You may find affiliate links throughout this post. Read my full disclosure here.
There’s nothing that can quite describe the feeling you get when a space in your home has been completely decluttered. It’s almost as if part of your life itself has been emptied, cleaned out, and put back into order.
In fact, I’ve realized that especially for stay at home and homeschool moms, clutter in your home can somehow make you feel like your life is overwhelming when in reality, it’s just that the house is a mess.
However, while many moms are natural organizers, many others are not, and the thought of decluttering makes them want to just lay in bed and scroll through Instagram reels.
But decluttering your home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, I want to share with you how to easily start decluttering your home, even when you feel overwhelmed.
Let’s slap some perspective on things.
Everyone will have a different amount of clutter, and for different reasons. Some people are more sentimental with their things than others, some people have more kids (and therefore more things), house sizes are different, some people are naturally more organized, etc.
You may need to have more stuff because you stay at home all day and your children are young. So naturally, your home wouldn’t look the same as someone’s home who lives by herself.
To easily start decluttering your home, it helps to identify where the major sources of your clutter come from. Does it come from things you just can’t get rid of? Does it come from not having a place for everything? Or does it just come from daily life and everyone leaving their stuff all over the place?
You need a plan for handling all the clutter in your home, and undoubtedly this will come with habit building + a strategic plan with an approach that works for you. But I want to help you start right away, so here are some things you can do to easily start decluttering your home when you feel overwhelmed:
Know that you’re not alone
Knowing that you’re not the only one who has to deal with clutter can help motivate you to get started-we’re all in this together!
We all live in a world of stuff, so we’re all dealing with clutter, and we all need a plan for it. And even with a plan, there may still be seasons where we get busy, life moves too fast, and stuff accumulates.
Be encouraged that you’re not alone! Be careful that Instagram and Pinterest aren’t making you feel like you’re not measuring up when you see immaculately clean and organized homes. Don’t let that fool you-everyone is dealing with cIutter. I hope that this post gives you plenty of encouragement and motivation to start your decluttering journey!
Have a positive mindset!
One thing that can make decluttering your home seem insurmountable is your mindset. Do you have an “I can do this” mindset about decluttering, or do you have an “I can’t do this” mindset? Your perspective will cause you to think something is unconquerable when it’s really not. You can declutter and get your home how you want it to be. You got this!
The reality is that it doesn’t always take as long as you think. It’s not insurmountable-it just seems that way. in fact, decluttering can be broken up into very small projects every day. Check out this post from The Spruce on how to declutter in just 15 minutes a day.
Make a list
To easily start decluttering your home, you’ll want to start with a list of all the areas you want to tackle.
Start with your biggest problem areas
Do a brain dump of the areas that are your biggest pain points. Which areas would make the most difference to you if they were decluttered, organized, and cleaned up? That may be different for every home, but typically, the kitchen, master bedroom, dining, and living areas are all spaces that we spend lots of time in and would make a difference.
If you’re thinking, but every room and nook and cranny in my room needs to be decluttered, don’t worry! List every last area because you won’t be tackling them all at once.
So to begin the decluttering process and to keep it simple, simply start by making a general list of rooms or areas in your home.
Create “mouse” projects
Now that you’ve made a list of your problem areas, I advise you to take just one of these areas (it can be the one at the top of the list, or any other one on the list that you’d like to do!) and create what I refer to as mouse projects.
Sometimes, we look at the cleaning or the organizing that we’re trying to do in our homes and we often see them as “elephant” projects-huge, heavy projects that our brain sees as impossible and time consuming.
Instead, I encourage you to break these big “elephant” projects into “mouse” projects that are easy and doable for you.
For instance, instead of looking at your master bedroom and thinking, how do I start decluttering this? There’s too much to do and I wouldn’t even know where to begin! Just choose one area of the bedroom-let’s say under your bed-and focus only on that. Or maybe one drawer in your dresser, or organizing and decluttering just your shoes (and don’t forget to tell yourself that you can do this!).
And you can break these down into even smaller sections such as under the bed-right side, and under the bed-left side, etc.
Keep in mind that every small decluttering victory leads to more motivation and inspiration to continue, which leads to more decluttering victories!
Use decluttering printables!
To keep this process organized and get the satisfaction of checking off boxes, I recommend using decluttering printables. Not only do printables keep everything organized, but they give you the extra boost you need to get stuff done.
I’ve created a set of printables to take you from cluttered and overwhelmed to decluttered and thriving and trust me, you’re gonna want to grab yourself a copy. Check out The Organizing & Decluttering Printable Pack in the Stay at Home Shop.
Sort and Replace
Once you’ve chosen your mouse area to organize, you’ll want to take out all your stuff and sort it into 3 piles:
- Throw away
- Give away
I talk more about this process more in depth in this post I wrote on where to start organizing your home.
Don’t overthink, don’t second guess, and no negativity!
So this is the full process to easily start decluttering your home, especially when you feel overwhelmed. Here are a few more things to keep in mind during the decluttering process:
It gets messier before it gets better
Decluttering your home always makes your home look worse before it looks better.
Think about it: you’re tackling all the stuff that’s been there, likely stacked or shoved into disheveled piles. You’re taking everything out, going through it all, separating it into piles, and distributing it from there.
The awesome thing about decluttering, however, is that you can get a lot of quick wins, and quick wins help you keep going!
Put it in your schedule
To make sure you don’t quit on your decluttering process, put it in your schedule!
And to avoid feeling like it’s a hassle, I recommend starting small-maybe dedicating just 10 minutes a day to decluttering. What will most likely happen is that you’ll get in a rhythm and want to keep going!
Keep in mind that clutter is built over time, so depending on how much clutter you have, you’re most likely not gonna be able to do away with it in one day, or even one week. But again, decluttering is a quick-win type of endeavor, so you can easily stay motivated throughout the process.
Build the habit of decluttering
As well as making time for decluttering, one way to both make decluttering easier and create a habit out of it is to look for ways to add decluttering into your day.
For instance, when you’re doing your hygiene routine for the morning, you can quickly clean out your makeup or organize your toiletries. While doing the dishes, you could clean out just one cabinet. And on and on the list could go.
The idea is to make organizing and decluttering a habit so that you don’t always have to end up with major overhauls.
Use social media for inspiration, not condemnation
We all love to get inspired by social media; however, it’s important that we don’t find ourselves caught in the comparison trap.
When you see a spotless, organized home on social media, the automatic assumption can often be that their home always looks like that. However, any house with kids will inevitably have the normal clutter and dirtiness that’s true to raising kids in real life.
Social media isn’t always the reflection of real life. Influencers (even the moms!) will often stage their homes right before they take a pic or video. The problem here is how we interpret it-we often think that this is a reflection not of a moment, but of all day every day.
When I look at Instagram or Pinterest pics, I remind myself not to compare, but rather to see what I can copy. What are they doing that I like? What organizing products did they choose that made their space look so organized? And most importantly, can I get it on Amazon Prime?
Create a decluttering strategy moving forward
Even even after you put all your energy into decluttering your home, it won’t be the last time you’ll need to do it. Inevitably, life will bring more clutter to your doorstep for you to manage.
However, to avoid having elephant projects all the time, you can formulate a strategy moving forward to keep things mouse-sized and manageable.
Here are some ideas for a strategy:
- Put things back where they belong after using them. In the Quick SPIN Home Management System, I talk about implementing the Reset Rule to teach your kids (and let’s face it, ourselves too) areas to their normal state as often as possible.
- Before big events where you know your children will get more stuff (birthdays, Christmas, etc), take a day or so and go through what they currently have and see if there’s anything they can donate or get rid of.
- Live minimally. The less you have, the easier it is to keep clutter at a minimum.
So even if clutter is currently a source of stress for you, you can make it conquerable with these tips for how to easily start decluttering your home when you feel overwhelmed. Be patient with the process and you’ll be on your way to a clean, decluttered home before you know it!