In week two of our Family Declutter Challenge, we discussed how to declutter using goals we set, making decisions, and taking action. No matter how big or small those decisions or actions are, progress is progress! In week one kicking off the Family Declutter Challenge: Letting Go Before the Holidays, we talked about setting a goal for the area we want to focus on. Having this focus is important in following through on our decluttering and not getting distracted or burned out before we complete the project.
For week three, if you have made progress on sorting, removing, donating, and making space, and you feel you have completed your space with your decluttering steps, you are ready to organize what you have left in your space. You may have done some of this as you sorted; everyone is different. There is no one way to organize!
My philosophy is to keep the process as simple as possible. When we feel frustrated or burned out, that’s when we may walk away, and the project gets put on the back burner. You know yourself best, so create an environment that you enjoy working in and a time limit that you know will make your brain happy. We don’t want to get decision fatigue or to be exhausted, giving you reasons not to want to come back and continue. This system can be used for any project, not just decluttering. Learning how to take care of yourself and remain productive. What a great skill to teach kids!
Putting it all together:
- You don’t need to go out and buy containers. Chances are you already have what you need, or you may not need anything at all.
- Just like when decluttering, have set times for putting things in their place. Keep it fun, and be creative!
- Even though you made space and got rid of things you no longer use doesn’t mean that you need to fill the space. If you do get new things during the holidays, at least you have the space, but don’t look to fill it with more stuff.
- The way you organize at first may not work for you. It’s ok to change things until you find a system that works for you. Kids may have a different way they want to organize, depending on age, so maybe give them a say in how to put things back.
- While you are putting your remaining items away, remember what the goal was for your space. That will help you to put things where they go.
- You may find more items to let go of even as you are putting things back. The more you declutter, the easier it gets to make the decisions and let go. Like building muscle.
Making Decluttering a Habit
This Family Declutter Challenge is something you can do together and repeat over and over. Maybe it could be a fun family tradition at a certain time of year, seasonally, or a way to prepare for the holidays or the new year.
- Create a schedule with dates for decluttering family challenges. Doing this together may make it easier for everyone.
- Doing the decluttering together creates accountability. Someday they will do it on their own without you asking.
- Use checklists or charts to help with focus.
- Simple prizes for completing the challenge may be good motivation. Consumables are a great prize! Like experiences, treats, journals or puzzle books, gift certificates, adventures with parents, etc.
- Before and after photos can help to remind everyone about the work they have done and the motivation to keep it clean and organized.
What can seem like a dreaded project can become a fun family project and, eventually, an incredible life habit. It doesn’t matter what age you discover your declutter and organization system; anytime is a perfect time! If the decluttering process is taking longer for you than expected, and you haven’t quite reached the organization step, it’s ok. You can use this series of steps at your pace. Maybe you need multiple weeks to focus on your room just decluttering. Set the pace; accountability may help whether it’s a friend, family member, chart, or calendar.
Next week we will wrap up the challenge by looking at how we can maintain our newly decluttered and organized space. Keep up the great work!