That is pretty much my answer to anything difficult or overwhelming.
- If I need to pay down a credit card I make a monthly payment plan my budget can handle.
- If I need to lose weight I break it down into monthly mini-goals.
- If I have a project for work I divide it out into weekly check-lists.
And if I have a room to declutter I break it down into 10-minute chunks that I can easily weave throughout my busy day.
This is my secret weapon. My approach to anything that is big or overwhelming.
And you know what?
It works like an absolute charm.
So much so in fact, it is the entire message behind this blog, Declutter in Minutes.
And today we are going to take this one step further with my most helpful tool yet. My decluttering and organizing calendar. The ultimate baby step tool that will help you fit a big job like this into your decluttering schedule without freaking you out.
I know you have heard people say before. You can declutter in 30 days! Not only is this statement misleading and untrue but I do not recommend it.
A room? Absolutely. An entire home? Not going to happen.
When you are looking to clean out your home so you can organize it into one you love, fast is just not going to work. Rushing through the letting go process is only going to leave you with a temporarily tidy room. And before you know it, you will have clutter showing back up in no time.
If you remove the clutter slowly, intentionally, you will learn to see your thing differently. As just that……things. Items you have in your home that you use to help you and your family get through your day. Not treasures that you simply cannot let go of, but items that are useful. Things you need but not necessarily love.
And that is why I love baby steps so much. When you can take a large job like decluttering a room and break it down into small steps, ones you can work on slowly throughout the month you will begin to change your view of your things. These are your brand new clutter habits. Sure you may not have many of them now, actually, you may not have any, but as you begin working through the sorting you will magically begin forming them all on your own.
- What once was something you could sew and continue wearing is now an old and torn sock that you can let go of.
- What once was something you could keep “just in case you needed it” is not an item that is taking up valuable space.
- What once was something you could use for a future craft project is now a pile of toilet paper rolls gathering dust.
I call these clutter habits and I can’t tell them to you, you need to earn them. Like stripes on the clutter battlefield. And the more stripes you earn the more you will become a top organized leader of a home you truly love to be in.
Is there anything I can declutter in 30 days?
Absolutely! Just about any room in your home, you can declutter in 30 days. Just one month. That is enough time to get through the clutter on the floor, the furniture, and even the walls. And no matter how small or how large decluttering a room is, you should be able to complete it from start to finish in one month.
Declutter and Organizing Calendar
A few years ago I came up with an idea. I had already gone through the process of decluttering my entire home room by room, I knew just how hard it was to stay focused without burning out. I had to really work every single day to keep my head in the game so I didn’t give up before the job was completely done.
Lucky for me I love lists. And I knew that if I wanted to get this done once and for all I was going to need a killer list. A room by room checklist that I could follow without thinking. One that I could just put on my headphones and get lost in my decluttering playlist just following along one step at a time.
D/M PRO TIP: Every time you declutter, be sure to dress the part. From head to toe. Have an outfit that you wear whenever you are decluttering. A t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Call this your uniform. Get into the habit of wearing this every time you work. As you do you will feel a switch flip over in your mind, telling yourself you are all business. This mental shift will help you stay focused which can be incredibly helpful when you are making some of those emotional decisions.
Sure it took a while to make that list. I literally needed to be in each room looking around at all the things I needed to do. I wanted this list to be thorough. Hit all the spots. And to do that I needed to be in each and every space.
Time-consuming? Yes. Game-changing? You better believe it.
I firmly believe that without that list I would never have been able to declutter my home and then organize it to where it is today.
Now, I realize you might not have time to sit down for a weekend just making a room by room decluttering checklist. And that’s okay. You might just be in panic mode. Ready to get moving, right now, today…but worried if you don’t start fast you will lose your mojo.
A few years ago I created a tool. One that is changing lives one room at a time. This is what I call my Decluttering and Organizing Calendar. My room by room decluttering printable guide that you can use to transform your home.
Call it your 30 day decluttering challenge and printed out and ready to go. Your best organizational calendar and one I am going to give you a free month of.
Before I do, let’s go over quickly how it works.
Remember this is more than just a decluttering calendar, this is a room by room guide. A roadmap of sorts. One that is meant to instill new habits as you go along so you never EVER have to do this again.
How to use my 2020 Decluttering and Organizing Calendar
Step #1. Focus on one room at a time.
Each month deals with just one room. One space in your home. Try to keep your focus there the entire time so you can see progress happen as the weeks go on. When you are tempted to move around things only get worse instead of better. By working in one room from start to finish you might just find this a litter easier than you may realize.
Step #2. Work on habits as you go.
Each Sunday has a new habit for you to work on. These are important and something you do not want to skip over. Remember, we are not just removing the clutter and things, but we are learning how to see our things differently. This is the key to keeping a room clutter-free.
Step #3. Devote time every day to declutter.
Most of the tasks on my decluttering and organizing calendar can be completed in just a few minutes each day. Make a mental goal to work when you can so you don’t risk upsetting your already busy schedule. 10-20 minutes before work or even before bed can be all you need to make amazing progress.
Step #4. Dress the part.
Remember the trick here is to treat this like a job and with most jobs you need a uniform. That means dressing all the way to your feet. Don’t giggle, this is more important than you might thing. By putting on sneakers you are telling your mind you mean business and to get ready to focus.
Step #5. Have a distraction.
This is by far my very best decluttering tip. Have a mental distraction. I like to listen to an audiobook or a favorite playlist. This not only helps to keep me moving more quickly but helps keep those thoughts out of my head. You know the ones.
- I can’t get rid of this size 4 dress I wore a decade ago. I might lose that weight and wear it again!
- I don’t want to throw out this chipped coffee mug. I may need it someday!
- I can’t toss these tablets of paper that only have a few sheets left on them. I might need paper!
Step #6. Check it off as you go.
This is another often overlooked tip that can move mountains. When you check a task off of a list, any list, it really does something to your motivation. It tells your head you are making progress and that in turn drives you to do a little bit more. Go that extra step, those extra few minutes, so you can check off one more thing from your organizing calendar. And when you do this often you can really make progress with your stuff.
D/M PRO TIP: Love the calendar and don’t want to ruin it by checking things off? Put the sheet into a page protector and use a marker to make things done.
Step #7. Keep it front and center.
Out of sight is definitely out of mind, and not something we need or want when we are decluttering. Once you print out your calendar put it where you will see it every single day. This will be your mental nudge reminding you to complete your daily task before you call it a night.
D/M PRO TIP: Afraid seeing the calendar will not be enough? Set a reminder on your phone. This takes just seconds to set up but can mean the difference between finally doing this and giving up like you have so many times before. The more tools you can use the more progress you will make. Call these tools your “team”. And take each of them seriously as they play their part.
Baby steps. Such a small meaning set of words that can have such a huge impact. The impact that can help us remove the mess once and for all.
Grab your month of my decluttering and organizing calendar so you can give baby steps a try. You might just be surprised at how well they work.
Let’s dive into the first things you need to do before you begin decluttering, the Three Crucial Steps you Need to Take. Because before you can more the clutter you first need to uncover it.