Finding the time and motivation to work on a home decluttering project that has been put on hold can be difficult. Here are some practical tips to help you get back in there and finish what you started.
Re-start the decluttering process successfully in your home with these five tips.
Maybe you were really pumped up when you first started decluttering your home. Then, for whatever reason, the project came to a halt.
Whether you just couldn’t find the time to get around to it, or you were overwhelmed by the mess…or maybe there was an illness. Things come up!
Or maybe you just got burnt out. And that’s normal. Because, that happens to all of us. Or, most of us.
At least, it happens to me anyway.
In fact, I launched my own MASSIVE home decluttering project a few years back. I went through tons of bags and boxes, closets, under beds… You name it, I tackled it.
And it was fun while it lasted. But, at some point, I was DONE.
I wasn’t finished….I was just done working on it. Yet, I still desired a less cluttered, more organized home for myself and for my family.
And I could see that the work I had already put in was paying off big time.
But it was it was hard to fit in “decluttering” with the other regular life stuff like keeping house, cooking, and homeschooling that I already felt like I could barely keep up with.
I wish I could say that I jumped right back in there after a short break and started cleaning things out like crazy. But, the truth is I was burnt out. And it took awhile for me to figure out how to get started again in a way that was sustainable.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed and stuck in your decluttering journey like I was.
And maybe, as badly as you want to finish what you started, you just can’t figure out how to get things rolling again.
Here are some tips that helped me (and hopefully will help you) get back on track.
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1. Check in with your goals
When you first got into this whole decluttering thing, you probably had an idea of what you wanted your home to look or feel like when you came out on the other side.
Take a look around your home. What were those original goals?
Clear counters? Papers organized so that you can always find what you need, when you need it? Drawers and cabinets that actually shut? (Maybe things aren’t that bad at your house, but hopefully you get the idea)
For some of us, our number one goal is to NOT DIE of embarrassment when someone drops in unexpectedly. Or asks to use our bathroom. Or needs access to our hot water heater or some other broken thing that is currently hiding in the wreckage but needs emergency repair.
Sometimes, just remembering why we started something to begin with gives us the inspiration to keep on going.
2. Finish something you previously started
You probably have one or more unfinished decluttering projects you had started before.
There can be many advantages to tackling a halfway, or even somewhat partially finished project.
- It probably won’t take as long to complete
- After you finish, you will have a sense of accomplishment
- If it was important enough to start before, then it’s probably important enough to finish now
- You’ll get your head in the game faster by picking up where you left off
Zoom in on one of those areas that you already tackled once upon a time (the smallest one would be my suggestion) and knock that one out for a win!
3. Try the 5-7-9 Gentle Decluttering Method
Maybe the thought of emptying a whole closet full of clothes, or all of the food in your pantry, or just tackling any entire space all at once right now, is just too daunting.
If that’s the case, then you might need a more “gentle” approach to help you get back into that mental space of “I just want this stuff gone and I want my house back”
One way you can do that is to use the 5-7-9 method.
With the 5-7-9 approach, you don’t need to gather boxes and bags before you start. You are simply going to choose a problem area in your home and set a timer for 9 minutes.
Then, during that 9 minutes, you’re going to remove between 5 and 7 items and take each one to the place where it belongs. And that could be in another area of your home, the trashcan, or the donation box.
(I have a donation box or bag going all the time for just this purpose. And other family members know that it’s there if they need to get rid of something.)
One of the great things about this method is that there is no preparation time and there are no props that you have to gather. Nothing to slow you down.
And you’re getting back into that decluttering mindset gradually, while seeing progress along the way. That progress tells our brains “hey, this is working! I can do this!”
4. Start with small projects
Choosing quick and doable projects at first will help you get back into the decluttering habit.
Here are a few ideas:
- one pantry shelf
- one refrigerator drawer or shelf
- junk drawer
- under the kitchen sink
- one bag or tote of miscellaneous “stuff”
You could also choose a space that you partially finished before. For instance, if you previously tackled the laundry room, and it’s kind of starting to look like a disaster area again, then that could be the perfect project to reignite that decluttering fire in your belly.
>> Related Post: How to Clean Your Messy House When You Don’t Know Where to Start
5. Making time for decluttering
If not having enough time to declutter is a problem for you (and let’s be real who doesn’t have a problem with finding time to do things these days) then you might have to get more intentional with taking time for your project.
One way to do that is to simply schedule it in during your day. Write it on your to-do list. Set an alarm on your phone. Or just plan to do it at a certain time when you know you will be reminded.
For example, if you’re working on your laundry room then you might plan a short declutter session after you’ve put clothes in the washing machine.
Another way to work decluttering sessions into your day is to just do it when the urge hits you.
We somehow always manage to pile up a particular closet near the kitchen with random stuff. Lately, I have made that closet my focus to unclutter. So, if I have a few minutes after lunch, or there’s less clean up after dinner than usual, I’ll set my timer and use those few extra minutes to work on that closet.
Those little chunks of time matter. Whether you declutter just a few items. or tidy one small area of your kitchen. That’s one more win!
And it’s one less thing that is holding you back from having a home that you love.
More related articles:
- 10 Simple Habits for a Cleaner Kitchen Every Day
- How to Restart Decluttering Again Even If You’re Overwhelmed
- 7 Tips for When You Feel Like a Homemaking Failure
- How to Clean Your Messy House When You Don’t Know Where to Start
- 5 Things That Have Changed My Life as a Homemaker
- 5 Simple Habits for a Cleaner Home
- 10 Amazing Ways to Organize Pots and Pans in Your Kitchen
Nipa | Fashionipa
I’d never heard of the 5-7-9 approach – what. great idea – and a good way to get the kids involved! Often when I start decluttering, one thing leads to another and I get overwhelmed (i.e. I start to put something into a drawer and realize the drawer needs to be reorganized!) Thanks for sharing these tips! xo Nipa
Yes, it’s so overwhelming and easy to get sidetracked for sure.
Thanks for sharing! Kim
I love the 5-7-9 concept. First time learning that one for me (and I’m avid de-clutterer)! I’m definitely going to try this out. Thanks for sharing 🙂
You’re so welcome! I would love to hear how it works for you 🙂