How to Clear Clutter – Getting Started

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Most of us long for a peaceful, calm life so that we can focus on what’s important to us. Clutter keeps us distracted from our best life. It weighs us down. It trips us up. It’s an impediment to our goal of a calm, peaceful, focused path, our best life. But it doesn’t have to be. Learning how to clear clutter and getting started on decluttering can start today.  And it clearing clutter doesn’t have to be difficult. Really.

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How to Clear Clutter – Getting Started

Examine Your Why – Why are you decluttering? Knowing why you want to clear clutter will help you focus on your task and plan your path to success.  Common reasons for purging clutter are:

  • Moving
  • Downsizing
  • Expecting a child
  • Make more space
  • Simplify your life
  • Make money selling items
  • Save you money in storage costs
  • Make cleaning easier
  • Make mobility easier
  • Change your decor

Set Your Goal – Set your personal goal for decluttering. Knowing your goal will help you stay focused and determine your best path forward. If you don’t set a goal, you’ll often end up overwhelmed and may not finish your decluttering. 

Commit to Making It Happen – Verbally commit to yourself that you will complete the clearing clutter goal you set.  Write it down and post it somewhere that you’ll see each day to motivate yourself. 

Set Your Schedule – Clearing clutter often takes more than one session. Rather than one marathon decluttering session, it’s often better to schedule several smaller sessions. Figure out what works best with your life and then schedule your decluttering sessions on your calendar. Yes, actually write the sessions down, enter them in your electronic calendar or both. Commit to your decluttering session. Yes, things will come up that you’d rather do (sit on the couch binge watching anything with a big bowl of popcorn), but don’t give into the temptation. Stick your scheduled sessions. 

Some successful ways to schedule clearing out clutter:

  • Schedule 10-30 minutes every day.
  • Schedule 1-4 hours each weekend.
  • Schedule 1-4 hours each day of a three-day weekend.
  • Schedule 4 hours one day a month. 

Be Focused – Clear the time to truly focus on decluttering during your scheduled sessions. Set a timer and stay focused during your clutter clearing session.

  • Put away the phone.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Occupy children away from where you’re working.
  • Occupy spouses, partners, roommates and friends away from where you’re working.

Accountability Partner – Ask a friend to be your decluttering accountability partner. You may want to have them decluter with you, but that’s not necessary. Ask them to check up on you periodically and see if you’re sticking to your schedule and how you’re progressing. Even better, have your accountability partner stop by periodically to see your progress. 

Don’t Beat Up on Yourself – Clearing clutter is work. I think of it like I do working on my healthy eating and exercise habits. They’re work. They take commitment. Sometimes life gets in the way and we slip up. Stuff happens. Don’t beat yourself up and get discouraged. Acknowledge that you slipped up and then recommit to your goals and schedule. Clearing clutter is not a one-time event, it’s an on-going process. So get on it!

pink paper clip on piece of notebook paper with text that says "31 Days of 10-minute purging tasks Getting Started"

Need More Motivation? – Use my 31 Days of 10-Minute Purging Tasks Challenge to help you get started and establish the decluttering habit with 31 days of specific tasks that only take 10 minutes a day.

Are you ready? Now that you know how to clear clutter and get started, let’s go!

overhead view of 2 pink and blue checklists on desktop with paperclips, pencils and keyboard nearby

Use these free printable goal setting worksheets to help you reach your decluttering and any type of goals. 

Find all my decluttering tips, printables and challenges in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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