5 Decluttering Tips while under Quarantine

Laurie Palau
2 min readMar 11, 2020


COVID-19 has gotten our attention.

From school and business closures, to entire countries going on lock-down, the reality is that many of us are going to be spending some one-on-one time in our homes whether we like it or not.

So after you stock up on essentials, why not take this (albeit) forced opportunity to declutter and organize some spaces that you’ve been avoiding.

If you are feeling completely overwhelmed, or unmotivated, I’ve compiled a list of the most common areas that could probably use some TLC:

1. Kitchen Drawers-even the most organized kitchen drawers somehow end up with crumbs inside (how the heck does this even happen?!) Do one drawer at a time using our ESP (Empty, Sort, Purge) method to get rid of any gadgets you no longer use. Take this opportunity to disinfect the inside of the drawer before returning the contents.

2. The Pantry/Food Cabinets-I guarantee there is stuff inside your pantry that is well past the expiration date. Pitch the old, Zone by category, Contain the contents. Boom!

3. Bathroom & Medicine Cabinets — Like the pantry, the bathroom is filled with expiration dates. After pitching anything expired or empty, corral the remaining items. If you find that things are getting “lost”, you may need to re-think how you are storing everything. Think in terms of category, frequency of use and accessibility. If you have room to go vertical under the sink, consider purchasing some inexpensive pullouts to give you some height. If you can’t leave the house, just click and buy!

4. Kids Playrooms-Turn this into an activity by getting the kids involved. The key is to start with one small area and be specific. I suggest using the ESP (EMPTY, SORT, PURGE) method, and allow the kids to sort into 4 piles: KEEP, DONATE, RECYCLE, RELOCATE. Once it’s purged, you’ll be amazed by the newfound love the kids have for old toys!

5. Bookshelves- I’m married a reader and we have LOTS of books. Deciding what to keep can be really difficult. Start by asking yourself the following 3 questions: what is the likelihood that I’ll ever read this again? Is this a book that I would like to display? Would I miss this book if I were to donate it? Librarys, pre-schools, and donation places often take gently used books, so you know they will go to a good home.

And don’t forget to wash your hands! Stay healthy everyone.

Laurie Palau is the author of the book HOT MESS: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized and host of the weekly podcast This ORGANIZED Life. She lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband, 2 daughters and dog Jeter. For additional information visit www.simplyBorganized.com



Laurie Palau

Writer • Host of This ORGANIZED Life Podcast • Coffee Lover • Enneagram 8 • Homebody • Wife • Mom to 2 grown-ish kids • Champion of the Underdog •