Do you ever look around and find yourself so overwhelmed by the clutter that you just run away from it?
Many do, clutter overwhelms us by stimulating all our receivers, demanding the use of all our energy to process the stimuli, clutter. Whether the clutter overwhelms just our vision or our vision, smell, and touch, our brains are still taking in more stimulus than we are comfortable with. Resulting in us feeling overwhelmed.
Whether it is just the surface of your table or your entire home, clutter can be a roadblock to your joy. Therefore, it is important for you to take the time to declutter and organize your home, to eliminate clutter and feel joy. To get past the roadblock of clutter draining you of all your energy, you will want to focus. Focus on a small area or one item for a short duration.
When you focus on something small or for a short duration your energy is not pulled in the direction of all your clutter. The ability to focus allows you to maximize your energy to declutter the specific item(s) or area that you are focused on. Focus results in productivity.
To help you focus to increase your productivity and conquer your mission to declutter we will go through multiple ways of how to focus your energy. We will discuss how to focus on your effort to declutter for a short duration, or how to focus on a small area, or how to focus on a particular type of item to declutter. The focus tools we discuss here are choices that you make, of what you will focus on.
Look through the different ideas of areas, items, or durations to focus that are below, and try a few to see which declutter techniques work best for you. You may find that different tools to declutter work best for you in different situations or on different days. For example, when company is on their way or I just got home from work and am exhausted, a short duration works the best. Whereas if I have time and want to tidy up, the idea tools to focus on an area or a particular item to declutter works best.
Try the different tools to declutter at different times and in different situations to find which work best for you.
Tools to DECLUTTER
Many times you just feel overwhelmed by all the clutter. When you get to this point you can set timers and give yourself 10 minutes per room. It doesn’t get it all clean, but you can see a difference at the end of 10 minutes, and sometimes that is enough to motivate you to do more. Other times you need to set the timer for a couple days in a row.
10 minutes is my go to timer, but you can feel free to set your timer to less time or more time. Specifically if 10 minutes is overwhelming for you start your timer with 2 minutes. Also, kids love racing against time. So, if you have children make this into a game and you will find that you have a great helper when racing!
To declutter and organize your home in short durations select one item at a time, and put it where it belongs. At the end celebrate how many items you put in it’s rightful place on your timed race to declutter and organize. If you have kids make this a competition of who puts away more items in the right place. Fun always helps it go faster.
FOCUS ON AREAS OR SPECIFIC ITEMS
To declutter throughout the year you can use a schedule to focus on specific areas and specific items that consistently pile up. Below is a table schedule of my weekly/daily approach to maintain an organized home with regular efforts to declutter as an example for you. The table or schedule to declutter is broken down into categories that make sense for our home, along with the listed frequency that we focus on the listed category.
The categories include everything from laundry to entrance way clutter. Below the schedule on decluttering you will find descriptions of each of the listed areas or specific items you can focus on to declutter and organize your home. The descriptions of different focus areas to declutter give examples of how frequently to take care of the category, and specifics on how to take care of each category. You can use the schedule to declutter below to start and then edit to what makes the most sense for your home.
Entranceway: Coats, Shoes, Water Bottles, and Lunch Pals:
Declutter your entranceway by putting items that gather there, away as soon as they come through the door. Putting stuff away, when you first get home is a hard habit to make with children, but can be done. I have to try to remember every day when I come home to look around the house and make sure these items didn’t get dropped somewhere. It is typical that I need to provide a reminder, but a nice surprise when it’s already done.
Even if your child doesn’t pick up this habit while they live with you, they are more likely to have this habit when they make a home of their own because you taught them. So try to keep the long term goal in mind, it helps with patience and kindness.
Backpacks get dragged between rooms throughout homes depending on where kids do their school work. In my home backpacks get dragged between our dining room table and my child’s bedroom where homework is done.
– To eliminate backpacks as an item you need to declutter try to remind your child during their nightly bedtime routine to put their backpacks by the front door so it’s ready to go the next morning.
– To declutter backpacks throughout school free days like on Friday evening’s you can remind kids to put backpacks in their room for the weekend so you aren’t tripping over it.
This may vary depending on what kind of pet you have. We have caged animals, sugar gliders, that live in a giant ferret cage. So this direction is specific to declutter caged animals and may need to be modified for other kinds of pets.
– To declutter where animals eat, tidy up their food and water dish every day.
– To declutter space where your pet hangs out regularly wipe down all surfaces once a week or every other week.
Taking care of dishes is a daily goal of mine. I’m not great at it. By the time I finish dinner on a weeknight it’s work enough to rinse the dishes and drop them in the sink. So, try different times of day to find the best time that works for you to declutter your dishes, this might mean waking up 10 minutes earlier.
– Try everyday to rinse and put what you can in the dishwasher. In reality, I think I do this three times a week between Monday through Friday, and then once or twice on Saturday and Sunday to get them all done before the work week. This works best for us, and I appreciate starting the week off without dirty dishes cluttering the kitchen.
– Breakup chores so no one person is overwhelmed by chores. My husband and I try to split this chore since we both aren’t fans. My husband unloads the dishes and puts them away, and I load the dishwasher. We do have our son help with this chore, as he’s gotten older he’s helped with it more and more. If the dishwasher has dirty dishes in it, he is expected to rinse his dishes and put them into the dishwasher immediately. This is a huge help!
We also have him help put the dishes away. When he was too short to reach our top cupboards he was expected to put away tupperware and pots and pans that go in our lower cupboards. As he got older he was asked to put away silverware and anything he could reach.
Mail clutter tends to become piles of papers that get shoved everywhere. To declutter mail it is important to organize where you will keep mail and for how long. To declutter and organize your mail identify specific locations to place unsorted mail, sorted mail, and mail that you file away for records. Here are the three bullet point directions we follow to declutter our mail and keep our mail organized.
– Open and sort mail on Monday, Friday, and Saturday. By sort I mean that you should recycle what you do not need and make a pile of items that need to be attended.
– Friday and/or Saturday attend to the pile of items that have piled up throughout the week.
– After attending to the items of the week, recycle what you can, and the rest can be filed away.
To declutter and organize laundry it is important to have confined containers for laundry where it gets piled up. Identify where your laundry piles up and put a container that works in that space to collect all articles of laundry. In addition to confined containers to declutter and organize your laundry you will also need to assess how frequently you need to wash and put away laundry. For a family of 3, we declutter and organize laundry by doing laundry 3-5 days out of the week. I break up the washing, drying, folding, and putting away throughout a day or week to juggle work and family responsibilities.
This frequency will vary depending on how much laundry you are managing in a week. To break up our efforts to declutter and organize our laundry we prefer to do laundry on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. That pattern of days to declutter and organize laundry, ensures that most if not all laundry is clean for the work and school week.
– For the days you do laundry you can put a load in, in the morning, fold one load in the morning, and put a 2nd load in whenever you find the time. Then have the remainder of your day, laundry free. By evening my husband moves the laundry to the dryer and I fold laundry while watching t.v. or helping our child with homework.
– Split your laundry chore up if you can. In my home my husband and I split this chore. I put laundry in the washer, and he moves it to the dryer and brings it up (ours is in the basement), then I fold.
– In the last couple of years we have also started to include our child. So, when my child was 8 I had him start separating darks, reds, lights, and whites. At 10, I started having my child come with me downstairs to learn the entire process. Now, at 11 my son can do his own laundry. Of course sometimes this means we need to provide reminders like, use laundry soap… It’s a life long investment at this point.
To declutter and organize a home stay positive and know you are not alone. Clutter is a challenge that most home owners deal with. To be successful in efforts to declutter and organize your home approach clutter with a positive mindset and know from the beginning this is a life long journey not a quick fix. Invest in healthy habits to declutter and organize your home regularly for a more joyful and balanced life.