By: Christine Wood
Decluttering is a process that never ends. We may get to a place where we get the clutter under control, but then, life continues to happen. No matter how hard we try, clutter continues to accumulate, and sooner or later, we need to start decluttering our home once again.
Whether your home needs some major decluttering effort, or you are trying to keep the everyday clutter under control, the one thing that makes the job a lot easier is a good plan. If you know what you are going to work on and when, you will have peace of mind in the process and be making progress towards your goal.
Here is a simple process for you to follow to create a decluttering schedule that works for your life. Grab a notebook and a pen and let’s get started.
Create a Decluttering Plan
1. Write a List
Begin by brainstorming a list of decluttering needs. What areas of your home collect clutter? Which cupboards are overflowing? Which corners are untidy? You may want to wander around your home, notebook in hand, and jot them down.
Keep the projects manageable. Don’t just make a list of rooms. There are not many of us who can declutter a whole room in one go. Rather, list a specific closet, drawer or area.
If you have limited time, if you are caring for young children or battling a chronic illness, make each project even smaller. Set yourself up for success by making your projects achievable.
2. Prioritise and Limit
Once you have your list, consider the order of priority. What is the one area that would make the greatest impact? If you could only do one, which would it be? Number your top ten decluttering projects.
Stop after 10!
Let’s be honest. Giving ourselves a huge mountain to climb takes a mountain of motivation just as big. 10 is enough for now. When your top 10 is done you will feel accomplished and motivated to keep going with another 10 if necessary.
3. Grab Your Calendar
Now, it’s time to turn your list into a plan. Take out your calendar or planner and make sure it is up to date. Add all the commitments you are aware of for the next 10 weeks. Consider where you can fit your decluttering projects. Do you have an hour before dinner on Mondays? Do you have a break while your kids are at music lessons on Thursday afternoon? Find an hour a week to block out for declutter time.
4. Start with the Easiest
Look again at your declutter list, and rather than looking at the prioritized list, look for whichever is easiest. Start with an area that is not going to be too difficult, too sentimental or time-consuming.
5. Create your Plan
Now write each project in your calendar. Start with the easiest on week one, then the highest priority in week two. You may find it easiest to work through the list in the order of priority but be smart about it. If you have a very busy week at work, or an emotionally draining event on your calendar, schedule a project that is quick or easy for that week. If you have a week that is light on events, give yourself a more challenging area.
6. Prepare to Begin
Get some boxes ready to collect goods to be donated to goodwill. Make sure you have some garbage bags ready to collect the rubbish. Have everything you need ready to begin.
7. Make it Fun
Do you have a favourite playlist, audiobook or podcast? Set it up so that you can listen while you work. Music makes work more fun and a good podcast or book can make the time fly.
8. Plan a Reward
Celebrate your progress in a way that is meaningful to you. Buy yourself a bunch of flowers. Light a scented candle. Invite a friend over for morning tea in your new tidy space. Celebrate each step of your progress and enjoy your clutter-free home.
I hope you find this simple process helps to create a decluttering schedule that will help you get the clutter in your home under control. Once you have done the preparation work, all you need to do is follow the plan. Don’t think too hard. When your scheduled time arrives, put on your music, pull out your donation box, and get it done. Usually, getting started is the hardest part.