The Busy Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Decluttering

The Busy Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Decluttering

We can help make the process of deciding what to keep and what to toss less overwhelming.

By Lorraine Allen

Even if you’re super busy, making time to sort through your stuff brings huge, lasting, and blissful rewards. Here are three foolproof methods to guide you. But there’s one key to making sure you get it done right: Only keep the things you really enjoy or absolutely need. When you get rid of all (and I mean ALL) the rest, you’ll find that your home feels happier, airier, and far less cluttered. Since things will be easier to find ­– because you’ll have way, way less stuff – you’ll save time, energy, and frustration. Even the kids will get out the door faster! Just donate, sell, or toss the rest.

Method no. 1, for the mom who cannot stand one more day of living with clutter
This method takes the biggest time commitment up front. Start with your clothes and shoes, then your books, toys, kitchen items, papers, and end with furniture, miscellaneous items, and décor (if you want to get down to that). When you go through a category, like clothes, take every item out at once and sort through one at a time. Coats, hats, bras, everything. Ditch what you really won’t wear again and save just the items you will (or put aside a few sentimental pieces). Trust me – you’ll start to work fast once you get motivated and begin.

More from P&G everyday: 5 Secret Reasons You Hold on to Clutter -- and How to Let Go

Method no. 2, for the mom who has a moderate amount of frustration with her mess
This approach is more mellow. Carve out what time you can, say 15 minutes a day, or two hours a week. Go through one category at a time. In between, reconsider whatever you lay eyes or hands on throughout the day, too. Do you love that book or whisk, or need it? If not, toss it. This goes for every single item in your home. Be patient, and don’t give up. You’ll end up with the same, clutter-free result, and you’ll love it.

Method no. 3, for the mom who is overwhelmed and can’t get it done alone
Don’t worry, many of us are in this same boat. So many, in fact, that you can easily help one another! Find a couple of friends who also desperately want help decluttering, and team up. This makes the process even fun! While you still need to consider each personal item, friends can help make piles, consolidate, donate, trash, and reorganize.


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No matter which method you choose, you can switch along the way. And when shopping, be sure you take time to consider every new item before you buy. If your kid really needs that new toy, fine. But make him find one he is ready to part with in exchange. Otherwise, the clutter will creep right back. You deserve a home filled only with things that make you happy! It’s truly the greatest thing.

What’s your biggest decluttering challenge?

Lorraine Allen is a writer and mom to one spunky first-grader and one squirrel-obsessed dog. You can follow their allergy-friendly cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image © Jacobson

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You can always get your family to help or just tackle one room at a time if you need to do it on your own Maura54.

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What if you don't have any friends but still have the overwhelming tasks to deal with? What do you do then?

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