peter Walsh, equipped with a master’s degree in psychology and a wealth of organizing knowledge shared through his books—such as Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life and Enough Already!: Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You—aims to not only help families declutter but also understand the detrimental effects clutter can have on their lives.

Peter Walsh’s Five-Step Decluttering Guide

1. Clear It Out

The first step in Walsh’s method involves a thorough cleanout of the selected area. For example, if you’re tackling the kitchen, begin by removing everything and placing it into bins in another room. Approach the task one section at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed, whether it be your desk, wardrobe, or another specific area of a room.

2. Set an Intention

Having a clear vision for what you want a space to achieve is crucial. Whether it’s creating more room to cook in the kitchen or making your clothing more accessible in your wardrobe, setting an intention will guide your decluttering process and ensure the space aligns with your desired outcome.

3. Sort It

With everything out of the room, begin sorting items into two categories: those that align with your vision and those that don’t. Keep only the items that fit your intended purpose for the space, and prepare to part with the rest.

4. Bin It

The next step involves disposing of the “out-the-door” pile by donating, recycling, or throwing away items. It’s essential to act promptly to avoid the temptation to store items elsewhere, leading to further clutter.

5. Envision and Arrange

Lastly, reintroduce items from the “vision” pile back into the space, organizing them in a manner that supports your goal. Ensuring each item has a designated place is key to maintaining an organized environment.

Walsh’s method has garnered praise from those who have implemented it, with many sharing their success stories. One individual remarked on the transformative experience of decluttering their home after a major remodeling project, emphasizing the benefits of a deliberate, vision-driven approach to organizing space.

Another echoed the importance of aligning one’s possessions with personal taste and functionality, while a third expressed eagerness to apply Walsh’s method in their own decluttering endeavors.


Peter Walsh’s five-step decluttering guide offers a structured, manageable approach to organizing any space. By emphasizing the importance of clear intentions and decisive action, this method not only facilitates physical decluttering but also promotes a sense of mental clarity and wellbeing. As we embrace the spring season, Walsh’s approach provides an invaluable tool for those looking to refresh their living spaces and, by extension, their lives.

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