TikTok’s Viral ‘Core 4’ Method Might Finally Help You Declutter Your Home

TikTok’s Viral ‘Core 4’ Method Might Finally Help You Declutter Your Home

There’s a difference between cleaning and decluttering. If you have too much stuff (clutter), you’ll have a much harder time sweeping, dusting, sanitizing, and actually cleaning. But decluttering is hard. It’s overwhelming, even, which is why clutter can get out of hand, making cleaning a nearly impossible task. That’s also why we’re always on the hunt for new ways to declutter: Surely, someone out there has cracked the code, right? As it turns out, organizer Kayleen Kelly may have. Her method, Core 4, could be the one that works for you. 

What is Core 4?

Kelly’s Core 4 cleaning method is a big hit on TikTok, with one analysis by Upmove showing videos on the technique have amassed over 23 million views. Here’s the video that launched it all:

When decluttering, Kelly suggests moving through each room in four stages: Clear outcategorisecut out, and contain

How to use Core 4 to declutter

If you want to try Core 4 on your own, Kelly advises starting with small areas to avoid getting overwhelmed. Instead of trying to do each stage through your entire home at once, do all four stages in one room, then repeat that process in each room. If a single room has a ton of stuff in it, you can divvy that up even smaller, focusing first on a closet or the counter space, for example.

Clear out

Start the first phase, which is clear out, by just removing everything and putting it in a pile. Throw out trash if you see it, but focus on getting your cupboards, table space, and other storage areas completely clear, so they can be filled up in a more organized way later.


Next, categorise. You’ll need sorting bins for this (more on that later), so designate a bin for all the different categories of stuff you’re moving through, like your clothes, a family member’s clothes, makeup, knick-knacks, pet products, etc. Start sorting your pile by putting every item into its associated bin. 

Cut out

The third phase is cut out. This one is difficult because you’ll be tasked with going through each bin and determining what can be thrown away or donated. This is a good time to practice putting your clutter in “purgatory,” or moving things you’re unsure about getting rid of to a special bin that you’ll hide away somewhere, like an attic, for a month to determine if you can live without it. Otherwise, be decisive and do your best to shrink the amount of stuff in each bin. 


Finally, contain. Reassess your bin situation. If you threw out a bunch of old kitchen tools, you might be able to put the remaining ones in a smaller container, for instance. The bins are key here, and you’ll be using them for storage and organizing going forward, not just for sorting and decluttering when you’re working through the steps. 

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