As a family of eleven we tend to accumulate much more than I'd like. Here is my solution to attacking clutter:
1. Read books by Don Aslett (they are amazing) on decluttering your home (to gain momentum and ammunition when feeling weak).
2. Grab box of garbage bags and begin running through the house like a madwoman.
3. Lock yourself in rooms furiously stuffing clutter into bags while children knock on the door and ask if everything is okay and if they could come in.
4. When trying to decide whether or not to keep stuff (I gave myself only a few seconds for each decision) I asked myself the question Don Aslett suggests using "Does this bless/inspire/enrich my life? Do I love it? Is it me now?" instead of the old question you usually find in organizing books "Have I used this within the last year?" ---I hated that question. He said there's lots of things we don't use within a year that we need to keep. No wonder I would get discouraged asking this question to myself, besides the fact that it's simply boring!
5. Have 3 piles--throw away, give away and keep.
6. Children and husband hide in other room for fear of being stuffed into a bag and taken out to the trash.
7. When all clutter is bagged immediately have children throw out the garbage, the ones to give away have them load up the car or van(so they won't try to rummage through anything and retrieve it) for the thrift store and the stuff you'll keep (make sure there's not a lot of this) go and put them where they belong. Remember, everything should have a 'home.'
8. In a moment of weakness, remind yourself that the more you keep, the more you waste of your precious time since you could be spending it enjoying life and its many blessings. You will be doomed to be imprisoned by your clutter and shackled to having to care for all the stuff you own if you try to keep too much.
9. After the room is done and bags out of sight, smile and know that a heavy burden has been lifted from you and mental clutter has suddenly been erased.
10. Celebrate by attacking another room!
11. Rest peacefully at night knowing you are a streamlining all your stuff so you have more available time and can say 'yes' to more of what is best in your life.
Need more help on decluttering? We recommend Having a Martha Home the Mary Way:
Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It’s not about having a clean house. She’d never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself―yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts.
Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart―and your home―at the same time?
Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live.
Get the book HERE.
Do you have any decluttering tips that you would like to add?
We'd love to hear them--please share them in the comments below!