Do you just want your clutter gone now? If you’re looking to devote a weekend to banishing your unwanted stuff, learn how to declutter in a weekend. Don’t forget to review my top decluttering tips to inspire you as you begin, and let’s get to work with a solid weekend declutter plan.
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If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that I completely understand how hard decluttering can be both physically and emotionally. And it’s for that very reason that I also dole out some necessary tough love from time to time to help you push yourself through that challenge.
Well, today I’m going to start off with a bit of tough love.
True decluttering is not a quick or easy process. I really hate those posts that promise you can easily declutter your entire house in one weekend. Because the truth is that if you’re able to do that, then you probably don’t really have a clutter problem. Instead, you just need to spring clean & organize.
There’s nothing wrong with that, and I personally love a good cleaning and organizing session!
But before you read ‘declutter in a weekend’ and insist ‘I’m going to declutter everything next weekend!’, I want you to take a hard, honest look at your clutter level.
Because here’s the tough love part: It’s easy to not be honest with yourself about your clutter level and bite off more than you can chew. Unfortunately, you’ll set yourself up for failure now AND potentially hinder your decluttering efforts long-term.
While I never want to burst anyone’s bubble of hope, I don’t want you to fail either! My hope is that you’re able to find success and be able to transform your home from a disaster zone into your dream space!
However, readers ask me how to declutter in a weekend on a regular basis. And, when I try to put myself in their shoes, I know that feeling of being motivated to make a change. I also remember being worried that if I don’t jump in and just tackle a big project as quickly as possible, that it might not EVER happen.
With that in mind, it felt like it was time to write a post about the reality of trying to declutter your house in a weekend and what MIGHT be realistically possible.
The Downsides Of A Massive Declutter Weekend
Since I like to keep it real and hold expectations firmly in check, here are a few reasons why trying to declutter your house in a weekend may not be the best option for you.
Have you ever gotten rid of something but you REALLY didn’t mean to? That’s the worst!
When you attempt to declutter your home in a weekend, what you’re essentially doing is a massive declutter in a rapid time period. That means that you’re more likely to just dump anything and everything into the trash or donation pile in an effort to get rid of your extra stuff quickly.
But what happens when you give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishment… only to realize that you can’t find your wedding photo album or your mom’s box of handwritten recipes, or some other item that you really DIDN’T want to get rid of? A decluttering mistake like that is hugely deflating for anyone.
This is a big reason why the Slow Decluttering Method will always be my favorite approach. Taking your time when decluttering gives you the chance to carefully evaluate what you want to keep and what you are comfortable with getting rid of.
Doesn’t Address The Root Issue Of The Clutter
Why do you even have all that stuff that you need to get rid of? On the one hand, a little retail therapy MIGHT be ok once in a while — if you do it sparingly and get rid of items you don’t need to make room for new items. 😉
On the other hand, if you’re doing it weekly and don’t get rid of anything, then it’s a problem. A huge clutter problem.
Of course, there are tons of other reasons that clutter accumulates too.
Just going through and donating or tossing nearly every item in the trash doesn’t really address the problem of how or why the clutter accumulates in the first place. As a result, you’re more likely to end up right back in the same exact place in a few months.
However, slow decluttering gives you a chance to examine and change your spending habits so that you make lasting changes as you go. And THAT helps you avoid the wash, rinse, and repeat clutter cycle in the future.
No Time Left To Organize
Decluttering ISN’T organizing, but they do go hand in hand for long-term success.
Once you declutter, the next part of the step is to put organizational systems into place to help you stay decluttered and organized for the long term.
A decluttering weekend blitz is only enough time to get a whole bunch of things out of the house. There’s no time left to put helpful systems in place.
Ok, I’ve pointed out the potential downsides of trying to declutter your home in a weekend. It’s time to look at how to be successful if you want to take on a project like this.
Tips To Declutter In A Weekend: How To Accomplish The Improbable
Here are my top tips to rock a weekend declutter plan. NOTE: Try this ONLY if you’re in a time crunch or have your heart set on decluttering as much as possible in one single weekend.
Be Honest With Yourself
I mentioned this briefly earlier with regard to the level of clutter you’re facing… Because no matter how hard you try, there is physically a limit to how much you can do in 2-3 days.
But I feel that this tip is crucial and worth mentioning again in another context: being honest with yourself regarding your emotional attachment to stuff.
If you’re legitimately trying to avoid decluttering regret, your sentimentality level will also factor into how much you can declutter in a weekend. Here’s a rough breakdown of how emotional attachment correlates to your ability to declutter your house in a weekend.
- Low attachment = it’s definitely possible.
- Medium attachment = it might be possible if you’re willing to hand off the decision-making and are ok with the high probability that things might disappear during the process.
- High attachment = you won’t be able to do the entire house, but could probably get a room or two done.
This is a big job to accomplish in a short time. You won’t have time to sell stuff or wait on a dumpster to be delivered. Make a game plan, find your inspiration, and get prepared. Here’s how:
Gather Necessary Supplies
You’ll need: boxes, markers, bins, gloves, and extra masks. If there’s dirt and dust, you’ll likely need trash bags and trash cans, too. Get it all together ahead of time so you’re ready to hit the ground running.
Make A Donation Plan
Decide where you’ll donate items so you can get them out of your house quickly. You won’t have time to hold a garage sale or list items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Knowing that your donated items are going to help someone else can help reduce feelings of decluttering regret. 🙂
Enlist Help For Selling Big Items
If you have big stuff you REALLY want to sell, put someone else entirely in charge of it (listing, pricing, communicating with prospective buyers, handing it off, etc).
But, you must get into the mindset that anything you want to sell must be GONE by the end of the weekend. That means that if it doesn’t sell, it gets donated with no second thoughts or convincing yourself to ‘try again later.’
Have A Dumpster Delivered Early
Rent a dumpster and have it delivered a day or two early so you aren’t waiting on it or (worse) unable to get items out of your house quickly.
I don’t care how motivated you are — a task as big as trying to declutter in a weekend will require help.
Not only will having your own personal cheerleader there be supportive, but having someone who will kindly force you to make decisions will be super beneficial.
PRO TIP: only ask someone you TRUST to go through your stuff with you (or for you) because having other people touch your things can be a major trigger you don’t need.
Also, if you happen to get help from more than one person, have one of those people in charge of making donation runs while you’re still decluttering.
Choose A Decluttering Method Ahead Of Time
Don’t wing it because that won’t work! Take a little bit of time to decide your ‘plan of attack’ before you start. Here are some things to consider:
- Which decluttering method will you use? Will you remove and sort or declutter in place?
- Who will be with you?
- Where will you be? Will you look at and touch each item or supervise as others work though and make decisions for you?
- When will you do this and how long are you planning to dedicate to it (2 days…3 days)?
- Where will you start and what path do you plan to use through the house?
PRO TIP: when bringing in other people to help, give each person a clear job ahead of time and step back so they can do it. Make sure everyone knows your expectations and any ground rules you have ahead of time.
The basic concepts of S.P.R.I.N.T. Decluttering work here too because the goal is to work quickly and stay focused on the end goal. Set progress goals to help you stay focused, and use a timer to help you stay on track and move forward.
I recommend creating a general plan for your 3-day weekend decluttering plan. That will help you create your goals and stay on track. For example, maybe you plan to do the kitchen on Friday, bathrooms on Saturday morning, bedrooms on Saturday afternoon, etc.
More Decluttering Resources
- How to Organize a Cluttered House in 4 Essential Steps
- Decluttering Tips for Hoarders and Pack Rats: 11 Steps to Clutter Freedom
- How To Reduce Clutter In Your Home: Essential Tips for Beginners
- 7 Ways to Get Motivated to Clean and Declutter
Don’t Wait To Declutter
If reading this and thinking about letting anyone else see or touch your piles of stuff is enough to make your chest hurt, then this ‘declutter in a weekend’ thing is NOT for you at this point in time.
However, decluttering is also one of those things that if you put it off, the job only gets worse. You don’t need to declutter your entire house in a weekend, but you CAN go ahead and get started with the slow decluttering method (or any other method that fits you and your life).
Just remember, every little bit of work is progress, and successes build upon each other to help you reach your goals!
You’ve got this!
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