If you want to declutter your home but don’t know where to start, instead of stressing about how much there is to do or how long it’s going to take, take a deep breath and consider these 3 simple ways to get started.
Declutter Your Home: 3 Simple Ways to Get Started
1. MAKE A DECLUTTER MAP
Make a quick list of rooms in your home. Add the areas of each room that need to be decluttered. For example:
- Bedroom: nightstand, dresser, closet, under the bed
- Bathroom: toiletries, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, towels
- Office: bookshelf, desk, filing cabinet
It will take less than hour to jot down this general detail for every space in your home. Whether you have three rooms or thirty, creating this outline of the spaces you’ll need to address when you declutter your home will eliminate some overwhelm.
Trying to think about everything that you need to do will add stress to the project. Writing it down and seeing it clearly will relieve stress.
Have fun making the plan. Snacks and music always help.
2. DO THE MATH
Estimate how much time each space on the map will take to declutter. For example:
- Bedroom: nightstand (20 min), dresser (1 hour), closet (4 hours), under the bed (30 min)
- Bathroom: toiletries (20 min), cleaning supplies (20 min), cosmetics (30 min), towels (10 min)
- Office: bookshelf (1 hour), desk (1 hour), filing cabinet (3 hours)
Add up your total time: in this example, it’s 12 hours and 10 minutes. That means if you commit to about an hour a week, you’ll be done in about 3 months.
If your math scares you and shows that it might take years to fully declutter your home, don’t panic. These are just estimates. And, even if it does take years, with consistent progress you’ll notice a difference in your surroundings long before you reach the end of your decluttering journey.
3. SCHEDULE YOUR DECLUTTERING
Add decluttering to your calendar. Whether it’s 10 minutes a day or an hour a week, schedule it. When it’s time for your decluttering session, set a timer and choose a space on your plan. Some spaces may take more than one session but if you do this over and over again, you’ll declutter your home without the anxiety of not knowing what to do next or how long it’s going to take.
This simple approach will work if you work it. Being this methodical with your decluttering strategy gives you structure and discipline for an activity that doesn’t typically have a deadline. Without a deadline or picture of what things look like, it could go on forever.
Full disclosure … this isn’t how I decluttered my home. I decluttered for decades, always filling up the empty spaces and starting over again. And then, when I recognized that living with less would make me feel better, I consistently decluttered (without a plan) until most of the stuff was gone.