By Rita Wilkins, The Downsizing Designer

You’ve heard of extreme sports, extreme makeovers, and extreme food shows, and man caves, but do you know about extreme decluttering parties? It’s one of the hottest trends in completely overhauling one area of your home at a time, purging it of the clutter that you’ve been wanting to deal with but have been putting off. It might surprise you just how much fun…and cathartic an extreme decluttering party can be!

People who have experienced this quick, high-impact method of decluttering are surprised at just how much “stuff” they accumulated and forgot about. Sadly, this is the case for many Americans, as, on average, the typical American household has over 300.000 items in it according to a University of California study. Yes, the researchers actually went into 37 homes and documented every single item! And it will only continue to get worse if we continue to buy, accumulate and inherit more. It is also the case that our homes, our basements, and our garages often become the dumping ground for kids moving back home or our elderly family members having to downsize and clean out the family homestead.

Clutter takes its toll

Clutter takes both a physical and a mental toll on us, and sometimes we are not even aware of just how much it is impacting our lives. And since the quarantine, families have been confined in close quarters for several months. The “clutter creep” is finally getting to them as they begin to realize the amount of stress and frustration it is causing.

Clutter also contributes to loss of time, lack of focus, productivity, and energy.  People are shocked when they hear that we can waste up to one hour per day looking for misplaced items …glasses, keys, cell phones, the TV remote.  (The number one item that gets lost is the TV remote)

According to a recent study, average Americans will spend 2-1/2 days this year trying to find an item they’ve misplaced in their home wasting valuable time, money, and energy.

This is not to say that clutter won’t creep back into your home, but decluttering your home of things you don’t use, need or want, it will help you gain control amidst the chaos.

An extreme decluttering party (4-6 hours) is one way of getting your life back while restoring your peace of mind one area of your home at a time.

Here’s how it works

  1. Know why you want to declutter
  2. Set goals, make a plan, and set a timeline. Write it down.
  3. Pick a date and exact time. Put it on your calendar.
  4. Schedule your team. Ask them to commit to a date, time
  5. Pick the one area you most want to declutter (garage, basement are typical “firsts”)
  6. Review items you will keep. Mark them and set them aside.
  7. Have a strategy for your team, assign tasks
  8. Sort into piles: Discard, donate, sell, consign
  9. Stage all supplies (boxes, trash bags, storage containers, markers, labels, scissors, tape)
  10. Post your timeline. Schedule breaks. Set a timer.
  11. Know where the donated and consignment items will be going. Do it that same day.
  12. Have fun, make memories, celebrate!
  13. Be sure to take before, during, and after pictures.

Here’s what it takes

Any decluttering project takes time and energy…both physical and emotional.  To prepare for an extreme decluttering party, you will need to be mentally and physically prepared to make quick, firm, and ruthless decisions. To successfully declutter that one area of your home in a condensed period of time, you will have to be ready to let go of your “stuff” with no time for second-guessing. The process can be overwhelming, but you and your team will need to power through if you are to accomplish your goal within the condensed timeframe. It takes commitment to make it happen. Keeping you why in mind throughout the process will help. Throughout the process, remind yourself that you are reclaiming a valuable space in your home to be used for what you now need …or want… a new man cave, exercise studio, or hobby area. The process requires intense focus, not a lot of time for chatter. The time for talking and  fun is AFTER the job is done…that when the “party part” begins!

If you are interested in taking the fast track to take your life back, consider scheduling your own Extreme Decluttering Party soon…then pass it forward.

PS If you want to know more about our downsizing and decluttering services, schedule a call to discuss: https://calendly.com/rwilkins/coaching-call-with-rita?month=2020-06