If you’ve been around the blog long enough then you probably know that I like to keep my style clean and simple. I love a room that feels open and clutter-free. But as many of us know and understand all too well, de-cluttering is not something that can be done just once. It is a constant battle! And one that needs to be tackled regularly, if not seasonally then at least annually. But if the idea of de-cluttering your home feels overwhelming or you just need a dose of inspiration to get you started, then stick around! That’s because today I’m sharing my 3 simple steps to a less cluttered home (+ a FREE 30-Day Checklist to get you started).
3 STEPS TO A LESS CLUTTERED HOME
STEP 1: THINK SMALL
Probably the greatest challenge to de-cluttering is getting over the mental stumbling block of purging your entire home. Yikes! It can feel downright overwhelming.
I know, ’cause I’ve been there.
But, if you stop thinking ‘big’ in favour of thinking ‘small’ then keeping things a little less cluttered will get a whole lot easier.
In fact, I NEVER de-clutter an entire room. NOT EVER.
I always target SMALL PRIORITY AREAS in a room that need to be purged.
That may even just be 1 spot in a room. It could be as small as one drawer in one of the bedrooms or the spice rack in the kitchen.
Doing these kinds of ‘quick purges’ that last 15-30 minutes feels incredibly satisfying. It means that you are able to start AND FINISH the task – an accomplishment that gives you the confidence to do it again, and again.
Progress, not perfection, is always my goal.
STEP 2: DIVIDE YOUR HOME INTO ROOMS/SECTIONS FOR QUICK-PURGING TASKS
Okay, now that you’ve got your mind set to ‘think small’ and doing quick purge tasks, this next step will feel a lot less overwhelming.
Taking a pen and a pad of paper, go from one room to the next and note the small areas that you’d like to purge.
Your notes may look something like mine did this year:
Kitchen: 1. junk drawer 2. tupperware drawer 3. pantry – upper half 4. pantry – lower half
Bathroom: 1. under sink 2. makeup/personal drawer 3. basket of hair products
Mudroom: 1. top shelf in coat closet 2. top 2 drawers of chest of drawers
Note how small each project is. For the kitchen, I have 4 separate projects, each of which can be done between 15-30 minutes, depending on the amount of stuff I have.
More importantly, I’ve chosen NOT to purge the entire room! This would be senseless, self-defeating, and – I can only speak for myself here – meaningless because it would probably never get done.
TRUTH: By choosing only the high priority areas in each room, I will inevitably leave some purging projects for another time.
Once again, progress, not perfection is the goal.
STEP 3: GIVE YOURSELF A SPECIFIC & REALISTIC TIMEFRAME – 30 DAYS OR LESS
TRUTH: Unless you provide a measurable timeline to get your purging done, it may only get partially completed (as you lose steam) or may not happen at all.
That’s why it’s important to provide a deadline for yourself. Whether you thrive on dedicating a large chunk of time (e.g., 1 or 2 weekends) or on doing small daily tasks that you can tackle throughout your week (that’s me!), then giving yourself a realistic timeline is absolutely necessary.
(BTW: I recently wrote about the value of using the ‘SMART’ method of setting goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timeline. You can get the FREE GUIDE here: How My Vision Board Keeps Me Inspired. It is a great tool for learning how to create tasks and goals that are specific and achievable.)
30 Days To A Less Cluttered Home: For those of us unable to dedicate an entire weekend (or two) to de-cluttering our homes, then the most realistic scenario would be to dedicate 30 days to doing daily (or almost daily) quick-purge tasks that are no more than 15-30 minutes in length.
If that’s you, then you’ll want to get my ’30 Days To a Less Cluttered Home’ Checklist at the bottom of this post. It’s Absolutely FREE!
BONUS TIP: No-Purge Days
When creating your quick-purge timeline, you may need to give yourself occasional days off from purging. This will help you make room for unexpected tasks, emergencies or other obligations that may come up. And, in some cases, you may need a bit more time than you originally thought!
By adding some ‘No-Purge’ days you’ll be able to get through your entire list in the time-frame you’ve set out 🙂
I know how overwhelming it can feel when you want to purge your home. But if you attack one small area at a time, following these 3 simple steps to a less cluttered home, you’ll start to see progress more quickly than you thought!
And there’s no better feeling than having a freshly, organized space 🙂