How to Declutter and Simplify Your Life

How to De-Clutter and Simplify Your Life via Clean Mama

I have been de-cluttering like crazy for the past month.  Yes, that photograph is my SUV loaded up with stuff to take to Goodwill – seats down and full.  Dealing with outgrown kids’ clothing, baby stuff, and other items that are taking up space in the basement has been my focus.  We have a large, unfinished basement so it’s easy to just stick stuff down there, but I want to know what’s down there and only keep stuff that is necessary.  Whatever you need to focus on to get things pared down and get you to a place that gives you room to breathe, start de-cluttering.  It’s so enlightening and best of all it doesn’t cost a thing.  Heck, you might even make some money by doing it!  Keep reading to see the steps I use to get moving on clearing out the stuff.

  • Use the new year as a starting point – chances are you have a sudden need or urge to organize and get rid of stuff – use it to your advantage and get started!
  • Sort in bins, compartments, bags, whatever – just sort!
  • My favorite sorting categories?  KEEP (because you love it and use it)  TOSS (because no one else could use it because it’s worn or broken)  DONATE (because someone else could use it)
  • Remove yourself from the situation – pretend that you are looking through a friend’s pile of clutter.  Would you tell them to keep, toss, or sell/donate?
  • When it comes to what you will do with the sell/donate items, you need to decide – is it worth your time to sell the items?  or is it more valuable to donate and have the tax deduction?  I sell large items (furniture, baby items) on Craigslist and I donate smaller items that are a big time suck to sell (like baby clothes, books, etc.)  Please note: you might have lots of luck selling clothing in garage sales or online, but I haven’t in my little neighborhood, that’s why I say it’s a time suck.  Hours spent folding, bagging, labeling, and pricing to only watch it sit on a table untouched for 2 days isn’t worth it for me.
  • Work FAST!  Working slowly leaves time for second thoughts and slows down your momentum.
  • Plan for it – I have clutter on the daily calendar – that’s because I need to deal with it daily to keep it away.  Would this help you too?
  • Set your timer – take 5-15 minutes every day to deal with a little (or a lot) of your clutter.  Take care of the mail as soon as it enters your home and do a quick de-clutter before you go to bed to keep things neat and tidy.

Have you been dealing with clutter on a daily basis to get rid of it and keep it away or are you avoiding it right now?  Take a couple minutes every day to work through it if you aren’t already.  You’ll be surprised at how good getting rid of stuff you don’t need makes you feel!

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for January and give it a go. Follow along all month for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks.

Cleaning + Organizing Calendar January 2014 via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for January 2014!

Want to make 2014 the year that you cleaned and organized everything? Me too!

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(If you like the calendar style of this freebie, you’ll love The Simplified Life Series in my shop!)

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  1. Becky,

    I must be missing something. I’ve been trying to print one of your “free printables” and I can’t figure out how to do it! Please help!


    • Log in to googledocs, save, open and print. If you are still having problems, email me with what you’d like and I can send it to you!
      xo, becky

  2. Hi Becky. I am also focusing hugely on de-cluttering this coming year and am blogging about the journey being taken. Like you say, it is great to see the results and to experience the benefits of greater simplicity on the homefront.

  3. Lisa Landers says:

    I have had issues. Lol..everything is such a mess… keeps me up at night..

  4. Robin Martz says:

    My dear sweet sister found you and passed you to me, and BOY do I need YOU! I am SURROUNDED by junk and clutter. My son-in-law calls me a hoarder but I am not. I am a widow, we had 4 children who are all grown up and every one of them have left stuff in my home. I moved from a HOUSE to a mobile home, and I tried to leave my boxes packed but other people decided to UN pack them. Don’t ask me why! My husband died in 2008, I got really depressed and don’t remember the next 4 years. I also broke my neck in an accident, and I am plagued by headaches even though I can walk, I can’t turn my head and I have to be careful about the movements I make or I pay with pain. I just gradually let everything go. There is NO garbage pick-up where I live, so it has to be packed up and delivered to the green boxes about 1/2 mile away or so. My car broke down so I can’t do that. But aside from that, I HATE the way my house looks! I have 2 dogs, one is a small dog with a weak bladder, and a cat, who I am about to give away because he has long hair. I do things every day and I keep the most important things up, but not enough. I am SO disorganized and suffer from procrastination. I KNOW I would be so much happier if I could just get my environment cleaned up and tidy. I LOVE clean and despise dirty but it gets too much! I jump from one thing to another and never get anywhere. I am telling you all this because I am going to employ your methods and get this done once and for all and I want a record of when I started! I am so glad I found you!!!! Wish me luck!!!!

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