A cluttered and chaotic home can add to an already stressful life. If your home is cluttered with papers, books, clothes, dishes and things you just do not use very often, it will be hard to clean and to keep it clean. A disorganized and cluttered home can also cause huge amounts of stress and can be a huge distraction when you have other things to do.
The best way to simplify your life and make your home less stressful is to declutter it. And there is no better time to start like the present! However, just thinking about the amount of work you have to do in order to declutter your home can be so stressful as well.
What if I told you that you could get it all done in just one weekend? All you need is 3 days and your home would be as good as new. These helpful tips will help you declutter your home and keep it that way. Taking the time to read this article already shows that you want to declutter your home, so let’s get to work.
When you take a vacation you make a plan. When you buy a house you plan for it. When you throw a party you plan it out. So, it only makes sense when you decide to declutter they very place you live in day in and day out, to make a plan of action. Having a plan of action will help you think about where you need to begin in your home and where you should end up.
Take an hour or two a few days before you decide to declutter, to plan how you will tackle this job. Start with the harder jobs so that you are motivated to get it all done in one weekend. For example, you may want to tackle your living room, declutter the kitchen and front closet on Friday. Saturday you may want to tackle the laundry room, linen closet and bathrooms. And Sunday you are decluttering the bedrooms. Decide where you will start and finish in each room.
A good plan of action will help you to visualize this task being done and help get you in the mood to declutter. Do not over strategize though. Over planning can be overwhelming and defeat the purpose of a good plan. Keep it simple and to the point. Let’s not turn this into planning to plan, but instead a plan of action.
A few tips to help you plan:
- Remember to keep it simple.
- Always start from the top of the room and work your way down.
- Tackle harder jobs first. This will encourage you to keep going, the easy jobs will seem even easier.
- If you have big jobs that need help, be sure to incorporate friends and family to help you out.
I have learned for myself nothing gets done on time or when I want it to if I do not schedule it on my calendar and plan for it. This is why successful people have planners or calendars. If you plan it, it will happen. This is honestly the basis for most goal setting training! So, after you have set up a plan for action pick the weekend you are going to declutter. Give yourself a week or two. Any longer than two weeks and you are just procrastinating.
The sooner you plan to do it, the more like you will keep that date. Then mark it in your calendar. Be sure to put your calendar somewhere that you can see it. This will start getting you focussed on the task at hand. If you need to, do a countdown. A countdown to the that day can make it fun and light hearted.
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t schedule anything else that weekend
- Be sure to tell everyone you are busy so you have less interruptions that weekend.
- Make this a solid date, not a tentative date. If you have a habit of not sticking to your schedule, put it in your mind early on that this is a date you can not break. It needs to be done on this weekend. If you make it a priority, it will get done.
Prepare Tools You Will Need
Before that fun decluttering weekend arrives, be sure you have the proper cleaning supplies, new storage options, garbage bags and anything else you may need to do a good job decluttering your home. You may want to think about shelves or bookcases, closet or wardrobe organizers, shoe racks, crates, drawer organizers or other storage options that will help you organize. Part of decluttering is getting more organized. Don’t forget to stock up on surface cleaners and other cleaning products. There is no point in decluttering if you have no plan on cleaning up too.
Also it may be a good idea to research where you can recycle old phones, electronics and batteries. Most of the time these items cannot be put in the trash. So, do a little bit of homework before your big cleaning weekend.
So, the day has come to actually take action and do the work. Before you start cleaning, set the mood. Have you ever tried to clean when your mind is somewhere else? Does anything ever get done? The best way to ensure you will get the work done is by setting the mood. Play your favourite uplifting and energetic music. Be determined to master your home. If you need more motivation, wear your army boots or whatever motivates you. Prepare physically and mentally for the task at hand. And then just get it done. Look at your well planned out map of action and get to work!
Here are a couple of tips to help you get through this:
- Turn off your phone and social media
- If you need people to help, ask for help.
- Treat this as a challenge and reward yourself when you finish it.
Ok, your weekend is here, you have your plan of action, your tools are ready and you set the mood. Now it’s time to start. For each room set a timer of how long you want to be that room and how fast you want to get it done. Challenge yourself and make a game out of it. I think 1 or 2 hours per room is a good timeframe to challenge yourself. If the room is cluttered to the max, then set the timer at 3 or 4 hours and get to work! You got this! The game is on.
Purging is by far the hardest part of decluttering your home. This is where you are finally taking the action to get it done, to organize and get rid of the excess that is causing clutter and chaos in your home. When you go into each room go through all the items in the room and you will have to sort them. You can make this process easier by asking yourself these questions:
- Have I used this item in the past year?
- Will I need this item in the future?
- Will I ever use this item?
- Does this item possess any sentimental value?
- Is this item valuable?
- Do I have duplicates of this item?
- Is it broken?
- Is it usable?
- Will I lose sleep over this item if I give it away or discard it?
- How many of this item do I actually need?
Come up with sorting piles in for the room. You will most likely need five piles:
- Keep: These are the items you plan to keep in that room. Set these items aside for when you put the room back together.
- Trash: Throw out any garbage or broken objects. If an item has no value, takes up too much space and you do not use it, just get rid of it. It will be okay. Life will go on, I promise you.
- Recycle: Any items that you do not want that are paper, plastic or glass that can be recycled should be recycled. Recycling helps the planet and is a good green way to go with items that you no longer want. We should all do our part here to protect the plant.
- Donate: Any items that you do not want and have little value but can be useful for other people consider donating. There are so many great places to donate items to such as Oxfam, The Red Cross, Goodwill, resale shops and even churches.
- Sell: If you come across a valuable object that you no longer need, you should consider selling it at a garage sale or online. Ebay and Facebook are great places to sell items you no longer need but have some cash value. Besides, we all like earning a few bucks for getting rid of things. This is an added bonus.
Know Your Limits
Do not forget to set yourself up with limits. Such as, I can only have 6 pairs of shoes. I only have space for a set of 8 pots and pans. I only need 7 towels. I can’t have that big toaster oven because I don’t have the counter space. Knowing your limits will help you to figure out which items can stay and which should go.
Throwing Out Objects
Be sure to get rid of duplicates and broken objects or objects that are torn, stained or faded. Get rid of items you have not used in the past year and don’t see yourself using anytime soon. Yes, I know this all seems harsh. But unless you have space and energy to clean all these items, you need to get rid of them. I understand the sentimental value. But you can’t keep everything out of sentimental value. If you have a lot of sentimental items, take a picture of them, file it away and get rid of some of those objects.
Master The Space
It’s also important to learn how to better use space with storage options and organizational skills. For instance, when it comes to documents, bills and paper learn to go paperless. The less paperwork you have the less mess. For the papers, you do have to have come up with a filing system. Buy more digital books and get rid of some of your paper books.
Once you have made a decision on the items in this first room, right away take the items you are purging out of that room and get them prepared for where they are going whether that is to sale, garbage, donate or recycle.
Organize and Clean
After you have purged your first room, go back into that room and organize it to your liking. Use containers, labels, shelves and whatever organizational tools you need to keep that room neat and orderly. Before going into the next room, be sure to sweep, vacuum, mop and dust the room you just organized. There is no point in decluttering and organizing a dirty room to keep it dirty.
Once you are done check your timer. Did you finish it in the time allotted? If not why? Is there a way you could of managed that time better? If so, try it in the next room. If you got it down in the time allotted, congratulate yourself! You are on track. Time to move to the next room.
Once you have finished the first room do these things with the rest of the rooms in your home. Set your timer, purge, organize and clean. Be sure to follow your plan of action for your decluttering weekend. Stay on task and keep moving forward. You will accomplish this all in one weekend if you stay on task. It may get harder as the weekend goes on to get yourself motivated, however, just look at all you have completely so far! You are doing amazing. If you have come this far, just imagine how happy you will be when it is all done.
Keep It That Way
After you have decluttered every single room in your home, cleaned them and organized them, you have to now keep it that way. This is easier said than done.
However, if you become change your spending habits and consciously start to think about everything in your home when you make a purchase, you will help be able to maintain it. Here are a few ways to help you maintain a decluttered home:
- When purchasing something new consider where you will put it, do you have the space and will you use this object. What is the purpose of this object?
- When it comes to new outfits or replacing objects do what I call the one for one. For every new item in your home get rid of one item.
- Once a year commit to decluttering your home. The task should be smaller if you have maintain your home and spending habits.
- Let family and friends know you would rather have a night out, a vacation, day trip, event, whatever over a new object for your home.
- Learn to say no when people say, I have hand me downs for you or I am getting rid of xyz, do you want it? Strive to take in less objects. Your home will be better for it.
Decluttering your home in an entire weekend might seem like a HUGE amount of work. But if you break it down into days and the tasks you want done each day, the work becomes simpler. Don’t forget to set the timer and work to reach those time goals in each room. Work smarter not harder and you will definitely achieve a decluttered home by the end of the weekend. You will be less stressed and enjoy your home a whole lot more.