How to Declutter Your Life

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My husband watched this documentary the other day about minimalism, something I’ve honestly never even been remotely interested in. Why? Because I love to create things, so the idea of having very little seems foreign since making stuff is kind of what I do. Plus, I love pretty things. It’s a struggle. The issue with loving to have a cute house/cute clothes/{insert your favorite cute thing here} is it can become more than just enjoyment. It can become an obsession. I’m not talking, “I’m a little obsessed with Rae Dunn mugs and love to collect them.” I’m talking, “I just spent every last penny from my paycheck that didn’t go to bills so that I could fill my house with cute stuff.” It leads to this unhealthy place of defining yourself by what you have or what you look like or what your house looks like or how you measure up to so and so’s Instagram feed, etc. There’s way too much in life that we’ll miss out on if we constantly play the comparison game, so let’s take the New Year as an opportunity to move past all that and make a commitment to enjoying life!

How do we do that? By decluttering it! While I certainly would not call myself a minimalist, the underlying concept is something we can all use: fill your life with what brings you joy. The less things you have, the more you’ll enjoy those things. For me, this centers on a few changes that are initially kind of annoying but pay off big in the long run.

How To Declutter Your Life

Is decluttering on your to-do list? Us, too. We're going through all the steps to declutter your entire life, not just your home! Check out the details here along with a free printable! #declutter #decluttering #cleaning #cleaninglist #freeprintable #printable #checklist #newyear #resolutions #minimalism

Trash It or Donate It

When’s the last time you actually wore that shirt in your closet that you didn’t think would shrink but did but it’s the perfect color so you don’t want to get rid of it? How about the tupperware that are missing lids — when’s the last time you used that? Or the socks that the dryer must have eaten because you literally haven’t seen the match since you wore them eight months ago? I don’t love getting rid of things, y’all. I am the, “I’ll find a use for it,” person, but it creates chaos and a mess and, believe it or not, will add to your stress level.

Get two trash bags and label one “donate”. Tackle a new area of your home each day, throwing away items that don’t have matches or are unusable and donating the ones that you haven’t used in the last 6 months or that you have multiples of. Trust me. I know what you’re thinking. “But I absolutely need two of these shirts.” You don’t. You have a washer and dryer. Use it. I’m telling you, you get rid of one and start having to wash that shirt in order to wear it again later in the week and your laundry pile is going to be smaller than it’s ever been!

Get Organized

Is decluttering on your to-do list? Us, too. We're going through all the steps to declutter your entire life, not just your home! Check out the details here along with a free printable! #declutter #decluttering #cleaning #cleaninglist #freeprintable #printable #checklist #newyear #resolutions #minimalism

We’ve already written a post on how to get organized here, but let’s review the main principle. Everything has a home. When I first started organizing our home, we had nail clippers everywhere.  Why we needed 10 pairs of nail clippers, I don’t know, but there were some in each bathroom, some in the linen closet and some in the drawer of our nightstand. It’s a small item, but we really only needed one good pair and one place to put them. The same deal goes for clothes, toiletries, cleaning supplies, backpacks, dishes, etc. Give it a home and return it to its home when it’s not being used. If you’re a labeler, label away! I am, and I have cute little white tags tied with twine on each bin in our closets that lets everyone know what goes in that bin. The next time you need it, you’ll know exactly where it is without having to ask, “Hey, have you seen {insert random item here} lately?” Don’t forget to clean out your inbox, file folders and junk drawers. They totally count!

Spring Clean Then Stick To A Schedule

Is decluttering on your to-do list? Us, too. We're going through all the steps to declutter your entire life, not just your home! Check out the details here along with a free printable! #declutter #decluttering #cleaning #cleaninglist #freeprintable #printable #checklist #newyear #resolutions #minimalism

One of my least favorite things ever is to spend six hours on a Saturday cleaning the house. By the time I’m done, I’m ready for a nap and the day is halfway over. #adulting It’s a huge bummer, especially on the weekend! Thankfully, this one’s easy to solve! Pick a day and spring clean. We’re talking baseboards, carpet, upholstery… everything. Don’t want to do it yourself? Chances are there’s a housekeeping service near you that’s run by one or two local people who will give you a fair price to come in and take care of all of it for you. It’s a one-time deal, so regardless of whether you do it yourself or have someone else come in, be sure you don’t skip this step.

Once you’ve spring cleaned, break down the typical weekly tasks you would need to handle to keep your home clean into seven separate days {or use our cleaning checklist here}. Take 30 minutes each day to tackle the tasks for the day, and you’ll get to enjoy those Saturdays and every other day of the week with a clean house and no feeling of wasted weekends!

 Is decluttering on your to-do list? Us, too. We're going through all the steps to declutter your entire life, not just your home! Check out the details here along with a free printable! #declutter #decluttering #cleaning #cleaninglist #freeprintable #printable #checklist #newyear #resolutions #minimalism

Meal Plans

Is decluttering on your to-do list? Us, too. We're going through all the steps to declutter your entire life, not just your home! Check out the details here along with a free printable! #declutter #decluttering #cleaning #cleaninglist #freeprintable #printable #checklist #newyear #resolutions #minimalism

If you’ve been around SLB for any length of time, you’ve heard me say that I am not a great meal planner. That’s mostly because life gets in the way of my good intentions and I won’t be home one or two nights or I’ll feel lazy one day and we’ll end up ordering in or snacking. I have found, however, that planning out my meals on paper a week ahead of time and ordering my groceries online have saved me significant amounts of time and money {you can read about saving at the grocery here}. Also, my crockpot… it saves me so much time! If the “lazy” bug tends to hit you in the afternoons, the crockpot is for you, my friend. Toss in whatever you’re eating in the morning, and it’s done by dinner time!

Amanda told you last week that we’ve opted to go Paleo as one of our resolutions, and gave you access to our meal plan here. Take 20 minutes once a week to go through and plan your meals/order groceries or create a grocery list. Ordering online saves me at least an hour of shopping and ends up saving me money because I don’t impulse buy. This means our pantry isn’t full of unused items which means less clutter which means a more relaxed you!

Carry A Planner or Use A Digital Calendar

Is decluttering on your to-do list? Us, too. We're going through all the steps to declutter your entire life, not just your home! Check out the details here along with a free printable! #declutter #decluttering #cleaning #cleaninglist #freeprintable #printable #checklist #newyear #resolutions #minimalism

I do splurge once a year and buy a new planner to get my life organized. It brings me so much joy to have everything in one place that I can reference and carry with me wherever I go, and it’s fun to go pick out a new pattern/color scheme for the year. {Some of my favorites have been from Target and Marshalls!} If you’re not a paper calendar type person, utilize your digital calendar. Playdates, coffee meetings, blog hours, family functions… all of these things go on my calendar so I know exactly how much extra time I’ll have each week. It’s so easy to get bogged down with little things that add up to zero time for yourself, and decluttering your schedule is just as important as decluttering your home. Having a game plan that you can constantly refer back to will help you say no more often when you really need to, and give you the peace of mind to say yes as well!

Make a Budget

Is decluttering on your to-do list? Us, too. We're going through all the steps to declutter your entire life, not just your home! Check out the details here along with a free printable! #declutter #decluttering #cleaning #cleaninglist #freeprintable #printable #checklist #newyear #resolutions #minimalism

Yes. Decluttering your life includes a budget, and I’ll be totally honest, y’all. This is not my strong suit. I wish I were that frugal person who did not feel compelled to shop for the best deal, buy supplies for my latest project or craft and make umpteen trips to Lowes for paint or sandpaper or whatever it is I thought I had but don’t to get the job done. The thing is, we’re all different. So the best way to find a middle ground and regain control {::read: destress financially::} is to make a budget. Add up all your income and all your monthly expenses so that you know exactly how much is left over at the end of the month. Use it to pay off debt, save it or spend it — regardless of how you use it, you’ll have a lot more peace knowing exactly how much is in the bank, how much you owe and how much is left over at the end of the month.

If you struggle with spending, try going on a spending freeze. I know, it sounds awful, but it will give you a whole new perspective, friends! And since we’re working on decluttering here, we’re focusing on less stuff, not more. So save up for that new light fixture you’ve had your eye on or set money aside for your mug collection, but buy intentionally, not impulsively.

Does spring fever hit any of you around this time of year? If you’re ready to declutter your life, feel more at peace in general and spend less time doing those chores and tasks that aren’t fun, then let’s go! We’re doing all of the things mentioned above, and we’d love for you to join us. Have some tips you would add to this list? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

xoxo

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for the insight…I am totally ready to conquer our clutter this year. I am a hoarder at heart but I have found the clutter of our stuff is so overwhelming and can affect me mentally. I am ready to dive in…closet here I come! Thanks again!!

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