DeCluttering Your House When It Seems Like Too Much
Well with this quarantine I have pretty much reorganized a lot of the house and still have much to go. I know I have a ton of stuff but geez Aly, I really need to declutter and this is my few tips I have to help you get started too.
Where to start?
When you are overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in your house like me, the most challenging part can be just getting started. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is there a space that you could declutter quickly that would have a big impact? Such as the front entry way or mudroom that is used every single day and causing more stress than relief these days.
What spaces in your home seem to collect clutter the quickest and most often? For me it is our kitchen island. It truly is the catch all place for the most random items.
Which room or area of your home brings you the most stress? Does the linen closet full of old beach towels drive you crazy, or is your closet about to burst at the seams and you just cannot seem to find that one shirt you were looking for?
By answering these simple questions it can help you to create a much more manageable to-do list. For me I am all about. checking things off a list, so I start with an area that is easy to declutter, like my entry way, removing the shoes I trip over when coming in the door daily, and work my way down the list. If you start with the room that will take the longest it can be easier to be discouraged and stop the progress.
There are many different ways to approach the decluttering process and pick which one works for you, not the trendy one or one that works for me the best I will talk about four of them. As you read through them, think about what would work best for you and your home and your time availability.
A Few of the Best Methods for Decluttering:
One room at a time (my personal favorite)
This one has recently become very popular and has taken over instagram. Marie Kondo advocates for taking out everything of a like-kind when you declutter.
For instance, if you’re cleaning out your closet you are going to take out all of your clothes. That includes getting everything out of your coat closet, storage, and anywhere else you have tucked away any clothes in your home.
For some categories, this method can feel overwhelming, as we might not even know where every office supply in the house is being stored.
I also feel this can cause more discouragement by having large piles of each type of item, causing stress. But if this can work for you definitely go for it and work down the list.
Realizing what you own
In many cases, part of the reason we have so much clutter is that we don’t realize how much we own, like 567 pens and half of them do not even work. On average, our homes are larger than they used to be and thus there are more places to STUFF OUR CRAP.
We end up with duplicates and forgotten items when they are stored in a variety of places, like notebooks for me, I have so many with one page written on it.
Bringing everything together at once to go through and assess what stays and what goes is both eye-opening and enlightening.
This is an important part of the process so you can accurately select what you want to keep or let go of. The Kondo style method creates awareness of ownership which helps you to be more mindful of not bringing clutter back into the house.
2. 20-minute method - How to Declutter Every Room in Your Home Quickly Checklist
In this method for decluttering, you use a timer set for 20 minutes and tackle projects in smaller chunks of time.
The benefit to this is you aren’t likely to burn out or get too overwhelmed in a twenty-minute time frame. The downside is you won’t be able to tackle a big space in a short period of time and it can leave you with more visual stress and mess.
This option is great for smaller more defined spaces, such as a kitchen (1 cabinet or drawer at a time) or even a bathroom. It may not work as well for a closet or larger room unless you divide it up into very specific segments (i.e. just t-shirts, skirts, purses, etc).
This method is great if you are short on time, but still want to make progress every single day. The 20 minutes per day approach can add up to a lot getting done if you are consistent with it and add it to part of your routine.
3. Do the whole house in a weekend or these two quarantine weeks we have.
This is for the jump all in at once kind of person. If you are very motivated and can find someone to watch your kids for the weekend while you upend your house and tackle an area at a time, more power to you.
This is kind of like sprinting a marathon, but there are people that this works well for.
If you do try this method, have a focused plan for the order in which you will tackle the rooms. It would not be fun to have started every room in your house, only to find you’ve run out of time to put your house back in order.
I think if you tackle it room by room, which is the next example you can work through your entire house in a whole weekend or this week we have off in quarantine.
4. One room at a time (my personal favorite) - Minimalist Living How to Declutter Your Home One Room at a Time Checklist
The one room at a time method is fairly self-explanatory. You pick a room to start with and go through each room in the house one at a time. In this method, starting with whatever room is easiest to declutter and work up to the more difficult rooms to declutter as I talked about in the introduction.
It’s helpful to declutter your bedroom early on in the process. It’s the room where you sleep should be the most restful and calming. If the last things you see before you turn out the lights at night are books, clothes, or random items stacked up on your dressers and nightstands, that isn’t calming or restful.
Bathrooms are another great option to do early on because they typically aren’t too challenging since most people don’t have much sentimental attachment to bathroom products and they are a smaller space for most of us.
It depends on your home for how you want to tackle the remaining rooms. Some rooms are larger or have more things so they will take longer. Those rooms could be approached one section at a time. For me I would start in my living room and work through my TV stand that has a bunch of games, candles, and other decorations in it.
I recommend ending with the most challenging room, which is usually where the majority of sentimental items are stored, such as the dining room or living room. The final space would be the garage (if applicable).
It’s helpful to be able to use the garage as a staging area when working on the other rooms in your house. Items can be temporarily placed there until you are able to sell or donate them.
So I've decluttered now what?
Donate / Sell / Throw Away
I find as I am clearing out each room to have a designated area of throw away, donate and sell piles. This can help me when I am complete with decluttering my entire house to have a catch all space.
For donations I would recommend your local city missions and shelters first. They are always in need of gently used clothing, blankets, and the like. After that you can donate to a place such as a Goodwill or our City Mission takes donations and resells and all profits go towards helping the local community, which is always amazing.
For selling your larger items and such, I personally love Facebook Marketplace. Facebook is such a quick way to snap a quick picture, add your description and price and be done with it. The downside is you will have the items in your house until they sell and you may have to meet the local person, which can take up some valuable time.
For those throw away items, check with your local trash pickup on what items they accept and not before throwing them out on the curb. If you have items they do not accept check with your local community when they have collections of items such as broken TV's, other appliances, etc. and take them there.
Decluttering your house can sometimes be overwhelming and cause stress, but hopefully with these few tips you can tackle each space and celebrate your clean house (for a minute or so!)
Let me know what you think of this post + your favorite decluttering style!