If 2021 is the year for you to declutter and downsize, how do you plan to get this done?
Sorry, I know: 2020 is barely in the rear-view mirror!
But just like any resolution that you set, it’s important to identify in advance where you want to head and why you want to get there.
In my personal coaching sessions, I always suggest starting at the beginning. This means getting to the heart of what you want to accomplish.
Think of it this way: if you’ve always dreamed of visiting Paris, would you simply hop on a plane and show up? Unless you’re a total free spirit with unlimited time and resources, probably not! And the same logic applies to your desire to declutter and downsize, too.
Today I’m sharing 7 key action steps to clarify your space clearing goals so you can cross them off the list this year!
Today's Post lays The foundation for your Declutter and Downsize goals so you can get this done in 2021!
Step 1: I want to declutter and downsize because ...
Start with identifying why excess stuff messes with your emotions.
For instance, does it stir up uneasy feelings? No one really wants a home crammed with stuff they don’t use, need, or love. Too much of anything feels heavy.
Or perhaps someone else feels embarrassed to entertain. So they postpone having family and friends over.
Yet another may feel frustrated with searching for things that are hidden in crammed drawers or closets. It sucks up time better used some other way.
And maybe someone feels anxious every time they view items associated with an Ex. It’s like reliving an unhappy situation over and over.
In other words, pause to figure out what your clutter does to bring you down and hold you in place.
Step 2: I need to declutter and downsize because ...
Next, capture how your clutter blocks you from what you need to do.
Does your clutter prevent you from getting things done? There could be any number of things on hold until you begin to declutter and downsize in earnest.
Perhaps you need to move into a smaller space. The cost of maintaining a large home is not practical.
Maybe the piles of paperwork mean your bills are not always paid on time. The impact on your credit is real.
Or you’re consistently running late because your overflowing wardrobe makes it hard to get ready each day. There’s lot in there but it doesn’t all fit, flatter or feel good.
So think about what genuine needs you have that are hindered by your clutter and make note of them.
Step 3: I hope to declutter and downsize so that I can ...
Now jot down your hopes and dreams of things you’d do … if only you had more time and money to pursue them.
What would you do if you had more resources? It’s amazing how clutter can hold us hostage!
How can we imagine something different if we never change? But change is hard to execute if we stay in place, surrounded by what no longer serves us well.
Wish you could attend a culinary school? Want to travel cross country in an RV? These dreams and more could be possible if you didn’t have to spend time and money maintaining more than what you need or use.
When you declutter and downsize into what accommodates your future goals, you can start making those dreams a reality!
Step 4: Schedule your D&D time
When will you fit in your declutter and downsize sessions?
It’s essential to have it on your calendar. If it’s not planned, it will be easy for it to be deferred to another day. But when will that day happen?
Everyone’s capacity is different so figure out how frequently you can time block. And think about pairing your session right before or right after an activity you do faithfully. This “habit stacking” approach helps get it done!
Additionally, start with just a couple sessions a week. This is a new habit so give yourself time to embrace it. It took time to accumulate the stuff you have. It will take time to let the excess go. Don’t overwhelm yourself and then burn out early!
On the other hand, if you have a hard stop with a pending physical move, work your calendar backwards. With your date in mind, assign each room a set number of weeks to get them cleared.
For example, your kitchen may need 4 weeks but your guest room only needs 2 weeks. It’s just an estimate but as you dig in, you’ll figure out how many sessions are needed in each room to completely unclutter them.
The key is to get started now!
Step 5: Start Small with your D&D sessions
How small is small? Think a drawer, a cabinet or a closet!
Sure, your goal is to space clear each room in your home. But trying to get an entire room done in one session may be impossible, even if you have a whole day set aside.
For one thing, you may get bogged down early if you encounter sentimental stuff. That’s the hardest to sort through! You may start to justify keeping much of it, even if you know it isn’t practical.
Secondly, breaking a room into sections is a great way to get small wins early on. It’s a manageable session and doesn’t disrupt using that room when your decluttering session is done for the day.
And thirdly, keeping the space clearing sessions to less than an hour is a smart way to keep your enthusiasm high. You may choose to conduct a few sessions during one day, but break them up with other tasks, for variety. You’ll feel much more accomplished when you actually complete a discreet area, as opposed to only getting part way through a large space.
Manageable chunks keep your uncluttering goals on track!
Step 6: Keep Track of your D&D sessions
It’s easy to feel discouraged when you think about how much more space clearing is ahead of you.
But when you log your results, you’ll realize just how much you’ve already accomplished! Your efforts will add up over time.
How you choose to track your decluttering is up to you. It can be as simple as photos in an album on your phone or an old school notebook, listing the results of each session.
The point is to keep a record of your declutter and downsize journey. You’ll impress yourself with how much you’ve gotten done. And it will motivate you to keep on going!
Little steps add up to big results!
Step 7: Keep on going!
You got this … don’t lose momentum now!
After just 30 days, you’ll be amazed how your declutter and downsize sessions have become a part of your regular routine.
As you open up space in your home, your heart will likewise feel clear and open. Letting go of what you no longer need, use or want is a liberating step towards inviting all the possibilities head of you!
When your enthusiasm flags (and it happens to all of us), circle back to Step 1-3. Remind yourself why you’re doing this now. Refresh your memory with what you will be able to do in the future.
Now you can start to design your next life chapter, freely and joyfully! Step confidently where you want to go next!
The Wrap: Today's post was all about crafting a declutter and downsize plan to clear space in 2021 for where you want to go next!
Feeling inspired to clear out the old to make way for the new?
Fantastic! Take control of your direction. Craft a mini-Manifesto for why clearing space makes sense for you in 2021. This is for your eyes only so be honest. And be prepared for real results to unfold in this New Year!
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