Why Now May or May Not Be the Best Time to Declutter

“I’d rather schedule a surgery than ever move again.” These were the words of my dear friend and frequent mover.

They say moving is one of the top life stressors a person can experience. If you’ve ever moved, then I’m sure you can testify to this fact. As for me? I’ve lived in the same home-sweet-home for my entire adult life. Eighteen years to be exact. But this winter, we’re officially moving.

Our new home isn’t really all that far from where we currently live, but it puts us on the side of town where we tend to spend the majority of our time.

We’re certainly going to miss our little subdivision and proximity to the friendships we’ve formed there. However, this next chapter is sure to be an exciting one. (Our new home sits on a few acres which means I may or may not be trying to convince my husband we should get chickens…. Are we chicken people? The verdict is still out.)

But Wait, There’s More

On top of moving this year, I also signed another book deal! The book is tentatively titled, Simply Busy. It will share a grace-based approach to clearing your calendar when and where you can, while also learning to lean into the busy seasons as they come. Because they will.

It’s like a time management book for those of us who don’t really like time management books. 😉 Think Messy Minimalism, but for your time and attention.

Oftentimes we associate “living simpler” with the avoidance of busyness and overwhelm altogether. During certain seasons of life, that may even be attainable. But what happens when life happens or those seasons change? When the strategies that worked before kids don’t work with a family. When the schedule we kept when our kids were toddlers can’t hold up when they’re in middle and high school.

The thing I’ve been learning, this year especially, is that our capacity is largely determined by the season of life we are in.

Yes, we can overcommit ourselves, but the fact of the matter is that there are simply certain seasons of life that require more from us than others.

Some seasons are more mentally draining, while others have us physically on the go a lot. Some seasons offer more white space than we expected, while other seasons just won’t let up.

This will be a busy year for me. Because of that, there are certain activities I’ve had to pause or eliminate during this hectic time.

“You can have it all, just not all at the same time.” -Betty Friedan

Things I’ve Currently Paused or Eliminated

  • I handed off my middle school soccer coaching gig to another, more soccer-seasoned parent. I’ll be coaching second grade instead.
  • I’m working fewer school nursing hours this fall to create more uninterrupted writing time to devote to my next book.
  • I’ve reduced my time spent creating minimalist content for social media and I’m not writing nearly as many blog posts as I used to. I once existed in a season where I could publish new articles and guest posts every week or two. This is not that season. (I mean, it’s taken me months just to publish this one article). 

Is Now the Time to Declutter?

The easy, cliche answer is, “Yes, it’s always the right time to declutter your home.” However, easy answers don’t always line up with our reality. 

What season of life are you in?

School breaks, illness, job changes, the holidays, moving, high school sports schedules, back-to-school etc. all thrust us into seasons that limit our capacity. Sometimes we see it coming a mile away. Other times however, your child wakes up with a fever and the plans you created for yourself get shoved to the back burner. It’s just the result of being a living, breathing human.


too busy to declutter

The secret to making progress even when life gets chaotic is to downshift, not double down. If you’re in a chaotic season, now may not be the time to try and simultaneously declutter your entire home. That’s okay. Consider this permission to pause when you just… can’t… even.  

Decluttering During a Busy Season

Don’t worry. Just because you’re currently too busy to declutter, it  doesn’t mean your decluttering efforts are forever doomed. While it may not allow for a full headfirst deep dive into decluttering your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t take small steps if you want to toward your long term goal of living clutter free.

Small Steps:

1. Stop Accumulating New Things

This is the number one most effective way to ensure your home remains clutter free going forward regardless of how quickly you’re able to tackle the clutter already within your walls.


how to declutter when you're short on time

2. Choose a Small, but Significant Decluttering Projects

  • Nightstand
  • Entry Closet/Mudroom
  • Spice Cabinet
  • Linens
  • Excess Throw Pillows
  • Books
  • Sock Drawer

3. If Step 2 Feels Like Too Much, Just Stick with Step 1.

If the only thing you currently have the time or capacity for on your journey toward a more minimalist lifestyle is to resist adding more stuff to your home, that alone is great progress. Progress you should celebrate.

Decluttering During a Slower Season

Capitalize on slower seasons. Look at it like waiting your turn to jump into a Double Dutch jump rope. Stay alert, and as soon as you see the space open up, take the opportunity to jump in. You’ll be so glad you did when life gets more hectic.

I’ve never been more grateful for the gift that 2017 Rachelle gave to 2023 Rachelle. The gift of a clutter-free home. I’m sure moving will still be madness, but I know it will be far easier than it would have been had we never implemented minimalist principles into our home.

If you’re currently in or about to enter a slower season, don’t miss your chance to tackle your clutter for good.

home organization is a waste of time

Don’t Wait for the Perfect Time

If you’re waiting to declutter your home until you can finally carve out thirty full days of free time, odds are good you’ll be waiting for a long, looonnng time. You don’t need total solitude; you just need intermittent chunks of breathing room.

While the “perfect” time doesn’t exist, the worst times to try and declutter do. If the season you’re in offers little to no breathing room, don’t make things harder on yourself by adding a full home declutter to your to do list. There are seasons of life when tackling the clutter in your home is simply not on the table.

Instead, let this season be what it is while you eagerly wait for your chance to jump in.

Sick of the clutter, but not quite sure “minimalism” as you know it is for you? You’re probably right. Minimalism as you know it, probably isn’t for you. It wasn’t for me either.

messy minimaism

Because of that, Messy Minimalism was born. Messy Minimalism is a doable, grace-based approach to living a clutter free life. It frees you up to embrace the mess, live with less and create an imperfectly perfect home for you.
Messy Minimalism is available NOW from your favorite book retailer or library. 😉

For more information on Messy Minimalism head to MessyMinimalism.com

Need Some Serious Decluttering Motivation?

Sign-up for the, FREE 3 Day Email Series, Unstuck.

Here we will tackle 3 common decluttering obstacles so you can let go and get uncluttered for good. If you’ve ever gotten started and then gotten stuck, this FREE resource is for you!

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