Inside: Here you’ll learn how to declutter your home fast. Home organization seems like a never ending and allusive process. Here you’ll a 7 step strategy to declutter quickly and effectively.
“Consistency is more important than intensity.” – Courtney Carver
Becoming a minimalist and getting rid of clutter are two entirely different things. Becoming a minimalist happens internally and only takes a moment. Getting rid of the clutter, however, requires we put legs to that internal transformation. I found the latter to be a bit more difficult.
In one ah-ha moment, I found relief from my chaos through the practice of minimalism. That was it. I was in.
However, as they say, “nothing worth having comes easy.” Next up, I had to implement my minimalism, and that required a little elbow grease.
Can you declutter Your Home in 10 minutes?
Not really. I don’t even believe it’s possible to declutter your entire home in 10 days, or even 30 for that matter. At least, not with the “storage unit” that was my life.
We were a family of 5, with 84 combined years of accumulation under our belts, living in an 1,800 square foot home, stuffed full of our own individual versions of treasure. There was just no way to get rid of the clutter overnight.
Accomplishing this daunting task in just a handful of days would have required a significant leave of absence from my actual life.
I would have needed to ship my kids off to Grandma’s house for them to slowly outstay their welcome. My husband would have used up all of his vacation time in order to assist in this speed declutter. And it definitely would have required renting a driveway dumpster and keeping the thrift store pick-up guy on speed dial.
It just wasn’t a realistic scenario.
Instead, we went all in as a family, and spent our evenings and weekends tackling our excess stuff. We moved through our home, room by room, category by category, and kept that pace for months until the major areas were done.
The Crawfords were on a mission!
With every nook and cranny of our home we decluttered, we found it flooded with peace, rest and connection instead. Every room we finished inspired us to keep going. When it was finally said and done, it had taken us a full year to do that deep work. Some days we made huge strides, removing what felt like mountains of stuff. Most days however, the progress was slow, steady, consistent. It was a couple items here, and then a few items there.
How to Declutter Your Home Fast
So, how dare I lure you here under the false pretense of decluttering your home in 10 minutes? Well, because I believe through the power of habits, patience, grace and consistency, 10 minutes a day will change your life.
For a variety of reasons, an all in deep dive is not always possible. While life inevitably gets in the way, consistency can keep you moving in the right direction regardless.
Whether you’re looking to go minimalist or simply just see your bathroom counter for the first time in years, I believe there is a way to reach your goals gradually.
Here are small, sustainable steps to get you started in the right direction without ripping your house apart.
1. Think Like a Minimalist
As you move through your day, edit what you own. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not. The more you practice editing your possessions, the more naturally it will become.
While putting away dishes, skim what you have in your cabinets. What can go? As you get ready in the morning, consider items in your closet and drawers. Which pieces do you never wear?
This habit helps you you start to recognize problem areas more quickly and choose to eliminate rather than reorganize.
2. Choose Your Drop-Off Location
I chose my local city rescue mission thrift store. It is relatively close to my home and has a mission I love. The thrift store’s sales fund the Lansing City Rescue Mission and they share my donations with those in need of their services.
Having a drop-off location backed by a purpose you believe in will help you gladly hand that donation box over.
3. Create a Drop Spot in Your Home
Choose a convenient, easily accessible location where you can pile items you plan to eliminate.
I have designated a corner in my bedroom so my kids are less likely to come across the items and redistribute them throughout my home again. If that’s not a concern of yours, consider having multiple drop spots. Maybe one in each of the major areas of your home.
4. Pleases a Box in Your Drop Spot
This simply helps keep that pile from lingering and looking like, well, a pile. When the box is full, you know it’s time to donated.
5. Keep Your Hands Out of That Box
You will tempted to dig through your donation box and second guess what you’ve put in there. Don’t do it! You put it in there for a reason. Leave it alone! Your initial gut reaction to let it go was correct.
Picture me slapping your hand every time you reach for it.
6. Choose to Donate
I want to encourage you to donate as many of the items as possible rather than trying to sell them. Sure, selling a few things can certainly go a long way toward helping pay off debt and motivate us to keep decluttering. However, planning to sell it all can easily turn into another “someday” situation and become something we never actually get around to doing.
Choosing to donate turns your temporary discomfort into someone else’s blessing.
7. Change the way you purchase
“Forget sale prices. Everything is 100% off when you don’t buy it.” -Joshua Fields Millburn
This is a big one! It doesn’t matter how much you get rid of, if you don’t stop the flow of material items into your home. It’s as simple as that.
Implementing a “one in, one out rule” in order can help prevent accumulation. Assess what is driving you to purchase new items in the first place.
8. BONUS: Go Deeper!
Bonus step for when you have more than ten minutes!
I suggest you occasionally carve out time for a project that requires more than ten minutes. It doesn’t have to be your entire kitchen or garage, but choose a couple cabinets or kid’s dresser. This kind of progress can help keep you motivated to stick with your ten minutes a day.
If you find yourself with some downtime and the desire to tackle a big project, do it. Dive in and keep going for as long as you can.
Remember this: It usually gets worse before it gets better. Don’t panic half way through. Complete the project with the same ruthless intensity you begin with. Then take the time to revel in your success. You’ve earned it!
If you are short on time, easily overwhelmed or feel as though there is just too much stuff to tackle, take heart. Small steps will still get you there. Remember, it was the tortoise who won the race!