There are so many takes on decluttering and pieces of advice, so I’m going to leave you mine, of course. Looking back, I plowed through the big declutter when everything clicked for me. I was just anxious to get it done. Paper was the biggest for me. I remember taking days and days. Looking through young teenage years of letters back and forth with friends. That was quite painful ha. Today on the blog, I’m going to share with you, if you are new to decluttering. And you don’t know where to start… where and how to start decluttering: a no brainer guide.
There is no right or wrong way
First up, let’s clear this up. I’m not going to give you the 100% foul proof method. But, let’s be honest. No one way is going to work for every person. Because well, we are all different people who work in different ways. Looking back at my own decluttering process, I’d probably tell myself to slowww down. But that’s just for me. Maybe you will do well on decluttering as fast as humanly possible, right?!
Three different ways to declutter, according to the experts
So, now that I’ve stepped off my soap box. Here are three ways you can tackle decluttering that may help you out:
- Marie Kondo. This was actually the method that clicked first for me. Now, hear me out. I didn’t take everything that she taught and applied it. The folding method she uses, for instance, I didn’t apply to most things. Her take for decluttering is: go section by section and deal with it all at once. Her sequence of categories: clothes, books, papers, komono/miscellany, and mementos. And as you go through each category, you learn what “sparks joy”. It’s a neat way of looking at things. The book that I read of hers is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and here’s a blog to an overview of her method here.
- Set your goals.
- Include your family in the process. Let them know why you are doing it.
- Work room by room and start with the easiest.
- Have fun and notice the benefits.
Revisit and revise your goals.
Here’s a bit of a deeper look into his method here.
- The Minimalists. They have a blog titled “Decluttering doesn’t work” that is helpful. I also read their books that I really enjoyed! Here’s a look into their take on decluttering:
The what—i.e., the how to—is easy. We all know, instinctually, how to declutter. You can start small: focus on one room at a time, making progress each day as you work toward a simplified life. You can go big: rent a dumpster and throw out everything, moving on to a more fulfilling life. Or you can take the moderate approach: plunge into a Packing Party and embrace the fun side of decluttering, enjoying the entire simplification process.
People should, however, be much more concerned with the why—the purpose behind decluttering—than the what. While the what is easy, the why is far more obscure because the nature of the why is highly individual. Ultimately, it has to do with the benefits you’ll experience once you’re on the other side of decluttering.“
How to keep up with decluttering once you’ve gone through the whole big process
Now? We do routine decluttering. That’s what is working for us. We’ve established some habits to keep us on track too. Like declutter anything paper when we do taxes once a year and dealing with any flyers, mail right away as it comes in. We declutter whenever we put things back to their “homes”, whenever we’re picking up things around the house. We periodically declutter clothing as kids grow out of sizes. We build it into our home routines and then it all periodically gets done.
So yes, read the advice, learn the method, watch the YouTube. But in the end, listen to yourself. Honour the way that you work and thrive. Pull from different methods, ideas, advice if that’s working for you. There’s really no “right” or “wrong” way to start decluttering. But, I will tell you this because I’ve seen it to be true 100% of the time:
You will feel soooo good once it’s all done. Making space for the new you!
And if you’d like a simple, low key place to start, I have a 30 day declutter challenge that you may like. I’ve had folk message me and tell me they have bags of donations after a few days of it! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like that.
Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!