So, you get your coffee and you sit down to declutter and organize some space. But, you’re not quite sure how you’re supposed to start, so you check out Pinterest. For, like, 5 seconds. And there are tons of ideas, challenges, items to throw away just because it’s on a list, you name it! But as a first step, they all miss the basics. Most articles you’ll find will give you the same blanket steps, or tell you to toss things that they find are unimportant. Then each author will talk about how they did those things. Which, [side note alert]:
To be honest, that was my initial intention for this site. Once I started articling away, however, I realized few people will learn how to simplify their laundry space just from me talking about mine, for example. I have a closet. Some people have rooms. Others have laundromats. Laundry organization should be about all types of laundering situations. That realization is why I relaunched this site: So that I could paint a general picture of how to live life beautifully simplified while still getting specific enough that anyone can learn something from my articles.
You need to know the most basic techniques of decluttering, because the last thing you need is for the process to add complication to your life. Assuming you have completed my first step to Succeed in Getting the Simplified Life You Want, you now need to know how to do it and do it right. I have seen every option out there with just a quick “How to Declutter Your Home” search, so I understand the anxiety you may be feeling from:
- “Instructions” that mislead you away to a catalog to buy storage pieces → Waste of time.
- The new option to just relocate clutter to some other place in your house…like peas on a dinner plate. → But it’s still there.
- Being “taught” to ID problem areas yourself and then come up with how to declutter it yourself → Where’s the help?
- Eye-catching titles with lackluster ideas → Another waste of time.
Don’t authors realize that we have things to do?! Trying to declutter my kid’s stuff like…this is never going to happen. So, refill that coffee so you can really soak up the pros and cons of, what I believe to be, the best decluttering techniques out there (in no particular order). Don’t even bother with Pinterest…unless you go to see me there 🙂 I’m positive you will find the technique that is perfect for you! But first,
How Much Time Can You Dedicate?
Whether you are a SAHParent, WAHParent, 9-5er, part-timer, every weekend fun-haver, or fill in the blanker, you may not have any clue about how much time you can dedicate to decluttering because, well, you’ve never had to look at your time like that. So, from my experience having various types of employment and parenting positions, here’s where you can find free time to allot to this endeavor:
In the morning when you set your alarm early → Even 15 minutes can help:
- Shred yesterday’s paper clutter
- Declutter just your cookbooks, one small storage box, or your sock drawer
- Write down where donated or junk items need to be dropped off at for next time
Multi-task on a lunch break:
- Bring one vertical file every day to work to sort through with extra files should you need to reorganize
- Bring a laptop to offload photos from your phone
- Chip away at deleting unwanted photos from any device or organize photos into albums
- Declutter your smart phone’s e-mail, text, or photo apps
Merge some family time with decluttering time:
- Put the decluttering power into your (older) kids hands and have them declutter their stuff…while you direct, hang out, and motivate!
- Bring the family when you donate items to clothing or toy drives to show them the impact
Multi-task while cooking:
- Really look in that utensil drawer when you reach for something to see what you never use
- Notice which dishes are your go-to and evaluate if you really need the two other sets (I’m guilty of this one)
- Clean out the fridge or combine duplicate spices when reaching for ingredients
- I can’t even begin to tell you the possibilities during nap times!
Declutter your desk space if that’s where you work from:
- Keep a trash can nearby
- Take notes on things you notice but can’t get to until the call, conference, or emails are done
Stay up after the family goes down → A night owl’s most productive time:
- Break caffeine rules & brew up some half-caff to light the fires!
Some of you may still say that you can’t find time even with these starters, but, ultimately, only you know how your day goes. You will learn quickly how much value you put on getting to a more simple life by how much time you give to it.
Consider how much time we put into someone we want to date! Staying up later than normal to get their calls or texts, using video chat at all, cleaning up your social accounts when ya’ll two link up there, reducing time spent on other things just so you can make time for said drool-fest. When something that we want to stick around for a while starts to creep into our lives, you know we will start to pull out all stops. This is no different. You’ll find the time…when you’re ready. Get off your phone 🙂
I didn’t bother with decluttering challenges or various lists of things to throw away, and here’s why you shouldn’t either. Challenges only tell you what to declutter, not how. This is about your technique. It will be used throughout your entire house or until you realize a different method may be better. The KonMari Method does tell you what to declutter, but it also covers how. If you’re interested in an inspiring read, it’s based on Marie Kondo’s books. Now, just so you know…
I am an Amazon affiliate and I receive a small commission out of Amazon’s pocket if you buy using my link. Anything I suggest to you is because I legitimately like it. Being an affiliate helps me run my site, so it’s a win for both of us! For detailed information, read my article, What’s an affiliate?.
Moving on, the technique is covered in her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. She covered the how in her following book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. And I’d say being one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People last year means that she’s on to something with this.
Now that you have the gist of how you can declutter, leave me a comment on which method you’re choosing! Do you have any more pros and cons to share?