Living Intentionally: Day 2- Decluttering Your Surroundings

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Learning to Live Intentionally Challenge Day 2 Decluttering Your Surroundings

I believe the key to living intentionally is to first simplify our lives.

When chaos abounds, we can’t be intentional about anything, and this is true for many areas of our lives.

Today we are going to focus on decluttering our surroundings.

I don’t know about you, but more often than not a person can tell a lot about my life by looking at my house. If my house is a mess, chances are my life is a mess too. {Please note that I am not saying that just because you have a clean house means you have it all together!}

I feel better and am more focused when my home is clean and organized.

True story. My bedroom floor. Right now.

I would love a perfectly organized house, where everything is in its place and nothing is ever lost, but the reality of the matter is I’m a homeschool mom. My kids are always home. This area is not only their home, but their school and their playground.

That’s what you’re thinking too, isn’t it?

The thought is nice, but in reality it doesn’t seem possible.

But what if we tackle it little pieces at a time?

Here are 10 Steps to Decluttering Your Surroundings:

  1. Pick one room in the house and start there. Choose the room you spend the most time in. For us, that would be the kitchen. Don’t even think about the mess that awaits you in the other rooms until you’ve finished this first room.
  2. Work in short intervals a few times a day. For me, ten minutes is great. Set a timer, turn some music on and get to work. When the timer goes off, go back to what you were doing. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done when you use this system.
  3. Rule of thumb- if you haven’t used an item in six months, get rid of it.
  4. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If you hesitate in answering, the answer is always no. If you determine you don’t need it, donate it or throw it away! Set up three piles: one for keeps, one for throwing away, and one for donating.
  5. Clear off flat surfaces. Where is your “drop off area”? For us, it’s the kitchen table. Clear it off and vow to keep it clean. Every time you notice something on it that doesn’t belong, remove it immediately.
  6. Get your kids on board! The entire house isn’t a play room. Make it fun for them. Keep them accountable for putting their own toys away.
  7. Don’t procrastinate! If a task needs to be done and can be done in less than ten minutes, do it then!
  8. Do a 15 minute “clean sweep” each evening before dinner. Set a timer for 15 minutes and encourage the entire family to be involved in tidying up the house before dinner. Assigning zones for each person is a great idea!
  9. Set goals! Make a to-do list, especially if you’re like me and are motivated by crossing items off a list. But be realistic! Start with small obtainable goals and work from there!
  10. Congratulate yourself! You’ve been working hard and it will pay off, but don’t grow weary! Keep going!!

Does this sound attainable? Could you see these ten steps working in your home?

Today’s challenge: Decide which room in your home you are going to start decluttering first! Write down a few goals for this week. Leave a comment on this blog post letting us know where you plan to start so that we can all encourage on another!

Tomorrow we will be talking about decluttering our schedules!

Learning to Live Intentionally Challenge

Have you written a blog post about living intentionally or household organization? Please use the following form to link up your posts!

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. After reading your post yesterday I decided to just go ahead and get started on decluttering my house. I went through our spare bedroom which is at toy room, a sewing room, and a guest room. It’s pretty much done, only a little bit left to do today but it feels so nice to be able to walk in there and it’s nice and clean and less stressful. If you’re looking for some motivation on getting rid of stuff there’s a couple of guys called The Minimalists that I just started reading about.They’re secular but they do have a lot of good ideas on our mindset and how we feel about possessions.

    1. Good for you, Katrina! 🙂 I know it feels so nice to be able to look at a freshly organized room.

      Thank you for including the link to The Minimalists. I will check it out today.


    2. WTG! I need your Headstart attitude! Lend me some will ya?! Lol. It feels great to get it done doesn’t it?! Congrats! One room at a time. 🙂

  2. Hey there, I’ve been meaning to get in my closet and fold all of the baskets that pile in there when guests come over. So I think I’ll start there. Then I’ll do my fridge. Yuck! Hate the fridge cleanings, but I need to set a scheduled cleaning for it regularly so it doesn’t become such a job like it is now. Could use tons of encouragement!!!

    1. Hi Christy! It sounds like you’re off to a great start! My fridge needs cleaned out too, maybe I’ll join you there today! I hate that job, but it needs to be done.

      Just think of how great (and less stressed!) you’ll feel when it’s all neatly clean and organized!


      1. Thanks for the support! Sending some your way too!!

  3. I’ve been working on decluttering this year, too. I’ve always hated clutter; it literally makes it hard for me to think straight. But this year, I’m trying to SIMPLIFY by getting rid of a whole lot of stuff, and organizing whatever is left!

  4. I’ve started decluttering. Kitchen counter/table is where piles end up. Since I’ve almost finished that room, I’ll say I’ll be working on kitchen/middle room area. There are a few piles that’s been there all summer…I love the idea of just 10-15 minutes to work on a decluttering project and then that’s it for that day. I do need to be a better example for my kids.

  5. I got rid of 6 bins of outgrown kids clothes!!!! It doesn’t look like it made a dent but just think… all that stuff GONE!

    1. Good for you!! 🙂

  6. We’re hoping to put our house on the market in the spring, so we’ve been doing some major decluttering for the past few months. The “clean sweep” you mentioned above is called a “Clutter Drill” in our home. Every so often, esp. when I notice things collecting in an area or two, I call for a five minute drill. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished in just those five minutes by four kids & me!

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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