Hi moms! It is time to declutter your home. A few weeks ago I talked about how we can declutter our lives. We introduced three principles that I believe can be applied to decluttering your home. I get it! I am a mom of three, living through a pandemic, social unrest, and trying to decide on how to navigate my career with my child’s virtual classroom. Well, the system that I want to introduce will help you declutter your home at your pace and will help you stay organized. Let’s get to work!
As I mentioned, we talked about decluttering our lives…not our homes a few weeks back. If you haven’t read that post be sure to check it out. I am a firm believer in working from the inside out because that is where sustainable change occurs. Just to recap I believe that there is a correlation between a cluttered life and a cluttered home. To address both, I outlined these three practical steps to help you get on the path to an organized life.
Before we can be about the business of decluttering our home let’s make sure that our lives are free of clutter as well. Psalm 51:10 says Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew the right spirit within me. I would encourage you to look inward before looking outward. If you can commit to the work and exercise discipline you can declutter your life and home. Are you ready?
Declutter your Home
The first step to organizing your home is to declutter. Another “d” word! Yes, you must declutter your home and rid it of all unnecessary, unused, old, and worn items that are collecting dust and taking up space. For some individuals, like my husband, he panics whenever I bring a big black trash bag because he knows that some stuff has to go! On the other hand, I am a purging queen and will gladly throw away anything that appears to be junk/clutter. It is important that if the decluttering project is a group effort that all voices are heard and valued. I have had to learn the hard way that what appears to be junk to me might be a treasure to him.
When we declutter our home we use a three-step method:
- Choose a room
- Choose an area within the room
- Create piles
One of the biggest mistakes that I see with friends who are trying to declutter their homes is that they try to do everything at the same time. This leads to frustration, confusion, and oftentimes unfinished projects. It is important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and your home did not become cluttered overnight. Give yourself grace and space to complete the task. Let’s learn to celebrate the small victories of decluttering your bathroom. That small success can propel you to tackle your garage or the kid’s playroom.
Step one: Choose a room
You have committed to the work so let’s get going! The first step to declutter your home is to choose a room. I believe that you should choose a small room such as a bathroom, laundry room, or even a child’s bedroom. Now that you have chosen a room, commit to decluttering it completely before moving onto the next room. As I stated earlier, starting small brings confidence and that sparks motivation to keep going. So have you chosen a room? If not I would like for you to do the following:
- Scan your home and decide right now what room you will tackle.
- Commit to doing the work of decluttering that room.
- WRITE down a day and time that you will begin the work
- Find an accountability partner and tell them you will start decluttering that room on the day that you set aside
- Move to step 2
Should there be a time certain time frame in which to clean the room? While I believe it is important to complete the task in the quickest manner possible, I do not want to put time limits on individuals. As we continue discussing the decluttering method I believe establishing time frames will make more sense.
Step two: Choose an area within the room
Now, this is where the fun begins! When you enter the room choose a specific space that you will declutter. What does this mean? The objective is to clean one area at a time. Once that area is clean then you will move on to the next area within the same room. Again the key to this method of decluttering is that you start small then progress to larger areas. Check out the specific areas listed below.
- The cabinet underneath the sink
- Medicine cabinet
- Underneath the bed
- Sitting area
- Underneath the bed
- Underneath the sink
- Entertainment area
- Magazine basket
- Coat closet
- Arts and crafts area
- Toy chest/box
- Miscellaneous areas
I hope these suggestions get you moving in the right direction!
Step three: Create piles
Now that you have chosen a room and space let’s tackle the stuff that has been occupying that space. The best way to tackle all of that STUFF is to create piles.
- Keep – the keep pile are items that will REMAIN in your house
- Trash – items placed in the trash pile will be REMOVED from your house
- Donate – these items will be GIVEN to your favorite charity
As you begin to sort through your items please make sure that your piles are either marked or separated so that the piles do not mix into another pile. Do you remember when we talked about time frames? The objective when placing items in the pile is to make the decision relatively quickly. I would spend only 2-3 minutes when trying to determine whether or not to keep, trash, or donate. Also, I have developed a home organization questionnaire that will help guide your decisions throughout this process. I would recommend completing the questionnaire before you start because this will help you make decisions and think through the decluttering process.
Bonus: for items that you will donate have a designated charity, person, or organization so that the items can be dropped off within 2-3 days of decluttering your home. The last thing that you want is a pile of donations that create clutter.
I hope that you see decluttering your home does not have to be complicated. If you utilize these three steps combined with intention and discipline you will get the job done. Remember to be kind to yourself as you work through your home. We are cheering you on!