How To Cut Out The Clutter That Will Save You Time

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Here's a simple way to cut out the clutter in your home that will save you time.  Jenn with Home by Jenn walks you through her simple 20-minute decluttering session.  FREE decluttering checklist included.

Last week I got such an overwhelming response to my decluttering post that I thought that I would make this a series.  If you missed that post you can read that here.

You can expect some amazing tips to get the clutter out of your life over the next few weeks.

Today I want to show you how to cut out the clutter so you can save time.  My specialty is to show busy moms how to organize their time, life, and space.  Keeping your clutter around can take up a lot of your time.  

Today I'm not going to get into the time that is wasted by having clutter, instead, I'm going to show you how to cut the clutter so you will have more time.

I'm a firm believer that everyone can find 20 minutes to get something done and today I'm going to share with you how to declutter your home by only committing to 20 minutes a day.

This post is going to walk you through the steps you need to take to make this possible by only committing to 20 minutes a day.

So why 20 minutes?

I know that you're busy and it's hard to commit to more than 20 minutes.

Also, committing to decluttering is a daunting chore.  You become overwhelmed, discouraged, and end up giving up.

It is so much easier to swallow if you're only decluttering for 20 minutes.

How often have you decided today is the day and you're going to get the clutter out.  You start in 1 room.  Maybe your bedroom and say okay, I'm going to do this.  You pull out all of the clothes out of your closet, put them on your bed and start going through them.

About an hour in, you are completely done.

There are clothes everywhere.  On your bed, on the floor.  There are piles everywhere.  Oh and you're tired and want to go to bed.

You throw all of the clothes on the floor and give up.  Making a bigger mess than you started with.

That great idea that you had to declutter turned into an overwhelming mess!

What if I told you that if you were patient and only spent 20 minutes a day you could get rid of all of the clutter, break the clutter habit, save time, and become happier.  Would you want to know how to do that?

If you answered yes, then you are in the right place because that's exactly what I'm going to show you right now!

Before we get any further, I created a workbook for you so you'll have the most success possible once you leave this post!

Finding your spot

So, when you are ready to start the decluttering process, you need to pick your first spot, right.

When you are looking for the perfect spot, it is important that you find a spot that will take you about 10 minutes to go through.

It is time to rethink how you tackle a project. 

Usually you think of tackling you declutter process by doing one section at a time.  For example you'll organize and declutter the shoes one day, then another day you'll move to your closet, then another day you'll do the kitchen drawers.

Okay, that just sounds overwhelming to me.  Let me explain.

If have a family of 4 and you say that you are going to declutter and organize the shoes.  You are do that for 4 people.  The shoes are probably all over the house in many different areas.  Which is going to take you a ton of time to gather up, find, and go through.

So what you thought was going to be a small decluttering session has turned into a day long experience.  Because it's taken you an hour or so to round up all of the shoes, then your normal day starts happening so you get interrupted and hopefully by the end of the day, you've gone through all of the shoes.

Now, let's talk about picking something smaller like a sock drawer.

This is one confined spot, the drawer.  You can easily see everything that you need to go through in one session without having to jump from room to room.

You are setting yourself up for the a non overwhelming decluttering session.

The key is to find a spot that you can get through in 10 minutes, that's why the sock drawer is perfect.  

Sure this might take a little longer to get through but the success rate is a lot higher because you are not overwhelming yourself with too much to do.  

If you are already way over scheduled and have a hard time to get to your clutter then this system is perfect for you!

How to use your 20 minutes

This is the key to your success, using your time wisely.

I know that you might be a little confused because here I tell you to find a spot that you can go through in 10 minutes but I'm telling you that it will take 20 minutes.

So, yes, you'll only be sorting through your spot for 10 minutes.  You are going to spend the rest of the time cleaning up.

What's the point of decluttering if you're not going to finish the job, right.

So you'll grab a timer and start going through your chosen spot for 10 minutes.  You should have gotten through your entire section in that 10 minutes, and if you haven't then you chose a spot too big.

Alright, so back to how to use your time, like I said you'll set the timer for 10 minutes.  Sort the pile (which I'll talk about in a second), then you'll use the last 10 minutes to clean up.

So let's talk about how you're going to sort your pile

Setting up categories

Now it is time to figure out how you are going to categorize your piles.  I like to separate the section into 4 categories.

You'll want separate your pile into four categories:

  • Recycle
  • Garbage
  • Donate
  • Keep

What I like to do is have a bin available that I can quickly dump the item in.  Something like a plastic bin.  Then you'll want to is grab 2 pieces of paper or card stock and tape so you can label each bin so you don't forget which bin goes with what.

So for instance, if I'm going through my sock drawer and I have a sock without a mate (and it's been without a mate for a while) I'll toss it in the garbage.  It's no good to me.  I haven't been using it, so it's time to throw it away.

Maybe in my drawer I find a pack of socks that I bought that I never used because I just didn't like them or they were too big, well I'll toss those into the donate pile.

Since I'm going through my sock drawer I'm probably not going to have recycle but I will still have that available just in case.

So you'll go through that entire process for 10 minutes.  Once the timer goes off, you'll grab the recycle take the recycle items to the recycle bin.  Take the garbage to the garbage can.  Then you'll grab a plastic back (like a grocery bag) and add the donation to that bag and then take that bag to your car.  

I cannot stress that enough!  Take that bag to your car.

Once it is out of your house and in your car you're almost done with it.  The next time you are next to a donation bin or a second hand store you can drop that off.

The last thing you'll want to do is put everything that you're keeping away.  So if there were things that didn't belong in that area, put them where they belong, and then the rest of the items should fit easier in the spot that you just went through.

I encourage you to do this each day until you're clutter is conquered.

Tools you'll need

Okay, I want to start out by saying that you can do this without the need of going out and buying new things.  

You can also probably find some of these items around your house.  

But I am going to walk through the items that I recommend and what I use to do my 20 minute declutter session.  I've listed the items that I recommend below.

I like to have a multi-purpose container to use when it comes to separating.  I like to think about the long term and I like these because they work well under the sink in the bathroom to keep everything organized.

Now if you like the idea of stacking your bins, that is another option.  

It's all about making sure you can use them again because being wasteful is not productive.

Now you'll need cardstock to use.  I do recommend using cardstock over regular paper because card stock will last you longer.

I've put together a workbook for you so you can get started on the decluttering process.

Inside the workbook, you'll find the decluttering checklist plus 7 other tips to help you become more organized.

The thing about decluttering is it can be monotonous.  I like breaking the monotony up by listening to music.  It really makes the 20 minutes fly by.  Pop in a CD (yes I'm old school), or you can stream music.  

Whichever you choose, it will help you with the decluttering process.

So if you are ready to kick some butt in the decluttering department then you'll need this workbook!

Next week I'm going to share my secrets for keeping the clutter out, so stay tuned for that!

Now it's your turn.  What have you tried to get control of your clutter?  I'd love to know in the comments below.

Thank you for spending your time with me, it means a lot.

Jenn