You know those times where you commit to cleaning your house? So you decide to start in your bedroom but then you have an item that belongs in the kitchen. After putting the item in the kitchen, you realize you never cleaned up that mess on the counter. You give the counter a quick wipedown and realize the garbage should probably get taken out. Before you know it you’ve spent 3 hours cleaning and your bedroom is still a mess. This is such a defeating feeling and not one that I want for you. So, let’s dive into how I have mastered decluttering one room at a time!
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Choose your room. Get comfortable.
Of course, you have to choose your room. That seems pretty obvious right? If you’re going to declutter one room at a time, you need to know where you’re starting out at.
When it comes to choosing your starting off point, here are my recommendations:
- Pick the room you are READY to declutter
- You know what you want to get rid of
- This space has been driving you crazy for a long time
- Make sure you have enough time set aside to commit to this space
Break down the room into sections
Next, to make the process even simpler and more rewarding, break down the room into sections. For a bedroom, that might look something like this,
Commit to tackling one section of the room at a time.
I’m a person who despises leaving anything unfinished. This usually means I never walk away from an unfinished project.
If you’re anything like me, you can see why breaking the room down into small sections is going to be incredibly beneficial to helping you declutter your space much more effectively.
Plus, each time you finish a section, it’s like a mini celebration.
Keep, sell, donate toss.
Now, as you work through each room, make sure you have 4 boxes or bags ready. I know this seems like an over-the-top thing that no real human actually does.
I get it and honestly, I usually just create piles or garbage bags with these things but I promise boxes are so. much. easier!
The 4 boxes to have on hand:
- Donate <–This one definitely requires a box or container!
- Put Away
In this box you can put items that you feel are in good enough shape to sell. Make sure the potential money you earn from them will be worth your time selling online!
The reason I say having one box on hand for donations is because you can take it with you from room to room and then toss it in your trunk to donate!
Yes, I know, it might end up being more than one box, but, you get the point.
You could take this a step further if you’re one of those crazy people who really love organizing and have donation boxes for clothing, toys, books, etc.
Personally, I’m too much of a hot mess to organize quite that effectively.
Here’s where the garbage bag could come in handy! Now, here’s one harsh truth. Most people cringe at having to throw stuff away. Stuff they spent their hard-earned money on.
Pay attention to this feeling. Soak in the crappiness of completely throwing away items you once deemed valuable.
Remember this feeling the next time you shop. Not to walk around with shame or guilt but to really allow yourself to be more intentional about the things you buy from here forward.
Ok, so if you’re staying in the same room and something needs to be put away in another section of that room, you can probably just toss it near where it needs to be.
However, if you are coming across items that need to be put away in a different section of the house, do not put them away!
When we come across things that belong somewhere else is when we tend to lose focus on where we’re currently at.
That’s why you have a Put Away bin! Place all items that belong in a different area of the house in this bin and when you are done in your current space, carry this bin around and return the items to their original home.
Tackle big items first
Most of us tend to start with the small items when it comes to decluttering. Things like books, old papers and clothing.
Instead, let me challenge you to clear away any large items like furniture, big electronics, shelves, desks or chairs. Things like that.
Moving, donating or throwing away large items that are taking up your space can instantly help you feel a breath of fresh air. Doing this can free up your space so you can move around better and make better choices about what stays and what goes.
What to consider when clearing furniture
- Size of the room – If you have big items that are consuming a lot of space, consider putting them in the “Sell” bin and maybe downsizing to a more practical size.
- The function of the object – Do you have a chair (or treadmill) that sits in the corner collecting dust and dirty clothes? Be honest with yourself about how much it’s serving a purpose in your life. If it’s not, move on and “Sell” it if you’re able.
- Is there a better place? – Now maybe you have those items that you really do love, but perhaps there is a better, more functional place for it? Set it aside and keep it in mind as you continue to work through all the other rooms in your home. How to makeover your space with stuff you already have.
- Small Bedroom Organization
- Kitchen Declutter and Storage Solutions
- 18 Practical Ways to Downsize and Simplify in 2018
- How Downsizing Saved My Marriage, Finances, and Children
Clear what’s in eyesight
If you are in a space that has drawers or cupboards to clear through, let me encourage you not to open them just yet.
We tend to want to dive into the hidden areas and clear out clutter from drawers or cupboards first. What this usually does is create more clutter in the space we’re in.
So, before you tackle hidden away items, make sure you’ve cleared the space that you can already see.
If you’re in the kitchen, clear off your counter tops first before diving into the cupboards.
Head into the unknown
After freeing up more space to work with by getting rid of any large items or visible clutter, feel free to dive into any items hidden in drawers or doors.
Now, when it comes to all of this clutter, my biggest recommendation is to do this KonMari style and get everything out on the table! (So to speak.)
When you empty out everything into your semi-clean space, you can really get the overwhelming sense of just how much clutter you have accumulated.
Cleaning through drawers this way is highly effective because it encourages you to get rid of more stuff that you otherwise might have convinced yourself you needed.
Empty your boxes
It’s time to put your “Toss” in the trash (or recycling,) bring in your “Donate” box, get everything “Put Away” in the correct place, and store your “Sell” items in a separate area so you can tackle them later.
Organize your space
Now that you have freed up a ton of space and gotten rid of anything unnecessary, you get to start organizing your space!
Like I said, I am not a fan of organizing…which is why I always, always promote decluttering first! The less stuff you have to work with, the easier it will be to get your space organized!
Once you’ve cleared away the things you don’t want, you can start getting intentional about your minimalist space. You have decluttered, made-over and all-around gotten your space ready to be lived in again.
This might be the time that you find there is more in your “Keep” box than you actually want to keep. That’s ok. Those other boxes are still right there waiting for you!
Time to chill
Now is the best day of them all…the day you get to sit back and breathe in all of your hard work. Even when I was a kid I loved this time. There is something so soul calming about a clean room. This one clean room has the power to totally amp you up to continue on your decluttering journey and inspire you to keep on going!