It’s January.  It’s time for New Year’s resolutions.  Lose weight.  Exercise more.  Get organized.  Getting organized is among the top 3 promises we make to ourselves, and yet, according to U.S. News and World Report, by mid-February, only 20% of us will succeed at achieving our goals… 80% of us will fail.

If decluttering and organizing is at the top of your list again this year and if you are now fully committed to finally make it happen in 2020, what will it take to at last live the less cluttered life you have been longing for?

How to Successfully Declutter and Organize in 2020

  1. Declutter first, then organize

Too often, decluttering and organizing are thought to be one and the same.  They are not.

Decluttering is getting rid of items that you no longer need, use, or want.

Organizing is storing what you need, use, and want so that you can find them and use them when you want them.


  1. Know WHY you want to declutter and get organized.

Why does it matter so much to you?  Knowing your WHY will serve as a reminder and motivate you when you get stuck or stopped.

  • You may not be an empty nester or ready just yet, but in a few years, you may be. An example of why you may want to start the decluttering process now is it will be easier when you are ready. Meanwhile, you will enjoy a less cluttered life.
  • You are retiring and are downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home. You must get rid of so much of your stuff so you won’t overcrowd your new smaller home.
  • You are getting older and do not want to leave it all to have your kids have to manage after you are gone.
  • You are tired of living a cluttered life! You long for your home or office to be clutter-free where you feel calm, peaceful, and happy… and you know where everything is!


  1. Set yourself up for success
  • Prepare for the emotional and physical challenges ahead.
  • Set realistic weekly goals. Know your bandwidth.
  • Know what decluttering methods worked for you in the past and which ones did not.
  • Commit to your decluttering project by taking consistent action each week until your mission is complete.
  • Expect to succeed. Keep visualizing your new life without so much stuff.


  1. Create a 90-day plan and strategy with weekly milestones

Decluttering, organizing, or downsizing all take time.  Depending on the size and scope of your project, it could take a few weeks, months, or even years.  It is far easier to visualize and succeed at a large overwhelming project when it is broken down into smaller more manageable chunks. By setting your sights on what you would like to accomplish in 90 days, you will likely remain motivated to continue into the next phase.

When your goals are clear, specific, and measurable, weekly you will have a constant reminder of how far you have come.


  1. Make it fun… and make new memories!

Create a team of family and friends to help you each week and to keep you moving forward while holding you accountable.  It is much easier (and much more fun) when you share your projects with others.  Of course, volunteer to reciprocate.

My personal favorite decluttering method is the “burst” method, working for 50-minute increments with 10-minute breaks.

It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when we are highly intentional and laser-focused for short periods of time.

Remember to share your goals with your team – and to review and measure your weekly progress.


  1. Remember that this is a journey… and that you are human.

Yes, you want to declutter and get organized this year.

Yes, you have goals, a plan, and a timeline and yes, you are human.

Life will get in the way.  You will get off track, but when you do, don’t quit.

  • Remind yourself of how far you have come.
  • Remind yourself of your WHY – why it matters so much to you.
  • And ask yourself, “What will it feel like when you are finally living that simpler, less cluttered life?”

What will it feel like to be one of the 20% who succeeds in accomplishing their 2020 New Year’s resolution of successfully decluttering and organizing your life?

To help you get started, we have a few free resources:

The ABCs of Downsizing:

The Quick Start Guide to Downsizing Your Life:

31 Lifestyle Upgrades:

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, I do offer downsizing services.  Call for your complimentary consult today!  302-354-0972