Everyone has stuff and most people have more than they need, so let’s look at ways to cut the clutter in your home and make it everything you want it to be.
It’s been said that clutter is the result of unmade decisions, and sometimes those decisions are hard
You have sentimental attachments.
You might fit in those clothes some day.
You’e saving things for your children or grandchildren.
Do any of those sound familiar? Let’s look at things a little closer.
Getting to the heart of your clutter
First, let’s decide what type of clutter do you have?
Is it clothing, paper, memorabilia, antiques, collectibles, gifts, some combination or something else entirely?
Is it all over the house or just in parts of it?
When I started to cut the clutter in my home, paper was my nemesis.
I had piles everywhere, and it felt like I would never be able to conquer them, but I did.
The truth is that paper is still one of my struggles, but now I have a strategy to cut the paper clutter before it gets overwhelming.
If you hang around this website, you know I’m going to talk about the power of 15 minutes.
When getting started is the hardest part
So often overwhelm takes over when we think about cutting the clutter.
We look at our houses and think it will take months or years to finish if we can finish at all.
I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.
One of the greatest lessons I learned about cleaning and decluttering is that action defeats overwhelm.
This one thought coupled with the power of 15 minutes can change everything, but there are other life practices that can also help you cut the clutter before and after it’s in your home.
Step 1 to cut the clutter – Leave it at that store
Stop impulse purchases.
I know how it is. You see something so cute, and it’s ON SALE!
You get it home, and you realize you don’t love it that much, but it’s too much effort to return it.
It becomes clutter, and you don’t get rid of it because you just bought it, and you paid good money for it.
You can’t do anything about the things you already purchased, but you can about future purchases.
- Only shop when you need something. Stop shopping for fun. Your home and your bank account will thank you.
- Make a list and stick to it. I won’t lie. This will be difficult in the beginning, but as you master this, you will feel so good.
- Pick other ways to reward yourself. Instead of a new piece of clutter, pay down a bill, donate to a favorite charity or take a friend to lunch.
- Make a 2 for 1 deal. If you think you absolutely have to have something, choose two other things to donate or throw out.
- Find an accountability partner. It’s easy to break promises we only make to ourselves. It’s much easier to stick to our promises when we make them public.
- Create consequences. If you really want to stick to your commitment, make it difficult to break them. Tell your family so they can hold you to them. Maybe have a jar where you put an equal amount to what you spend and donate it to the opposite political party. How’s that for incentive?
Step 2- Where to start?
Now that you have slowed or stopped the flow, it’s time to start on the mess inside your home.
I always suggest that you stay away from common areas and start somewhere you have more control over the space.
That could be a closet or dresser or night stand.
Why start there when the kitchen and living room are a mess?
Because in common areas, other people will mess up your progress, making you feel angry and defeated.
What we’re looking for here is to cut the clutter in an area you have control over so you can see how well you do with keeping the clutter away.
When you master that, it’s time to move on to the places other people inhabit as well.
Step 3 – Finding the sweet spot
Every home has a sweet spot.
The sweet spot is the pivotal place that, when it’s cleared, is the gateway to getting the rest of the house in order.
You can read more about that in How to find the sweet spot in your home, then find your own sweet spot.
Trust me, this is a game changer.
Step 4 – Consistency is key
This is often the most difficult part of cutting the clutter because we get tired of it.
To combat that, I teach a couple of strategies.
The first is to embrace The Magic of Fifteen Minutes.
This one concept changed my life. It helped me be more successful at taking care of my home than I ever had been in my entire life.
Seriously, try it for a week and see what happens.
While you’re using the power of fifteen minutes, make it fun.
For me, that means music, an audio book or podcast while I work.
That way I don’t feel like I’m working alone.
I’ve also used my cell phone and/or Face Time and chatted with a friend while we both worked too and had great success with it.
The good news is that the more you toss the clutter, the less maintenance you have to do, and that’s the goal, to maintain rather than continually cutting the clutter.
I still need more help
I get it. Sometimes we need extra help.
That’s why I created the Whole Home Reset.
It’s a free email series that walks you through each area of your home with step by step suggestions to get your home in order at a pace that works for you.
Sign up below to get started.
In the meantime, get inspired by reading 30 Tips for Getting Unstuck by my friend Pam Stahl. She’s got some great ideas.
Also, be sure to join our Moving Toward Better Facebook Page, where we all work toward living our best life and letting the rest go. As always, thanks for being you and have a great day.