I write a lot about decluttering and organizing and I get tons of emails from people who are still so frustrated by the state of their house that they’re completely overwhelmed.
Some are downright desperate.
They’re unhappy. They need a change. They have no time, too much stuff, too many responsibilities, and they feel like they just can’t do it anymore.
If you’re living like this, I want you to hear me when I tell you…
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
First of all, it isn’t your fault that you’re drowning in clutter and disorganization.
We live in this time where we’re expected to do it all.
We have to get the kids to school or practice on time, make dinner, keep a clean house, somehow maintain friendships and our marriages, deal with appointments, medical issues…and still find time to volunteer at school or in the community, somehow have hobbies, oh and then it’s completely socially unacceptable to not shower because there just IS NOT TIME.
What’s the solution?
According to marketing and advertisements everywhere, it’s even more stuff.
Everyone has a solution to sell you that is going to make absolutely everything easier.
It’s the Alexa that can basically think for you, it’s the next cleaning or cooking gadget designed to save you time, it’s the cooking, cleaning, cosmetic service that you didn’t know existed that you somehow now can’t live without.
Related: How to Fake a Clean House
How to Find Time to Organize
What you actually need is one goal in mind and then a few simple steps to make it happen.
Let’s say (because based on studies and just, well, living…) we know that having a cleaner and decluttered home would drastically increase our quality of lives and well-being.
We know it would add time to our days, cut stress from our lives, and even have positive health benefits (seriously – look it up).
How do you get there?
Not by continuing to do absolutely everything on your to do list and expecting the time to somehow materialize while the clutter and crap goes away.
No, you do it but deciding you’re going to declutter your home and mind once and for all and you’re never going to accept this kind of chaos again.
Here are the things you need to STOP doing in the meantime:
Dishes, laundry, cooking, and shopping.
While you’re in this decluttering mode, I want you to focus on only that and family time.
Eliminate Dirty Dishes
First, we’re going to start by eliminating all of the major household tasks that take the most time.
At least in the short term.
This is absolutely key to find time to organize when your life is already hectic.
If you’re okay with not being 100% environmentally-friendly during this process, go ahead and pick up some disposable paper plates, bowls, and plastic silverware.
This is all you’re going to use during this time.
Now, we don’t have to do dishes.
Bonus points if you can use those disposable aluminum trays for cooking.
The bottom line is the more you cut away from your daily to-do list, the more time you’ll have to dedicate to cleaning and organizing your home.
Fastest Meal Prep
Either throw together you favorite healthy recipes and spend a day making freezer meals, or buy some frozen meals for dinners, quick cereals for breakfast, and we’ll have leftovers and easy meals for lunch.
Adjust this to your level of extreme (AKA crazy) but seriously, make some adjustments that just make life easier.
I don’t care if you continue your love affair with your instant pot and just make dump meals, one pot meals…whatever it is.
Just eliminate the tons of dirty dishes that come after every meal so we can take that one thing off your plate (your paper plate. Pun intended).
Stop Doing Laundry
While you’re in home recovery mode, I highly recommend you put together a capsule wardrobe for your family and pack the rest away for a little while.
We’re about to move and at 40+ weeks pregnant, I don’t have time to juggle it all.
We packed away all of our clothes except for what we know we’ll need in the next month before our move and are wearing the same few outfits.
This desperate desire to be as packed as possible before baby arrives is what gave me this aha moment.
When I tell you that laundry has been a dream lately, I mean it.
Our 3 young kids have a few pairs of shorts, a few shirts, and a few pairs of underwear each.
I packed way all of our towels except one per person.
Now, I actually do laundry more often, but every bit of laundry we have out fits into less than 2 loads and takes me a grand total of 20 minutes to put away.
Oh and stop folding stuff.
I lay our kids clothes neatly in a drawer, one drawer per kid, and move on.
Believe me, I adore my Amazon Prime membership and don’t think I could ever live without it. (Get a 30-day trial here – I promise, you’ll never look back!)
While we’re in this decluttering mode, I’m not ordering anything but absolute necessities.
I’m also not grocery shopping.
I know that if I go to the grocery store for a few things, or even an entire shopping trip, it’s inevitable that clearance deals and random purchases will end up in my cart and then in my home.
Our lives are too overwhelming to be taking steps backwards.
To prevent this, delete your card info from your phone and computer if it’s saved there, delete your card from your Amazon account, and order your groceries online.
I do Walmart pickup every week and it has saved me a TON of money.
Sure, there are some great deals I’m sure I missed because I didn’t physically go into the store, but I’ll gladly take that option over a bunch of spontaneous buys I definitely didn’t need.
To me, it more than cancels each other out.
Now that you’re not shopping, doing dishes, cooking, or doing nearly as much laundry, you’ll have the time you need to actually declutter.
This is crazy and way too extreme
I hear you.
If I read this article a few years ago, I would have agreed with you.
The truth is, doing things like this that give me back some time are the only way we’ve been able to make fast, massive changes in the quality of our lives.
When I packed away so much of our stuff and we were forced to live like minimalists for a few weeks, I had this drastic mindset change without even trying.
It was just SO MUCH EASIER without all the stuff.
I found myself dreading the boxes packed in our dining room.
Do I really want to move and unpack all of that stuff and have to deal with it every day?
Or would I rather go through it again, sell and donate most of it, and try to maintain this life with less stuff?
Honestly, the stress I’ve been able to shed in this short amount of time is mindblowing – and I’m past due with our 4th baby, our oldest is 4.5, and we’re moving out of state a couple of weeks after baby arrives.
If there was ever a stressful time in life, this is it.
But somehow, everything feels so much more manageable just by having less stuff and having less dishes and clothes to worry about.
I can easily keep up with it all on my own, while home with 3 toddlers all day, while pregnant and tired.
That’s saying something.
I hope this inspires you to make a change in your own life. Even if it isn’t as dramatic, drastic, extreme and crazy as what we’re going through in our house.
How can you simplify your life to make time to build the home life you’ve always dreamed of? Hop over to Instagram and start the conversation!