**So ladies, you are going to love this. My friend Ashely is sharing her expert tips on how to conquer decluttering – large family style! Ashely has inspired me to tackle several areas of my house and I’m sure she’ll inspire you, too. ~ Jamerrill xoxo
Large Family Decluttering
Decluttering the large family home is such an overwhelming and daunting task. Generally speaking, you have a normal-sized home, but within the walls, there are lots of extra people! And with those extra people, comes extra stuff!!!
You could have a perfectly decluttered large family home at the beginning of the month, but with no maintenance, by the end of the month you could be dealing with piles and piles of excess clutter.
Just like with every other area of the large family home (cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, etc.), if you aren’t putting in some daily or weekly maintenance, you will end up with some giant kinks in an otherwise good system.
If you need help building the habit of daily decluttering, sign up for my 30 Day Large Family Decluttering Challenge.
Let’s go over a few of the daily or weekly tasks that you can implement into your existing housekeeping systems that will keep decluttering a high priority, but without adding a ton of extra time to your routine. If you have read any of my other large family cleaning posts, you already know that I do NOT like spending hours and hours cleaning! Instead, I like to sneak it into the routines that I already have in place!
1. Large Family Decluttering-Pick A Time Limit Or Number of Items
I am a huge fan of creating a limit to any chore that I do. Think about it this way…if you leave it open-ended, the job will literally never be done.
For instance, if I say…I’m going to declutter my bedroom today…what exactly does that mean? When do I get to stop? How do I know it’s done?
This is just too open-ended, and it will lead to procrastination, or feelings of inadequacy because you may not feel like you accomplished enough. We moms have enough things to feel inadequate about. Let’s not make decluttering another one!
Set a definite, achievable limit. Either with a number of items you will get rid of, or with a time limit that will not completely derail the rest of your day.
I am personally a fan of choosing a number of items, because it means that I can sneak in the decluttering a lot better than setting a timer. Let me tell you how this looks in my life.
If I am currently working on decluttering my bedroom, then I will set a goal for decluttering 25 items for the day. I go into my bedroom several times each day. So at the beginning of the day, I will place two trash bags in my room (one for trash, one for donations). Each time I go into my room during the day, I will find four items that I want to get rid of and put them in the right bag.
You know that unless you already have your bedroom down to bare-bones minimalism, you are EASILY going to be able to find four items to toss every time you go into your room. Right? See how simple this is?
It will take me less than 30 extra seconds every time I go into my room to reach my decluttering goal by the end of the day. No problem!
2. Large Family Decluttering-Be Consistent
You may be thinking at this point…decluttering 25 items from my bedroom isn’t even going to make a dent! Yeah…it isn’t going to make a dent in my room either, that’s why you have to be consistent!
If you declutter 25 items from one room for 30 days straight, you will have cleared out 750 things that you didn’t need or want anymore. That’s a LOT of clutter! But the really cool part is…you will not even notice the time that it took you to actually accomplish the task!
But you must be consistent.
Consistency is really the key to all large family management. Our work as large family moms can be erased so quickly. Think about it. If you have extra kids, that equals extra laundry, extra dishes, extra food, extra mess, extra *stuff* that needs to be decluttered!
So consistency is even more important for the large family mom. If consistency isn’t something that you have mastered yet, don’t worry! We all have to start somewhere, and this IS something that you can do.
If you have struggled with consistency in the past, then I would really recommend that you set a smaller decluttering goal. Instead of 15 minutes a day, choose 5. Instead of 25 items a day, choose 8. Take baby steps in consistency, and then slowly move your goal higher. Before you know it, you’ll be a consistency queen.
3. Large Family Decluttering-Be Ruthless
This is the hardest part about decluttering for a lot of people. You have to be willing to get rid of the items that you don’t love, that aren’t useful, and that you don’t have a place for.
Do you love it?
If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to this question. It really needs to go. Only keep items in your home that you love (you can love them for a variety of reasons, their beauty, their usefulness, etc). If you don’t love it, it’s not worth the time it will take you to dust it or polish it, or put it away, etc.
Is it useful?
I have to go through my kitchen cabinets at least once or twice a year and cull out the appliances/utensils that I thought would be useful, but just aren’t. Finally, I got rid of an old Pampered Chef food chopper a few months ago after keeping it and not using it for years and years. I realized that my knife skills have improved so much since I bought it that I am so much faster and more efficient with a good sharp knife, than with the chopper.
Once I factored in the time it takes me to clean it, dry it, and put it away, my mind was finally made up. Just because an item was useful to you in the past, that doesn’t mean that it will always be useful. Make sure to audit items frequently.
Do you have a place for it?
If you love it, and if you use it, but you have no place for it, find one! Large family decluttering is all about making sure that things without a place get tossed. But sometimes this means that you toss something else to make room for the item that really needs to be kept.
You don’t always have to resort to getting rid of items to make room for new. If you have already decluttered a room as much as possible, but still don’t have room for a few things, get creative.
You may need to:
- find a different room of the house for the item to live
- buy some new organizational containers to maximize your space
- rearrange your items to create more space (ie. if you had items arranged horizontally, try vertically to free up more space)
If you need help getting started…
It’s SO much easier to do a deep clean of your house if it’s already decluttered. I always declutter first, then clean!
I’d love for you to join me as I walk you through 30 bite-sized decluttering tasks that will help you set some great decluttering habits.
Ashley is a wife and mother of nine children whom she homeschools. She blogs at LargeFamilyManagement.com where she shares with other moms her methods for maintaining order in the beautiful chaos of motherhood to a large family. Ashley loves mega industrial food shopping at the restaurant supply store and gets a thrill over using restaurant-sized equipment. She also loves watching football, trying to beat her husband at badminton, running her online advertising business, debating theology, and she aspires to one day be a roller derby queen. Sign up for her free 30-day large family decluttering challenge here!