Successful Decluttering Made Unbelievably Simple

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Decluttering is something I’m always working on…it’s one of those jobs in the same category as cooking, laundry, and homeschooling. Decluttering is just never done. I’ve trained myself over the years to do a little bit of decluttering each day, the same way I do with my cleaning and laundry systems.

However, I LOVE doing one decluttering push right before I do my spring cleaning each year!

This just makes sense. If you are going to be doing a lot of deep cleaning, think about how much easier it is to clean a decluttered space. It takes so much less time, and it’s just a more enjoyable job. I don’t necessarily enjoy cleaning, so I need to make it as easy on myself as possible.

Decluttering Babysteps

If you have children (unless you are an accomplished minimalist) you have a lot of stuff in your house. Anytime you add more people to the equation, there is just more. More love, more fun, more dirt, more food, more laundry, more messes, more stuff!

So this means, as a mom, it’s imperative that we take constant action towards our clutter. If we don’t, we’ll have disastrous results…

Think about what happens when you don’t do laundry for a week…

…piles and piles of dirty laundry and children running around nekkid!

Think about what happens when you put off grocery shopping…

*Creative* meals made from pantry staples that no one really enjoys, and then when you make it to the store, you’re the weird one with four carts!

It’s time to start thinking about decluttering in the same way as those other tasks that just must be done a little every day. It will take a little bit of time for you to start seeing and feeling results from decluttering this way.

Get It Out Of The House

One of the most important steps in decluttering is getting the clutter out of your house. This seems so obvious, but unless you have a plan for dispersing your clutter, I guarantee you will end up with bags and bags of it either shoved into a corner of your closet or piled in the back of your van.

I have learned this lesson the hard way, one too many times. Have a daily plan for tossing the trash, and a weekly plan for a Goodwill run. I’m blessed that our Goodwill is on the right side of the road on the way to martial arts class, so it is so easy for me to make a weekly drop.

If your donation drop isn’t in a convenient location, it’s a good idea to brainstorm some alternative drop locations. In my area, there are a lot of drop locations located in parking lots around town. It’s basically just a cleaned out dumpster where you can put your bags of donations and then they come pick it up. It’s not 100% ideal because you won’t get a receipt for your efforts.

But if a drop location dumpster will get the clutter out of your home, it is worth it!

I am always tempted to try and first sell any of the clothes or household items that are still in good condition on eBay or Craigslist. You may be able to successfully accomplish this. For me…it’s a trap.

It takes forever for me to get something listed because I’m not highly motivated to do it. If I were trying to save up a big chunk of money really quickly, I could get it done, but otherwise, there is always something more important or more exciting for me to do. So listing items never gets done.

If selling your items is a temptation for you, then give yourself a very strict time limit. For instance, make an agreement with yourself that if you haven’t listed your items in 7 days, they will immediately be dropped off for donation. And then stick to it!

Decluttering-Get The Kids Involved

When your kids are involved in decluttering accomplishes two goals.

1. Your home gets decluttered exponentially faster.

2. Your children learn decluttering habits that will hopefully stick with them into adulthood.

I keep decluttering as simple as possible when involving the children, and make my expectations clear. I assign a small number of items that I would like for each of them to get rid of from their room, usually 3-5 items. And then I ask the children to bring me the items.

I always inspect what they want to get rid of first to prevent getting rid of something important. I will then put the items in the appropriate bag, trash or donation.

So when I add up all of the children’s items, in addition to my own items, we can get rid of a lot of stuff without spending a lot of time. For me this works out to 3 items multiplied by 7 children ages 4 and over, plus my own 25 items. We just decluttered 46 items, and it happened in less than 10 minutes! Woohoo!


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13 thoughts on “Successful Decluttering Made Unbelievably Simple”

  1. Alright!!! Let the getting-rid-of begin! I have a big pile to drop off tomorrow, but now I’m inspired to have each of the kids fork over 5 more items today! I confess to bursting out laughing at the comment on stuffing give-aways in the closet or back of the van. How did you know? Is someone spying on me??? Haha! Gotta MOVE ‘EM OUT!
    Looking forward to your declutter challenge! Thanks!

  2. You can also go to givebackbox.com to get a free shipping label, schedule a free pick up and get a donation receipt. Print out the label and UPS will pick up your box and deliver it to your local Goodwill. Once it’s received by Goodwill, you get a receipt in your email! It’s so much easier for me than trying to remember to stop at Goodwill (which is WAY out of my way)!

  3. Hi there! I have signed up and received the emails, but I only received up to challenge day 21. I looked in my spam folders and nothing shows up. Are there 30 days of challenges? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel! There are a few technical details that I need to take care of to be compliant with new legislation (over in Europe!), and until I do that, I need to wait to send anything else out. I will be resuming the challenge just as soon as I can take care of those details, and you will start receiving those emails again! Thanks for your patience!

  4. I am so guilty of thinking I need to try and sell the clothes, books and stuff when I declutter… and it almost never leaves the house! IUgh! Even though we only have 3 kids at home now, there is still so much stuff!

  5. Pingback: Managing A Large Family- Large Family Organization Tips - Large Family Management

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Ashley is committed to helping ALL Moms (working moms, stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, ADHD moms, and any other kind of Mom who wants a change!) realize and achieve a calm, peaceful, neat space that really feels like Home Sweet Home.