By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer
Do you find yourself saying…?
“I’m too busy to find time to declutter and it’s too emotional for me to deal with.”
“I have a hard enough time just keeping up with everything I have on my plate.”
“I want to have a simpler, less cluttered house and life, but I just don’t know how to find the time.”
If that sounds like you… you are certainly not alone. But you might also wonder…
“My friends are busy too, but somehow, they seem to make time to declutter and stay organized. Their homes never seem to look as messy as mine.”
Let me first dispel that myth because chances are, they have just as many challenges with clutter too because all busy families do.
But maybe, just maybe, they’ve discovered some simple tricks that work for them so their clutter just never builds up to the overwhelming and emotional phase.
Try not to beat yourself up if your house is cluttered right now.
In this blog, I want to share with you a few quick tips to declutter and stay organized.
I call it…
The Busy Peoples Quick Start Guide
Follow along, take notes, I think you’ll be glad you did!
1. Deal with clutter in the moment
Growing up in a house with five kids, our home could have quickly been overcome with clutter… and sometimes it did.
But our mom posted a small sign on each of our bedroom doors that became our “rules to live by,” to help keep clutter to a minimum.
Chances are your mom had a similar sign called Mom’s House Rules.
- If you sleep in it… MAKE IT UP
- If you wear it… HANG IT UP
- If you drop it… PICK IT UP
- If you spill it… WIPE IT UP
- If you open it… CLOSE IT UP
- If you empty… FILL IT UP
- If it howls… FEED IT
- If it cries… LOVE IT
Reading this brings tears to my eyes with such sweet memories because I had the same sign hanging on my boy’s bedroom doors when they were growing up.
Simple rules, when followed regularly will help you.
2. Allocate a certain amount of time each day to decluttering and getting organized
Even if it’s a minimum of 15 minutes in the morning. Get up 15 minutes earlier each day and just start decluttering a smaller space. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get started.
If you are a night owl, perhaps you can stay up 15 minutes later to declutter an area of your home… a drawer, a desk or the kitchen countertop.
Challenge yourself to making this routine a habit. Over time, you will notice a lasting difference.
3. Follow this rule of thumb: “If you’re not using it, get rid of it.”
Take just 5 to 10 minutes a day.
For example, your closet:
Have you ever noticed how often you wear the same things over and over again?
- Challenge yourself to declutter those shoes you never wear, those handbags that just take up space.
Have a box or bag in your closet, put those never-used items in a bag or a box to be donated.
Another example, your pantry:
- The next time you open your pantry, check your pantry shelves for outdated food items. Donate them to a shelter or dispose of.
What other areas of your home do you have items you never use or rarely use that are just taking up physical and mental space?
If you use these quick-start methods when it comes time for SPRING CLEANING you have so much less to do!
4. Integrate decluttering into your day… everyday
Prioritize a few minutes each day to reduce and remove clutter that takes your time, energy, and attention.
The results will be amazing!
- You will be spending far less time, energy, and attention dealing with clutter.
- You will be spending far less time straightening up or tidying up (Marie Kondo’s Book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up)
- You’ll end up having more time, energy, and freedom to devote to things that matter most to you.
Face it, you’re busy and you’re also wanting to be more organized and have less clutter in your life. Follow these simple quick-start methods, use them as a daily checklist and you will achieve amazing results. What you’ll discover is that they will quickly become habits that help simplify your life so you can remain organize and clutter-free.
Another way to get started!