More than just a trend, minimalism is a way of life. And while it is true that decluttering your home brings amazing benefits into your life, it isn’t such a simple process.
Closets, kitchen cabinets, drawers all need to be emptied. Each item needs to be reviewed one by one and put into the ‘keep’ or ‘discard’ pile that you’ll need to sort out later.
Depending on the size of your home, it may take you 4 to 12 weeks to re-organize your home in the best possible way. A clutter free life doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and organization.
Which is why I am sharing tools so that you can declutter like a boss and see the process through to the end.
Strategy #1: Find Your Why
Ask yourself why you are reading this post.
Maybe you spend most of your free time cleaning, tidying, organizing and you’re just sick of it! You feel like your ‘stuff’ is weighing you down and preventing you from moving forward with your life; preventing you from focusing on what truly matters.
Whatever your reason is, take a few minutes to think about it.
See, when I started decluttering, I was pumped about the idea of having a tidy, clean home. I gave it all for a few days but then as with anything, the first excitement fizzled out and I couldn’t find the motivation to go on. I found all kinds of excuses to quit.
And do you know why that is?
Because I forgot my WHY.
When you find a why, you find a way to make it happen. Eric Thomas
Only when I remembered WHY I had started in the first place did I find the motivation to keep going.
Reminding yourself why you are decluttering in the first place is a powerful way to ensure your success in the process.
So take 5-10 minutes to do the following to keep focus on your goals, on what really matters.
Take action now!
1. Print the form BELOW and fill it out
2. Pin it to your bedroom wall, your fridge, on top of your desk or anywhere you are sure to look at it every day
If you aren’t inspired, here are a few examples of the ways decluttering can improve your life (and what your WHY might look like):
- More time
- ‘Freeing’ feeling
- Less stress
- Free mind
- Easier to find everything in your home
- Be more engaged
- More appreciative of what you own
- Less clutter = more experiences
- Free therapy = letting go of the old to make space for the new
- More focus and calm
Strategy #2: Create a Plan and Stick to it
The reason why many people quit halfway through is because they get overwhelmed. They have convinced themselves that it is too hard, there is too much to do, too many rooms to declutter and not enough time to do so. After overwhelm comes procrastination and then quitting altogether. So how do we prevent this from happening?
- Get organized
- Break it down into small chunks / milestones
- Work with a schedule
- Create an easy-to-follow, yet solid and actionable plan. A plan that will keep us on track and schedule to achieve your WHY
Take action now!
1. Print out the form below:
Related Post: 11 Ways Minimalism Makes You Happier
2. Assess how long it will take you to complete the whole process
Based on the size of your house and how much clutter you have you should be able to estimate how long it will take you. Work with the assumption below (this is only an estimate based on my experience – feel free to adjust it to your own needs).
1-2 bedroom apartment = 4-5 weeks
Medium size city flat = 5-6 weeks
Average size house = 8-10 weeks
Large house = 10 -12 weeks
3. Write down your frustrations in ‘Observations’ for each category. Example: for category 1, go to your closet and take inventory of what frustrates you. Write it down in the ‘observations’ column. Do the same for all the other categories. Look at the example below for inspiration.
4. Based on your frustrations, put together a goal or action step and enter it in the ‘action step’ column. For example, if your frustration is that you have too many clothes that no longer fit you, your action step should be to get rid of those clothes that are too big or too small or a wrong fit.
5. Enter your dates in the ‘timeline’ column. If you live in an mid-size house with average clutter, it should take you about 8-10 weeks to complete the decluttering process. Some categories will take you longer than others. Look at the example below for inspiration.
6. Once all your columns are filled out, pin your plan to the wall where you are sure to see it every day. Make sure you follow it to ensure maximum success!
Remembering my ‘why’ and creating a solid plan of action are the two strategies that I used to declutter my home. They are simple but effective tools that helped me make the process a successful one. What about you? What are the tools and techniques you used to keep going when you felt like giving up?