In this post: Decluttering can be an overwhelming process. In this article, find 3 tips on how to declutter your home without getting frustrated and totally overwhelmed!
Getting organized can seem overwhelming! If you’re living in a state of chaos (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome), life can be seriously limiting and sad. In fact, it’s quite debilitating if you are surrounded by a bunch of stuff that you trip over or have to constantly move from one spot to another.
So let’s stop the madness and the overwhelm and see what it takes to declutter without getting totally overwhelmed!
How to Declutter Your House Quickly
Take a deep breath.
1. The first step in getting your house decluttered is to have a come to Jesus moment.
Not like get saved or anything. Just get that lightbulb to pop over your head and realize that…
IT’S JUST STUFF. You have got to get over it. If you’re reading this article, you must know you have a problem with junk and stuff and too much of it everywhere.
You might say that you love it. You might say that you’re just sentimental. Sure. So am I.
Just don’t all your stuff to be more important than it really is. I have some things that I’ve let go of that I’ve carried with me for 20 years. Stuff like the sewing machine my grandfather bought me when I was 12.
Yes. It didn’t work. But I was so wrapped up in it being from my grandfather, that I couldn’t let it go. But year after year and move after move, it began to be more of a burden to us. It was heavy and the legs were splintering. There was no repairing the cabinet and I never, ever used it.
I finally realized that I was hanging onto it only for emotional reasons. So I stopped. I decided that that sewing machine did not embody the love of my grandfather. It was a gift of his love, not his actual love. I had given that piece of wood and metal more meaning than my memories.
The memories of my grandfather are always with me. Letting go of that rickety, worn out, broken down sewing machine was actually freeing. It lightened my heart being able to acknowledge the lovely sentiment that my grandaddy gave to me and cherishing the feeling rather than the object.
But wait, I might use it someday!
If you haven’t used it or worn it or needed it in a year, chances are you never will. Let go of it.
2. Do one room at a time
When you are starting to declutter, focus only on one room. Have a box for Donate and one for Trash. When you pick something up, just put it in the first box you think of. Once it’s in that box, no going back!
No second guessing. Just let it go. The End.
3. Set a timer
Set your timer for 20 minutes. That’s ALL! You’d be surprised at how much setting a timer helps. Not only will you get more done than you think you will, you’ll have a strict, tangible end to your process.
If at the end of 20 minutes, you’re inspired to keep going, don’t. Take a 5 minute break to get some water, go to the bathroom, whatever. Step outside and get a breath of fresh air.
The danger of just trying to do it all at once is burnout. If you teach yourself to take breaks, then it won’t feel like a total drudgery the next day. Give yourself permission to break up your sessions.
What’s behind the clutter, anyway?
The emotional and psychological part of clutter
No, I’m not a therapist or psychologist, but I’ve read enough stuff to recognize patterns in my own life.
There is something very obviously emotional and psychological going on when someone is hoarding, but it might be harder to connect when your house is just a bit cluttered. It’s not so obvious if there’s just some piles of paper or loads of laundry lying around? But I know when my house gets beyond a certain level that I’m actually dealing with something internal that is being reflected in my external.
There is something we can do about it. (I’m talking to and reminding myself these things as I write this!) We don’t want to admit that our piles of paper and mounds of clothes have anything to do with our stress levels. It often seems as if they are the causes of stress rather than the result thereof.
Overcoming the mental chains of clutter
The first step towards healing and understanding the mess is to accept that you’re not defined by the clutter. Just because things are out of control doesn’t mean that you are dumb or lazy or an idiot. That kind of self talk is very damaging, and we all… ALL as in each and every single one of us have things we struggle with that come out in different ways. Just because your neighbor Suzy has a perfectly organized home doesn’t mean she is perfect. No such thing, yo. Truthfully, she is
probably most definitely dealing with stuff you have zero clue about, and it manifests in other and perhaps less obvious ways.
Remember to have self-empathy and self-compassion. When you work on the inside stuff, the outer stuff like a cluttered home is easier to manage.
Exuding Empathy to spread love
And for gosh sakes, have empathy for every home you enter that isn’t spotless! Connecting with one another through shared experiences is recognizing the sheer humanity in our lives. When the dishes are piling up and you’re bouncing a teething infant trying not to let the world collapse around you, having a friend give you a knowing look and a hug can make everything feel better.
However, glaring at the woman with three under three who are all screaming and crying in the grocery store spreads nothing joyful. But a commiserating smile can go a long way. Even if you don’t have kids, you can just imagine what she’s going through, can’t you?
The Benefits of Decluttering
The benefits of decluttering go way beyond just having a clean home. What’s a clean home really for if not to help us feel lighter and freer?
It’s definitely more sanitary, but the mental boost you get from walking in from a hard day at the office into a nicely organized space will lift your heart. Knowing that you don’t have piles of crap lying around makes coming home even sweeter!
If you have kids, they will grow up thinking a clutter free home is the norm and will hopefully take that into their adulting. There’s no guarantee, but it’s a strong foundation and you can feel good knowing you modeled that behavior for them.
We all need more joy and living in a clean, uncluttered space creates space for that joy.
I hope you feel encouraged to chase the feeling of a decluttered home. It’s not so much about the stuff, but about how you feel about the stuff!
More cleaning tips:
- 10 Tips that will help you keep an effortlessly clean home
- 5 SNEAKY Cleaning Tricks You Can Do When Your House is Dirty and
- How to Keep the Dishes from Taking Over the Kitchen