Are you desperate to declutter but don’t know where to start because it’s so overwhelming? And worried you will fail again and all the crazy clutter will come back?
I hear you. I really do.
Because that was me. But I have found a super simple 3 step declutter plan that works and the most amazing thing about it, is it got to the real heart of my problem with clutter and helped me learn to let go for good.
Sounds good? Well here it is.
If you’ve got five minutes to spare do check out the whole plan.
But if you want to get going fast, you can just read step 1 and start …
Step 1 – Just 10 Things
Most of us with a clutter problem have a problem letting go.
So THE first thing we have to do, is learn to let go.
And practice letting go everyday. Until it’s a HABIT.
This is exactly what the just 10 things method does.
I was so NOT convinced by it at first. BUT am now a total convert!
Doing just this you will clear FIFTY bags of clutter in one year. Result huh?
BUT it is way MORE powerful than that. It actually gives us the mental strength to …
- Tackle big, complicated, emotionally messy clutter
- Keep clutter out everyday
- Manage depression & rage about the state of our home
- Reduce anxiety about our busy, busy lives
- Break the yoyo binge buying-decluttering cycle
- Keep going, week in, week out letting go of stuff we will be happier without
Whoah!!! That’s pretty powerful isn’t it?
I so recommend two weeks of just 10 things before you do anything else.
It will only take you 15 minutes to start and is all explained here.
After two weeks you will be ALL ready for Step Two.
BUT you MUST keep up just 10 things.
When I started decluttering I got all over confident and didn’t. And guest what?
I ended up with a huge mess. And thoroughly demoralised.
I understand now, letting go of a few things daily is the foundation for everything else.
You can actually declutter almost your whole house doing just this.
But to speed things up move onto Step Two – Easy Does It.
Step 2 – Easy Does It
OK if you are reading this, I am guessing you have A LOT of clutter.
Letting it go will take time. AND persistence.
So it is essential NOT to turn it into a massive job we can’t stick to!
This is my biggest bug bear with the famed Marie Kondo method.
Yanking out ALL our hidden clutter is – for most of us – a recipe for an UNHOLY MESS!
Believe me I tried it.
PLUS most of us do NOT have the time, space or personality to do it!
So step two is based on small 30 minute declutter projects. One a week.
There is a big list of projects for you here.
The keys tricks in the easy does it stage are …
- Put aside 30 minutes every week if you possibly can
- Focus on one small area
- Let go of whatever you’re ready to – don’t stress about what you’re not
- Work quickly AND stick to your time box
- Empty your bin outside when you’re done
- Get any charity donations & recycling out of the house fast
DO NOT …
- Get over excited & pull out loads of random stuff (been there!)
- Start 10 projects at the same time & finish none (done that!)
- Beat yourself up for not being ready to let go (got the t-shirt!)
The whole power of easy does it is the positive momentum week by week.
You start a project. Finish it. Quickly. Let go of ANOTHER bag of clutter.
And that sets you up to do the same next week.
AND ENSURES YOU STICK TO IT! Week in, week out.
Until it becomes an easy rhythm.
And you know what?
Completing one project a week, will let go of another FIFTY bags of stuff you’ll be happier without.
SO step one AND step two together will clear ONE HUNDRED bags of stuff.
But if you really want to, you can power it up with a power purge!
NOW you do NOT have to do this next step to declutter successfully.
BUT it does help some of us.
If you’ve got a heave-ho-let’s-get-it-done personality.
Or – like me – have big bursts of excited energy, it helps.
JUST don’t stop the other two steps. They are your base.
The stage 3 power purge is your add on.
Step 3 – Power Purge
For this stage you need to block out 2 and a half hours a month.
NO more than that!
Don’t go trying any block-out-the-weekend declutter binges.
You may clear out 12 bags of stuff. BUT you won’t clear out 50.
And we’re after fifty.
PLUS binge declutters actually fuel our binge buying splurges.
AND make them worse. Yoyo declutters like yoyo diets don’t work.
A power purge builds INSTEAD on your regular decluttering.
It’s like a race or a match you’ve trained for all month. So you’re in peak letting go form.
But you need to fine tune your tactics to fit your personality …
- Go for option 1 if you can be very systematic about things
- Go for option 2 if you’re really not at all
- Combine the two if you’re a bit of both
Option 1 – Systematic Power Purge
- Pick out four 30 minute declutter projects
- Choose connected ones in areas you’ve tackled in the last month
- Set your timer and whizz through each of them in 30 minutes
- As always work quickly and don’t get bogged down in stuff you’re not ready to let go
- Totally finish each project before starting the next
- And have a quick break in between
Option 2 – Freeform Power Purge
This option is like a powered up version of your daily declutter.
- Split your time in 20 minute blocks between 7 areas of your home e.g. kitchen, bedroom
- Go to the first area, set your timer and go
- Don’t yank stuff out, just open doors and drawers and boxes and take out anything you can see that you are ready to let go and put it in a trash, recycling or donate bag
- Don’t over analyse it – if you’re ready to let it go, take it out, if you’re not move on
- Only spend a few minutes looking at each drawer, shelf, cupboard. Then move on
- When the timer goes shift to the next room
I always let go of more in a power purge BECAUSE I did so much letting go in advance.
It’s not the purge on it’s own which does it.
It’s the purge ON TOP of the daily habit and weekly rhythm.
I don’t even have to ask those key declutter questions of …
- Will I be happier without this?
- Could someone else enjoy this more?
I’ve practiced letting go so much during the month I know instinctively.
The only DANGER with the power purge is that the endorphins start popping.
After two and a half hours you feel like a pro. You could take on the planet!
Don’t. STOP right there!
AND go and do something wonderful instead that truly feeds your soul.
Because – when times get tough – that is what will stop you grabbing at and clinging onto clutter.
And in a busy world, we must craft some space to love ourselves to truly find confidence to let go.
So there you go.
Three simple steps to help you learn to let go of all the stuff you will be happier without.
I really hope it helps because I know from bitter experience how painful clutter can be.
Do be patient with yourself. Within 2 weeks I was better at letting things go.
And within a month the house was easier to manage. And I felt less overwhelmed.
But it takes time. So really focus on that daily habit and weekly rhythm.
They will give you the strength to let go.
NOW if you’re ready to start your declutter journey quickly read just 10 things.
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