When I arrived with my moving boxes to the home I live in now, the hallways and garage were already packed with stuff. There was hardly room to move and I was totally overwhelmed. The job ahead, the biggest decluttering project of my life so far, made me feel equal parts scared, nauseous, and paralyzed. But I got through it! And I actually had fun doing it. Let me share my top 10 tips that will make clearing clutter fun for everybody!
Decluttering Your Home Can Be Overwhelming
Like I said, before I moved in, the house was already full. Why was that? Because at the beginning of the Pandemic my husband and I decided to move in with my parents. There were a lot of practical reasons we decided to do this, for the mutual support of all involved.
We were moving out of a 400 square foot studio apartment so we didn’t have a crazy amount of stuff. We still had a lot more than we needed to have though.
My parents had a pretty average amount of stuff for a couple that’s been married for 40 years. They also had a lot of my recently deceased grandma’s stuff.
In essence that meant that we were combining parts of three households and it was going to take a little bit of work to declutter. Throw in the added challenges of new family dynamics, sentimental emotional attachments, every thrift store on lockdown, and a general feeling of overwhelm and I can honestly say that when you are overwhelmed by decluttering I know exactly how you feel!
I am never going to tell you that decluttering is totally easy. I know it can feel like an overwhelming project, a big mess, and a pandora’s box of emotions.
What I will tell you is you can make clearing clutter enjoyable, even if you feel like you have no energy for it! Now let’s talk about a few ways to do that!
Make Clearing Clutter Fun #1: Put On Some Music!
My absolute top tip for decluttering is to put on some fun music. This may seem silly and trivial and like a tip your totally going to skip but don’t!
Music energizes you and turns a big job into something that you are doing while you are singing and dancing. Music can help you to calm the excuses you will make to keep the clutter. It will also distract your family members from arguments they might want to make about the decluttering process.
I am telling you, if you want to clear out clutter at home, you need to start with some good music!
Make Clearing Clutter Fun #2: Bring In Light!
Again, this is a simple one. If you are going to de-clutter a cluttered house you need to be able to SEE the clutter in all its “faded glory”. Open all your curtains for fresh natural light to put that daylight energy into the room. If you are in a dark closet or attic or garage, turn on the lights.
Putting light on the subject will energize you, help you think clearly, and help you see your stuff for what it really is. Just make sure you throw away those rose-colored glasses.
#3 Go On a Scavenger Hunt!
Did you know that you can make decluttering into a game? Yes! You can do this on your own or as a whole family but you can go on a few different scavenger hunts through your house as part of the decluttering process. This can make clearing clutter fun for everybody!
The first scavenger hunt I would recommend you do is for trash. I know that you don’t think you have a lot of trash lying around but you probably do. Go searching through your house for empty lotion, shampoo, and pill bottles. Find all the empty tissue boxes, Amazon packages, and junk mail.
Another scavenger hunt may include expired products and food, dried-up nail polish, and old papers you no longer need to keep.
One of the more important scavenger hunts you can go on is your hunt for duplicates. If you have several versions of ANYTHING from towels to spatulas to DVDs you can let go of duplicates!
For any scavenger hunt, you go on, set a timer of 15 minutes, grab a trash bag, put on some good music, and run like the wind. Don’t let yourself overthink things. Just find stuff that is easy to let go of and let go of it fast!
#4 Get the Family Involved!
This one may be challenging to get started. If your family is resistant to the idea of decluttering though, doing it together can help.
One way you can get the family involved is to send them on one of the aforementioned scavenger hunts. Let them pick out some good music and set the timer. Remind them that all that stuff is just junk so it’s not gonna be hard at all!
Another way you can get your family involved is to choose a weekend and challenge everyone in your family to get rid of 10 items. At first, they may complain but they will find 10 items faster than they think and the competition will motivate them to look for more junk they no longer use.
You can repeat the scavenger hunts or the 10 item decluttering challenges every weekend or every month as needed till you get your house where you want it!
#5 Choose a Reward Before You Start
Maybe decluttering is hard for you because of a scarcity mentality. That means you feel you will not have enough if you let go of some things. One way to combat this mentality is to choose a reward you want before you start decluttering.
You can get a new dress when you have let go of ten items of clothing you no longer wear. Or you could get a new chair when you declutter 100 items from your home.
You could also choose a non-item reward. For example, if everyone declutters 10 items today we will go get ice cream or order pizza for dinner. At the end of a decluttering challenge, you can go to a concert or go on a trip.
Remember, your reward is the benefit of your hard work decluttering. That means you don’t get it unless you reach your decluttering goals. This will help you fight the feeling that letting go means not having enough and it will make clearing clutter really fun!
#6 Set a Deadline
If you want to make a big dent in a cluttered house you will want to set a deadline to help you stay motivated. Similar to choosing a reward, setting a deadline will probably end in something fun. Maybe you have family coming to visit or you are moving into a new home. Either way, the end date is clear in mind.
Setting a deadline is one of the tips for decluttering your home that works really well! But make sure that you set a reasonable deadline. If you want to declutter your entire home thoroughly set your deadline at least a month away. When you want to do a light bit of decluttering you can set your deadline closer. If you need to declutter your guest room by the time your mother-in-law comes this weekend then make sure you focus on the things that will make the biggest difference in that room.
It feels great when you set a deadline for decluttering your cluttered room or your cluttered house because it shows you just how much of a difference you can make in a specific amount of time!
#7 Choose to Declutter One Room or Part of a Room!
Remember why you have been putting off decluttering? Because you feel overwhelmed. But you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. One way to make decluttering easy and fun is to declutter room by room or even area by area.
You may want to take an afternoon to really deep dive into your closet. Your closet is a big job and it doesn’t need to be done at the same time as the rest of your house. But what if you don’t have time to declutter your closet? Declutter your shirts. Later in the week focus on your pants and so on.
The same can hold true in any room. In your kitchen focus on expired food. Then you can focus on serving trays and spatulas. Take one little job at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed. See your home magically transform as you clear clutter one room or space at a time!
#8: Join a Challenge
One of the best tips that can make clearing fun is to join a challenge! There are often decluttering challenges on Facebook or Instagram where you declutter the same number of items as the day of the month you are on. That means on the first you declutter one item, on the 10th you declutter 10 items, and on the 30th you declutter 30 items! These challenges are super fun and motivating.
Make Clearing Clutter Fun: #9 Have a Picture Party!
Some things are extra hard to declutter. What kinds of things? Sentimental items and photos. They are very hard to declutter because they mean a lot to us and others in our family. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t declutter these types of items. Sadly, if you do not take the time to curate your sentimental items they will sit hidden away, collecting dust, until someone who doesn’t understand them eventually throws them away.
If you want to cherish your sentimental items and photos you need to give them the attention they deserve and that means you will need to look through them and keep only the best of the best!
Why not have a party?! Invite the family members that these items or photos are important too. Have a good dinner and sit around the table looking through old pictures. Keep the good pictures and get rid of the sloppy shots and duplicates! Put someone in charge of scanning these photos into a computer and categorizing them into files that can be shared with the entire family. Have someone else in charge of a hardcopy photo album if you want one!
The same holds true for your sentimental items. Go through them with family. Choose the best of the best to represent your memories and write or record the story that makes them meaningful. You may even find that you can simply take a photo of the item, write down what it meant to the family, and then let go of the item itself!
Make Clearing Clutter Fun: #10: Think of Others
One of the hardest parts of decluttering is actually letting go of the decluttered items. But that part of decluttering your home can become a lot easier when you think of others. You can actually bring a lot of joy to others by letting go of stuff you no longer need.
For example, I stopped greedily hoarding my childhood books and passed them on to a little girl who loved them! I sold my mom’s old unused harpsichord to a hippy from Colorado who was thrilled to use it during this phase of her life. One man I met through Facebook Marketplace needed my old camcorder for its battery so he could retrieve cherished videos of his deceased brother from the matching camcorder he owned. Another young woman was happy to get a whole set of cooking pans after escaping an abusive relationship.
When you think of others as you are decluttering your home you will find that it is easier to let go of things that you no longer use. Whether you decide to sell your stuff on Facebook Marketplace, have a yard sale, or donate your items you can be assured that your excess could very well be someone else’s need. Seeing your stuff go to people who are excited to have it makes clearing clutter from your home a lot more fun!
These 10 Tips Actually Make Clearing Clutter Fun for Everybody!
Remember how overwhelmed I felt with the decluttering project that lie before me when I moved in with my parents?
Well, I’m glad to say we used these tips to my decluttering fun and enjoyable. We didn’t let the sentimental items turn into fights and we didn’t let the overwhelm get to us! We slowly worked at it, selling over $2,000 worth of clutter on Facebook Marketplace, and now my husband can park in the garage!
What about you? How do you make decluttering more enjoyable? Please share in the comments below!
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