Today is Day Four of the Non-Overwhelming Decluttering Tasks I’ve been sharing this week. Today, we’re getting to the actual clutter. The stuff Normal People deal with on Day One. The stuff I think I’m going to tackle when I get that decluttering itch until I shake my head and realize I need to start with the trash (day one), then tackle the procrasticlutter (day two), and deal with my out-in-the-open-so-why-do-I-not-see-them-until-the-doorbell-rings overstuffed drawers and shelves and such.
Now, it’s time to use the list I created yesterday. The list of oh-my-word-I-could-spend-all-day-working-on-this-blankety-blank-space projects that I need to tackle. I made the list to keep myself from diving into one spot and neglecting the other visible areas of my house.
If I’ve really (actually, and legitimately) followed Days One through Three, my house looks pretty good. Now that it looks good and we’re functioning better in it, I can deal with the deep down clutter. In drawers and behind doors.
Prioritize yesterday’s list.
Prioritize by what will improve your family’s daily life the most. #1 should be the drawer that caused the bruises on your hip. Some of those bruises are fresh, some are yellowing around the edges and some are faint-and-almost-gone. You run into that opened drawer every single day.
Yesterday, you removed just enough clutter to close the drawer. That was progress. But add one day’s worth of randomness and it’ll be unshuttable again. Today, declutter it deeply, and your hip will be bruiseless for the next month or so. THAT is decluttering that will improve your family’s life.
(What? You thought you were landing on a site where an expert tells you how to live a perfect, clutter-free life? Sorry. You didn’t.)
Prioritize the list, putting the most consistently irritating spaces first and the spaces you noticed for the first time yesterday last.
Step Two: Start decluttering.
How to declutter?
This section will be mostly links, because I’ve blathered on and on about every aspect of decluttering (both physical and emotional) for the past six years.
- Get your supplies ready.
- A trash bag
- A donatable Donate Box
- Your feet
If you’re confused (you should be if you’re new here), read this post about how I sort. My method is NOT what most experts recommend, but it’s the one that works for me. (And for a LOT of you.)
- Head to the #1 spot on your list, and start decluttering.
- Remove the trash.
- Do the easy stuff first. (Remove and put away things that have an established home somewhere else in your house. The things that don’t require a decision to be made.)
- Use my two (and ONLY two) decluttering questions to work your way through the rest of the stuff in the space, leaving only the things that need to be there.
Feel like I’ve oversimplified? Click on the links to read explanations and see real-life examples.
Work your way through the list. I’m not pretending you’ll finish today. You might only get through half of the first space, and that’s fine. As long as you have less clutter at the end of the day, you’ll have won.
Here are some posts that will answer your most angst-inducing decluttering questions:
I have a ba-jillion (more than 75!) podcasts you can listen to for some company while you declutter. They’re kid-appropriate so you don’t have to worry about your kids being in the room. (Except for the Christmas ones, but I warn you, and it’s not because of a potty-mouth, just some things I discuss that moms don’t want their kids to hear.)
And if you want a printable version of my two decluttering questions (like in the picture above) to keep you on track, sign up for my email list!
Want to talk about this live?
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Need more inspiration?
If you’re desperate to declutter, you need to pre-order my new book, Decluttering at the Speed of Life. If you pre-order that book now, you can instantly get FREE access to The 5 Day Clutter Shakedown (a $30 value) by filling out the pre-order bonus form. Find out the details here.