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Spring Cleaning: 9 Realistic Ways to Plan to Declutter Your Home (And Stick to It!)

May 07, 2021

faux fur hanging over chair

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be daunting.

Spring cleaning season is upon us, and it's time for a decluttering session! The very thought of it may seem daunting, but don't worry—it doesn't have to be. As professional declutterers, we believe all it takes is creating a simple plan. Here are our top tips to planning a decluttering session—and sticking to it.

person cleaning a house standing on a step stool with cleaning supplies next to itBefore

1. Schedule the date in your calendar.

Yes, write it down. Allow for a minimum of two hours to declutter. Ideally devote the entire day, if possible. Treat this day like any other appointment and hold to it. Yes, you may have to declutter on a Saturday, and yes, a social event will likely surface to tempt you to do anything but declutter that day. Resist the urge to convince yourself that it would be better to declutter “next weekend,” which will turn into “later,” which will turn into never. Pick a date and stick to it.

2. “Hire” an assistant.

Whether your daughter is your official helper or you enlist the help of a friend, having a second pair of hands will make the process much swifter. It helps you stick to your decluttering goals by holding you accountable to your selected date. The added benefit is that having a assistant makes decluttering, dare we say, fun (gasp!), and can be easier to part with items when you have a chance to talk it out.

3. Have cleaning products on hand.

Grab a broom, a dustpan, rags and an all-purpose cleaning solution. Even the most pristine homes have secret dust bunny colonies.

4. Have lunch already prepared.

Whether you grab lunch from a nearby café or have leftovers ready to heat up, having a lunch plan in place will be important when your brain is tired from so much decision making.

5. Gather all those shopping bags and old boxes that you keep saving for a rainy day.

These bags are perfect for gathering your donations. For the kitchen session, you will likely need cardboard boxes and newspaper for the fragile items.

person decluttering and packing stuff to recycleDuring

1 . Declutter category by category.

If you set aside the whole day, have the goal of tackling your entire wardrobe. If you’ve only set aside a few hours, tackle a sub-category that you will be able to completely finish in the allotted time. For example if you’ve only allowed two hours, first tackle all your jackets at one time. Grab them from all places they may be hiding in your house, garage and guest closet. If you finish your jackets with time to spare, move on to another sub-category, like shoes. Make sense? This way you won’t unravel what you won’t be able to put back together.

2. Stage your belongings.

By removing all items from where they are stashed in the house, you are faced with the total volume of what you own. There is an effective shock-factor involved with viewing all your shoes at one time. ("I have how many pairs of heels? I don’t even like wearing heels!") Staging also reveals duplicates—your shabby 6th pair of jeans pale in comparison to your favorite go-to jeans and thus are easier to part with. Stage first, then make decisions of what should stay and what should go.

After

1. Wrap up loose ends.

Leave time at the end of the declutter session to drop off donations. It requires a final push of energy but your future self will thank you. If not, it is typical for bags of donations to languish in corners of the garage. (Sound familiar?)

2. Recoup some cash.

person taking pictures of clothes to sell onlineUtilize services like OfferUp to sell those sought-after baby clothes and gently used baby gear. If you can’t sell the items within a reasonable time frame, cut your losses and donate those items, too.

Once you've decluttered your home, it's also a great idea to plan ahead and identify things your place may be missing. Just got rid of an old raggedy blanket? Shop our collection of Home Goods for something soft and stylish that'll leave you sleeping like a baby! Need to replenish some of the apparel you just donated? We've got you covered there too! ;)

Written by Cary Telander Fortin for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.



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