I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, ‘what is a post like this doing on a blog called “Rather Be Sweating”?’ It’s ok, it’ll work… 🙂 When the days start to get a little warmer and longer and the air smells of spring, I always get motivated to do a big spring cleaning. Usually, though, big cleaning plans fall by the wayside and are replaced by other more fun activities (hence, rather be sweating 😉 ). This year though, I have been determined to make a dent in de-cluttering our home.
Since becoming a mom (and more specifically since becoming a mom of two) I have felt the gene that carries my organizational skills slowly making its presence known. I’ll admit that it’s much easier to maintain a household that’s organized so that’s the train I’m riding. As someone who has spent the majority of her life a bit to the left of disorganized, I can genuinely say that becoming organized IS POSSIBLE! Below are my 5 recommendations to de-cluttering your home, tried and tested by yours truly.
If nothing else, read #5 as that was most helpful in my de-cluttering efforts!
1. Give Yourself a Time Limit
I used to say things like “this spring I’ll de-clutter.” And guess what happened. I never de-cluttered. There was no sense of urgency, no deadline. Spring lasts somewhere in the vicinity of three months. That’s a lot of opportunity to keep saying “I’ll start tomorrow.” Trust me, that’s what I said. By giving yourself a weekend or even a single day, you work smarter, more quickly, and accomplish more.
2. Get the Kids Out of the House
This might seem like a no-brainer, but schedule some open-ended childcare for the time you’ve given yourself to de-clutter. This way, you will have one task at hand and won’t have to spread yourself thin over caring for kids and trying to make a dent in the clutter.
3. Start With Clean, Folded Laundry
If your household is anything like mine (and if you love Target, Marshalls, and T.J Maxx as much as I do!), clothing will comprise a great deal of your clutter. I was SO thankful that I had washed and folded our laundry before beginning this project. I certainly did not want to be donating dirty clothes so the fact that everything was ready to either be saved or donated in its current state was extremely helpful.
4. Trash Bags, Trash Bags, Trash Bags!
I find that the black, heavy-duty contractor trash bags are awesome for projects like this. They fit and hold a ton of stuff and when you donate your belongings you can be done with the whole package right then and there.I started putting a lot of the “donate clothes” in big plastic bins – plastic bins that I want to keep – so I’m going to have to transfer all that stuff into bags before I donate it (an unnecessary step). Learn from my mistake!! Keep a few big trash bags in every room with you so you’re able to put stuff in the “throw-away” bag and the “donate” bag as necessary.
5. Stay Focused on the One (or Two) Word Task at Hand
This is the most helpful step. My word, or more accurately my mantra, was “de-clutter.” Several times I had to remind myself that this day was not in fact about “deep-cleaning” or “finding a place for the stuff we’re keeping.” Return to your mantra when you start to feel a little off-track and be able to forge head and complete your goal. There’s always another day for another project. Attempting too many goals in a short amount of time leaves little accomplished. Strive for a goal filled with quality work rather than a large quantity of goals.
I know that there is a wealth of information out there on this subject. I am personally looking forward to reading Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (Has anyone read it? Put her tips to use?) But since I hadn’t read it yet, I also figured I’d better start somewhere! Since I am just now tapping in to my organizational self, I’d love to hear what tips and tricks others use to stay organized!
I apologize about the awful, ugly yellow tone of this picture! But I just had to show it. This is only about half of the stuff we’re getting rid of. So satisfying!
Remember, just because you may not have read the latest book or, you don’t consider yourself a neat or organized person, this experience of de-cluttering is actually really satisfying.
Hopefully the above tips can help make a dent in a project you’ve been anticipating!