It’s about this time of the year that I start to get the itch to throw some stuff out. To declutter and get rid of some stuff. I think its a combination of the new year (a “fresh start” so to speak), new things coming in (hello christmas gifts) and not having done a good declutter for a little while now (hello end of year celebrations).
In light of all those factors I thought it would be fun to share my process with you all and give you a chance to play along. Which leads me to introducing the very first (of many) alice + meeka declutter it challenge. Play along using the hashtag #amdeclutterit
Yay! Oh I do hope you will play along for a little or a lot.
Onto some details. I have decided that this post will be a great big introduction, planning steps and tips + tricks. Its gonna be a bit long, but I personally always appreciate knowing all the parameters at the beginning of a challenge like this. That way I can get organised and work at my own pace if I want to, rather than waiting for the next bit of information. So grab a cup of coffee (or cool drink) + a notepad and pen and let get started.
This challenge will take place over the four weeks of January. With this post being the introduction and to help you get organised. I will then have a post each thursday to show the what and how of each space that I decluttered that week.
Action step: Read this post, make notes + make lists of any supplies that you might need to purchase or gather.
Decluttering plan of attack
As much fun as it is to have a great big list of different areas to declutter, I have decided to approach this project a bit differently. This time around I will be focusing on four rooms (one each week), and then focusing that further by having a specific space with in that room that I really want to tackle. So if nothing else in that room gets done then at least I will have decluttered that one area that has really been bugging me. My four areas will be as follows. (I will add links, as the month rolls on)
Laundry – specifically my cleaning supplies cupboard
Kitchen – specifically the pantry, tupperware drawers + upper cupboards
Study/Craft room – specifically the desks + home paperwork
Playroom – specifically finding homes for the new toys + craft supplies
I personally find that starting and finishing different spaces quickly snowballs into me tackling other spaces too. Follow me on Instagram + Facebook to see what other areas I start to declutter too. Use the hashtag #amdeclutterit if you are playing along
Action step: Decide on and write down four rooms and then the specific areas within those rooms that you wish to tackle.
My decluttering tools
Putting in a little bit of thought and organisation before you begin will really help you have a successful decluttering session. The tools + items I like to gather and have available are…
A tub for donations : to quickly place anything that you need to donate.
A basket for items that don’t belong in the space. Saves you wandering around the house returning miscellaneous items and possibly getting distracted.
A note book and pen to write lists of things you need to purchase, types of storage you might want and random things that you think of during your declutter. Again to save you stopping and going to do it and possibly getting distracted.
Cleaning supplies to deep clean the space and give you a clean slate.
Music / podcasts + portable speaker for some tunes or interesting topics to listen too.
Rubbish bags for anything that needs to go straight in the bin.
You might also want another basket for items that you plan to sell. Not something that I personally do. Also helpful is to have space to empty out the area that you are decluttering so that you can start with a blank slate. A nearby table or the floor are both great options.
You may want to include some labeling and organisational supplies too. depending on how far you want to go. Dont make the mistake of thinking that organising and decluttering are the same thing though. It is totally possible to have organised clutter. 😉
Action step: make a list and purchase or gather supplies into the one place before decluttering begins.
My decluttering process
With each update that I do in the month ahead, I will take you through the specific steps that I took for each space. But I want to share a general process that I tend to follow when decluttering too.
- Gather supplies + have them all close by and ready to go.
- Turn on some music or a podcast
- Empty the entire space/area that you are working on, onto a nearby table or floor space.
- As you work, throw any obvious items straight into the bin, broken missing or multiples.
- As you empty, place things in categories of like with like.
- Once the space is completely clear, give it a really good clean and wipe down. Remove shelves, baskets or dividers and wash these too. Put any linens/fabrics through the washing machine.
- Starting with one category at a time, sort through and declutter. Ask yourself : when do I use this? How often do I need it? Is this the best place to store this item? Is it a double of an item I already have? Why do I want to keep it? Can I get another if I realise I need it again?
- It’s important to think carefully and critically. Take your time. Some things will be easy to throw away others you may need to give yourself a little bit of time to process.
- Reorganise the items you’re keeping back by category into your clean space. Reuse containers/baskets + dividers that you already have. Shoe boxes and small gift boxes also work really well.
- Write down anything you need to do/buy as you go.
- Place all items back away again, pay careful attention to where you place things and how you access things.
- You should have a clear space that is both decluttered and then reorganised by category.
- Take a few minutes to clean up, throw rubbish in the bin, bag up donations and put in your boot for drop off and redistribute items that belong elsewhere.
- Replenish + collate all your supplies together again ready to tackle the next space.
Action step : Mentally prepare yourself to declutter by taking yourself through the process.
Tips + Tricks
Are you itching to get started yet? I know I am. But before we jump in, let’s take a few minutes to take care of few other areas so that getting this one area sorted doesn’t greatly impact the rest of your home.
- Meal plan, grocery shop + prep some easy dinner meals for your family. Decluttering can be tiring work so having as much done beforehand can be helpful.
- Pack lunchboxes and snacks for the kids and yourself the night before or at the start of the day. This minimises you having to stop to prepare food or find a snack for a hungry kid. (also see above)
- Make sure you have full cool water available. Fill and have a drink bottle with you
- Do a load of laundry or at least your regular morning jobs before you begin. You may want a decluttered pantry but I’m pretty sure your husband will still want clean underwear ;).
- Shower + get dressed to start your day. I seem to find that I am more productive once I have gotten dressed.
- Think of or organise some special activities for the kids. Or if possible organise a play date or day at Grandma’s. I will have my kids at home with me during this challenge, so I will be getting creative with some ideas and no doubt we will watch a little bit more TV than usual too.
Action step: Meal plan, grocery shop, do jobs and any other things that will set yourself up for a successful day or week of decluttering.
Phew! Did you make it this far friends? That was a lot of words. I hope that you are feeling excited and prepared to get started. I really want you to succeed in this challenge so hopefully you have found all this information encouraging and supportive.
Now is your time to grab your list and get shopping and prepared. Gather your supplies and even get started if you want. I will see you back here next thursday to share the before and after, as well as the process and progress on my first space.
PS dont forget to follow along on Facebook or Instagram to see what else I have happening too.Use the hashtag #amdeclutterit if you are playing along. 🙂
PPS you can see how I organise my medicine cabinet or store my linens or organise kids clothes too