Have you tried to declutter your home and failed? What if you had fail proof decluttering strategies to help you?
Decluttering is a little like losing weight. No matter how well you deal with your problem in the beginning, it will keep coming back unless you understand the concept of maintenance.
Almost daily I get emails from readers asking for help because they have tempted to declutter their home and failed.
Or maybe you know you need to declutter but you just aren’t sure where to start. This is actually more common than you may know.
Clutter has the ability to take over lives and distract from the things that matter most. So it makes since that clutter can interfere with your ability to declutter.
If you have not decluttered recently nor maintained since your last purge, it can be quite a task to get things back under control. Thankfully, there are many ways to go about this while keeping your sanity.
By organizing and decluttering one section of your home at a time, you can tidy up in a manageable way. Let’s look at some basic decluttering strategies:
Decluttering Strategy #1 Prioritize Areas in Your Home
First, sit down with a notebook and divide your home into rooms. Include non-rooms such as hallways and the entryway. Decide which room will be your first priority, then your second, then your third, etc.
If your children always have friends over, your living room might be first priority.
If you feel like you can handle anything that comes your way as long as you have a clutter-free place to relax every night, then your bedroom might take first place instead.
As you declutter your home, and after you are done, there are several secrets that will help you to keep it looking spotless long after you have finished your task.
One of these secrets is to give every item a logical home. Here is how to use this step to your advantage in your quest for clutter-free living.
Why Items Need a Logical Home
You may have all the items you could ever need or want, but if you don’t know where to find them, there is no point having them at all.
Giving each item a home means that you will always know where to return something when you are done with it, and then when you need it again you will be able to find it easily and immediately.
Giving each item a logical home means that you don’t just choose a random spot for it to be stored, but rather store it in a place that makes sense. This way, if you forget where your item is, you can think about where it should be and find it without wasting too much time.
Starting Off with a Clean Slate
The best time to give multiple objects a home is when you have just done massive decluttering. Now that your home is purged and ready to be organized, find storage places for all your items that make sense to you personally.
There’s no point in trying to organize anything at all when you have too many things around that need to be given away or discarded.
Giving Each Item a Room
Observe the items that you have chosen to keep. Decide what room you are generally in when they are in use. Things such as scissors, paper and pens will likely go in your office – or if you don’t have a designated office, your living room.
Things pertaining to sleep or clothing will likely be stored in the bedrooms of those whom they belong to. Kitchen items always belong in the kitchen. Continue on in this way until all your items are sorted into rooms.
Giving Each Item a Particular Spot in the Room
Now that you have a room for each item, choose a particular place for it. Your bedroom might have a closet and shelves for clothing, a section in your closet for jewellery, and one drawer chosen for odds and ends.
Try to keep similar items like shoes all in the same place so that when you are in a hurry to leave home, you don’t have to look through the entire house to find the pair you need.
As you take these steps, remember that wherever you choose should be fairly obvious and make sense to you and anyone else who lives there.
For example, store your piano books in a small book rack beside the piano, rather than on the other side of the room. This seems fairly obvious, but it deserves repeating because this organization rule is broken so often.
If you are not a natural organizer, it can be a challenge to become one. With a little time and practice, however, you will get there. By using these simple steps, your organizational ability will grow in leaps and bounds.
Decluttering Strategy #2 Choose Area According to Available Time
Decide how much time each day you can devote to the task of decluttering. If you have entire days to spare, you might be able to take on a room per day.
Or if you are like most people and have several responsibilities to juggle, then it might be more reasonable to tackle small areas within a room.
Decluttering Strategy #3 Break Areas into Sections
After you have decided how much space you are likely to be able to clean each day, break each room down into areas such as closet, desk, floor, etc.
Make the sections small enough that you can complete your task in one day. Whether it gets accomplished in twenty minutes or four hours, you will feel satisfied that you have finished the task you assigned to yourself.
Declutter Strategy #4 Ask for Help from Family and Friends
Ask an especially organized family member to help you, or arrange for a decluttering swap with a good friend. Involve them in the planning process, and of course when it comes to the actual physical labor as well.
Make it fun, and order pizza for everyone afterward. Most friends are happy to help out when asked, and you can always return the favor in the future.
Decluttering is difficult enough when there is only one person involved. Bring in an entire family, and it can become a nightmare.
Here are some ways that you can encourage your family to declutter together to create a beautiful home to live in.
Explain Why You Need to Declutter
It’s not enough to simply demand that your partner and children help you clean without giving any explanation.
Talking about why you want to declutter is important, because it will help keep motivation when the actual work begins to get tedious.
Explain to your children that you wish to have an inviting home that they can invite their friends to more often, and that there will be more time for fun activities when everyone keeps on top of the cleaning duties.
Remind them that decluttering old items leaves more room for new ones.
Get Everyone Involved
From young to old, there is something that can be done by everyone. Let the adults take care of any dangerous tasks, such as climbing the ladder to the attic to get more boxes, and give out the high-energy tasks to older children.
Let your little ones sort through toys and pick out which ones they would like to keep and which ones they would prefer to toss.
Leave Out Young Ones If Necessary
Although it’s nice to get the whole family involved, there will be times when it is necessary to remove your younger children if your decluttering duty is turning into a heartbreaking drama.
If your toddlers and preschoolers are having a difficult time entertaining the idea of giving away any of their things, or if they are unpacking items faster than you can get rid of them, it’s time to call in special help.
See if it is possible for your young ones to go to Grandma’s for the day, or if you can swap childcare with a friend who is looking for a day off sometime in the near future.
Keep It Positive
The amount of enthusiasm you will receive from your family can be influenced by the manner in which you bring up the idea.
If you start barking orders and making threats, you can immediately say goodbye to any happy family time you were hoping to experience in these moments.
However, if you stay positive and remain consistently encouraging to each family member, you can all enjoy the process together.
You may not believe in bribes, but a little reward can go a long way. Let your kids know that when everyone has worked together and completed the task at hand, you will all go out for an ice cream.
Or if you are hosting a garage sale in hopes of selling some of your items, give a percentage of the proceeds to your children in payment for their assistance and cheerful attitudes.
Decluttering is a necessity when raising a family.
Aim to declutter your entire home at least once a year, to make room for what the next one will bring in. With a little enthusiasm and a lot of team spirit, you can motivate your family to get on board with decluttering.
Declutter Strategy #5 Be Realistic and Flexible
We can set goals, but sometimes life gets in the way. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach your goal one day, or if you have to reschedule due to life events.
Even if it takes longer than planned, your decluttering will eventually come to an end if you stay consistent and stick to it. If you miss one day, simply get back to it the next.
Set a reminder in your smartphone, or find another way to get into the decluttering groove without forgetting about it.
Be flexible about your schedule if for some reason you should need one room to be decluttered sooner than originally planned, even if it means putting off another room. As long as you are doing something almost every day, you are headed in the right direction.
Decluttering takes organization. Prioritizing your task means that you will be able to get everything done in a timely fashion.
Tips for keeping Your Home Clutter Free
If you have decluttered your home and made it free of mess, here are some tips on how to keep it that way so that you never have to have another moment of panic as you view a home that looks like a bomb exploded there.
And if you haven’t started yet because you are here reading this post for decluttering strategies you can still use these tips for once you finished.
Regular Declutter and Cleaning Maintenance
This step refers to simply keeping things the way they are by tossing junk when you realize you don’t need it, instead of stashing it in a pile that needs to be sorted over and over.
Read your mail and immediately toss it, shred it, or deal with it and then put it into your file cabinet. There is no excuse for papers to be lying all over the floor, making it impossible to find them when you actually need them.
When you buy something from the store, put it where it is going to be kept immediately instead of setting bags on the floor and table.
After the laundry comes out of the dryer, fold it and put it away immediately in the proper rooms and drawers. When you have five spare minutes, use it to tidy and clean up anything lying around.
This is how you keep any huge messes from forming again.
In the Printables Shop you will find a Home Organization Binder, this binder is great for keeping your home clutter free. Otherwise here are tips for regular decluttering strategies:
In addition to your regular maintenance, it is important to declutter on a regular basis.
You can decide to have a serious decluttering day every three months, every six months, or just whenever your home starts looking like a junk yard.
Make it a serious appointment and tidy your home from top to bottom, giving yourself another clean slate to work with.
Stop Buying Unnecessary Things
One of the biggest ways you can stop clutter in its tracks is to stop buying unnecessary things. By only allowing what you need to enter your home, you will cut down on the number of items you need to clear out later.
Before you buy an item, think about whether you really need it, or if it is something you will regret at a later point in time.
Get Everyone on Board
You can’t conquer clutter alone, unless you live alone. If you are part of a family who lives together, or have roommates of any kind, you will need to make everyone a part of the decluttering team.
Talk to everyone about your wishes to maintain a junk-free haven, and talk about the many benefits of living in a more minimalist way than you have been.
Let the other household members know that everyone’s efforts will benefit everyone else, and that you expect cooperation and teamwork.
Decluttering is only half of the solution. In order to maintain a beautiful home, you will need to take steps to keep it that way after the original clean sweep. Use these tips to keep your home free of clutter for years to come.
Related Decluttering Posts
- Psychological Effects of Clutter
- 13 Signs You Need to Clear the Clutter
- Clutter Affects Our Lives
- Stop Accumulating Clutter