Welcome to the second part in my series "Becoming Organized". Today I'm walking us through the next step in organizing our living spaces: laying out a plan of attack.
Note: if you're thinking to yourself "Did she really just quote "Blackadder" for the title of this post?" the answer is yes. Yes and it's glorious.
From my first post in this series "The Primary Function" you have acquired a notebook, pen and gone room by room identifying:
- Each room's true purpose in your life
- What feeling you want the room to convey
- What objects don't belong
- Objects from other rooms that you found that should be moved there.
Now onto the next step: planning the days and time it will take to tackle each living space, then declutter, clean, organize and return it to its natural, beautiful, assigned purpose.
Four Days of Your Life
Identify a full day each week to devote to decluttering and purging a space (or spaces, depending on how quickly you work) to return it to its natural state and your ideal space. If that looks like a Saturday for you because that's the only day you can devote to it, then do it. If you can do it one day out of the week then go for it! Whatever works for you and your family.
Work alone or, if you live with a partner or are married, work side by side with them to achieve the end result. You may prefer to work on your own for one day and then include your husband and partner the weekend after - whatever works for you!
Note: If you need to arrange childcare during that time, plan for it and arrange it ahead of time. In my experience, trying to declutter and purge spaces is emotionally and physically draining, and adding children to the mix makes it even more chaotic and emotional. Knowing that your children are being looked after while you go through this process will be a huge load off your mind.
For in a month, a total of 4 full days of decluttering, cleaning and organizing your home, you willbegin to see how quickly and drastically the changes can be to becoming organized.
I'm not going to lie to you: this will be a hard 4 days. You will be tired. You will feel overwhelmed and at points ready to quit and sit on Facebook or Instagram all day. You may or may not curse me for telling you to purge, clean and organize. But I’m going to ask you to do me a favor, do yourself a favor, and PUSH THROUGH IT. The work that you’re going to get done during this month will literally change your life. Keep that in mind while you go through this process.
Start Four New Pages
I believe each room has a basic, unique and fundamental purpose or state in your life. In addition to that I also believe that decluttering should be focused on the individual room or living space.
I declutter, clean and organize each room per floor, starting with the top floor of my home and working downwards, organizing each and every living space as I go. You may choose to declutter types of rooms (all bedrooms, all bathrooms, living room and then kitchen for example). It's entirely up to you - you know what will work and keep you motivated.
Set up four pages in your notebook that will hold the dates of your upcoming decluttering sessions. Under those dates, write down the order of the rooms that you're going to tackle, a battle plan if you will, that you can refer to as you go about this process. Sometimes it's easy to get sidetracked by other living areas that seem to be demanding your attention. Laying out a plan of action will help you tackle the clutter in the most efficient way possible. You may choose to save the last day of your decluttering session to tackle, say, a children's room so they may be there for the process.
Set a Schedule
On a page in your notebook design your schedule for the day. If you can, prepare meals the evening before a decluttering day so you don't have to scramble or think about what you're going to eat for breakfast or lunch. Another fantastic idea is to arrange to treat yourself and the family to a dinner out after a decluttering day! I very much doubt you will want to cook or clean up dishes after one of these days are completed.
Below is a sample schedule of your day:
8:00-9:00 - Childcare (drop off, get baby sitter, family member or spouse organized) have a large breakfast (trust me on that.)
9:00-12:00 - Decluttering
Although you will be tempted, do not start organizing and putting things away until all items have been gone through and marked to keep or discard. You won't know what systems you may need to give everything a home until this process is completely done.
12:00-1:00 - Break time and lunch. Have a large lunch to keep you motivated and moving forward.
1:00-2:00 - Decluttering
2:00-4:00 - Cleaning
This step is extremely important. Give the rooms you are decluttering a thorough and deep clean. Vacuum carpets, use a wet dry vac to really polish it. Use a steam cleaner to get rid of mold and mildew. Clean window and doors and everything in between. Do this before you start putting things back in the space so you have literally a clean slate to work with.
4:00-6:00 - Organizing
6:00 - Done for the day
A Note on your Wardrobe
I suggest that you treat it like an entirely different entity, a room within a room if you will. This space tends to be the most time-consuming and emotional part of this decluttering process, which is why I suggest to people that they devote almost a full day to only clothing. It will take you time to go through each piece of clothing to see if it truly makes you happy and makes you feel beautiful. You will need to have a clear vision in your mind of the wardrobe you want to cultivate for your life. When designing your schedule in your notebook, truly save a day to just work on this.
Step Two: Action Plan
This weeks task: Devise a detailed plan of attack for each day of your decluttering, cleaning and organizational tasks.
- Looking at your monthly calendar, identify one day per week in which you will devote to the task of decluttering, cleaning and organizing living spaces in your home.
- Starting 4 new pages in your journal, write down each date on the top of a single page (one page would have, say May 16th, the next would be May 20th etc).
- Under each date assign the spaces which you will tackle that day.
- List your objectives for the day, what you will have done by the time you finish.
- Write down your schedule for the day in detail
- Write down any additional thoughts or comments on the day ahead.
Saturday, June 3rd
Living spaces to declutter:
- Master Bedroom
- Master Bathroom
Objectives for the day:
- Declutter this living space
- Donate any items that no longer bring me joy, fulfill their purpose in the space and cannot find another space within my home.
- Discard anything that is broken or beyond repair.
- Donate any children's clothing that no longer fit
- Deep clean each room in preparation for organizing and putting objects back
- Organize items returning to the space
Schedule for the day:
- Amelia and Matthew leave for the day for Daddy/Daughter adventures
- Breakfast - Smoothie bowl with mixed fruit and coffee
- Shower and change
9:00-12:00 - Begin decluttering
- Master bedroom (excluding my wardrobe)
- Master bathroom
12:00-1:00 - Lunch - Quinoa salad with mixed green veggies, water and a tea.
1:00-2:00 - Finish decluttering
- Move garbage bags of items that need to be donated into car to drop off
2:00-4:00 - Cleaning
- Before starting the organization clean all floors and surfaces to deep clean
- Vacuum all floors in master bedroom and nursery
- Steam clean curtains
- Clean master bathroom (steam clean all surfaces)
4:00-6:00 - Organizing
- Starting with master bedroom, assign each object their own home within the space. Clothing will be put back into closet where they belong, however this area has not been decluttered today.
- While putting away items, identify things that need a home. In Amelia's nursery, are there any baskets that need to be reassigned to that space to hold cherished toys? Can baskets or containers be moved out of her room and reassigned to another space?
6:00 - Done for the day
- Amelia and Daddy return from their adventures with PIZZA (and possibly flowers)
- Family time as usual
Thank you so much for following along with this series! Next week I will be posting the third post: Decluttering 101!
Yours in organization,