As someone who is constantly traveling and shifting homes, I have spent half of my life decluttering. Yes, you heard it right half of it. For me decluttering needs a lot of effort because it is not something you just get up and do you need to be in that state of mind to really declutter your place. How to clean a messy house step by step is what we will discuss today.
Although I would not recommend completely decluttering a house all in one day which has only a total of 24-hours. However, I do also know that situations do arrive where you only have those 24-hours on your hand. So stop stressing and know that together we can do this. And once you get the hang of it it is rather therapeutic and by the end of it, you will feel positive vibes from within and your surroundings.
Reasons to declutter in one day
There may be many reasons why you need to get rid of that clutter pile lying in your living room, bedroom, or washroom and want to know how to declutter your house in one day such as:
- Your in-laws are visiting on very short notice and you just cannot let them see mount clutter lying on your dining table. That would be even worse than the clutter itself (if you know you know!)
- Your life is like mine and you move in and out of the house on a regular basis hence you need to declutter because all that baggage means extra moving cost!
- You have extra space in your house which you think can be used as a rental and wish to clear that area out because your tenants are moving in anytime now.
- Who does not love a large family gathering but that means you need to get rid of all that junk before you start preparing for the big party.
- Or last but not the least you are just done looking at that pile of clutter staring back at you and causing your mental health harm so you just decide to get up and clap back at it!
Few preparations for the declutter day
A goal without a plan is just a wish
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Planning ahead of time is key when it comes to anything and the same goes for our decluttering day.
- Choose a day
The day which you choose to declutter your house matters a lot however at times you may not have a choice at hand but I would advise you to keep your work for a Saturday.
Why you may ask. Because you will then have Friday to take a good night’s sleep and then you will work on a tight schedule on Saturday and then on Sunday you can do a bit of organization and cleaning stuff.
- Declutter only
Once we are done deciding our day keep one thing in mind that we are only decluttering that day and keep the cleaning and organizing part for another day. You can get really side-tracked if you start doing things altogether.
This will also demotivate you so stick to decluttering only.
- Have little kids?
Little kids demand time and attention and also cause lots of distraction so you may not want them at home that day. Send them to a neighbor’s house where they have friends or if you have a relative nearby. However, if you have teenagers at home they are great and can help you get the work done faster.
- No cooking at all
Cooking food is no joke so either you order food from a restaurant or you can cook it a day earlier and microwave it when it’s lunchtime. Because cooking takes time and energy both and we do not want to waste any of that.
- Cancel all plans
This is some serious stuff we are dealing with here so cancel all engagements if you have any because all our energies are going to be invested in decluttering our house for the day.
Material for declutter day
You need something to put your stuff into. I would suggest getting baskets from a thrift store or maybe look around if you have any lying around in your storage room. Further, in the blog post, we will look at some different categories of stuff you need to make for an effective decluttering.
It is not necessary to invest a lot in these baskets you can even go for cardboard boxes. All we want is for our work to get done.
Let us look at what sort of different labels you need to put on your baskets:
- Return items where they belong
- To be fixed
- For donation
Make sure to have a handful of big trash bags at home for the day.
Time management for the declutter day
Time for sure is money and we value it a lot as well. So let us make a list of spaces we have at hand for decluttering.
An average house has:
- A kitchen
- A dining room
- A lounge
- A workspace/ office/ studyroom
- A master bedroom
- Two to three other bedrooms
- Attached bathrooms
- A hallway
- A laundry
These are roughly 8-9 spaces which we wish to declutter and clear some space for us.
Make an exact list of rooms that you have in your house and list them in ascending order in terms of the amount of clutter present.
Now that you have your list with you and you know which rooms to start from you can probably see that you have at max an hour for each room.
I think now is the best time for us to look at some golden rules for the declutter day which you cannot afford to forget or ignore.
Some golden rules for the declutter day
Focus and lots of coffee for sure is the key here but apart from that, you should read some rules which are very important to keep in mind for a win-win situation.
- Room with the least clutter
Start with a room that has the least amount of clutter in it. Why? Because who does not love quick achievements and they are also great for further motivation. That red line which you will put to cross for the room you just cleared will also declutter your soul.
Trust me on that one!
- One space at a time
Some people tend to do work in bits and pieces and that is the worst way to do anything as it creates a mess on the whole and you are left confused without any actual achievements.
So, complete a room first then move onto the next.
The same rule goes for within a room. Divide the room into different sections and work on them. You will see results in no time.
- The “To fix” basket
Sometimes we fool ourselves into keeping useless stuff by telling ourselves that with a little adjustment the thing will work but that never happens and the thing adds to the clutter.
Hence, do yourself a favor and only keep that stuff which is actually useful and you will get it repaired within that week. If the repair cost is more than buying a new one then get rid of it.
- The “To donate” basket
Lookup for places in advance that accept donations and only go for the donation basket if you will donate them within that week. Some places pick up the stuff themselves if you get in touch. Only donate stuff that is in good condition but not of any use to you.
If you plan on dropping the stuff yourself then put the basket in your car and when you are close that place any day drop them off.
How to declutter your house in one day
Okay, so I think we are actually ready to begin working and it is time to get as busy as a bee.
Make sure you have done a good breakfast and have your cup of coffee with you.
- Pick up your baskets and go to your least cluttered room
- Set a timer for 45 minutes.
- Save yourself 15 minutes to put stuff into your baskets
- Once you do that cross of that room and trust me nothing is more satisfying than that
- Get back to work and set the timer to 45 minutes again. You will notice that you are getting better at it and sorting out stuff is getting easy
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain
Dont’s for the declutter day
Since we are decluttering our house in one day which is huge and not a simple task so there are a few things which should not interrupt our declutter day.
Cleaning the house or any space is in itself a huge task and a different activity that requires a different approach altogether.
Some people tend to declutter a space and then start to clean it thinking that they are making it easier for themselves but the only thing they are doing is getting sidetracked and wasting physical and mental energy.
Another mistake that people tend to make is that soon after they sort out stuff in their baskets they start to organize that room or area. However, that too is a big no-no!
There may be stuff in other rooms which belong in that room and it will only cause more work and further confusion.
So my advice to you is that first declutter your house and then later organize accordingly.
- Deep clear-out
What I found best was that it is always best to first do surface decluttering and get rid of anything that is heavily piled up in the house. Deep clear-out could come later when you have space to open up another pandora box of every single drawer, nook and cranny.
If you start going in deep then that will take a lot of time for each room hence tiring you out and you will lose your motivation pretty soon.
How to decide what to keep when decluttering
Ask yourself different questions when you are decluttering. These questions will help you a lot and will guide you to sort out stuff and put them to their rightful basket where they must belong.
- Fix OR Trash
If something is damaged, broken, or has expired. Ask yourself if it needs fixing or needs to go to the trash can.
- Trash OR Donate
– If you have an extra pair of something then look if it is in good shape then donate it otherwise put it in the trash can.
– If you have something which has the same use or purpose then ask yourself if it needs to go to the trash or for donation.
– Out of fashion stuff
– Do you ever use it now?
– Something which you do not need anymore and won’t be buying it again
The sentimental clutter
A dress from your prom night or maybe a gift from your mother which holds very sentimental value for you.
Keep only those which are really really important for you.
For the rest of the items although I know it feels really heavy to let of those things but you have to face it that letting go will only do you good. So say your last goodbyes and send them off with gratitude keeping with you the warmth of those memories which they gave you.
Final words on how to declutter your house in one day
Congratulations! Now that you have finally decluttered your house there are a few things to know and keep in mind so that you don’t have to spend such a day again in your life or maybe any time soon.
- Declutter every day and if that is not possible then every week is a must thing to do. Take out some time every weekend to sort out empty shampoo bottles and expired stuff in the grocery/ pantry. With less clutter, it will be easy to get through.
- At the end of every month do a deep purge and look for stuff that you missed out on a weekly basis.
- Do not just keep buying stuff and making heaps of items in your home. Whenever you buy something new make sure you throw or donate something so that the balance is maintained at all times.
- We all go wild when the salary cheque comes in however, you can go for a no shopping month regime. That way you won’t be buying more stuff that would ultimately contribute to the clutter.
I hope that after reading this blog post today you are feeling motivated and relaxed because now you know that decluttering your house in one day is not entirely impossible and with the right guidance and energy you can get there. And from now on you will make sure to declutter on a regular basis.