Declutter like your life depends on it

Do you love the idea of a clean house but wonder how to even get to the cleaning stage when you have the clutter to deal with before you can even imagine cleaning? Or “Who would have time for a declutter when I can’t even pick up the kitchen?!?”

If you responded in your head so no one else could be aware of your insecurity, “YES!!” You are not alone. Many other women feel the same stress. As we ladies lead the efforts to be tidy, it all gets dumped on us. Am I right? Or am I 1000% right?!

Thought so.

This is a terrible thing to think and I’m not wishing any harm on you or your family. Prep yourself; what if something awful happened to you that your family needed outside help retrieving your things from your home or clear out your items you keep.

{cue the horror music right?!?}

If you weren’t dead, you would want to be at that point. Or if you were dead, you’d roll over in your grave at the utter thought of someone you thought highly of – going through your “stuff.”

How embarrassed you’d be knowing that they are seeing your clutter, the hoarding of absolute junk. You’d assume they were thinking, “What a slob! She called herself organized?!?”

I mean there are a million different ways those awful thoughts of yourself could go if someone uncovered your secret stash of stuff.


It doesn’t have to go down like that

What if you didn’t have the “stuff” to deal with? Imagine with me that when it was time to clean you were able to get right to it. You even wore a smile on your face as you danced through the house like Mary Poppins – as you enjoyed a stress-free cleaning without all the clutter.

No, I haven’t been drinking as I write you this, dear friend.

This is a possibility and could be your reality.


1. Just start – cleaning vs deep cleaning

Hear me out mama! If you could start with one small area that is a constant catch of clutter. What would that look like? How much time would it actually take for you to focus on that one part of your house? Could you rework how that area is used?

Think of it more like a deep clean vs cleaning. Not simply dusting or wiping down a surface area.

To help you visualize this, make that target area your bathroom counter or kitchen counter. A place in your home you spend enough time around that you need to be productive in that space.

If this space is clear of clutter you likely won’t dread being there. For me, it is our “mail area” in the kitchen next to the fridge. It is our “catch-all” to dump about everything when we walk through the door.

When this area is full of stacks of papers to file, bills to pay, mail to delegate, school forms, committee meeting binders – it is very frustrating!

Especially on grocery days when I have bags hanging from both arms to unload and nowhere to sit them down to unpack. Or when I’m cleaning up the sink of dishes after putting the girls to bed – I’ll see this area of chaos and it gives me anxiety of yet another thing that needs my attention! Ahhh! “I’ll never get to bed on time! I can forget having a moment to pick up that book.”

JUST START tackling this ONE area. 5-4-3-2-1 Start! Don’t over think it, don’t analyze it to death. Grab the garbage can and start pitching and separating out what actually needs kept.

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”


2. Stop the clutter at the door

Think of what you buy for kids. After it loses its luster on the first day and converts to clutter. It isn’t just the cost of money that those items are stealing from you that all to quickly get ditched and no longer played with. These items cost you your time. Each item you bring into your house is something that you’ll have to find a place for, pick it up several times, yadda yadda. You get me.

We can’t control what other people provide for us or our kids. However, we CAN control what we do with those things. Chew on that last sentence a bit. We can control what we do with things.


3. Bite off one area at a time

This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t get in over your head but trying to do declutter your entire house in one day or one weekend. Otherwise, you’ll keel over and throw in the towel and go back to moving the piles back and forth to clean around.

Let’s get intentional and go tackle that ONE AREA that is the collector of stuff.

Pitch the majority of it. We keep so many items that we don’t ever need to reference again. They clutter up our space and steal our time. So part with these items. Set yourself free!

80% of things we file to reference, we never look at again

By doing this one bite at a time, you’ll gain momentum. You’ll actually be excited to hit that next area and start pitchin’ crap! It’s quite liberating to do this process yearly and particularly before the end of the year.

You CAN DO THIS! Once you do, you’ll be well set before that holiday that wraps up the end of the year. It’s not far enough into the 3rd quarter of the year yet so I’m not even going to type it out or rhyme it with something that sounds the same. I won’t. Every other day in Iowa its 85 degrees and humid yet – I ain’t got time for clouding up my mental space with holiday talk yet so I’ll spare you the same!

Are you ready to declutter?

I’ll lead you through one area at a time. I’ll be holding your hand the entire time!

If you’ve already done a particular area because it was your “target problem area” then yeeeehaw! Go back and find 3 more things you could eliminate or perfect the system. Wink, and you thought I was going to give you a break and tell you to go take the week off. Awe, you are so sweet. Not a chance! I’m here to help you make progress and take back your home so it isn’t a stressor but a relaxing place to want to settle back to. Next up;

This process is like death cleaning – don’t leave crap for someone else to pick up after you. Love your loved ones more than that.

office clutter                                                      office declutter

Here’s my office BEFORE my declutter session, and thankfully progress AFTER. On the left, you can’t quite make out much besides “stuff” piled and crammed everywhere. Our office is in the basement and was a sore spot to collect random items that didn’t have a home. Now we can see the beautiful custom made desk that was built out of wood from my grandpa’s barn and some from my dad. I don’t cringe when I walk into this space anymore.

PLEASE humor me and help me be accountable to by simply posting a before or after pic of your progress to Instagram and tag me in it @dawnkrez or include #mentaledits


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