The First Thing You Should Declutter

the first thing you should declutter


Let’s keep this really simple.  The first thing you should declutter is cups.  If you have never decluttered before and you are starting from scratch pick something easy.  Most people I know have way too many cups, mugs, and liquid vessels. 

READ more to find out why I think it is best to start with cups, I promise there is a good reason.

This is not a joke, although when I think about how many cups we use to have I literally laugh out loud to myself.

The other day I got a comment that said, “tell me what is the first thing you would declutter?”  What immediately popped into my head were cups.


My Declutter Journey


When I first heard about decluttering and becoming more minimal I wanted to start right away.  I thought I don’t have too much extra, but I can probably find a few things.  So I headed into my kitchen and started opening cupboards. 

WOW!  I was suddenly shocked!  Most of us just go about our business day to day and never really think about how much of something we have. 

I knew we had plenty of cups, but I didn’t realize how many.

Turns out we had over 40 cups, not mugs and cups, but just cups!  Only 4 of us live in our house so we each get 10 cups per day.

I had a set of 10 large plastic cups, 10 short plastic cups, and 2 sets of 10 glass cups plus a bunch of mismatched cups.  This does not include all of the kid’s cups, to-go cups, and mugs.  We had so many that I kept half of them in a separate cupboard. 


Decluttering Cups


So the first thing I decluttered was cups and I continued with my kitchen.  I asked myself, “how many cups does a family of 4 need?” 

The questioning didn’t stop there; what if I have a party?  What if some of them break?

To start I decided to get rid of half of my cups, this way I had enough in case I had a party.  Over time I realized something, we don’t have that many parties where cups are needed. 

It turns out whenever we have a party we always end up using recyclable cups or everyone drinks the soda or beer out of the container.  I almost never need to pull my cups out.

A few years later I am down to 4 plastic cups and a few glass cups. 

My children have one kid’s cup each and I have a to-go cup that I use every day.  I am thinking of investing in one more to-go cup for my husband and getting rid of a few more cups because we literally never use them.


organized kitchen

What my cupboard looks like a few years after we started decluttering.  The is so much room now!


How Can Decluttering Cups Really Change Something?


You might be thinking who cares if you have a few extra cups, what does that matter?  I will let you in on a little secret, decluttering cups allowed me to see I can easily live without them. 

Being able to live without all the “just in case” cups has allowed me to declutter so much more in my life.  By starting with such an easy decluttering task it proved I could move on to more difficult decisions.  

The good thing about cups is they are very cheap and can be replaced if you decide you made the wrong choice, but so far I have never looked back. 

Another perk is you won’t be washing as many cups, you won’t have cups all over your house, and you won’t be storing cups for that what-if moment. 

In our house, my husband would always grab a new cup every time he wanted water, well now he can only do that a few times before he has to wash one.

My suggestion is always to start with the cups or something very easy and obvious.  Once you have mastered how many cups you really need you can move on to the next round of items.  The second item I would declutter is dishes depending on how many sets you have because just like the cups we are normally living with way too many dishes.


Avoid Decluttering Overwhelm


I have had so many comments where people tell me they are completely overwhelmed when it comes to decluttering.  One reason is you might be focusing on the whole picture rather than one small area. 

Imagine a puzzle, normally you start with the easiest area, the outer edge, then work your way into the harder parts.  This is exactly how you should imagine your house. 

Pick one or two super simple areas to declutter and just focus on that one thing.  Think cups and dishes, then maybe a week later you can focus on how many socks you really need.

Always start small and work your way up to larger decluttering projects.  Every little bit counts.  Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.


Read More About Decluttering:


11 Rules to Stay Clutter-Free

20 Reasons your House still looks Cluttered

How Often Should You Declutter?

How to declutter without feeling Guilty

Decluttering Help – Helping a Friend Declutter

Decluttering your Home With Kids


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