Welcome to day one of the Spring Reset Challenge! This is the foundation of everything you do in your life day in and day out. Today will rock your world because I know that one of the biggest things holding you back from having peace in your life is that you so desperately desire it. I’m about to give you your fast action plan to declutter your home and never go back to living that way again.
This four-part series is jammed packed with life-changing information that will help you lighten your home, schedule and to-do list so that you can finally catch a break and prioritize a little your time. Be sure to catch up on part one of this series, where you learn to declutter your schedule and prioritize what really matters.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
How to Start Decluttering Your Home
Today we are literally getting into the nitty gritty about how much stuff you have. It is a typical and common problem, and I am in that boat with you. I honestly am so guilty about having too much stuff, and I live an incredibly minimal life compared to most people. It is so mind-blowing how much you don’t need that you currently have.
All I do all day, every day, is observe people. It’s how I learn. I learn by watching human behaviour. It fascinates me. I watch what people do, what they hold onto and why. Sometimes I see into people’s homes that are on coaching calls with me or pictures online, and I’m blown away at the amount of stuff that we just hold on to, and there is really no need for it.
There are two reasons why we have all of this stuff and clutter. One is that you don’t have time to get rid of it, and the other is that you don’t have the ability to sort through the emotions that come with it.
How Much Stuff Do You Really Need?
This is a topic I often cover because it is one of the number one things that is consuming your time. The amount of stuff you have in your home directly correlates with wasting time. Is your garage jammed-packed? What’s under the bed? How full is your fridge? What is in your car, closet, cabinets, kids’ backpacks, every tote, or bin in your house? That stuff is weighing you down. You do not need to wash 14 water bottles; you only need to wash one for every person in your house. You’ve got to stop. Use one water bottle and use it well.
It is much more freeing not to figure out how to do this dance with everything in your life. Are you on a daily scavenger hunt for everything you’re trying to find? These things should not be happening in your life, and that’s why the topic of decluttering your home is so important. It comes down to the simple fact that you have too much stuff and need to get rid of a lot of it – the end.
Blaine and I just had a conversation about this, and trust me, I am guilty as charged. We just moved, and when you box everything you own, you see exactly what you have. Let’s peel back the curtain and let you know I’ve lied to myself. I am actually disgusted at the things that I found. The dirt and dust that I found. I am giving myself grace about this, but it was a good look at where things have been hiding.
What You Need To Know Before You Can Declutter Your Home
There is so much space in a house, and there are many different ways to store and horde stuff. You’re going to stop doing that after today. You need to know this before we move into how you will get rid of it and keep it gone.
Just like we’ve talked about in part one with your calendar, there are emotions tied to what we do every day and what we have, keep and choose to hold on to. Navigating that can be hard for a lot of reasons. Marie Kondo is the queen of this; she really is where I heard of this concept and got my bug for wanting to live a minimalist life. Her giving me permission to let go of everything in my life that doesn’t bring me joy. That was the start of this – decades ago. Then it turned into functionality and purpose, utility and something beautiful to me. I’m obsessed with design and want to be Joanna Gaines’ best friend.
If you pair my love for all things Joanna Gaines and how my brain works systematically and looks at efficiency and functionality, that’s what we are talking about today. That’s what I want your home to feel like.
Decluttering Your Home Will Change Your Life
It might take some work for you to get there, and that is okay. Trying to navigate your life with the clutter is way more work. When you have clutter, you can’t possibly keep your house clean or tidy. You don’t find it inspiring, making you frustrated and feel like a bad mom and wife. We harbour these things, making it really hard for you to be joyful.
Getting rid of that clutter, whether or not this is a mountain or just a little speed bump, is a game changer. We will get over this and through this together, and then you will not fall back into that cycle.
4 Simple Ways to Start Decluttering Your Home
I’m about to make this unbelievably simple for you and break it down. I know how good it feels to know exactly where to find something, only to have 4 towels to fold instead of 45 or how blissful it is not to have to search a million dirty dishes to find the one that has to go to sports with the kids.
Even though I now see how much I had in our old house, I will say that everything had a place, and we kept it that way for the most part. As we started moving, we let go of our habits, and you probably have let go of things for your own reasons. But not today, not tomorrow or the next day.
Here are the 4 ways that will make decluttering your home easier:
Declutter Your Home Tip #1: Do Not Be Held Back By Overwhelm
It is highly important that you are not held back by the idea of how much time it will take or how much stuff you have. If you don’t have enough time or have too much stuff to purge – who cares. If you feel like you can’t start because you have too much stuff and don’t have enough time – knock it off.
What are you going to do? Continue to live like this forever? You could, but you are not going to. You are not that woman that shows up everywhere she goes ratty and runs ragged. I know that where you are at, and the reason you have too much stuff, is because of some habits that you are about to change and some quick action you are about to take. I want you to start right now. You do not have to preplan decluttering. I encourage you to preplan if you want to, and that feels good for you, but let’s start right now.
What are you doing right now that stops you from making this change? Get rid of some things and throw them away. Constantly ask yourself whether you need this. No? Then throw it away! Throw away the things you are pushing around to get to the thing you need. Every day I want you to start looking at all of the things that you have through that sense.
Declutter Your Home Tip #2: Start With One Item at a Time
Be okay with small improvements over time. You will be waiting for eternity to come and go again if you wait for the perfect time to get a project done. Let’s be real, you have an entire life, house, schedule, family, job, and marriage that you have to look after. There will be a time and place that you can tackle an entire decluttering project, and it might be soon, but right now, be okay with small improvements over time. You don’t have to purge all at once. Start small – one bag, one drawer, one day at a time
Declutter Your Home Tip #1: 12 Months or Less Rule
Follow the rule of 12 months or less. Sometimes following the spark joy Marie Kondo method doesn’t work. You may find joy in almost everything that you own, and you really do not need all of it. Instead, ask yourself – have you used this in 12 months? No? Then buh bye, you are gone. Trust me, if you haven’t used an item in the past 12 months, you do not need it.
Declutter Your Home Tip #4: Use 3 Piles to Help Conquer Overwhelm
If you are having a hard time and can’t just throw away or donate items, use the 3-pile method. The three piles are Yes, No and Maybe. Yes, it will stay in the drawer. No, is going to go in the bag for trash or donation, and the Maybe’s are going to sit out. They are going to sit there until you can rationalize and have a conversation with yourself. You can talk yourself out of keeping that random bouncy ball or ridiculous coaster that has no functionality. There will be some things that you have to take a moment to pause on, which will go in your maybe pile.
How to Make Sure You Never Have To Declutter Your Home Again
Once you’ve got through all of this work to clean up and purge out any area of your house, how do you make sure you don’t go back? Create a system. Having a home management system for your home is just a non-negotiable.
Habits are born out of necessity, and you have created the habit of putting yourself last, saying yes to other people or keeping a bunch of stuff around. Those habits are hard to break without the structure of a system. That’s why I put systems in place because I don’t do well without the security of my walls. I need my guardrails to help me so I can let loose and be who I want to be because my system keeps me ranged in.
I know I’m not going to go rogue and turn my utility drawer back into a junk drawer because I systemically make sure that every time I open it, I pull things out that I don’t need and tidy them back up. Each and every time that I use something, I put them back immediately because it has a home. Every single part of my systems and home management system is apart of how I keep my house from being cluttered.
“Every single part of my systems and home management system is absolutely tied to how I keep my house from being cluttered.”
Systems Will Ensure Your Home Does Not Get Cluttered Again
That is what’s going to make such a difference for you. Creating a system around whatever it is that you just organized is going to change the game. If you just purged your file system and continue doing the same system, you’ve always done. Guess what’s going to happen? That same stack of papers is going to accumulate again. You need a new system so that this doesn’t keep happening. When you check the mail, where does it go? What do you do with it? Communicate the system to your spouse. This is how you are going to keep yourself from relapsing back into a cluttered home.
Get Started Decluttering Your Home and Keeping it That Way
Now you’re going to do one of my favourite things to do! Your first step to declutter your home is to Fill a Bag. It’s pretty straightforward. Go fill a bag of any size with all the trash or donations you don’t need. It can be a black garbage bag or a small grocery bag. Find a bag and find trash or donations and fill that bag!
Head over to our Facebook community, show us a picture of your bag, and let us know what you decluttered today! If you want to dive deep into decluttering your home and truly create a home management system that will last years, join Systemize Your Life today. In week one, we dive deep into all things home management, and you’ll learn so many more skills to help you declutter and manage your home.