There are many benefits to embracing minimalism. Most importantly, minimalism gives you the time, space and freedom to create an intentional life where you can focus on what matters most to you.
Decluttering the excess “stuff” from your life is the first step towards embracing minimalism. But taking on a big project like decluttering your whole home is a lot of work. It can feel overwhelming at times, or maybe you don’t even know where to begin!
The key to starting and finishing decluttering, is having a plan in place to keep you motivated and on track throughout the process. Use the following 7-step decluttering method to get you started decluttering and help you finish the process too.
1. Start with your “why”
It’s important to have a clear vision of why you are decluttering. What do you want to achieve for your home and life by embracing minimalism? Without a clear vision of why you’re decluttering, it’s easy to get sidetracked or lose momentum.
Here are some examples of reasons why you might want to declutter your home and embrace minimalism:
– More time and energy for the people and activities you love
– A more spacious, peaceful and calmer home
– More financial freedom by choosing to own and buy less
– More mental clarity and focus by removing the clutter and distractions from your home
– Less stress trying to manage everything you own
– More freedom to focus on your goals and priorities
– Less time spent cleaning, while easily maintaining a tidy, organized home
– Reducing your environmental impact by choosing to own and buy less
– More gratitude for what fills your life, both tangible and intangible
Figure out what is motivating you to declutter your home and embrace minimalism. Get clear about your vision of minimalism you want to achieve, and use it to motivate you to put in the time and effort to declutter your home.
2. Make your decluttering plan
A decluttering plan takes the guess work out of how you will do the work decluttering your home.
First, decide how you will declutter. Will you declutter room by room or by category, decluttering all like items at the same time?
Next, plan and schedule when you will declutter. You can declutter a little bit everyday, or schedule larger blocks of time to devote to decluttering. But the key is to schedule your decluttering time, then stick to those times just like you would any other appointment.
Another important part of your decluttering plan is deciding what you’ll do with the items you are getting rid of. There are 3 general options: donate, sell or trash. Choose where you’ll donate items. Then plan where you’ll try selling items. Also figure out what you’ll do with any garbage.
Knowing what you’ll do with the things you’re decluttering in advance will make it quicker and easier to get them out of your home. Following through and removing the items you’re decluttering from your home quickly is important. Don’t give yourself or other family members time to second guess your decisions. Go with your first instinct. If you put it in the decluttering pile, keep it there and get it out of the house right away!
The last piece of your decluttering plan is deciding the order you’ll declutter the spaces in your home. Rank each area of your home from highest priority to declutter to lowest priority. The highest priority spaces will be those causing you the most stress because of the amount of clutter in them.
3. Do a quick decluttering sweep through your whole house
The best way to kick-start decluttering and get you in a decluttering mindset is to grab a box or laundry basket and do a quick sweep through your whole house. Look for anything you don’t use or love, especially easy things to let go of that you have little or no attachment to.
Making a decluttering plan is an important step, but actually getting started is even more important. Doing a quick decluttering sweep through your whole house is a great way to take the plunge and start!
4. Clear key surface areas and work on keeping them clear
Pick a few key flat surface areas in your home and clear them off. Great places to start are the kitchen counters, dining table, coffee table, bathroom counters, night stands, etc.
Get rid of things you don’t use or love, then find or make places for items you’re keeping. Clearing these key surfaces will immediately reduce the visual clutter in your home and encourage you to keep decluttering.
5. Declutter somewhere easy
Before diving into your highest priority area, declutter somewhere easy. The bathroom is a great place to start. Bathrooms are usually smaller rooms and don’t hold many sentimental or emotional items.
Thoroughly decluttering an easy space helps build confidence, motivation and momentum to continue decluttering the rest of your house.
6. Declutter each area of your home, starting with your highest priority area
Start decluttering your highest priority areas from step 2 above. Tackling your highest priority areas first will free up so much of your time and energy, and allow you to immediately see the benefits of decluttering.
Work through your whole home decluttering. Make sure each item you choose to keep is either something you use regularly or something you love.
7. Assess your home after you’ve decluttered
Once you’ve finished decluttering your entire home, decide if you’ve achieved the vision for your home you imagined in step 1.
Don’t feel discouraged if you need to go back and declutter more. Not only do you get better at decluttering the more you practice it. But you also might find once you begin experiencing the benefits of decluttering, the more you are willing to let go of.
Following these 7 steps will help you declutter your home and begin experiencing the benefits of minimalism. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you as you work through the 7 steps above:
– Take before and after pictures of your spaces to track your progress and keep you motivated.
– Have an on-going donation box accessible at all times. Whenever you come across something you don’t use or love, add it to your donation box rather than putting it away.
– Try to declutter for at least 10 minutes everyday. These small decluttering sessions will add up to big results over time.
– Don’t focus on organization until after you’ve ruthlessly decluttered. Organizing items you don’t use, need or love only wastes your time, space and energy.
– Become a gatekeeper of what you allow into your home. Stop the incoming flow of “stuff” by shopping more intentionally. Then use the “one in, one (or two or three!) out” rule to prevent clutter from reaccumulating.
– Schedule regular maintenance decluttering sessions to maintain your newly decluttered home.
Visit Simple Lionheart Life to download your FREE 7-page decluttering workbook to create your decluttering plan and start decluttering your home today!
Melissa is a tea drinking, yoga loving mama whose favourite place to be is at home. She writes about creating a simpler, more intentional life by decluttering and embracing minimalism. Minimalism has given her so much time, space and freedom. She can’t say enough good things about the changes it’s allowed her to make in her life! If you’re looking for easy, practical ways to simplify, declutter and embrace minimalism, find her at Simple Lionheart Life! You can also follow her minimalism journey on Instagram.