Need a simple plan to help you toss that clutter–one that fits into your busy lifestyle? This simple and quick decluttering plan for busy people can help you with that.
How I Created My 52 Weeks to A Simplified Home Plan
(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
I know some of you are thinking, “wait, you said this was going to be quick, and that subheading says this plan is going to take me 52 weeks!” Yes, it is, but the time spent each week is minimal, as in an hour or two a week. I don’t know about you, but I can find an hour or two somewhere in my week with much more ease than I can find an entire weekend or several hours per day for a month. So it might take you a year or more with this plan to declutter your entire home, but the plan itself has you decluttering in short, habit-forming bursts that are quick and simple.
This was a picture of the couch in my teenager’s room, but a lot of our home looked this way at the start of the original 52-week decluttering challenge.
Here is Why I Created This Decluttering Plan Back In 2014
Our family’s clutter piles got pretty bad in 2013. I didn’t do my normal Christmas cleaning and I also didn’t join various bloggers in a decluttering series all year long either. In case you are wondering what I mean by joining other bloggers, in the mid-2010s, link parties were a big thing. One blogger would host, and those who wanted to join in would write posts and link them up to the bottom of the host blog. Readers could then jump around to various blogs reading updates. Over time these link parties faded in popularity.
The truth was I was in a grief-induced fog after losing several loved ones in a row and I just didn’t have the energy to deal with my stuff.
Near the end of that year, I read Ruth Soukup’s book “Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets Of The Good Life”. Her chapter on simplifying her possessions convinced me that it was time I gave the house a top to bottom decluttering.
Many decluttering experts say to clear a few days and get the whole house done. But in my stage of life at that time, finding a few days to do nothing but declutter was next to impossible and it still is.
Instead, I decided to break up my home into 52 areas, one for each week of the year.
I also made a few rules.
Rules for 52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: The Quick & Simple Way To Declutter
1. You can work ahead if time allows, but not to the point where you let other priorities in your life slide.
2. You cannot fall behind more than two weeks at any given time. If you do, you have to catch up right away.
3. You must not save anything to resell that is under a “worth the time” price point set by you. For me, that is anything under $20 if sold on its own, a little less if I plan to sell several things at one time.
4. All items you gather to sell should have a “deadline” written on the box you place them in or on a sticky note stuck to the item itself. This deadline is a set amount of time to resell the item. If you don’t get around to selling the item by then, donate it. I suggest a timeline of two to three months tops!
5. Approach decluttering like you are moving across the country; if you would not pack it up and move it, get rid of it.
6. Do not save items for the “future you.” As in, “one day, I am going to take up knitting, and I will need this basket of yarn.” If you can’t make time to start the new activity in the next few months, give it away to someone who will.
7. Do not save items for the “past you,” As in, “I used that treadmill every day five years ago!” Again, unless you can realistically see yourself using the item again in the next few months, give it to someone who will.
I used my readers to hold me accountable and to humble me. I shared my mess all year long in the form of weekly updates (see the links to them at the bottom of this article).
Join Me This Year And Watch Those Clutter Piles Shrink
It is now six years later and I have kept most of the piles under control. However, the complete chaos that was 2020 caused a bit of a downward spiral in the maintaining of clutter in our home. Areas that were clutter-free for years after the original decluttering challenge became cluttered in 2020 due to me falling out of the good habits the original 52-week decluttering challenge had created.
I would love to think that perhaps I am not the only one out there with a home that has become more cluttered than it should be. I would also love to think that I am not the only one that can’t declutter it all in a weekend or even a week.
If you also have too much clutter and your daily life doesn’t allow you to tackle it all in a short amount of time, I would love to have you join along in the simple & quick decluttering plan for busy people that my original 52 weeks to a simplified home has become.
How To Join Along And Finally Get Your Home Decluttered Despite Leading A Crazy Busy Life
Second: Download my free printable where you can fill in the areas of your home you want to declutter over the next 52 weeks (this does sign you up for my email list, but you can unsubscribe at any time). Once you have the empty decluttering list in hand, grab a pen and spend a few minutes going from room to room looking for clutter and giving each clutter hotspot its own week. Keep the spots small so that they can be completed in an hour or two. For example, for my first project, I plan to find the top of the dresser and the nightstands in our master bedroom.
Thirdly: Adapt the rules to fit your life best. Perhaps you don’t want to sell a thing, that is fine–donate it all. Perhaps money is super tight and you think listing something for $5 on Facebook Marketplace is worth your time. Just remember to keep the rules simple and the area quick to declutter.
Great posts to help you with your clutter roadblocks:
- How To Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed By It
- How To Declutter When You Just Don’t Feel Like It
- 4 Essential Items For Efficient Decluttering
A peek at the simple handwritten list I made before I began my original 52-week decluttering journey.
A Binge Worthy List Of The Blog Updates From The Original Challenge
If you want to see if decluttering an hour (or so) a week is really going to make a difference, check out the progress I made in a year.
Let’s get on with it. Let’s toss the clutter and embrace the awesome feeling of a simplified home.
Do you really want to declutter your home, but the thought of taking on one more project is overwhelming, even if it is broken into small, snail-paced bites? I recommend taking Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Mornings and her Makeover Your Evenings course. Both are reasonably priced and require a short time commitment. However, they are jam-packed with information that will help turn your days from chaotic to calm, giving you space in your day to tackle your clutter and relax. Still not sure if you should purchase them? Try her free 5 Days To A Better Morning Challenge to get a taste of what the courses are like.