I remember when I first decided to simplify and declutter my home. I’m admittedly a little impatient, and I wanted it done, like yesterday.
The thing is, it took me a lifetime to accumulate all that stuff, and it was most likely going to take me more than a few long days to go through it all. I was making decluttering WAY TOO HARD!
If you are new on this journey, or if you are in a spot where you don’t feel like you can keep up, I want to help you simplify the process.
Stop trying to declutter the entire house in one day
Step 1: Stop trying to do ALL THE THINGS. It is impossible.
There is only so much time in the day. If you do one thing, you are taking time away from another task. That’s OK.
Instead of starting with your entire closet, start with just your casual shirts.
Instead of trying to clean out your entire pantry, go through just the boxed or canned goods.
Work in small steps, be consistent with your efforts, and you WILL see progress. It is inevitable.
Start with the daily clutter
Step 2: Start with the daily clutter, and get it completely under control first before you start with those weird things in deep storage.
Yes, the storage closet is driving you nuts, and you really want to tackle it. Save it for a rainy day and for when you are a bit more practiced.
Decluttering takes practice to build the new skill, and often times, the stuff stored deep in storage has very strong, sentimental emotions tied to it.
Once you get rid of some stuff and are able to keep up more easily every day, then proceed to the next step.
Tackle moderate-sized projects
Step 3: AFTER tackling the daily clutter and maintaining it for a bit, start working on weekly clutter.
Things you can work on that you should be able to tackle weekly, once they are cleaned up:
- Paper filing
- Toy organization
- Fridge and pantry (Try a no-spend grocery week to help you clean out!)
- Purse and wallet
These are the areas that would be nice if they are clutter-free, but they are not the highest priority.
Once these areas are decluttered, they are easy to maintain and don’t require daily attention. A weekly once over should be sufficient to keep the clutter away.
Related post: Toy Clutter Solutions (Without the Guilt)
Tackle the big decluttering projects
Step 4: THEN, once you have a nice schedule that is easy to maintain (and after getting rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff), you can move on to the big projects.
Once you are good and decluttered, you can turn these big projects into monthly decluttering tasks, so as to avoid the clutter overwhelm from happening again.
Remember, divide and conquer your efforts so you don’t get frustrated and give up before you even get started!
When a holiday rolls around or there is a change in seasons, do another declutter. Let the year guide you on where you focus your efforts.
Quarterly or seasonal decluttering tasks you can accomplish:
- Closet clean out (Create a capsule wardrobe.)
- Holiday decorations
- Clean out under the bathroom sink or kitchen sink
- Clean up your computer files
Want help keeping up? Download my new declutter checklist which can help you keep up with the daily, weekly, monthly and more seasonal tasks.