Declutter Your Home This Weekend! (Plus, How Decluttering Your Home Will Save You Money)

I'm sure it seems daunting to consider decluttering an entire home in one weekend.  ONE WEEKEND!  In fact, you've likely thought I'm crazy for even suggesting it!  We aren't talking about a full-on, take all of the boxes out of the attic or basement declutter session, but rather a weekend surface purge.  Kind of a jumpstart to your simplification and decluttering journey.

We go through our days making mental notes that "I need to go through that one day" or "I really need to get rid of some of my clothes".  But we don't.  Because life gets in the way and the thought of taking a few hours to go through your closet, and kitchen, and linen closet, and everything else is, well, overwhelming.

So what I'm suggesting is a one weekend declutter.  It's a great tactic if your home has previously been thoroughly purged or you just need an opportunity to go through every cupboard and drawer to ensure first, that you know what's there and second, to ask yourself if you still want to keep every item.  It's also a great way to start decluttering your home for the first time as noted above.

Pulling Together A Decluttering Plan
The best way to set-up a successful weekend purge is to think about the details ahead of time.

1. Make sure your meals are planned (and already pulled together if possible).  Consider freezer meals, or quick & easy meals, where you won't need to spend a lot of time cooking or cleaning up.

2. Figure out ahead of time where your "donate" and "throw" items will go.  Do you have a local thrift store?  What are their hours?  What do they accept/not accept?  If you have more items than your garbage can will be able to handle, do you have other options?  The reason this is important is you need to get rid of them THIS weekend.  Otherwise, you risk the items weaseling their way back into your home.

3. Enlist all family members (depending on the ages of the kiddos) to assist.  Your family members can go through their own items, help where needed with other areas, and to (hopefully) see the work it takes so they will work with you to keep the clutter at bay going forward.

4. Pull together any supplies you anticipate needing: boxes, tape, markers, labels, bins, etc.  Also think about cleaning supplies.  If you'll be emptying drawers, getting to the back of closets, etc., why not do a quick cleaning while you're at it?

5. Schedule your rooms.  I know that this seems like an unnecessarily rigid approach, however, it is easy to get lost in the details of one room and suddenly the weekend is over.  So, I recommend taking Friday evening, all of Saturday, and all of Sunday and breaking it up depending on how many rooms you have.  Then give more time to the rooms that will take the most time (usually the bedroom, kitchen and garage).

For instance, I have our home office, living room, bathroom, kitchen, master bedroom and garage.  I wouldn't have a need to purge the dining room, laundry room, spare bedroom, or entry room.

Friday night I would schedule the kitchen.  The cupboards, drawers, pantry, refrigerator and freezer would all be gone through.
Saturday I would start in the bedroom (no need in procrastinating the most difficult rooms) and allow myself 2-4 hours (depending on how cluttered it is) to go through all of my clothes, shoes, etc.  After lunch I would move to the bathroom for an hour, then the living room for an hour, and then the home office for 2-3 hours.  Paper takes time to sort through.
Sunday would be the garage.  All. Day. Long.  (maybe you don't have a garage but have a shed, or an attic, or a basement in need of a good declutter session)

How Should Each Room Be Purged?
Decluttering is really step one in trying to simplify your life.  It's kind of like when you start on a journey to save money.  The first step must always be to identify what you spend your money on.  Not what you think or estimate you do, but an actual list for 2-3 months of what exactly you spend your money on.  Well, decluttering is a way for you to put your hands on every single item you've bought recently.  It allows you to see what you buy and then determine if they are emotionally charged purchases or impulsive purchases.  It also allows you the opportunity to look at what you keep so you can work on the "why" in an effort to curb unnecessary spending and clutter in the future.

Here are the basics to take a look at for each of your rooms.  Take the items you are parting with and place them into the appropriate bin immediately.  Don't touch them again so you won't begin questioning your initial gut decision.

Master Bedroom - look at each item of clothing, shoes and accessories and ask yourself: "Does it fit? Do I love it?  Do I love the way I feel when I wear it?  Have I worn it in the past year?"  Go through any bedding, books, or whatever else is in your room.  If you have things under the bed, even if you believe you know you won't get rid of any of it, go through it.  You may have forgotten exactly what is there.  Put "keep" items back and load "sell", "donate" and "throw" items into appropriate bags/bins.

well, I've finally found a positive to still not having my kitchen completed - easy to take pantry photos!
Kitchen - go through every drawer and cupboard.  Pull items out and ask yourself "Do I use this?  Do I need this?"  If there are food items in your pantry that you've never used and don't foresee using (be honest with yourself), maybe find a food pantry that these items can be donated to.  Someone, somewhere will be thrilled to receive them.  If, instead, you find food items that you've forgotten about and you believe you will use them, enter them into the next week's meal plan to ensure they don't get pushed to the back of the pantry again.

(things we use most often are lower and those used less often are higher)

(my husband built a spice rack to fit my jars perfectly)

Organize your refrigerator, freezer and pantry in a way that makes sense to you.  I have a baking pantry and then an all other foods pantry. It makes sense for me and the way I cook/bake.  In my all other foods pantry, I have grouped the foods based on type (All tomato products are together, but separated into types.  All canned beans together with dried beans stored in a drawer.  Pasta's are together including my husbands vices - rice a roni and boxed mac & cheese.  Coffee grouped just above the coffee machine, etc.)

Bathroom - go through all drawers, cupboards, the medicine cabinet, etc.  Take a look at what's in the shower (on a shower caddy, on the ledges, etc.) and ask yourself if all of the products are still used.  Be honest with yourself and don't get caught up on packaging, price that you paid, memories, etc.  Ask "Do I use this?  Do I like this?  Does this fit into my life?"  Group like items together - all first aid items, all OTC medications, cosmetics, etc.

I used to have an obsession with cosmetics.  Small tubes and bottles of all sorts of things cluttered the bathroom.  Fifteen years ago all of those were tossed and I only have the basics, much of what we make ourselves.  I remember purging my cosmetic collection for the first time and finding it very difficult to part with anything.  Whether it be because of what I paid for that very small bottle or because I loved the packaging, I would organize and reorganize it, hoping that would suffice.  And it did not.  Finally I just got tired of it all and tossed everything except for the items that I used daily.  And you know what?  I've truthfully never missed one item.

Living Room - look at knickknacks, as well as what's stored on/in end tables, cabinets, baskets, etc.  Ask yourself "Do I love this?  Do I use this?  Does this belong in this room?".  Declutter magazines, books, DVD's and look at each piece of furniture.

When I went through our living room and removed some items my husband's first response was "it looks empty, I don't like it".  This is because it certainly looked different (and empty compared to what it was prior).  If you find that you or your spouse have a similar response when you try to part with items you don't love, live with it for 2 weeks.  That's what I ask my husband to do anytime I've made a major change.  If after 2 weeks one of us isn't happy with the change then the items can come back (agree to edit what comes back if there was a clutter problem).  Honestly, we've always been happy with the changes after 2 weeks.

Home Office - If you have a lot of drawers, files, etc. you may need to give extra time to this room.  Go through every single drawer, shelf, etc.  If there's documents you no longer need, shred them.  If there's product warranties for products you no longer have, toss them.  Look at any books, manuals, papers, knickknacks, photos, etc.  Organize anything you keep so that it makes sense to you in order to find it when you're looking for it.

Because my husband and I organize differently we've made our one space work for both of us.  In our desk there are identical 3 drawers on both the left and right sides.  He gets one side and I get the other.  In our filing cabinet he has one drawer specific to his needs and I organize the remaining three.  Of those three, one is for all of our bills, medical/dental, home info, taxes, etc.  The second is all of our product warranties & paper receipts grouped by type of product.  And the third is for our business.  I like to file with the category noted on the left and the subcategories noted in the center or on the right.

Garage - go through it all.  I know you've just cringed, but you really must look at every single yard tool, gardening product, misc. tools and products, etc.  Go through boxes, bins, baskets, and totes.  Look at sporting equipment and anything else stored there.  Ask yourself "Do we use this?  Do we need this?  Does this belong here?"  Get rid of what's no longer working and re-organize what you've decided to keep in a way that, again, makes sense to you and the way in which you'll use the space and the items within it.

In our household, my husband and I have made a deal.  The outbuildings are his spaces to manage and I don't intrude with my own feelings of what should stay or go.  I have decluttered anything that I use/store (gardening tools and products & holiday decorations) and the remainder is up to him.  He has organized all of them very nicely in order to fit what he's chosen to keep.

(my husband built all of our shoe and storage benches as well as the shelving and coat racks.  We each have baskets for outdoor equipment that doesn't fit on the racks)

Decluttering Your Home Will Save You Money
As if a clean, uncluttered home wasn't enough, here are a few ways it will save you money!

1. You Will See EXACTLY What You've Bought (and don't use)
There's nothing like being confronted with exactly how much stuff you either don't use or no longer have interest in owning to say "hey, stop spending money".  It certainly has been an eye opener for me in the past.

2. Organizational Solutions Are Expensive
It can become quite expensive trying to organize all of your stuff.  Instead of organizing it, why not consider getting rid of it?

3. You May Find Things You Forgot About (and avoid buying it again)
Have you ever searched for something, sure you have it somewhere, but just can't find it?  Then you go to the store to purchase it, only to come across what you'd sworn you owned later on?  No matter how small the cost, it's a waste of money.

4. Sell It!
Yes, this is the obvious way of saving money. Some of the items you may be able to sell at a yard sale, on Facebook's marketplace, or on a site such as ebay.

Decluttering your home, even if it's a weekend purge, will make you feel lighter& more organized.  It really is a stress relief and a great way to remind you of goals you've set for yourself both financially and organizationally.

Have You Decluttered Your Own Home?  What Tips Do You Have Or What Struggles Did You Uncover?

1 comment

daisy g said...

You know I love all things about organizing. I have been having a great time helping my clients with organizing projects during this cold, wet, winter. It is such a feeling of satisfaction, knowing that you are helping them to make room for the good things that can find their way into their lives.
Great tips, all!