Declutter your home in a weekend – Ready, set, go
So you’ve got two days to declutter an entire home – but how do you tackle it?
YOU NEED: Garbage bags, boxes .
YOU MAY LIKE: A friend to help, some good tunes.
YOU DO NOT NEED: Cute containers, matching tubs, or any organising products. These are just a distraction.
Declutter your home in a weekend – Friday night
I know you want to put your feet up and mentally prepare for the next two days. But tonight’s part is easy.
1. Do your usual chores. Clothes and dishes, school bags unpacked, bins emptied, etc.
2. Devise a vision for each room you will tackle. Not everyone wants to be a minimalist, and that’s ok. But be clear about what you are aiming for. Do you want completely empty benchtops, or just enough space to make a meal?
Declutter your home in a weekend – Saturday morning
1. Start with the kitchen. Sentimental items are probably rare here, and use-by dates on food make decisions easier. Also, the kitchen is a highly accessed area, so there will be instant rewards. Even if you are not a huge cook, snacks, coffees and all manner of deliciousness resides here, so the kitchen is our friend. Treat it accordingly.
Pull everything out of the pantry. Chuck anything way out of date, especially if you don’t use it much. Throw away anything you’re unlikely to use. Wipe shelves. Organise remaining items into categories. E.g. baking, carbs (pasta and rice), spices, condiments, oils, and vinegars. Put the most-used categories in the prime real estate of eye-to-hip level. Lesser-used categories can go high or low. The very bottom shelves are useful for heavy appliances if you lack space elsewhere. Don’t worry about decanting all your staples into pretty containers. That’s for later, and/or also it’s for people who have the time and energy to maintain it. You aren’t a Kardashian.
Look at your mugs and glasses. How many do you use? How many do you have? Put superfluous items into boxes for the op shop. The single-layer boxes you can get from the fruit shop means no need to wrap them.
Same with crockery. Remove the chipped, the ugly, and the unnecessary. How many platters do you even use?
Ditto with pots and pans. If you have bought shiny new things and not removed the old, now is the time.
Look at your appliances. Do you have any niche gadgets you rarely use? Pie makers, popcorn poppers, or waffle pressers that you can’t be bothered using and cleaning? The op shop will love them.
Check your tea towels. How many do you really need? There’ll be some at the bottom which are never used. Make sure you keep your favourites, not just the ones you use the most. Pop the oldies with your discarded mugs, glassware etc to protect them.
Cutlery drawers. The top one is usually functional, but below that can be dire. Pull out any unitaskers like apple slicers and olive pitters. Unless you are a rare gem who uses something like that all the time, send it off into the universe so that someone else can get excited about it and have it sit in their drawer for a while.
Peek in other cupboards and pluck out what you can.
Declutter your home in a weekend – Saturday afternoon
Tackle your clothes. Make sure your bed is made or smoothed so you can use it as a sorting station. Pull out each section – hanging first, then each drawer. Put back only what you love and use. Bag up anything ill-fitting or unuseful, and take it to the op shop. Aspirational/too small and occasional clothes are okay, but be realistic and keep them to a minimum.
Declutter your home in a weekend – Sunday morning
Head to the bathroom. Pull out all the under-sink gear and drawer contents, and get ruthless about unused products and failed experiments that never made it into your routine. Cull so that getting washed and ready is a seamless, joyous task rather than a rummage-fest.
Bathroom no. 2 – ditto if applicable.
Get into the laundry and remove any unutilised products like vinyl-cleaner and wood polisher. Do you really use this stuff? Implement an odd-sock tub and put a use-by date on it. Any socks still unmatched in a month can go bye-bye.
Declutter your home in a weekend – Sunday afternoon
Go through the living spaces. Books and media can be time-consuming to declutter, depending how many you own. Pluck out the duds, and if you don’t have a device to play it on, it’s time to go.
Linen cupboard. Categorise via bedroom or bed size, depending what makes the most sense to you. Label the categories, and/or use a Sharpie on item tags to indicate size. Get rid of old worn items that are no longer required. Chuck old yellowed pillows and quilts which have been superseded – they will never make it back onto beds.
Declutter your home in a weekend – If time permits
Go through your cords. Feel free to dispose of anything unlikely, and if that makes you nervous, put them in a bag with a use-by date on it. If you don’t find a use for it by six months to a year, it’s destined for e-waste.
Put half of their toys out of sight for a while, and only pull out anything they request. The rest can go to charity. Reducing overwhelm and giving your little ones space to play is much more valuable than a high volume of toys. The same goes for clothes – they will find it easier to get dressed if their options are managed. Check out Dawn from The Minimal Mom to find out more.
Have they flown the coop and left you with old school work, memorabilia, their grade six shirt or one of those white bears emblazoned with signatures? Send them a pic, tell them you are decluttering and ask if they want it. Often they will say no, and you can unburden yourself.
At the very least get rid of old boxes and dusty furniture which came to the garage to die. Arrange a council rubbish collection and aim to get your car back in here comfortably.
Declutter your home in a weekend – Wrapping up
To prevent your unwanted items from creeping back into circulation, dispose and donate as soon as you can.
Write a list of things you need to follow up on, like any sales, repairs or returns of goods.
If you have any ‘maybe’ categories like toys removed from circulation, or mystery tech cords you bagged up, assign use-by dates in your diary so they can leave the house in the time frame you decided.
If you have made a decision on something’s fate, see it through so you don’t have to make that decision again.
Think about any micro-organising projects which came up over the weekend, so that you can hone in on important zones with a more thorough approach.