This post was originally published on February 17, 2018 and updated on June 1, 2020.
Summer is coming and you want to look good!
Summer time brings thoughts of travel, getting together with family and friends, BBQs, sunshine, getting fit to look your best as you shed layers (of clothes) and relaxing at home.
With COVID19 and the ripple effects of staying close to home continue. To pass the time, many people are working on their homes by tackling improvements and decluttering.
We personally attacked our basement because we want to put our home on the market after our daughter graduates college in the Fall of 2021. When I have to move things out of the way to reach something else, that signals a problem. We had too much stuff! Therefore, I became focused on being proactive with this next chapter and getting started now to make our future move easier.
Decluttering and organizing has amazing benefits but it can seem as daunting and overwhelming as deciding to lose weight.
If your intentions were to get healthy and feel lighter at the beginning of the year and you didn’t quite reach your goal yet, I’m going to show you how to shed massive amounts of weight without ever depriving yourself of that delicious blueberry muffin or yummy summer cocktail.
Let’s lose hundreds of pounds in a 30 days!
Forget about food and let’s focus on our homes. When you shed hundreds of pounds by decluttering, your mind will be clearer and you’ll function better in your home. You’ll also experience greater peace, better health, make some money and do a whole lot of good.
With kids being at home, get them involved and make it a family affair. If you’re empty nesters, make it a date thing. I know that might be a stretch but claiming it to be a date might make it more fun.
How to get started.
I love using analogies.
If you look at decluttering like going to the gym to look like your favorite movie star, it all starts with a vision and a plan. Next comes mental preparation and understanding that the whole process can be tiring, painful and exhausting. When you push through and reach your goal, the end results are worth all the effort.
Take one step at a time, or better yet, one room at a time.
So let’s put your house on a diet!
I broke it down into three simple phases to help you declutter your home over the next 30 days. When you commit to the challenge, you will detox, slim down and get your home into shape.
You can approach this challenge a couple different ways:
1. Pick one room at a time and apply each phase.
2. Start with phase one and work throughout your home, then follow with phase 2 and 3.
PHASE 1: DETOX
Closet photo: Photo courtesy of the Container Store
Most weight loss and nutrition programs will start you off with a 1-3 day detox. Our bodies naturally do this but sometimes they get a bit overloaded. A detox is designed to help you cleanse, slim down and unload…feeling lighter as you move towards your goal.
To prepare your home for the “cleanse”, take an assessment of each room. Start with drawers, cabinets, and closets. Keep what you love and/or has meaning to you. Purge outdated and unwanted items. Separate the latter into things that can be donated and things that need to be tossed. This can take time so pace yourself and make sure you drink plenty of water.
Key Tip: As with any program, hydration is key no matter what you’re doing. Water, wine, whatever helps you through. Wink! Wink!
I’d do this “cleanse” with my children before Christmas. Knowing we were going to add to their belongings, it was a perfect time to clear out the old toys, clothes, and items that no longer interested them, to donate. They understood that it’s good to share what they had with others. I was proud to see that none of them had any serious attachments to stuff, because that’s truly what we have. It’s just stuff.
Every year at tax season, I personally work on my file drawers. I purge papers that I no longer need. Some have to be shredded while others go into the recycle bin. I shed at least 20 pounds in that one exercise! Not to mention the extra steps I get to count as I walk back and forth to the recycle bin. Bonus!
PHASE 2: SLIM DOWN
Photo courtesy of Investopedia
This is going to require some muscle and clear thinking.
Once the detox is over, pick a room to slim down. When I help clients stage a home or freshen up a room, I like to remove almost everything in it. The only things that stay are what serve a functional purpose in the room. You may find that the furniture you have in the room doesn’t fit properly. If that’s the case, look around your home and see what you can swap it out for.
Once the big pieces are in place, only put back things that you enjoy and help complete the room. If you find yourself stuck, wander into other rooms and “shop” for new items to give the room a new look. Moving things around, that you already own, is the easiest and cheapest way to freshen up a room.
If you find any worn, tattered or broken items, make a clear decision on what to do with them. My mother had some decorative pillows that were torn and faded. As we were slimming her rooms down, she decided to let those go rather than try to fix them.
If a chair has a broken back, decide if it’s worth the investment to repair it? What if your sofa has springs that lost their “sprung”, or the fabric is beyond hope…is that worth your investment to repair and recover it compared to buying a new one?
I recommend to my clients, if a piece of furniture has meaning to you, make the investment. If not, you can probably replace the dated and broken item with something new and more in line with your current style. It’s said that the most homeowners replace their sofa every ten years. That is not the case in my home.
If you chose to replace furniture, buy things that will last you for years. Don’t go too trendy with large items.
Once your rooms are paired down, decide what goes to the trash or will be donated. Remember to keep only what you love and clear out the rest. You’ll be amazed at how much you can unload when you put thought and effort into the process. Your home will look lighter and you’ll feel better within it.
PHASE 3: GET IT IN SHAPE
Photo courtesy of BHG
Phase 3 is about the finishing touches. Walk through this room as if you were going to buy the home, and see it with a fresh pair of eyes. Clean and touch up all surfaces and walls. Arrange your furniture to give you the best flow. Add in your artwork and accessories. Style your shelves and organize your storage.
Step back and assess your progress. Toast your new home.
END RESULTS…Pure Joy
Photo couresty of FireflyVintageHome
We all hold onto things. It can be difficult to make change happen in a space when we get comfortable in it. I’ve had so many people tell me how great they feel once we freshened up a room by removing clutter, rearranging items and bringing in fresh new looks. It’s amazing the psychological effect this can have on you.
Here are some key tips to remember as you detox, slim down and get your home in shape.
- If you need an objective party to help you purge, ask a friend. And if they say yes, make sure they stay hydrated too with a yummy summer beverage.
- Need help organizing? There are a lot of great resources and items on the market. Check out blog post where I share my friend, Sarah Mueller and her Facebook group called Declutter My Home.
- If you’re feeling entrepreneurial, host a garage sale and then donate what’s left. Making a little cash is a great way to help you add a few new things back into your home. If you choose this route, here are some great tips. Click Here
- Be sure to write down all you donate. Click here for a donation value guide to get the best tax write-off.
- Regift, if you can. It’s totally acceptable! Here’s what the experts say.
- Walk through like a prospective buyer, or pretend you’re going into a furniture showroom. Notice how the home feels and how it looks.
- Need more fantastic tips? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Home by Spruce Up! It’s an exhaustive guide that includes videos and apps to help make decluttering doable and fun.
- If you need help staging or refreshing your home, ask.
Getting your home in shape can take time. Like anything, you have to make the decision to do it and commit to the process. Once you do, the end results will have you smiling and wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.
What room or rooms do you need to get in shape?
How can we help you achieve that?
If you’d like to learn what you should replace in your home, and when to do it, read this.
Cheers to your beautiful home!