A Decluttering Checklist for Better Living Today, Not “Some Day”!

decluttering checklist

When there’s too much of everything in the house, it’s time to begin ticking off the action steps on a decluttering checklist!

 

Let’s face it: having too much of anything is not always a wonderful thing (apologies to Ms. Mae West)! 

Once we’re over 50, it’s time to start making different choices with what we stow in our homes. It’s common to hang on to things long after their utility has ended. But how to start decluttering when overwhelmed?

It calls for simple steps to begin … and a powerful plan to keep on going. When you dive into my decluttering checklist, you’ll start executing on a routine that opens up breathing room now

Don’t wait any longer … start clearing space so you can begin creating your next life chapter today!

decluttering checklist
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Today's Post Discloses A 6-Step Decluttering Checklist To Make Room For What Matters Now!

declutter checklist
Image by Karolina Grabowska

Step 1: Pick A Dedicated Time

Ever hear this one? After all, tomorrow is another day!”  

It’s none other than Scarlett O’Hara, our Gone With The Wind leading lady! My point is that unless you start with a plan for exactly when to insert your decluttering into your daily routine, it’s too easy for it to land on the back burner and languish.

We certainly start with the best of intentions. But invariably, our intent gets overridden when something else more tempting crops up.

So in order to maintain your decluttering goal, it’s critical to treat it seriously by assigning a specific time of day.

Give thought to when you can dedicate 30 minutes. In fact, having it “stacked”, or coupled with another habit will really ensure this becomes your new routine. This means doing it right before or immediately after another activity you do without fail.

For example, try decluttering first thing right before showering in the morning or immediately after dinner. Pairing two habits together creates a powerful association.

As a result, you will be more apt to declutter daily without having to overthink it.

declutter your home checklist
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Step 2: Select A Small Area

Next on the decluttering checklist? Target only small spaces in your home. For example, work on one drawer, a shelf, a counter or a closet.

It’s tempting to tackle an entire room. But odds are, it will start to feel onerous. You get bogged down with decision fatigue. Or you encounter sentimental things right off the bat. Now it feels heavy to keep going, ugh!

For this reason, I recommend that your decluttering checklist focus should be on tiny areas. Then mix it up to keep it interesting. Don’t stay in the same room unless that works better for you.

In the beginning, you will likely encounter the easy stuff: things that belong somewhere else or are clearly not worth keeping. These easy “wins” will strengthen you for making tougher decisions as you get into stuff “sticky” with sentiment.

There will be times that you feel angst or uncertainty with certain items. But your discomfort will be short-lived, thanks to focusing on just a small space for less than 30 minutes.

declutter a room in 30 minutes
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Step 3: Sort and Box Clutter

I advocate using with a very elementary two-step approach.

There are several other decluttering methods and they each have their pros and cons. You can always modify how you dispose of your belongings as you get proficient with sorting. But for now, do this!

 

Gather three grocery bags, bins or laundry baskets

The containers don’t have to be fancy and they don’t even need to match! Just use what you have on hand. You’ll start by designating them as “trash”, “donate” and “relocate”. So far, so good?

Sort on the following basis

  • Trash” is for anything broken, expired, torn, or missing parts.
  • Donate” is for anything you no longer use, like, or need but still has life in it.
  • Relocate” is for anything you’re keeping but belongs somewhere else in your house.

By the way, did you notice how this last bin will result in a neater space? Two birds, Baby … I told you this was a stellar decluttering checklist!

Don’t overthink as you examine your belongings. Generally, your first instinct is correct.

In fact, approach your decluttering with the idea that you’re sorting to keep what matters most now, instead of looking to reject what used to matter. In other words, have an upbeat mindset while working your decluttering checklist!

 

where to start decluttering
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Step 4: Dispose of Your Clutter

When your session is done, immediately deal with your bags or bins.

Toss the trash into your garbage can so that you don’t start second-guessing your decision. Do the same with your donations by stashing them in your car trunk. Once your trunk is full, make a run to your charity of choice. Out of sight, out of mind!

Lastly, put away your relocate items now, if you have extra time. If not, set the bin aside in a designated spot.

You may opt to put those things in the proper place once a week or every couple of days … you choose!

More importantly, this bin will start to create a mindful approach for you to put things where they belong the first time … pretty crafty, eh?!

decluttering and organizing
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Step 5: Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

When you’re done with your session, now do something to keep score of what you did.

Again, these are tiny steps so it will be the accumulated actions over time that become visible. So start a record of your results. For example, some folks like to use a wall or desk calendar to mark with stickers, stars, colored pens, etc. Imagine how gratifying it will feel to see your steady commitment to clearing space!

You may decide to track only the daily sessions completed. Or you might prefer to register the number of items leaving your house. Ultimately, it’s up to you to capture which decluttering aspect deserves a high five.

When you look back, you’ll be amazed with how the steady sum of small steps added up!

minimalist decluttering checklist

Step 6: Repeat As Needed

With this decluttering checklist, you have the beginnings of a new space clearing habit!

Decluttering is never a one-and-done process. But don’t let that deter you from starting or from continuing.

Instead, embrace the practice as part of being an individual who is always looking to improve and shift into a new phase of your life.

There will be times that it’s difficult to make space clearing choices. Yet this is why keeping your sessions short and frequent will enable you to release stuff you don’t need anymore. Over time, you’ll make peace with letting go of something that you couldn’t part with before.

You can do this … I believe in you!  

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Provided a 6-Step Decluttering Checklist To Release Your Past & Embrace Your Future ... Now!

Creating and adhering to a new habit requires resolve and commitment.

  • Many talk about doing something but few follow through.
  • Starting small and repeating regularly is the key!
  • As you start to see results, you’ll find it easier to keep on going. 

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