If you have pets, you may want to arrange for a sitter or boarding for the weekend. Waiting means holding onto stuff, which can lead to changing your mind and undoing some of your hard work. Compile the supplies you will need, such as: boxes, garbage bags, markers, tape, storage containers and baskets.
Consider assembling hangers for each closet. If you have a label maker, shelf paper and other organizational tools on hand, you may want to also gather them together. Roll up your sleeves on Friday night and get to work! Have everyone go through each room in the house with a box or a bag. Start with surface organizing and remove anything clearly out of place. Start with your bedroom closet. Remove each item and narrow it down to just the essentials.
For each item ask yourself:. These feelings are totally normal. Give yourself permission to toss these items in a bag and let go. Set a limit on the number of items you can keep. Get started early! Start the morning by stripping the beds and washing the sheets. Then, take some time to drop off any items you decided to donate last night. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and switch up the laundry. By am, you should be ready to tackle the bathrooms. As these are typically small spaces, you may want to split up the tasks, especially if you have more than one bathroom.
Each person should have instructions to throw out anything you no longer use, and anything expired or leaking. Go through cabinets, drawers and shelves. Get rid of extra towels, those old magazines on the back of the toilet, and anything else cluttering up the space. Wipe down mirrors, counters, the shower, the sink and the toilet. Schedule a short break in the middle of your morning to catch your breath, use the bathroom, have a drink, etc.
Next, move on to the master bedroom. Set a timer for 90 minutes and go through the drawers and surfaces of your bedroom. Be sure to pull out anything stored under the bed and organize your drawers using the same guidelines as your closet. Finish up with a good dust and vacuum, and be sure to put any remaining items back into their proper homes.
Defeat Clutter NOW! How to Declutter Your Home and Life Today!
Take a lunch break and resume cleaning by pm. To make lunch easier, plan to have something simple, like sandwiches or another easy-to-clean-up item. You might even choose to use disposable plates or just napkins to keep cleaning up to a minimum. After lunch, your next project is the kitchen and dining area. These can be tough spots to tackle, as clutter definitely tends to collect in these areas. Go through your fridge and food cupboards. Be ruthless. Go through your cupboards. Take everything out and place it on the counter.
Take a minute break after 90 minutes, then continue on with the process. Repeat this process with food shelves, the buffet, pantry, fridge and freezer. Wipe down every surface and be sure bottles, packages and dishes are clean when you return them to their homes. Finish the kitchen by wiping down the sink, counters and floor.
Try to keep the counters as free from clutter as possible. Similar to your own room and closet: get rid of anything no longer loved, used or serving your needs. Toss or donate any toys your kids have outgrown and clothing they no longer wear. Put things back in an orderly fashion, surface clean and make the beds. Run any items to a donation location and take a nice dinner break.
Give yourself some time to refresh and re-energize before you tackle the evening tasks. You can do it! Basements are major areas of clutter. Give yourself until pm to finish, then take a few minutes for YOU. Relax with a hot bath or shower.
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Enjoy a cup of tea, and read a magazine or book, or zone out to your favorite show. Whatever it is, be sure to treat yourself a little. You deserve it after this challenge! Spend the morning relaxing! Enjoy breakfast or brunch with your family, attend an early church service, go for a walk, or do some reading. Take a break and take care of your Sunday necessities. Around noon, start to gear up to tackle the garage.
To be clear, I am profoundly grateful for my home, my life, and the circumstances that have brought me to have too much stuff. And yet — it was a lot of stuff. Here's how I waded through it all. When we moved into our home eight years ago, I had two little kids and was anxious to just get stuff away. So the temporary homes I gave things eventually became their permanent homes — and it wasn't working.
Maeve convinced me that every single thing had to come out — only then can you be confident that you've processed it all. I'd neglected this step in previous cleaning frenzies. I would purge the top layer of stuff pretty easily, and then "rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic," if you will, in nearly the same way — maybe add some fancy new boxes to contain all the stuff.
But it would always just backlog again. One of Maeve's rules is that nothing goes back the way it was. Every time we cleared out a spot, we ended up changing what lived there — no longer would I let my stuff dictate my actions. Instead, I reimagined each space and I dictated how my stuff would work for me more on that later. This is tough for anyone, but it's a crucial step in regaining control over your stuff.
I was really honest with myself, and resolved to not beat myself up over getting rid of or donating things we didn't need — even if they were in good shape. When you start to think of your things as part of an ecosystem for your life, it becomes easier to pare down to only the stuff you really love. Of course, there was compromise. We came upon a lottery ticket that my father had bought not long before he passed away. I wasn't willing to let it go, but now it hangs on a bulletin board and isn't stuffed in a drawer. My children's artwork was the hardest.
But instead of packing the endless projects away, I used the Artkive app to create digital records of their drawings.
How to Declutter: Conquering Decluttering Paralysis
And then I put the ones we didn't save in a black garbage bag, took a deep breath, and walked away. When it comes to decluttering, you can't put the horse before the cart — what works for a friend or what you've spied on Pinterest will fail if it doesn't fit into your life. When I was clearing out my closet, I looked closely at my month. How many school meetings do I have? How often do I go out to dinner? When I figured out what clothes I really needed in my wardrobe and what was just extra junk it was really eye-opening.
Maeve and I walked through my daily life, and she'd ask me to pause at important moments. Where would I naturally drop my keys? Or my purse? I changed where items live so they work for how I use them — and fought the urge to store things in places just because they happened to fit there.
Take into consideration:
Frankly, I was year-old and dressing like a year-old. I'd buy the same clothes over and over again because I wasn't ever sure what I owned — or, more importantly, what I really needed. When I cleared out my closet, I had eight garbage bags worth of stuff, and it was a real moment of truth. I care so little about myself that I bought and stored all this veritable junk? If the general state of my home is in chaos, I'm in chaos—and I don't want to feel like that again.
So I gave myself permission to have nice — but way fewer — things. I had two pairs of shoes left when I was done. Now I get them resoled, and they last and last.
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And now I have one nice black sweater— and it actually holds its shape! I adjusted my budget to reflect this new mindset, because I'm worth taking care of — and I needed to own up to who I really am. I'm not going to lose those last 10 pounds, or be a person who loves drapey blouses which I bought plenty of, but never wore. I'm just not. And that's OK. This feels like an indulgence, but it's made such a huge impact on my closet.
The tidy, matching hangers remind me that my clothes and myself are worth treating well. Plus, now it feels less burdensome to keep my closet neat — as Maeve taught me, if the action is something you're actually willing to do, you will keep up with it. Why did I need all of these credit card bills from years ago?