Before I discovered how to declutter quickly and maintain a decluttered space, I felt like I was constantly cleaning. I was so frustrated with things not having their own dedicated place. There were lots of odds and ends scattered over the counters and table in my kitchen, tons of different products in my bathroom that just took up lots of space, and we threw everything else into the junk drawer to get it out of the way. As a result, I never had that calm feeling in my home.
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Then I started to listen to podcasts on decluttering and how doing so could change your mindset and drastically improve your life. I felt overwhelmed at the thought of starting to declutter, but I decided to give it a try, and the results were amazing!
Get Motivated to Start
There are lots of resources to help you get started with decluttering. One way to help you get motivated to start decluttering. You can play a podcast while you’re doing housework or watch Marie Kondo on Netflix. Doing so can get you in the motivational mindset of decluttering. Another benefit is discovering many new ideas from people who have done this already and live this clutter-free lifestyle. Hopefully, you will be as inspired as I have been!
Here are three podcasts about decluttering that you may want to try to get you started:
The Minimalists Podcast
The Art of Decluttering
Just search for any of these podcasts in your podcast app and start listening.
If you like listening to podcasts, give them a try, they can change the way you see material belongings and, in turn, change your life.
Benefits of Decluttering
Decluttering has so many benefits. That is why there is no better time to start than now!
Some of the benefits of decluttering include:
- It will be quicker and easier to clean your home
- Living in a less stressful environment
- You will be able to find things quickly
- Having more space
- You will gain clarity and a sense of control over your surroundings
- It can reduce anxiety
- You will finally LOVE your home!
So how do you tackle what seems like a mammoth-sized task? The same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.
First, make a plan.
Start with the room where you spend most of your time. Decide whether that is the kitchen? Living room? Office? Wherever it is, start there.
You are going to start in the room where you spend the most time because once you’ve finished decluttering the busiest room in your home, the sense of well-being you’ll get will be so great that it’ll drive you to get the rest of your home decluttered – fast. This is the best motivation I have found. Think of it as the snowball method of decluttering. Once you check off one room, you will have the motivation to move on to the next.
If you are a big fan of planning and like to have everything written down and planned out, I suggest getting this workbook. I have it and I love it ! It really helped not only to get me organized, but motivated too!
Next, block off some time.
Even if it’s just 15 minutes at a time, working in small chunks keeps me on track. It’s easier to start when you are only committing to 15 minutes at a time. When you can focus on the task at hand without getting distracted, everything gets done faster. If you have little ones under at home, this may mean cleaning up a little at a time after they go to bed. You can enlist the help of the kids also, but sometimes that may make a bigger mess than you started with.
You can break it up and declutter over a period of 30 days by taking this 30 day declutter challenge.
Try the four-bag hack.
You may have heard of the four-bag hack before, although it may not have been called that. The concept is as follows: use containers for belongings you are keeping, a box for belongings you are donating, and one trash bag for trash.
1. Things to go in the trash
Go quickly through the room. Find any broken things, sentimental items that you’ve been hanging on to for years, expired food, junk mail, clothes that don’t fit anymore, or have a defect – you get the idea. All things trash go in the trash bag.
2. Things to recycle
Next, determine what you can recycle instead of throwing it out. Look around, and I’m sure you’ll find something. Then, pat yourself on the back for going the extra mile rather than taking the easy option of putting them all in the trash.
3. Things to give to charity.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The beauty of giving things to charity is that there might be someone out there who couldn’t usually afford quality clothes, furniture, or books. But, because of your donation, they can buy it at a reasonable price.
If you need extra cash, take the items you could donate and sell them instead. This requires a little extra work but can pay a bill or two if need be – or the cash can go straight into your savings account. This can be a great way to save a little extra money each month.
4. Things you want to keep.
Be ruthless here. If the item you’re keeping doesn’t bring you joy or make you feel fantastic when you’re wearing it, do you want to keep it? Your goal is to declutter and get rid of everything that isn’t currently necessary in your life.
Finally, finish the job.
That wasn’t so bad, so far, was it? But you are not done just yet!
1. Put the trash bag in the trash.
2.Take the recycling to your local recycling center. Take the items you are donating to charity to the donation center. Some charities will even come to your home to pick the items up. If this is the case, arrange for this to happen.
3. List the things you want to sell online at sites such as eBay or take them to a consignment store.
4. Ensure all of the items you have decided to keep have a home and a permanent place where they belong in your home.
Now you can use this same set of actions on the rest of the rooms in your house. Rinse and repeat! Don’t feel like you have to do all of this in one day, but if you do feel like you can – that’s great, go for it!
When you’ve finally finished this task, the next habit you need to get into is not reversing all of your hard work. You will want to continue to keep your house clutter-free. There are systems you can put in place to ensure that the clutter doesn’t stack up again.
Maintain your decluttered space.
Try keeping a small box in each room for clutter. You will probably be amazed at how quickly it will accumulate. At the end of every week, go through the box in just a few minutes and figure out where all its contents belong.
Invest in the right kind of storage for your space. Once everything has its permanent place, you’ll find it far easier to keep on top of things, and you’ll never have to go hunting for something you need but are unable to find.
If you live with other people or have children, show them around and explain where things go now. Getting everyone involved will make this way of living more manageable and less of a chore for everyone. Especially with kids, making it fun and clear is key to keeping everything in its place. You can even use a chore chart to help keep them on track and clarify what you expect of them. Studies have shown that if you repeat an action over two months, it will become a habit.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, remember why you’re doing this in the first place. You’re on a journey to a much simpler, stress-free life where you can reclaim your time to do the things that matter the most to you. Your home should feel like a sanctuary, not another chore to add to your list. So please put your favorite music on, turn up the volume and begin. Read this for help on getting started when you are overwhelmed.
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