I once came across a quote from Peter Walsh, professional organizer, writer, and media personality, that read:

“What I know for sure is that when you declutter—whether it’s in your home, your head, or your heart—it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family.”

How much do you love that? While the idea of living with less clutter and “stuff” can be appealing, however, it’s often a massive undertaking.

After all, it takes years to collect your belongings. So, this to-do you’ve had on your list for months (or maybe years) isn’t going to get crossed off in one fell swoop.

It’s a process. And, one that requires a lot of time and energy—especially if you want to spring into simple living. All that said, if you’re ready to make this your season to get organized and clutter-proof your home, you’ve come to the right place (and, I’m so glad you’re here!).

Today, I’m going to give you not only the tips you need to declutter your home—from top to bottom. But, I’m also offering up a free checklist at the very end that’ll help you start small so you can get going on what may seem like a massive chore right away!

What will you get in return? More space and freedom as you go from chaos to calm!

Okay, I won’t keep you waiting any longer because I’m just too excited to share all of my not-so-secret secrets on decluttering so you can get to living a more organized life!

Before all else, get into the right mindset. Actually committing to getting rid of stuff that’s causing clutter can be half the battle when it comes to organizing your home. Reason being, as I mentioned earlier, it often takes you years to pile up your belongings.

And, some can possess more than just monetary value. They can also stir up memories! So, it’s not unusual to have a difficult time letting go.

But, as Marie Kondo, a best-selling author and organizing consultant, writes in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,

  “When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure. To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”

So, mentally prepare yourself to rid your home of things you don’t need, use, love, and that also no longer fit your family’s style. You can hold onto the memories you’ve created with belongings in your heart, while freeing up room in your home for more living space!

Next, get your sorting system ready to go. Have the right mindset, and now you’re ready to get to work? You’re almost there! To ensure you sort through your clutter the right way, you’ll need to implement what many in the industry like to call the Four Box Method. This method forces you to make a decision—item by item. That way, you don’t end up with a bigger mess than the one you started with!

Best of all, it doesn’t require any fancy tools. You just need four boxes (or plastic bins) that you tag with the following labels—Put away, Give away, Throw away, and Undecided.

Get ready to bring each of those boxes with you as you go from room to room to sort through the clutter! If you come across something you’re not quite sure what to do with just yet, toss it in the Undecided box to come back to later.

And, if going through every single item in each room sounds overwhelming, take Joshua Becker’s 12-12-12 Challenge. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their “home.” It can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things! Not to mention, you can turn it into a fun challenge to tackle alongside your spouse and kids.

Now, it’s time to get to work—moving from room to room! Okay, you’re prepped for decluttering success, and the real work begins—yay! How exciting is this?

First, flex your artistic abilities (if they’re limited, don’t worry) to map out all the rooms in your home and rank them on a scale of 1-3 based on their level of clutter—one being the least cluttered and three being the most. And, from there, you can decide whether or not you want to tackle the messiest room first or save it for last!

Also, be sure to set realistic, achievable deadlines to complete the decluttering process of each space in your home. When you do, it’ll be so much easier for you to hold yourself accountable, while setting aside time to chip away at it.

Feel you’ll have a difficult time parting with your belongings? You’re not the only one. But, I have faith in you and know that this will be your year for a clutter-free home!

Still, if you find yourself having trouble saying goodbye to any belongings you tossed into the “Undecided” box and making sure certain items fit into your vision of calm over chaos, begin asking yourself the following questions.

1. Have I used this in the last year? If not, toss it. It’s that simple!

2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this? It’s inevitable—your style will change over the years. If you wouldn’t purchase this item now and it doesn’t scream “you” anymore, why are you holding onto it?

3. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value? When you have children, your keepsake box can become seriously large. That said, be mindful of what you plan on keeping. And, only focus on the things that spark joy. Otherwise, it’s all just “stuff” that sits in a box for years until your children are grown and decide they don’t want it for themselves.

4. Do I have a lookalike item that serves the same purpose? If yes, go ahead and get rid of one of them.

5. Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future? If it’s been stuffed away in a drawer or sitting on a shelf for months waiting to be fixed, fix it. Or, if you don’t plan on getting around to it in the next few weeks, toss it.

6. Would someone else enjoy it more than my family and me? I came across this question on MindBodyGreen.com, and just had to share. It’s such a great way to think about the “stuff” in your home! Whatever is sitting around and going unused, think about how much someone else or another family would enjoy it. Then, pass it on by donating it to a local shelter or Goodwill!

 

Once you can get to a point where you’re okay with parting with certain items that don’t have a purpose or a place, you’ll be on your way to living out a life that’s clutter-free!   And, if you’re looking for some help in tackling this to-do, I created a free checklist just for you—5 Areas You Can Declutter in 15 Minutes. It’ll help you start small, so you can get going on what may seem like a massive chore right away! To get your hands on it, just enter your email address in the box below, and I’ll deliver it to your inbox very soon.

Have questions or something to share about decluttering your home? Let me know in the comments section below! I’d love to hear from you.

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