It can be so hard to get the clutter out of your life. At first you have so many questions.
Where do I start?
How do I decide what to get rid of?
How do I keep from getting overwhelmed?
How do I keep the clutter from coming back?
With no idea on where to start or what to tackle first you just let it sit, and sit, and sit. Eventually your small amount of clutter becomes larger and larger.
Now with even more junk and the mess getting bigger the stress and overwhelm to declutter gets worse. So, what do you do? Yep, just let it be.
It’s a vicious cycle I know. The good news is, you can end it.
Luckily with my easy schedule and decluttering system you will be able to declutter your home in a week or less. Promise. The only thing you have to do is commit to the process and actually spend time each day decluttering your home.
I know that’s asking a lot from you but trust me. In the end you’ll feel a million times lighter.
First thing I want you to do is take a few minutes and think about what your home will look like after you declutter it. Picture each room, closet, dresser, drawer, and more. Now think about how having that decluttered home will make you feel.
Pretty good huh? Well, it’s suppose to.
Cutter has been scientifically proven to be bad for our mental health. It has been found to be directly linked to depression and inhibits our ability to focus when we are surrounded by it. Another article compared it to having a toddler standing right beside you saying, “Candy, candy, candy, candy, I want candy. Candy, Candy Candy!”
Sure you can think of other things, but you can’t ignore the fact that the toddler is still there asking for candy over and over again. I don’t know about you, but when me kids ask me a million questions over and over again I can’t focus worth crap. The clutter in your home is doing the exact same thing to you.
When we declutter it lowers our stress and anxiety, makes us feel physically lighter, helps us focus, gives us energy, and gives us control over our physical space.
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To declutter your home, follow the schedule I have laid out for you below.
BEFORE YOU START:
STICK TO THE SCHEDULE
The first few days I have you starting out slow and that’s for a reason. I don’t want you tackling the hardest room or area on day one. That would just be too over whelming. You probably have more emotional attachments to things in your closet and bedroom than you do in your bathroom, living room, and kitchen. By tackling the easier rooms first, you can get use to letting stuff go that you have little to no attachment to before we hit the rooms where emotions come into play
Also, don’t move forward to the next day even if you finish the current day early. You want to give yourself time to relax and adjust before tackling a whole other room. You also don’t want to start an extra room only to find out you can’t finish it all in one day.
Get 3 Bins of your Choice (baskets, buckets, boxes, totes)
One will be for trash, one will be for donate, and one will be for sale. At the end of each day empty your bins into bags and just keep adding to them throughout the week.
TIP: Label each basket so you don’t get confused on what is what half way through a room.
TIP: Don’t start posting things for sale or donating items until you are done with your whole house. This will just make things more chaotic. Just save it all for the end and post everything for sale at one time and make one big trip to the donation center of our choice.
Make sure you planned ahead. Pick a day you’re going to start and put it on the calendar. I highly suggest starting on a Monday so that your garage and outside area fall on the weekend when everyone is home to help.
Also make sure you have informed everyone in your house what’s about to go down and get everybody on board. Unless you have toddlers. It’s best to leave them out of this process because they form emotional attachments to bubble gum wrappers and heaven forbid you throw that sacred thing in the trash.
Spend some time getting use to the thought of letting go of things you may have some emotional attachments to. I’m not talking about family airlumes. Those things are priceless and if it’s from your mother who died from breast cancer when you were 8 then you should by all means keep it. I’m talking about those things you have laying around that you got as gifts but never use because it’s not your style. I know, you don’t want to get rid of it because you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Who cares. If it’s cluttering up your house and causing you stress it needs to go. It’s that simple.
If it doesn’t spark joy, throw it out. (-Maria Kondo)
If you haven’t used it in 6months to a year, throw it out.
If you can’t remember where you got it, throw it out.
If it’s adding to your clutter and raising your stress, throw it out.
If it’s broken and you can’t fix it yourself, throw it out.
If it doesn’t spark joy but you think, “Maybe one day…” still throw it out.
TIP: If you get stuck with something that is only ‘kind of’ important to you, then just take a picture of it and then get rid of it.
7 Days to a Decluttered Home Schedule
DAY 1: Bathroom
The reason I want you to start in the bathroom is because it’s going to be the easiest place to get rid of excess without having to fight your emotional connection. We all have extra travel size shampoos, half bottles of vitamins, and expired medicines just taking up space begging to be thrown away.
Make sure and declutter all cabinets, drawers, medicine cabinets and closets that are in or related to your bathroom. If your linen closet is located outside your bathroom include that in today’s declutter schedule.
DAY 2: Living Room
Today you should have a system pretty well established by now or at least close to it. The Living Room will be a little harder than the bathroom because some of the stuff you may have an emotional connection to.
This is the day you will have to really follow the rules listed above. When times get hard just remember about why you’re decluttering and how you’re going to feel after it’s all done.
DAY 3: Kitchen
Ok, today’s day 3 so your rocking and rolling by now. Today is the same thing as yesterday except the fact that for most people this is the day the clutter gets bigger. You’re going to be going through cabinets and drawers and pulling out things you probably haven’t seen since your wedding day.
Make sure and go through all cabinets and drawers. This includes your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. I can promise you you’re going to be shocked at how much expired food you have sitting in there.
Same rules apply! Remember, you’re getting rid of the excess in your life. So, no you don’t need 26 hand towels just for your kitchen.
DAY 4: Bedrooms
Today’s going to be hard. If you haven’t started having trouble with emotional ties then today is probably the day for you.
The same rules apply, but today is going to take longer. You will need to go through all bedrooms in your house except the closets. I give closets their own day because that seems to be the hardest area for most people. We love our clothes and make some pretty deep emotional ties to them, so letting them go is hard for most.
Make sure you go through your nightstands, book shelfs, under your bed, and any other place you store stuff in your bedrooms.
TIP: When you go through your toddler’s (or children’s) room have them help you choose what they want to keep, donate, and sell with their toys. It’s a great way to get them involved. Psst…I go in while they’re playing outside or watching TV and get rid of more stuff that I know they never play with. What they don’t know won’t hurt that.
What? Mamas got to do what a mamas got to do.
Day 5: Closet
Today is another hard day. We all love our clothes and one look at that dress you wore on your first day can bring back all the feelings plus some.
It’s ok, we all do it. But just because a piece of clothing can bring back a wonderful memory isn’t reason enough to keep it.
Maria Kondo says that if it doesn’t spark joy instantly then it’s not worth keeping. I have to agree with her.
Even if a piece of clothing sparks joy I make myself think back to a time in the last 3-6 months that I wore it. If I can’t then it has to go.
I used to have so many articles of clothing that I loved but wouldn’t wear because they were uncomfortable. I constantly held onto them and all they did was take up precious space in my closet. Not anymore.
Now when I buy new clothes I have to really LOVE something before I get it and since I don’t let myself have a ton of clothes I’m willing to spend a little more on higher quality items. This means they last much longer.
Once again, the same rules apply.
Make sure you go through not only your closet but your children’s as well.
DAY 6 & 7: Garage/Outside
This is the only area that your allowed to take an extra day on. Most people, us included, have a lot of stuff stored in the garage. This can be a lot to go through and I don’t expect it to all happen in one day.
If you start your declutter schedule on a Monday, like I suggest, then this should be the weekend for you. I suggest this because the garage should be all hands on deck. You, the spouse, and all the children. Make it a family affair and get to decluttering.
TIP: Have your kids work on the yard area while you and your spouse tackle the garage. This will make the process go faster.
If you don’t have a garage, then go ahead and move on to your front and back yard. Throw away all those broken tools, half broken toys, and dead plants.
After you finish decluttering your entire home take all the donation items to your donation center of choice. There’s a wonderful project called Buy Nothing that has neighborhood groups on Facebook. This is a great place to post your unwanted items. You may just find that your unwanted items are desperately needed by your neighbors.
You can search for your local Facebook Buy Nothing group here.
After you’ve gotten the donations gone or at least posted for free you can start posting your items for sell. You can use craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or your local Facebook groups. Make sure that if you choose to sell items that you don’t use the money to go buy more junk for your house. Put the money in your savings or towards a bill. Remember your decluttering and you’ve made it this far, so don’t go undo all your hard work.
Decluttering can be overwhelming but if you follow my easy to use schedule above you can get your house decluttered in just 1 week or less. Don’t let the stress of where to start keep you from taking back your home and showing it who’s boss. Don’t let the fear of hurting someone’s feelings keep you buried in useless junk. Just keep thinking about how a decluttered home is going to make you feel and don’t let it do. You deserve it!
What are you waiting for? Get to decluttering!!