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What Is the Four Core Decluttering Method?

A woman declutters clothing.

The power of decluttering shouldn’t be underestimated. It allows us more space, clarity, and simplicity. While there are a lot of decluttering methods out there, professional organizer, Kayleen Kelly, might have the best one.

Kelly’s Four Core Decluttering Method shows you exactly how to declutter any space in a methodical, simple way.

Essentially, the four core method consists of four simple steps: clear out, categorize, cut out, and contain. If you’re ready to transform your living space and reduce your home clutter, each of these steps can help.


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The first step, clear out, consists of removing everything that shouldn’t be in a space. That might be trash, but it also applies to items that belong in a different area of the home. This beginning phase of decluttering is about getting everything gone.

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Next, you categorize. As its name implies, this step is meant for sorting through your items and placing like-items with like-items. For example, put all your clothes together, gather papers and mail in a pile or bin, and put anything work-related in one spot.

Step three is to cut out anything you don’t like, use, or need. While there is no hard and fast rule on how much you need to “cut out” of your life, what you keep should be equivalent to the size of your space.

The very last step is to contain. In other words, put everything in its home. Ideally, everything you keep should have a place it belongs—clothes in the closet, cleaning supplies under the sink, you get the idea. If you have too many things to contain, you may need to go back to the cut out stage.

While decluttering can be overwhelming, Kelly’s method can eliminate some of the stress by guiding you through specific, manageable steps.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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