Clearing your home of clutter doesn’t have to be complicated.
Too often I think I need to set aside a chunk of time, like an afternoon or an entire day, to declutter. And, I’m guessing, you also think decluttering is complicated and takes time devoted specifically to the task.
Last week, I decided to do a little experiment with simple decluttering, taking on a ‘declutter as you go’ mindset. Starting on Monday, I designated a space on a table to put things I came across that day that we don’t need while I was cleaning, tidying and looking through closets and cabinets.
With little time devoted specifically to decluttering, I was able to find things we didn’t need and by the end of the week had around 50 items that were leaving our home.
The results of the week:
Day 1 – Around 25 items including 2 old cell phones to donate, a throw and pillow, a pitcher without a lid, a few random items, a stack of DVDs to return to my aunt and exercise tapes that are on VHS (and we don’t own a VCR!)
Day 2- During the boys rest time, I looked through the closet containing craft supplies. In the 10 minutes or so that I browsed that closet I found 9 items including 2 pillow forms, 2 paintbrushes, an old t-shirt (I saved to upcycle but I haven’t done anything with it in over a year so it’s time to go), 2 old coloring books and scrapbook paper.
Day 3 – I was gone all morning and early afternoon on this day so there wasn’t much time at home for decluttering. While I was putting away the boys clothes, I found 6 things to go – 4 burp clothes, a pair of outgrown pajamas and a shirt that has never been worn.
Day 4 – I looked through the bathroom cabinets while cleaning the bathroom and found 2 lotions that we don’t use and a bug repellent containing DEET that will not be used. I also went through my drawers while putting away laundry and found a shirt, a hair ribbon, an old watch and earrings that I never wear. The total of this day was 7 items.
Day 5 – While packing to go out of town for the weekend, I found a swimsuit cover and t-shirt of mine I no longer needed and a hoodie that Weston has outgrown. I also found another container to put Paxton’s trains and train tracks in, eliminating the need for the basket they were stored in that the boys had torn apart! And, while rearranging a few dishes in the kitchen to make room for our dutch oven, I pulled out 2 cake pans that I’ve used maybe once in the past 7 years! Bringing the total of stuff for day 5 to 6 items.
Totaling the number of items for the week was surprising, 50 items gone with very little effort! I am definitely going to adopt the ‘declutter as you go’ mindset which should reduce, if not eliminate, the need for setting aside large chunks of time just to declutter.
Simple ways to declutter:
- Challenge yourself like I did for the next 5 to 7 days and see what you can get rid of each day.
- Put a box in a designated spot and challenge yourself to fill it up over the next few days with unneeded stuff.
- Decide to find one thing a day for the next 30 days. This is a simple challenge that results in 30 things leaving your home (and often more because some days you’ll find more than 1 thing that can go!)
- Adopt the ‘declutter as you go’ mindset. As you come across things and you think ‘I never use that’ just pull it out and put it in a donate box instead of waiting for the next big clean out.
Clearing your home of clutter really is not complicated. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to find things that are no longer useful to you.
How do you declutter? Do you think you have to wait for those big clean-outs or do you take the ‘as you go’ approach?