Everything starts with a plan. And a plan isn’t a plan unless you’re organized! Which is why organized planning is essential when you start decluttering.
I know planning isn’t easy for everyone. I definitely struggled too. But I promise you this guide will provide a clear plan of attack to start decluttering your house.
When you look at your clutter (no matter the size) do you ask yourself…
- Where do I even freaking start?
- How long will this even take?
- What do I do with stuff I don’t want?
- Can I open my door and hope people take everything? JK!
Well, you’re in the right place. I’m here to help you create a decluttering plan so you can stop feeling overwhelmed as you tackle a life with less! Let’s begin!
Create a thinking space.
How can a person begin planning how they’re going to declutter their home if they have nowhere to plan and think? Choose a space in your home, table, desk, anywhere where you can be with your thoughts, a planner, and a pen. This place is just for you, do not keep any devices here, not even your phone!
Action: Clear a place where you can think and put thoughts to paper.
Know & Write Down Your Values.
Understanding your values can speed up the process of downsizing your things. What’s important to you - honesty, innovation, vulnerability, standing up for yourself and others, self-respect, curiosity, charity, humility, creativity, etcetera. When you get clear about your values, it’s amazing what you’re willing to let go. If self-respect is important to you, maybe you’ll finally get rid of those skinny jeans that never quite fit, but make you feel not enough. Or maybe getting rid of the art supplies you never used because you never really enjoyed art. On the other hand, you’ll start painting, because you got rid of all that paperwork cluttering your home because creativity is a necessity in your life.
Action: Define Your Values! Be clear and include examples!
Need more inspiration read Jennifer’s Post from SimplyFiercely.com: How Defining My Core Values Changed My Life
Create a mantra.
One of my biggest barriers is perfectionism. Perfectionism always makes you feel like you’re not doing enough, you don’t have enough, or you’re not good enough. So if you have any negative feelings floating around, flip and reverse those thoughts with a mantra.
My favorite is: I Am Doing Enough. I Have Enough. I am Enough
Action: Write down your negative thoughts. Now flip it to become a positive mantra! Whenever you feel paralyzed, take a step back, find a quiet space in your home, and repeat your mantra. Taking deep breaths helps!
Where will it go?
Often times, people stop because they don’t know what to do with an item. Should I recycle it? Is it recyclable? Who will take this? Prevent paralysis. Make a list of different places you can donate, sell, trash, or upcycle your things. Find electronic recycling centers, Women Shelters, Refugee Shelters, Homeless Shelters, Local schools, Find local Facebook groups, or use one of the many apps out there to help you sell.
Need more tips on deciding how to discard items? Check out Christine's Post at TheMostlySimpleLife.com
Action: Make a list of the places you can donate, sell, trash, recycle or upcycle unwanted items.
Breakdown big projects.
What are the rooms, or parts of your house that are overwhelming? Instead of tackling huge projects, break these projects down into smaller tasks. For example, if you have a room full of boxes, going through each box, will be it's own bite size project.
Action: List all of the big projects in your home, and break them down into smaller projects.
Make a list of rooms/spaces in your home.
Create a full list of all the areas of your home. Be as detailed as you want, pending the size or your home.
Action: List all the places in your home you want to declutter.
Ask yourself, what areas in my home would make my life easier? Make me happier? These are the areas you are going to start with, so you can feel better!
Action: Add a star next to the top three areas in your home that will make your life easier, happier, or less stressed.
Create Better Habits.
The number one way to stop clutter is to prevent clutter. Now that you have your schedule laid out, think about what you do that can contribute to clutter. Maybe you leave the mail stacked on the table, making a mess and an unsightly tower of papers. A new habit, keep a shredder nearby and shred the paper every day. Maybe your shoes are all over the place, get a box or a bin and place it next to your front door. When you get home, you’ll see the bin and immediately chuck your shoes in them.
Action: Make a list of your habits contributing to clutter. Think about the underlying reason why you have this habit, and create a new habit to negate the bad one. If you need help, use the clean routine in the Decluttering Playbook, to get you started!
Know your schedule!
The most important part of planning is knowing what available time you have to clear the clutter. Use the weekly schedule and lay out what your current routine and find blocks to use as declutter time. Remember any time, even one minute can contribute to your clutter free goal.
Action: Deep dive into your schedule and find a time that you can dedicate to decluttering.
Related Article: 41 Things You Can Do In One Minute
Plan your week!
On Sunday, sit at your thinking space and start planning for the week ahead. Make your decluttering times clear appointments in your calendar that week. Don’t go overboard and set 10 hours of decluttering on a weekend. It’s not realistic and to be honest, who wants to clean and throw out for more than a few hours at a time.
Action: Plan your week on paper and add those times to your digital calendar too.
Set Monthly Goals.
Basically, all the work above allows you set realistic goals! Knowing what area(s) you are going to tackle, the time it will take, the time you have to do it, allows you to set your goal!
Writing down your goal keeps you accountable. Accountable to who you ask? YOU! But if you need more than yourself, share your weekly goals with friends, or even post it on social media. Let your social world know that you are cleaning house and are gonna kick some clutter ass!
Don’t forget to create a reward for yourself, like a massage or getting your nails did. Or if you have a sweet tooth like me, get you some cookies! Give yourself a rewards when you have cleared an area.
Action: Using the Create Goals + Achieve Goals guide, create your goal, share it with others.
Action: Set Your monthly goals, and make it SMART! Use the Create Goals + Achieve Goals worksheet.
Related Article: The HIdden Secret Behind Goal Setting
Bonus Decluttering Planning Tip
Track Your Goals.
Once you start don’t forget to track your progress. Regardless of the time spent or how much you let go, you have done something! You need to recognize every step, big or small because it’s important.
Action Use the Habit tracker or the Happiness Calendar to track your progress!
Decluttering is your journey! It’s about simplifying your life so you can concentrate on doing the things you love! Mental clarity and sanity are vital to living a happier life. I hope this plan can provide you with a breath of fresh air as you tackle a home that works for you!
What do you think of the decluttering plan? Do you think it will help you on your journey to let go? Have you used these tips? Let me know in the comments below!
Download the Declutter Playbook
Use the Declutter Playbook so you can plan how you can beat clutter for good!
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