So you need a little help figuring out how to declutter your house without getting overwhelmed & guess what, you’re not alone! Decluttering experts have made things really confusing with all the layers of joy and unicorn dust they’ve added to everything. Luckily decluttering is a lot easier to do than you think. Y
The trick to making it easy is to dial in on what your real issue is…
And for 9 out of 10 people, the reason decluttering is hard is either their emotions, not having a good plan, or some mix of the two.
Today, I won’t talk about the actual emotions that make decluttering hard. That’s a whole separate post. Instead, we’re going to focus on the planning side so you can actually take action. Make progress. And drop all the heaviness of feeling overwhelmed by your clutter now. I know you’re ready to get that crap out of there so let’s dive into this post.
My five-step process for decluttering your home is straight to the point, no fluff and kinda gets a little dark around step #4 – but hey, it gets the job done lol.
Sorry but that may not be possible. If this is your first big decluttering mission in a while, you’re going to need a little more than a day to do it right. To make sure you succeed, don’t start off by biting more than you can chew. That’s the fastest way to fail.
Small decluttering projects are the key to decluttering your house. They are a lot easier to manage – and you can typically start and finish in one sitting. That’s super important for staying motivated. You can tackle one small decluttering project a day or do several on the weekend. Just do what works for your schedule.
Whether you want to spend a full day decluttering or declutter your home over 30-days, you need to plan for it. If you want to have something to show for yourself at the end of your decluttering session(s). Start by checking your schedule. How much time do you want to spend decluttering & when do you want to block off time to do it? Be sure to set reminders – be serious about it.
Regardless of what areas or rooms you’re decluttering, the tools you’ll need to carry out the mission will stay the same for the most part. Luckily, you only need a few things and you’ve probably already got most of them!
Sure, how you start decluttering is important but how you end your decluttering session is everything! If you don’t get the clutter out of your house – or to wherever it’s supposed to be – all you’ve done is move clutter around. So did you really accomplish anything? Nope. Sometimes people undertake the challenge of decluttering, create monstrous piles of clutter, and then fizzle out because it’s soo much stuff and they don’t know what to do with it.
The trick to making sure you don’t just move stuff around, is to use a very simple sorting system so that you know exactly where the clutter needs to go as you sort. Then set aside a block of time to make sure all the clutter gets where it needs to be. It’s the absolute best way to prevent your house from turning into a disaster while you’re decluttering. Not to mention,
For example, while sorting, when you pick up an item that you think is trash, you put it in the trash pile. And can you guess where you should take the trash pile once you’re done sorting everything? You guessed it – to the trash bin! That old mickey sweatshirt can go into the *Goodwill* pile. But smell the armpits first. If they stink, it goes in the trash as well. Told ya decluttering is easy.
YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO READ // The Smart Girls Guide To A Clean And Organized Houe | 10 Actionable Tips for more ideas on how to create and keep your house clean and organized!
Ok so I said I wouldn’t be talking about the impact emotions have on decluttering but, this step is all about getting your emotions out of the way. Think of a friend or a celebrity that’s known for getting straight to business. Let’s do what we came to do. No small talk. You have cancer. Here are your options. Please hurry, I go to lunch in 5-minutes.
Yes, that’s a little (extraordinarily) cold. Clinical. Heartless. And sometimes, when you find yourself being led by your emotions and you’re doing things that don’t align with your goals, you gotta get a little tough with yourself. Being practical & logical is the best antidote to that long list of colorful reasons you come up with to keep stuff around.
Heck, think about relationships where you saw plenty of red flags – or flashing stop signs – along the way but you let your emotions talk into going forward with that relationship that was doomed before it even started. The logical side in your head tried to tell you this wasn’t going to be good lol. And now you need your logical angel to help you get out of the mess you’re in. Am I talking about my life right now? I don’t know maybe lol.
But I say all that to say it’s ok to lead with your heart but let logic win sometimes.
ASK YOURSELF THE QUESTIONS BELOW WHEN GETTING RID OF SOMETHING STARTS TO FEEL HARD /
1 | Have I used this in the past 365 days?
If the answer is no, toss it. If it’s yes, keep going.
2 | If I get rid of this, will it negatively impact my day-to-day life or my life in the next 365 days?
If the answer is no, toss it. If it’s yes, keep going.
3 | If I toss it now but need it later, is it something I can replace? Buy, rent or download?
If the answer is yes, toss it. If it’s no, keep going.
4 | If the house caught on fire, would I fight the flames to get this out safely?
If the answer is yes, keep it. If it’s no, let it go!
SUPER-DUPER IMPORTANT TIP / Make this process short & sweet! Give yourself one minute to make a decision on each item you sort. If you still can’t make a decision after one-minute, put the item into the 30-Day Box mentioned above. Do it like this so that you can make a lot of progress in a short amount of time & not let indecisiveness slow you down!
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed or lose focus when decluttering your house. Especially if you have a lot of stuff. Clearing one surface after another, sorting everything, going back and forth to goodwill – the whole process can take quite a bit of time and energy.
Thinking about what you want your house to look when you finish or how it got cluttered in the first place can help guide your decision-making process and keep you motivated. It’ll also inspire you to develop habits that’ll keep your house clutter-free in the future.
Here are a few practical questions to ask yourself to help create your big-picture goal.
YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO READ // How To Get A Clean House For Life! 71 Super Actionable Ideas for tips and tricks to keep your house clean without pulling your hair out!
And finally, the million-dollar question – where should you start? Honestly, that’s a great question that you’ve probably been overthinking so I am happy to point you in the right direction. For the record, there is no wrong place to start – not getting started is the wrong answer!
Don’t start with a decluttering project at all!. If you don’t really have the time or motivation to plan a big decluttering overhaul, don’t. Instead, use the Touch Rule which allows you to get into the habit of decluttering without going out of your way to do it. Consider it a minor lifestyle change.
Here’s how the Touch Rule works – whatever you touch, you declutter immediately. When you take off your clothes, you put them in the right place – on a hanger or in the hamper – not the floor. Grab the mail out the mailbox and Instead of putting it with the pile of old mail, you read it, file it, scan it, toss it or shred it. You get it right?
Choose something like your purse or your car. I know it sounds like we are getting off task but hear me out! The items you have to sort out of your purse will naturally lead you to other areas of the house. For instance, a lot of the items in your purse may belong in your bathroom or your office. One of those rooms can be your next decluttering project.
This will allow you to get into the hang of managing small decluttering projects and build momentum with small wins so that by the time you get to the worst areas, you’ll be a decluttering pro!
Start in your bathroom. Why not? You use it every day, it’s not a huge area and it should be fairly straightforward in regards to what to keep & what to toss. Once you finish that one, knock out the rest of the bathrooms.
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So you’re ready to rock n’ roll but could use a little help on exactly what you should be clearing from each room. No worries. Here’s a list of things you can declutter and it’s broken up by rooms so it’s super easy to follow!
trash or items to be recycled
anything that you don’t know what it is
anything you can’t use
duplicates that don’t get used (keep your favorite and ditch the rest!)
old electronics like phones, chargers and cords
product boxes like phone boxes
paper clutter like bills, transcripts, school work, etc.
decor you do not like
clear furniture surfaces
Items on the floor
clothes you will never wear
clothes that don’t fit
shoes you won’t wear again
shoes that are in bad condition
clothing you haven’t worn in over a year
socks with holes or without mates
tarnished and broken jewelry
worn or damaged luggage, bags, purses or backpacks
damaged or worn sheets and blankets
outdated comforter sets
empty product bottles
old fingernail polish
expired beauty products
old cleaning supplies
expired refrigerator food
old frozen foods
old food in the pantry
chipped glasses and mugs
dishes without the rest of the set
plastic containers without lids or lids without containers
excess coffee mugs
raggedy dish towels
books and old movies (for example, DVDs)
magazines or books you won’t read again
old remote controls
cords and wires
unused gaming systems and electronics
unnecessary paperwork like old bills (everything is online)
dried markers and pens
excess amounts of office supplies
owners manuals for products
random electronics cords + cables
outdated phones and electronics
boxes you haven’t opened in over 1 year
excess products or things
Broken sports equipment
Decluttering your house does not have to be complicated. Get started right now by simply choosing to start. You don’t need to spend your time reading one post after another. Use this brief outline & trust your instincts.
How to declutter your house without getting overwhelmed:
Step 1 | Plan when you will declutter and how much time you’ll spend doing it.
Step 2 | Get everything you need to declutter from start to finish.
Step 3 | Be prepared to get your clutter where it needs to go quickly by sorting into one of five categories.
Step 4 | Use the practical, highly effective clutter busting questions to quickly declutter tough areas.
Step 5 | Make sure you know why you’re decluttering and what the bigger picture is to help you stay motivated throughout the process.
Good things are meant to be shared! Save this to your Pinterest account so you can actually find it later and so others can see you’ve got all the good stuff!