Do you struggle with finding the time to declutter your home? These Easy Decluttering Tips will get you started and keep you on the right track.
One of my main goals for 2017 is to simplify my life and home. I know – I know, it’s something that many of us (including myself) tell ourselves over and over.
First, let me start with a brief backstory – many years ago I ran a very organized home. Everything had a place and I knew where everything was. I had a daily, weekly and monthly schedule that I stuck to (at least most of the time), I knew what we were having for dinner and what groceries I needed to buy before I headed to the store.
Now, that might sound insane to some of you, but I loved it – I actually thrived under those circumstances. It’s who I am.
I have recently discovered after much reading, praying and spending time reflecting that those times in my life that I was organized and the house ran smoothly were some of my happiest times. So you would think – well if my home is not organized and not running smoothly – then what? I am unhappy?
Yes I am. At least I have been unhappy with my life and home over the last 5 years or so.
During the time I began blogging and started getting really busy, I let the organization of a well planned life and home fall behind. It’s absolutely not something I like to admit. However, life got in the way and the things that I used to do – a cleaning schedule, a menu plan, a calendar – just simply took a back seat to work and general busyness.
Sometimes I think we really aren’t aware of how something we do helps until we haven’t done it for awhile. And then we wake up one day and realize that it’s because we have let the important things slip.
I would like to say that I spent a whole weekend and now the house is completely decluttered and organized. But I am also a firm believer in keeping it simple. So today, I’m going to share with you 3 really easy tips that you can implement right away to begin to get your life and home decluttered and back to where you want it to be.
The first step is decluttering. You can organize all of your things, but until you declutter, you are just organizing the same stuff over and over.
Decluttering Tips #1
Set up a system
Having a system in place makes tackling the tasks SO much easier. It also makes a very large job seem attainable.
- Grab a paper and pencil and write down everything (and I mean every.single.thing) in your home that needs to be decluttered. This is also known as a BrainDump.
- Then number them in order of priority. Your priority may be different than mine – you may find that cooking dinner is taking forever because the pantry is a mess and you can’t find the spice that you want to use. Or it may be taking you forever to find the shoes you want to wear in your closet. Or the children’s toys may be so out of control that you are stepping on Legos (ouch!) every time you enter their room. Whatever is most important to you, your family and your life – make that #1, and then continue on the list.
- Divide your list up per room. This is not a must, but it sure does help. I have found it to be really easy to physically go into a room and look around, then write down the things that need to be done.
- After your list is done, and you have decided what you need to tackle first, begin by writing them on your calendar, or to-do list or whatever you use. I have recently started using index cards for each day. I add a small goal to each day along with an affirmation and what cleaning task I need to do that day. (see the photos below for an example)
Decluttering Tips #2
Create a process
Now that you have your plan, and you know what needs to be done. It’s time to create a process. HOW will you go about doing the decluttering?
- Grab 3-4 boxes or plastic containers and mark on them – Keep – Donate – Storage
- Then as you declutter each space, you have the containers ready
- As you are going through the closet, drawer, or whatever you are decluttering, simply toss items into the containers
- Then after you are done, immediately put the items to donate in a plastic bag and put them in your vehicle to drop off at the local donation center
- It’s important to get the items out of your home, and do it rather quickly. For one thing, you don’t want to be tripping over a big bag that needs to be donated, because it will make you feel like you don’t really want to be decluttering if it just creates more mess in your home. And also, out-of-sight, out-of-mind, if you don’t see the items that you have placed in the bag for donation, you won’t have second thoughts. (yes I’m speaking from experience – well “maybe” I’ll use that some day)
Decluttering Tips #3
So like everyone else in this world, papers clutter our home, whether they are papers that come home with our children from school, bills, newspapers, etc. They are a mess, and can quickly get out of control.
- First, you need to designate a spot for papers – whether you have a filing system (which I highly suggest) or just a specific basket on the counter, it’s important to have a spot for a couple reasons. Not only does the paper spot make it less cluttered, it’s also easier to find things.
- I like using a “Sunday Basket.” You can certainly use whatever day of the week works best for you. But every Sunday, I know that I need to go through my Sunday basket and either file, put away, toss or simply take care of the papers in the basket.
- And speaking of baskets, it’s great to have a special basket or container for the children. All of our boys are out of the house, but I still have things that I have either bought, come in the mail, or that I find that belongs to them. So I have a designated basket with “take to boys” on it, and I place anything in that basket that belongs to them, then I check the basket before leaving to visit them. And they also know to check the basket if they come over to visit us.
What is your favorite tip for decluttering?
Here are a few more Organizing Ideas that will help you –