6 things to declutter in May – for a fresh start in spring

Give your home a May makeover by decluttering these six things

A collection of three spring images - a vase with white spring flowers, a backyard with a pagoda covering an outdoor kitchen and seatign area, and a wooden bathroom vanity with two white sinks and mirrors
(Image credit: Layered Lounge / Yardzen / BC Designs/Darren Chung)

May is arguably the best month of spring. The weather is warming up, the days are noticeably longer, and we might finally feel free of SAD. With this new-found energy, it also makes it the perfect time to do some decluttering and organizing in the home.

Many of us will have already tackled our spring cleaning checklists, with most of the overwhelming tasks out of the way, meaning there is plenty of time to now tackle other decluttering tips at your own pace.

These are the six stress-free things to declutter in May to prepare our homes for spring and summer fun.

Things to declutter in May

This simple decluttering checklist is short and sweet, tackling only the absolute essential things to declutter before summer starts without making you feel overwhelmed. 

1. Clear out the last of your winter wardrobe

bedroom with wardrobe

(Image credit: Future PLC)

It wouldn't be a seasonal decluttering checklist without your monthly reminder to declutter your closet. May marks the official end of winter weather in many places, meaning you can tackle the last dregs of your winter wardrobe – decluttering anything you didn’t wear in the last six months, anything you no longer like, or anything you have worn out, says Audra George, professional organizer and owner at Pretty Neat: An Organizational Solution

As you do so, put your spring and summer items back into your closet, ensuring to only keep hold of items that fit and you love to make decluttering easier down the line. For any items you have worn out, make a note of what you want to replace to help direct your shopping. This will prevent you from spending on items you don’t need. 

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Vacuum Storage Bags |Was $39.99, Now $25.99 at Walmart
These handy vacuum seal bags are ideal for packing the seasonal clothing you are keeping for next year out of the way and in perfect condition. 

2. Deal with outdoor spaces

backyard with outdoor kitchen and seats round fire pit

(Image credit: Yardzen)

We might already be spending some time in our outdoor spaces come May, but if the weather is only just improving where you live, you might be yet to organize and declutter your backyard after winter. 

Audra George, professional organizer, suggests going back through any of your yard activities and outdoor sporting essentials to make sure you still need everything, or if any worn-out items need replacing. The same goes for any pool supplies or outdoor kitchen tools and equiptment, she adds. 

‘Get rid of anything that is not serving you and tidy up.’

3. Replace old yard furniture

small backyard with furniture and planting

(Image credit: Yardzen)

As you work outdoors, check over your outdoor furniture for wear and tear. Any old furniture that has seen better days should be on your list to declutter and replace. These larger items can often be collected by disposal companies for a small fee if you cannot fit them in your own car.  

4. Check over summer essentials

Bathroom with sinks mounted on a vintage pine dresser base

(Image credit: BC Designs / photograph Darren Chung)

May is also a great time to declutter a bathroom and address your summer-specific toiletries such as your sun lotions, moisturizers and bug sprays, reminds Audra George, professional organizer. ‘Declutter and get rid of those that have expired and buy new ones to be ready to go for the summer.’

Don’t forget to organize your medicine cabinet and check for inhalers and hay fever medications before the pollen count gets too high.  

5. Clean out cleaning supplies

cleaning butcher block counters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With spring cleaning complete, you will be well acquainted with your essential cleaning supplies. As such, you will know what works, what does not, what you love and hate, and which products you have run out of – making May the perfect time to declutter cleaning supplies and restock, says Barbara Brock, professional organizer, and home stager, past president of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals.

Keep products organized in the areas they are needed – keeping bathroom cleaning products in the bathroom, etc. – to ensure they are ready to grab and go to help you clean a house fast.  

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Method All-Purpose Spray, French Lavender | $3.65 at Amazon
When restocking your cleaning cabinet after spring cleaning, consider picking up a fresh floral scent for the new season ahead. I can't get enough of the Method cleaning sprays for their great fragrances. 

6. Sort through spring/summer decor

A lar=ge vase of white spring flowers on a hallway side table beside a small wicker candle holder

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

If you haven't already decorated your home for the spring and summer months, May is the ideal time – especially if you need to take down any lingering easter decor. Audra George, professional organizer recommends decluttering your existing spring decor as you decorate and before you go shopping for any more. This helps to limit clutter and waste, often saving your money too. 


Why is decluttering in May important? 

May is often seen as a month of renewal and growth, making a perfect symbolic time to declutter our home and refresh your decor. You will have also likely finished your spring cleaning, meaning that your home is tidy and therefore easier to declutter and reassess than when it is dirty or disorganized.  

How can I beat overwhelm when decluttering in May? 

If you feel overwhelmed when decluttering your home in May, try to take some time outside in the fresh air and sunny spring weather to help decompress and relax. Taking frequent breaks in a change of scenery can help you to reset and calm your mind – with the added vitamin D helping to boost your energy and motivation too. If you can, take a box of items outside into the sun and declutter them there for a fresh perspective.  

Even though these six items are relatively easy to declutter in May, it doesn't mean you have to declutter a whole house in one day. These tasks can be grouped together and tackled over a few weeks – or even completed as part of a week-by-week decluttering method – to help you fully refresh your home by the end of the month without any added stress.   

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.