A Host’s Guide to Decluttering

Got Guests Ahead? We’ll Show You How To Get Your Home Organized and Decluttered Before They Arrive!

Nothing makes a house a home more than throwing open its doors and welcoming guests. Sure, that sounds lovely…but for some, it can be a terrifying thought if the home is not quite ready for review from “outsiders.” Ahead, we have handy decluttering and organizing tips that will help get a home ready for the white-glove treatment by a visiting mother-in-law, or free up enough storage spaces for an overnighting group from church. First, take a moment to schedule your free donation pickup of the bedding, decor, clothes, kitchenware, toys and other household items you’ll soon be decluttering — just CLICK HERE to make an online appointment, and our Pickup Please truck will come to your home well before your guests arrive!

Inviting someone into your home to stay for a few minutes or a few months can be a joyous thing, but also nerve-wracking — especially if your house has been overcome by clutter in recent months. No worries, you’ll proudly be rolling out the welcome mat in no time thinks to the great advice below:


You’ll want to put your best foot forward as you greet your guests, so start where their visit does — at the front porch, and inside your entryway. Does the welcome mat need replacing? What about the table by the door — could it use a dusting and a decluttering? Consider swapping out the lamp or decorative items on it, to give your entry a fresh new look. You can donate your original items by CLICKING HERE. By updating and sprucing up your entryway, you’ll be motivating yourself to keep the rest of your home clutter-free every time you walk in the door.

clean and fresh room designs

happy family at kitchen


The kitchen will probably serve as ground zero for most get-togethers, so you’ll want to pay close attention to it. We like the top-down method of kitchen organizing, where you start with the uppermost cabinets and work your way down to the floor. Be sure to use our awesome 3 Box Method, which we describe further down below.

A quick checklist of declutterable, donatable items in your kitchen include:

  • Cookbooks from the back of your pantry
  • Outdated plates and pottery
  • Kitchen gadgets and small appliances that are rarely used
  • Fry or sauce pans that have been replaced by newer versions
  • Wine and cocktail glasses
  • Extra coffee mugs


Bedrooms can be beasts to declutter, what with their overstuffed closets. You may be surprised to learn you can tame that beast in just 19 minutes by tackling our fun “19-minute Closet Declutter Challenge,” which you’ll find here:

Take our 19-Minute Closet Declutter Challenge!


Once the closet’s decluttered, you’ll have plenty of “new” room for storing your guests’ clothes and the luggage that carried them.

living room

Living Room

Sure, you can do the usual dusting-and-vacuuming of the living room in order to make it ready for your guests. Or, better still, you can give it a good decluttering. You’ll need our 3 Box Method to do it right:

The 3 Box Method for Decluttering and Organizing

Decluttering is as easy as 1-2-3 boxes or heavy-duty trash bags. Start your process by gathering up three boxes or bags and a permanent marker. Use your marker to label one “Keep,” one “Toss,” and the last one “Donate.” Once that easy step is complete, this is all you need to do:

Keep– Every cluttered space has items that you want to keep and use in the future. Start decluttering your family space by determining what you use regularly and value as a keepsake. Put these items in your boxes marked “keep.” Moving them physically from where they are in the room and into a box will help you to 1) determine if you really want to keep it 2) clear out your existing cluttered space and 3) end with organizing your room. More on that a bit later.

Toss– Family rooms are clutter caves for stuff that really needs to be thrown away. Magazines, newspapers, junk mail, old school work and broken toys are just a few items that need to go. Taking a few minutes to declutter what you, or someone else, will never use again will give you that awesome feeling of clean!

Donate– Now it’s time to fill up your donate boxes and bags with those items that you no longer want or need but will be used by someone else. Donating usable, functioning and useful items will not only put your family back in your family room, it will also help to support our nation’s veterans and their families. A list of great donation ideas includes:

  • Videos
  • Good condition toys
  • Small electronic equipment
  • Small furniture (easy for one person to pick up)
  • Knickknacks
  • Decor pillows and throws
  • Lamps
  • Books
  • Other items that you no longer use or value


Let’s all admit bathrooms are worrisome places when it comes to guests, because we all are guilty of having snooped around in ones we’ve visited in the past! So get yours ready for the nosy by decluttering it the easy way outlined above. Be sure to consider donating donating blow dryers, curling irons and other small appliances you have no use for. Trash the makeup, medicines and toiletries you no longer use or have expired, then organize by straightening up your medicine cabinet and give your countertop a good wipe-down. Check to make sure you have a spare roll of toilet paper on hand, then impress your snoopiest of guests by taking a moment to neatly wind up the chords to your gadgets stored beneath the sink.

See? In no time, your home’s so decluttered and organized it could be featured on the AirBnB homepage! To avoid forgetting the last step, be sure to click the link below and schedule your free donation pickup today with the Vietnam Veterans of America. You’ll be helping veterans and their families!