Something that contributes to poor health is STRESS. Stress is a hug factor in illness and happiness. One big source of stress, especially for women, is a cluttered home and a cluttered calendar. In the pursuit of good health, happiness, and intentional living, today we’re going to talk about how to declutter you home and your life. These tips will be practical, and I’ll put the actions you need to take in list form to keep it simple!
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This book by Greg McKeown is a great resource for helping a person understand why pursuing LESS, is actually going to bring you MORE of what counts.
How To Declutter Your Home and Your Life
I have a problem. My problem is this: If I need to make dinner and my kitchen is a mess… I have trouble focusing and actually making the dinner.
If there are piles of laundry that need to be dealt with… I get overwhelmed by the piles and make very little progress.
If I’m tripping over toys, I get frustrated… and then feel guilty… and then I step on lego and get just plain mad… and then guilty… you can see how this ugly little cycle can just play on repeat.
Clutter Is Stressful
Clutter is stressful, OK? When we have STUFF cluttering our space, our brains become less effective at processing. And dang, it feels good to know that I’m not alone in this. This is an actual known fact.
The same is true for a cluttered schedule. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of things on your calendar, running all over town for all the activities… and then coming home to all the physical clutter… you’re setting yourself up for adrenal fatigue, stress gut, and more problems.
The tips in this post for how to declutter your home and your life are not going to be presented to you with a schedule.
This is not how to declutter your house in one day (hello, stress), this is not how to declutter your life in one week, or declutter your house in 30 days (what if it only takes you 15 days? Or if it takes you 60? That’s OK!)
The schedule you do this on is your own. This is not about stressing yourself out by holding to one more schedule and commitment. This is about a lifestyle change that is meant to bring freedom.
I’ll be giving you a “declutter your life checkist,” some secrets to keeping a clean house, best ways to organize, and decluttering your life for simple living.
How to Declutter Your Home
As we begin the journey of decluttering our homes and our lives, let’s start with the physical STUFF that’s all around us. If you’re a mom, you’re especially going to have struggles with toys, laundry, crumbs… STUFF everywhere, am I right?
Here’s the thing. I’m lucky in the sense that clutter has always been an enemy of mine. I remember being a kid and not being able to sleep if something was out of place in my room (perhaps that’s a bit of an issue as well…), and now, my own kids have come to learn that if they leave things laying around or don’t take care of things… it will be gone.
Because I have a low tolerance for clutter, I’ve become quite efficient at decluttering.
How to Keep Your Home Clutter Free
The truth is this- everything that comes into your home will eventually occupy your time in some way. So choose carefully what you bring into your home and when. Our kids get gifts on their birthday and Christmas. Other than this… we don’t get them anything. Besides food, clothing, shelter, love… you know. The necessities.
The exception to this is if they work hard, save money, and purchase something on their own.
Another thing that is constantly coming into your home is mail. You can’t help this, obviously. but you can deal with it right away.
Bills?- pay them, and file them. If it’s a letter from a sponsor child, read it, enjoy it, share it with the family, save it in a designated place (or just opt for online letters only), and write the child back.
Maybe it’s a dentist appointment reminder, write it on the calendar then recycle it. If it’s an insurance renewal reminder- write it on the calendar, and then get rid of or file those papers. Special reminder to myself to actually write in on the calendar before tossing the papers… I seem to have trouble remembering to renew insurance on time.
If you go get groceries, come home and unpack them right away. Wash your laundry, then fold it right away and get the kids to put it away.
The key is this: Whatever is needing to be dealt with, deal with it right away. Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination causes clutter. So, when you’re looking at how to declutter your home and your life, you have to avoid procrastination.
Best Ways To Organize to Declutter Your Home and Your Life
Decluttering your life for simple living is so healthy and important, and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
This bring us to the…
Declutter Your Life Checklist
- Don’t procrastinate
- Get the house decluttered. Start in your small rooms (bathrooms, bedrooms, closets) and go from there.
- Everything should have a place (a home), and it should be expected that things get put back in their place when anyone in the family is done with it.
- Do you have a “junk drawer?” If not, you should. But I don’t advocate keeping junk in it. Get some little baskets and have one for pens, one for sticky notes, one for keys, one for paper clips… you get the point. If you can get all that crap off your counters and in a drawer, you’ll feel less cluttered right away.
- Get rid of excess. You don’t need more than you need. Kids really only need a few good outfits, and a few play outfits. The same for adults. How many of your clothes do you actually wear? What I find for myself is that I like to wear a lot of black, white, grey, denim, blush, and blue. I’m pretty simple. So now, I just buy simple, high quality, and low quantity. How many toys do your kids actually play with? Get rid of the excess, the little pieces that constantly go missing… You don’t need more than you need.
- When getting rid of excess, don’t neglect getting rid of the excess on your calendar. As strange as it sounds, declutter your calendar. What’s on there that shouldn’t be? Serving well is important, but serving for the wrong reasons, spreading yourself too thin, and burning yourself out is not good. So, are there activities that can be cut? Commitments that need to be re-assessed?
- Get a cleaning schedule and stick to it. If you don’t have one yet, I’ve put mine into a document, and I’ve made it available at the end of this post.
- Similar to the cleaning schedule, get as much of your life on a “schedule” as you can. Schedule makes it sound a bit tedious, so think of it more like a “rhythm” or “flow.” If you always do meal planning on a certain day, it will be easy to make sure you always do it. If you always do a load of laundry in the morning, it will become easy to stay on top of it. If you always go grocery shopping on Wednesday, it will rarely be a last minute rush. Rhythms and flow are hugely helpful in a busy life. Then tasks go from stressful to something you hardly have to think about.
Looking for a fool-proof way to jump-start your decluttering?
Check out the “Your Uncluttered Home” course from Allie Casazza. It is thorough, it is clear, it is actionable, and you’ll be on top of the chaos and clutter before you know it!
Secrets To Keeping a Clean House
The clutter may be gone, but humans still live in your house. So, mess happens. How can you mitigate that mess and keep your house as clean as possible, with as little time and effort as possible? Again, it’s with rhythm’s and flow.
Fill out the from below, and I’ll make sure you get a copy of my own personal cleaning schedule. You can take it and use it, or change it up a bit to fit your own life! Hopefully it will just give you some ideas to help you develop your own rhythms! Oh- Don’t forget to check out this post on spring cleaning if you want to go a step further! It also has a free printable to guide you in your spring cleaning.