There is a four step process to giving your house a makeover, bit by bit, and all the steps work great in HomeRoutines.
- Decluttering your Focus zones
- Detailed Cleaning in your Focus zones
- Simple Improvements
Over the next little while, I’ll be working through each of these steps, and how the HomeRoutines app can help keep you focused.
1: Decluttering your Focus zones
Before you can start really cleaning out your home, you need to get rid of the clutter around the place. There’s not much point dusting your shelves or polishing your kitchen table if they’re covered in crap items you don’t really love or find to be beautiful or useful. I don’t think we ever get to stop decluttering, because (despite our best intentions) there is always more stuff coming into our homes. To keep in balance, some stuff needs to go out again… in the trash, to recycle, to a friend or relation, to the thrift store, to sell online, or a garage sale. The main thing is it has to go.
I’m only just getting what it means to really declutter, so I’ll leave the explanations to the experts:
- It’s all too much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff” by Peter Walsh is a fantastic book.
- SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck By Julie Morgenstern. I’m reading this at the moment and it’s excellent.
- Marla Cilley, The FlyLady, also has some really good decluttering information on her website and in her book, Sink Reflections
- Cynthia Ewer has a great getting-started guide to decluttering at OrganizedHome.com, including the Four box method which I first learned about in her book House Works: How to Live Clean, Green, and Organized at Home
How can HomeRoutines help you declutter?
Take a walk around your house and just note down in your customized Focus zones, the areas that need reviewing or decluttering. You might want to even delete the cleaning tasks in your Focus zones lists for now. The time for detailed cleaning will come, but not yet.
(Don’t burn yourself out, though, and if you haven’t got your basic routines going yet, focus on that to start with or it will all fall to pieces.)
For example, in my daughter’s room I need to declutter by:
Now you’ve got a list, don’t go rushing around like a headless chook trying to do everything at once, or you’ll end up with the contents of all the drawers and cupboards in the middle of your floor and it will be a horrible, overwhelming mess. Been there, done that, and it sucked. Badly.
Like the FlyLady says, Your homes did not get messy in a day and they will not get clean overnight.
So, each day, when you’ve got a few minutes, you can have a look at your Focus zone list and pick one or two jobs off your decluttering list, for one room. Set the timer if it will help to keep you focused, don’t start unpacking everything, and get ready to make some decisions. If you do a bit of decluttering each day or so, after a few months you’ll feel like you have more room to breathe, and soon you’ll be ready to start your detailed cleaning in your Focus zones.