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How to declutter your house in a weekend

POYEL: Decluttering Weekend

Two Fridays ago I told you we were shipping the kids off to the grandparents for the weekend with the goal of decluttering pretty much the entire house while they were away.  Today I thought I’d give you the quick and dirty on how it all went down.  We didn’t quite cover the entire house, our office and a few random drawers remain, but overall we were very pleased with our progress.   


My husband almost completely cleaned out our garage (previously known as the black hole) and I conquered the master bedroom, linen closet, storage closet, kids’ closets and dressers, all the kitchen cabinets, our ancient DVD/Blu Ray collection, and the play room.  In the end, we were able to fill our truck up to the brim with all the eliminated clutter and happily haul it off to Good Will.

I know that dedicating an entire weekend to decluttering isn’t feasible for a lot of you but it really was a great way to finally get it done.  If you have family at your disposal, I highly recommend going this route.  I’d been working on projects here and there for a while now but getting so much done at once has really motivated to maintain my cleaner, lighter home.

Whether you go big or patiently chip away at your clutter, here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way:

  1. Turn on HGTV while you work.  It makes it so much easier to get rid of anything you don’t love when you have graphic images of what you’re aspiring towards flashing in the background.
  2. Declutter and organize THEN buy the pretty storage containers.  The anticipation of a shopping trip is a good incentive to get the dirty work done.  Plus doing it this way will ensure you buy pieces that will function best in your space.
  3. Set up stations around the house to temporarily corral items that don’t seem to have a home.  For example, last week I highlighted these too big/small tubs for kid closets.  I’m also a fan of setting up a Good Will/long term storage/short term storage station somewhere in your house (DIY to come).  The key to these, of course, is that you have to find a permanent home for the stations’ contents before they’re over-flowing.
  4. Plan a time in your schedule to reorganize/clean out an area of your house on a regular basis.  Maintenance is always the hardest part of getting organized.  If you have the luxury of devoting an entire weekend to decluttering, build some time in to your regular schedule to make sure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

Those are my pearls of wisdom, now how about yours?  Are you guys making progress in your spring cleaning?  What’s made the most difference?

This post is part of MPMK’s “Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life”. You can read all about it here, check out all of our projects here, and join thousands of POYEL facebook group members here.



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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Liveseygirl May 17, 2012 at 6:20 am

I have organised a box for my letters to go. My husband and I ard terrible for leaving them everywhere. Once the little box is full they have to be put away in their folders. Nexy is the medicine cabinet and then my sewing corner


Ausmerican Housewife May 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

If you don’t love it, need it or use it, it goes in the trash bin or to Goodwill. (NOT into storage tubs to be set aside for an “eventual garage sale”. Bless someone else with it!)


Tidy-Up Gal May 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I love the second tip about buying containers AFTER!


Play Me Mama May 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I’m still in the process of de-cluttering just after a move (I did start prior to the move, but need to get more done) and discovered that watching Extreme Home Makeover re-runs was a super motivator for both me and the kids who are old enough to help out…I can’t wait to see what you are going to come up with for a goodwill/thrift shop station in the house, because that is what I am currently thinking I need!


Leigh May 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I love the short term/long term storage/donate divide. I have an out box (donate, long term store, deal with it later not in the main space right now box)


Candice May 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm

My kids are leaving town next weekend and I am SO excited to have a clean house and a car load of stuff to take to Goodwill :) I love your HGTV in the background idea!!


Anonymous May 18, 2012 at 1:34 am

One trick that works great is to move all the clutter out of a room and live in the space clutter free for a bit. Then when you go to dig through the boxes you are much more motivated to get rid of items that you might have kept otherwise. I used this method with my teenage daughter and it worked like a charm! We packed all the clutter up in boxes and moved them into the hall. A week later we went through every box and she got rid of so much stuff! She had really enjoyed her week of clutter free living and wasn’t willing to give that up for random junk!


Cindy December 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

This is a wonderful idea. I am glad that your daughter did not want to share her decluttered room with “stuff” again! When we painted the bedroom and it was cleaned out…I was so motivated to be selective at putting back “stuff” for awhile. It sneaks back in when you are sleeping…so I have to stay on top of it by trying to clean 10 minutes in every room every day. That is amazing what you can accomplish in setting a timer and clean fast…and then leave when the buzzer goes off.


Jules May 18, 2012 at 7:38 am

I just cleaned out my closet today! I have a friend that is having a garage sale to raise money to adopt a baby! It was a great way to motivate me. I was very willing to donate as much as I could to help raise money!!
Next step is the linen closet and laundry room!


Robin October 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm

It’s much easier to donate more when you are excited about the cause.


Cindy December 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I always love new ideas and ANYTHING to get me motivated! I love the idea of the pretty storage containers! I have a LONG way to go before I feel like I am organized. I have to “let go” of stuff…which is where I falter. I keep pushing forward! I actually am excited to help my daughter, Tiffany, who sent me this link. I will offer my “grandma assistance” to her…and let her go at it. She actually does a great job and it won’t take her long! Thanks for your great ideas.


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