Do you find decluttering stressful and overwhelming?
If you’ve read my de-clutter-a-thon posts, you’ve probably figured out that I really don’t like de-cluttering a whole bunch at once.
It’s just too overwhelming for me to de-clutter for more than an hour or so. Especially on the things that are a little more difficult to get rid of. You know, the dress I haven’t worn in over a year but it *might* be the perfect outfit for the next occasion 😉
That’s why I love this simple approach to stress-free de-cluttering of my home. With these easy rules, de-cluttering is a much more manageable process.
Plan and Prepare
First of all, you need a plan. This can be as simple as knowing what you’re going to work on and in what order.
Then, prepare by having boxes or bins ready for trash, recycling, donating, and relocating items.
Next up let’s talk mindset real quick. If you go into decluttering with an irritated attitude it’s going to be harder.
Instead, think of the positive outcomes you’re going to experience – cleaner home, more space, and less stress.
One Area at a Time
It doesn’t need to be a big area, either. One drawer, cabinet, shelf, or basket will do. It takes a little more time in the long run, but if you’re not overwhelmed it’s much easier to finish the process.
If I try to do an entire room at once, I get overwhelmed and distracted. Not to mention it takes a lot more time and before long I’m interrupted by someone needing something.
A Few Things at a Time
If the area is a major clutter collector and you know that a ton of things need to be cleaned out, take five minutes and find 5 – 10 things to throw away, donate, or move to their actual home. With just a few items to start with, you might even be inspired to keep going!
For an Hour at a Time
All day de-cluttering is just not really an option for me. If it takes over an hour I pretty much shut down and nothing else gets done. I good way to combat that is to set a timer and see how much you can get done in that amount of time. But then once it goes off you’re done and can move on with your day.
Or Even a Few Minutes at a Time
You don’t need an hour to make progress. As little as 5-10 minutes will help as you tackle just one small area.
Several days of 5-10 minutes will lead to real, tangible results in your home.
Keep it Organized
Before you start de-cluttering do just a little bit of prep work: have a small, dedicated space for donation items, have a trash bag handy, make sure there’s a basket or something nearby to collect items that go in a different part of the house.
Another good idea is to turn on something to pass the time and help you focus. For example, you could turn on some music or a podcast to listen to while you’re cleaning out.
Turn on Music or Audio Book
Turning on music or an audio book is a good way to help you focus and push through your decluttering time. You could also tune into a podcast you enjoy – there are several out there on minimalism and decluttering to inspire you while you’re working.
Make it a Habit
Getting into the habit of de-cluttering a little bit at a time is what will make the biggest impact in the long haul. If you make it a habit to de-clutter for 15 minutes a few times a week, it won’t seem like such a big deal and your home will be kept clutter-free.
When you make these simple steps into habits, it really takes the overwhelm out of de-cluttering your home. Focusing on just a little bit at a time and then being done for the day can keep you from getting burned out and only getting halfway through the house.
This method has worked well for me and I hope you too can use it to become clutter-free!
Want an even easier way to declutter?
I’m launching daily emails with a 5-15 minute declutter project. It’s the perfect way to break up decluttering into manageable chunks and then keep your home clutter-free! Join the early bird list here.