How to Declutter All the Stuff in Your House! {How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part 3

How to Declutter All the Stuff in Your House! {How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part 3

Welcome to Part Three of our series on how to completely declutter your home!

This is the part of the series you’ve been waiting for… today you can finally get started decluttering your house.

In this post, we are going to go over the exact steps that you need to follow to ensure that all of the areas of your home get completely decluttered.

And if you would prefer to watch the post, here is the video:

How to Completely Declutter Your Entire House

1) Choose Your Decluttering Method

There are many ways that you can go about the decluttering process, so let’s see which way is going to work best for you.

I am going to be covering two of the most widely known methods – the Marie Kondo method and the ‘room-by-room’ method. Of course, there are other methods you can choose from, but either of these options are a safe bet for helping you get your house completely decluttered.

The Marie Kondo Method

With this method you divide your entire house into categories. You then work through each of these categories one at a time.

Marie Kondo suggests using the categories of clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items.

The Room-by-Room Method

With this method, you declutter your house one room at a time. This is the method that I have used and that I recommend for people who want to completely declutter their house once and for all.

2) Decide on a Plan for Your Method

Once you have chosen your preferred method, I want you to sit down with a piece of paper and decide on your game plan. As I said, I’ll just be covering the Marie Kondo and ‘room-by-room’ methods.

It is important to put in place a plan of action before you start decluttering, rather than when you already in the middle of it. Figuring all of this out ahead of time will make decluttering much easier.

Marie Kondo Plan

Decide which category you would like to start with first. Marie Kondo suggests starting with clothing as this is often the easiest and where you will see the quickest results (which helps to keep you motivated).

Room-by-Room Plan

If you are using the room-by-room method, you want to decide which rooms you are going to declutter first, second, third, fourth and so on.

If you have decided that room-by-room decluttering will work well for you, check out my easy decluttering checklist that you can download for free that will help you get started.

How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part 3

3) Step-by-Step Guide on How to Declutter Your House

Now that we have all the preliminaries out of the way, we can get to the fun part! That is, if you’re anything like me and find decluttering exciting! 😀

So, let’s go ahead and look at the steps that you need to take whether you are doing the Marie Kondo method or the room-by -room method.

Step 1

Marie Kondo Method: Gather up everything in the first category and put it all in one place.

Yes, this does mean that things will get messier before they get better but this is the best way to ensure that your house gets completely decluttered and that you aren’t leaving any stone unturned.

Room-by-Room Method: Take everything out of the space that you are decluttering

Step 2

Put things you want to keep directly back in the space you removed it from.

This means everything that you know for sure that you want to keep, without any doubt. These should only be things that you either love or use all the time.

Pro tipWhen I have a space completely cleared out, I like to use that opportunity to go through and clean it well because it is not very often that all my cupboards are empty and hopefully it won’t be for a very long time again!

Step 3

Place items into different containers. This is where the bulk of the decluttering process happens.

You are going to categorize everything else that you weren’t totally sure you wanted to keep and place them in five different containers.

Container Number One:

This container will be for trash.

I like to use some sort of bag that can go directly into the trash when I am done filling it up to collect these items. This should be for any items that you want to get rid of but aren’t in good enough condition to donate or sell.

Container Number Two:

This container is for items you want to donate.

I recommend using brown paper bags for container number two because then you won’t have to transfer them to anything else before you drop them off at a donation center.

Container Number Three:

This is for items that you want to sell.  

Container Number Four:

Container number four is a little bit different because we aren’t going to do anything with it straight away.

This is the container for things that you’re not yet sure what you want to do with them. My best advice for these items, is to put them in a box, seal it up, and then write a date some time in the future on the label. But don’t list out the contents of the box.

Then, when the date arrives, if you have not gone into the box looking for anything, drop it off at a donation center without looking inside. I really recommend choosing a date within 6 months to avoid another box just gathering dust.

The reason for this container is because sometimes we think we want or need things, or that we love something, but when it comes down to it, we really don’t use them or like them as much as we think we do so this helps us to solve the problem of indecision.

If you realize that you do need or want something that you put into that box before the date on the label arrives, you know that it is just down in the garage, and you can easily go down and open it and get whatever you need out.

Container Number Five:

This container is for items that belong somewhere else in the house and have been living in the wrong spot.

Because you don’t want to be running around while you are in the middle of decluttering trying to put things in their right place, these things can just go into this container for now.

How can you completely Declutter Your Home? How to Stop Decluttering Over and Over Again.

Step 4

Now you need to complete the process for each container.

  • take the trash container out to the trash
  • load the brown paper donation bags into your car so that the next time you are driving around and you see a donation center you can easily drop them off
  • list any items in container number three to be sold.  I recommend giving yourself no more than a week to list the items because it can be really easy to put off doing it and then before you know it, months have gone by, and you still haven’t fully decluttered any area of your house.
  • since items from container number three may not sell right away, give yourself a deadline for when you’re going to stop trying to sell them and donate them instead
  • label container number four with the date in the future that you have chosen and put it in your garage
  • once you have dealt with everything from the room or category you are working on, you can take the container filled with items that belong somewhere else and put them in the proper spot.

Step 5

The next step is just to organize what you have left.

Some areas of your home, like bathrooms, pantries, and office spaces, may need some organizational containers to keep everything clean and tidy.

In my experience though, if you find yourself needing to run out and get baskets or bins, it probably means that you need to do a little bit more decluttering.

So, if you are finding that is the case for you, go back to step one and go through the process I have outlined again. You can do this as many times as you need for the room or the category to be completely decluttered.

Step 6

Once a room or category is completed decluttered, you can move onto the one that is next on the list that you created in step two. Continue completing these steps until your whole house is decluttered.

Ready to Stop Feeling Stressed About Clutter?

Then check out Cluttered to Calm!

In Cluttered to Calm, you will learn how to 

  • Completely Declutter Every Room of Your Home
  • Get Your Family on Board with Decluttering (and maybe even Excited about it!)
  • Set Boundaries so that you will NEVER have to Declutter Again
  • And Do It All In 8 Weeks or Less!

Cluttered to Calm walks you through my unique method for Decluttering Your Home once and for all!

Plus you will receive the Cluttered to Calm Decluttering Workbook and Spreadsheet and email support from me anytime you have questions.

I hope to see you inside the course!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Decluttering Resources!)

Want 7 Extra Hours Every Week? Grab the Streamline Your Home Quick-Start Guide!

Ready to Get 7 Extra Hours in Your Week?

Then check out Simply Streamlined!

In Simply Streamlined, you will learn how to 

  • Declutter Your Home
  • Put Effective Routines in Place
  • Create a Set-It-and-Forget-It Meal Plan
  • Get Your Finances Under Control

Simply Streamlined walks you through exactly how to Completely Streamline Your Home in just 15 Minutes a Day!

Plus you will receive

  • Cluttered to Calm Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Put Your Home on Autopilot Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Set-It-and-Forget-It Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Master Your Money Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • AND Weekly Live Coaching Calls!

I hope to see you inside the program!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Streamlining Resources!)

See you on the next one! Kassy
How to Get Your Family to Help You Declutter! {How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part Two}

How to Get Your Family to Help You Declutter! {How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part Two}

In this post we will be tackling one of the biggest challenges that moms face when they decide that they want to declutter: How to get their family on board.

This is Part Two in the series How to Completely Declutter Your Home. If you missed Part One, you can check that out Here!

The reason that this is such a hangup for so many people, is that they miss one crucial step:

They don’t get their family excited about decluttering from the get go.

So today I’ll be showing you some tips and tricks to make getting your family to help you out simple.

Now just to be clear, I mean this in a realistic way, I don’t think that everyone in your family is going to start bringing you boxes of things to declutter without even being asked.

But when you are ready to start decluttering, they will also be ready for it to happen, they will be somewhat excited about it, and most importantly, they will be able and hopefully willing to help with the process and relieve some of that burden from you.

That way you can Completely Declutter Your Home as quickly as possible.

So, let’s get started!

And if you would prefer to watch instead of read, here is the video:

How to Get Your Family Excited About Decluttering

1) Start the Conversation

Once you have decided on your start date, you should start talking to your family about decluttering.

Let them know the date that you have set to start decluttering, how long the decluttering process should take, and what exactly it means to declutter.

This will give them a chance to ask any questions that they might have; and give you a chance to explain everything to them before you are knee-deep in clutter.

Sometimes people are resistant to change simply because they don’t really understand what will be happening and why you want to do it.

So, giving them as much information as you can up front will help to win them over.

2) Adults Declutter Their Own Things

There are several reasons for this one:

1: You Avoid Stepping on Toes

To get things started on the right food, let the other adults in your house know that you aren’t going to declutter their things.. but that you’re available if they would like any help with decluttering their stuff.

This will help the decluttering to start on a positive note and will make everyone more open to decluttering.

2: You Aren’t in the Same Place

Keep in mind that people may not be in the same place as you are when it comes to decluttering.

More than likely, you will have had more time to prepare and think about what you are going to get rid of, but other people may not be mentally or emotionally ready to part with some of their things the way that you are.

Forcing anyone to get rid of something when they aren’t ready to is just going to create a lot of resistance about decluttering in general.

3: Different Things Have Different Meanings to Different People

The last reason that I don’t declutter other people’s things is because I don’t know what the items mean to that person since they aren’t my things.

Some things might be useful to them, they might have sentimental value, or they might bring joy into their life.

How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part 2

3) Take Charge of Decluttering Your Kid’s Things

The next step is to get over any mental barriers that you have about decluttering your kid’s things.

Now this might seem like a double-standard compared with what I just said, but the difference here is that the parents pay the mortgage on the house, not the children.

So if an adult wants to fill their house with clutter, then they have the right to do so. The only reason I think that a child should get a say in decluttering , is if they are helping financially with the house.

But most children will need more guidance on what is best for them.

There have been many studies done on the negative effects of clutter on children. Now children may not fully realize how clutter is affecting them, but as parents we do.

A child won’t know how to articulate to you that they would like help with decluttering. Instead, they will show it in other ways; by becoming stressed, frustrated, or having a meltdown.  

I know this because having too much stuff in our house growing up caused me a lot of stress.

I couldn’t articulate this at the time, but looking back, I can see that I would instinctively do certain things to help manage the stress all the clutter was causing me.

For example, whenever we moved, I would set myself a limit of just one large U-Haul box for all of my possessions other than clothing. If something didn’t fit, I would get rid of it.

Another example is how I used to spend my school breaks. I was homeschooled so we did school most of the year round. We would take breaks for vacations, and we would also take a couple of weeks whenever we finished our books for the year to just relax and unwind at home.

During these times, I would usually find a place in the house that was especially cluttered, and I would ask my mom if I could organize it. Of course, she always said, “well sure, you can do that if you want.” So, I would spend the next several days organizing all the stuff in that space… only for it to be completely messy again in a couple of weeks.

It was so frustrating to see all of that work undone.

I always figured that I was just a really weird kid. But then I read Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

In the book, she shares how the clutter in her home hugely impacted her stress levels. It was reassuring to know that clutter had affected someone else in the same way, and I wasn’t just a crazy child!

Knowing how stressed I felt with clutter, I decided that once I had my own house, I was going to keep the amount of things that we had to a minimum.

Because of this, I feel so much less stress and so much more peace.  

And since we parents know that our children will also be much happier and more at peace once the clutter is gone; we need to help them with decluttering.

4) Provide Support

Children may find the decluttering process overwhelming, so it is important to let them know that you will be there to help.

Each child will be different. Some might not understand exactly what decluttering means and others might fully embrace throwing things away.

Let them know that you will be there to help them as little or as much as they need.

They will probably need some help to get started, so you can show them the Steps for Decluttering that I talk about in Part Three.

If they are not sure about if they should declutter something or not, put these items aside in a box and write a date on it.

If they don’t ask for those things within the timeframe that you agree on together, the box can be donated. This gives them control of the situation and allows them to think about their decision, knowing that it is ultimately their choice.

Want 7 Extra Hours Every Week? Grab the Streamline Your Home Quick-Start Guide!

5) Create Some Incentives

There are many kinds of incentives that you can use for your family depending on the ages and personalities of everyone in your house.

I suggest setting incentives that are attainable and that can be given throughout the decluttering process, rather than just at the end. This will keep everyone interested and motivated, and hopefully excited!

Here are some ideas to get the brainstorming started:

  • Order pizza whenever one room gets completely decluttered
  • Have a movie night whenever one room is finished
  • Eat out as a family when a room is completed
  • Allow them to earn a commission when they bring you an item to sell
  • Pay a set amount of money for every item they offer to get rid of
  • Give them all of the money for everything that they sell
  • Ask your family for ideas on what incentives they would like

Explain to your kids that once the decluttering is done in their rooms, they can use that money towards something that they would enjoy much more than all of that stuff just laying around.

With my own children, I give them all of the money from any item that I can sell. And then they can use that money towards anything they like – within reason – such as a hobby or something they are saving for.

One of my girls has been motivated by this incentive (a little too much in fact!) and brings me more items than I ever thought she needed to declutter simply because she would rather have the cash.

6) Give Older Children Accountability

I recommend letting any older children attempt decluttering on their own before you step in.

If this still achieves your overall goal of a more peaceful and less stressful home, then mission accomplished!

If your child is able to manage their room on their own, if their stuff isn’t spilling out into the common areas, and if they are able to get to the point where you aren’t having to constantly ask them to declutter their room, then it really doesn’t matter the number of things they have in their room, as long as they can manage it.

However, if their room isn’t finished (see #7 below) then they made need some help.

How to Get Your Family on Board With Decluttering

7) Decide What ‘Finished’ Looks Like

This step has two parts. The first is letting everyone know what the end date is for the decluttering process to be completed.

This will give everyone a goal to work towards, but it will also encourage them to accept that while the house may be a little chaotic for a while, there is an end in sight.

The second part is agreeing on what the finished version of the decluttering process looks like. Some examples of this are:

  • When their room is manageable, and you no longer need to ask them to clean it every day
  • When their things stay put away when they aren’t using them
  • When their mess and things aren’t causing anyone else in the house stress
  • When they aren’t leaving their things around the house

Agreeing on what a decluttered room looks like will help to get your children on board,

They will know that as long as they take care of their things and keep them tidy, they get to be in charge of their rooms…and you won’t be asking them to declutter anymore.

8) Get Everyone Excited

And lastly, you want to start getting everyone excited about the decluttering process and letting them know of all the benefits of decluttering.

Ready to Stop Feeling Stressed About Clutter?

Then check out Cluttered to Calm!

In Cluttered to Calm, you will learn how to 

  • Completely Declutter Every Room of Your Home
  • Get Your Family on Board with Decluttering (and maybe even Excited about it!)
  • Set Boundaries so that you will NEVER have to Declutter Again
  • And Do It All In 8 Weeks or Less!

Cluttered to Calm walks you through my unique method for Decluttering Your Home once and for all!

Plus you will receive the Cluttered to Calm Decluttering Workbook and Spreadsheet and email support from me anytime you have questions.

I hope to see you inside the course!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Decluttering Resources!)

Would You Like to Get 7 Extra Hours in Your Week?

Then check out Simply Streamlined!

In Simply Streamlined, you will learn how to 

  • Declutter Your Home
  • Put Effective Routines in Place
  • Create a Set-It-and-Forget-It Meal Plan
  • Get Your Finances Under Control

Simply Streamlined walks you through exactly how to Completely Streamline Your Home in just 15 Minutes a Day!

Plus you will receive

  • Cluttered to Calm Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Put Your Home on Autopilot Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Set-It-and-Forget-It Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Master Your Money Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • AND Weekly Live Coaching Calls!

I hope to see you inside the program!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Streamlining Resources!)

See you on the next one! Kassy

Part One: How to Completely Declutter Your Home

Part One: How to Completely Declutter Your Home

Welcome to Part One of my mini-series How to Completely Declutter Your Home! This series will walk you through how to declutter your house completely… even if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to declutter your home before.

So, before we get into the actual decluttering, it’s important to know what has been holding you back from starting and finishing your project.

We all have those moments where we get a sudden surge of motivation and we think, “Today is the day! No more clutter! I’m going to sort through the whole house and finally be free from all this mess!”

And then after a couple of hours, days, or weeks, you realize how big of a challenge decluttering can be and you start to feel overwhelmed, and your motivation slowly slips away. Soon enough the clutter builds up again and you find yourself exactly where you started… or worse!

Why does this happen?

Well let’s find out!

In this post well cover:

  • 4 Reasons You Haven’t Finished Decluttering
  • 4 Steps to Getting Started on the Right Foot
  • 5 Mindsets that Could Be Holding You Back

And if you would prefer to watch instead of read, here is the video that goes with this post:

How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part 1

4 Reasons Why You Haven’t Finished Decluttering

1)    You Haven’t Set a Timeline

When we don’t give ourselves a timeline to stick with, things tend to take longer then they should.

You may have heard of Parkinson’s Principle which states that “work will expand to fill the time allotted for its completion.”

That means that the time you allow for something to take place is how long it will take for you to do it.

So basically, if you give yourself 30 minutes to get ready, it will take you 30 minutes to get ready. If you give yourself an hour to get ready, it will take you an hour to get ready.

The same principle applies to decluttering, the longer you give yourself, the longer it will take!

How to Completely Declutter Your Home Part 1

2)    Accountability

Another reason a lot of people get stuck once they’ve started the decluttering process is that they don’t have anything or anybody that is holding them accountable to finish.

Getting tasks done can be hard enough, but when you have nothing holding you accountable, it can be easy to think to yourself, “I’ll do that tomorrow.”

But that tomorrow turns into another tomorrow and before you know it, weeks, months, or even years have passed, and you still haven’t finished decluttering your house.

You can set goals for yourself and create checklists, but there is nothing quite like having accountability outside of yourself.

3)    Your Family Isn’t Enthusiastic About Decluttering

If everyone in the house isn’t committed to the Decluttering process, it will feel like a constant uphill battle!

At some point you will get tired of fighting and give up.

That’s why it is so important to have your family with you from the start. If you want to see how to do this, check out Part 2: How to Get Your Family On Board BEFORE You Declutter.

4)    The Wrong Mindset

One of the reasons that a lot of people struggle with Completely Decluttering Their Home, is that they don’t have the right mindset.

Throughout my “How to Completely Declutter Your Home” series I am going to give you tools that will help you overcome each one of these barriers for decluttering your home.

So, let’s go ahead and get started!

3 Steps to Help You Get Started Decluttering

1)    Give Yourself a Time Limit

Without a specific time limit, anything can drag on and take a lot longer than it really needs to.

But with a large task like decluttering, it could take years to complete if you aren’t careful.

I suggest giving yourself a time limit of 8 to 12 weeks.

The closer to eight weeks, the better! This will push you a little bit harder and make sure that you stay on task and stick with your project.

And this also means that a clutter-free house will be yours even sooner.

If you’re ready to declutter your home in 8 weeks or less, check out my course Cluttered to Calm!

2)    Set a Deadline

It is important to set both a start and end time for your decluttering project.

Knowing when you will be done will help you stay focused.

3) Make Time to Declutter

Once you have your deadline, set aside time to declutter. Clearing space on the calendar is crucial for completing the project on time.

This might mean taking a short hiatus from other commitments such as kids’ sports teams and music lessons.

It might seem hard at first, but when you have a decluttered house and even more time to spend with your family, it will all be worth it!

Once your calendar is cleared, I recommend putting some time on your calendar every single day to come commit to this project. And if you can, pencil in some extra time on the weekends.

How much time you need to commit will depend on how much clutter you currently have.

Look around your house and assess the amount of work that needs to be done, then decide how much you need to do every day.

Keep the appointments that you made with yourself to work on decluttering!

Pro-Tip: Since Moms love to multi-task, why not treat yourself to a facial while you declutter?

Someone is filling in a weekly planner with a pen

4) Develop the Right Mindset

Which mindsets do you currently have that are holding you back and keeping you living in a cluttered house?

No one enjoys living in clutter. It causes stress and stops you from relaxing and enjoying the more important things in life.

So, which roadblocks have you been struggling with? Let’s look at five of the most common mental roadblocks to see if any resonate with you:

1: Mistaking Organizing for Decluttering

The first mindset that holds a lot of people back is confusing organizing with decluttering.

A lot of people think that if they just organized their things better their house would feel clean.

I think this is one of the biggest lies that commercialism sells to Moms!

As moms we’re often told that we need cubbies and bins and baskets and caboodles and all these other products to organize our stuff… but they only end up adding to the clutter!

None of this is necessary if you completely declutter your house.

For areas like pantries, bathrooms, and junk drawers, it can be helpful to use some organizational items that will keep the drawers and shelves neat and tidy.

But for the most part, if you feel like you need to run out and get a bunch of bins and baskets, it probably means that you have too much stuff and you need to do more decluttering.

Read this Post Before You Start Decluttering. Why You've Failed to Declutter Before and How to Completely declutter Your Home This Time!

2: Feeling That You Need to Keep Gifts Forever

Gifts can be a real struggle because you know that someone not only spent money on the gift, but that they gave it to you because they love you.

I really like Marie Kondo’s approach to parting with gifts. She suggests that what made a gift special was the moment you received the gift. In that moment, the gift already accomplished its purpose.

The actual exchanging of the gift between two people, and the love that the person had put into it is what you can continue to hold onto. Holding on to a gift forever that you may or may not like doesn’t give the gift more special powers.

Holding onto it might just fill you with more guilt because you don’t like it as much as you should, and it continues to gather dust.

But think about it: if you gave someone a gift they didn’t truly love, would you want them to hold onto it forever? Or would you rather instead that they sell the gift and purchase something that they would enjoy with the money? Or maybe they could pass this gift on to someone else and create their own meaningful exchange?

Now I know that for some people, gift giving is part of their love language, and it can be especially difficult to part with gifts.

But I challenge you to ask yourself, “Does keeping this gift make me closer with the person who gave the give to me? Or would I be much closer if we got together and spent some quality time?”

When we love someone, we should try to spend time with them and get to know them better. Holding on to an object isn’t accomplishing either of these things.

A person holding two home made cassette tapes titled love songs

3: Holding Onto Sentimental Items That No Longer Serve a Purpose

Parting with sentimental items can be a challenge. They can sit forgotten in a box for years but as soon as you open that box, all these wonderful memories can come flooding back.

My suggestion for sentimental items is that if you truly love them, put them on display or use them.

People often have china passed down to them that they’re too scared to use. But if you use it and it breaks, is it really the end of the world? Do you think your grandma intended for it to be hidden away?

The same goes for items that maybe aren’t useful but would look nice on display. Play around with displaying your sentimental items in places where you see them often to see if they bring you joy!

And if you don’t want to do either of these things… then it might be time to let go.

4: Not Wanting to Get Rid of Books

Another item that people struggle to part with is books. I can completely relate to this one as I love to read, and I used to keep every single book that I read as some sort of trophy and as a conversation starter.

For me personally, I eventually found that I was happier passing on my books for someone else to read and enjoy.

This not only meant that I gained more space by removing my bookshelf from my main living area, but it visually changed the look of my whole living room.

Having a clean, minimalistic space now brings me more joy than the books did.

But for you, this might not be the case. People have different tastes and perspectives and that is fine. Just be sure that you are considering whether you like things the way they are, or if you are just keeping them that way because it is easier than change.

Ask yourself, “Do I want to see this all the time?”

If you are honest with yourself, you may come to realize that it would be better to pass on the books to a library or to a charity so that people who can’t afford books can enjoy them instead.

A Cluttered Bookshelf

5: Feeling Overwhelmed From Having to Declutter for the Whole Family

You may be thinking, “How do I make them care about decluttering as much as I do!”

This is a hard one to tackle because what you think is clutter might be a prized possession… but if they aren’t able to keep their space clean, they may have too many prized possessions to manage.

This is such a huge topic that we will dive into this in Part Two of the series where I am going to show you how to get your entire family on board with your decluttering project so that you won’t be meeting resistance at every turn!

Ready to Stop Feeling Stressed About Clutter?

Then check out Cluttered to Calm!

In Cluttered to Calm, you will learn how to 

  • Completely Declutter Every Room of Your Home
  • Get Your Family on Board with Decluttering (and maybe even Excited about it!)
  • Set Boundaries so that you will NEVER have to Declutter Again
  • And Do It All In 8 Weeks or Less!

Cluttered to Calm walks you through my unique method for Decluttering Your Home once and for all!

Plus you will receive the Cluttered to Calm Decluttering Workbook and Spreadsheet and email support from me anytime you have questions.

I hope to see you inside the course!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Decluttering Resources!)

Want 7 Extra Hours Every Week? Grab the Streamline Your Home Quick-Start Guide!

Ready to Get 7 Extra Hours in Your Week?

Then check out Simply Streamlined!

In Simply Streamlined, you will learn how to 

  • Declutter Your Home
  • Put Effective Routines in Place
  • Create a Set-It-and-Forget-It Meal Plan
  • Get Your Finances Under Control

Simply Streamlined walks you through exactly how to Completely Streamline Your Home in just 15 Minutes a Day!

Plus you will receive

  • Cluttered to Calm Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Put Your Home on Autopilot Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Set-It-and-Forget-It Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Master Your Money Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • AND Weekly Live Coaching Calls!

I hope to see you inside the program!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Streamlining Resources!)

See you on the next one! Kassy
How to Meal Plan for the Holidays like a Minimalist

How to Meal Plan for the Holidays like a Minimalist

Meal Planning at any time can be challenging…

But Meal Planning during the holidays can be downright stressful!

Not only are there usually more people that you are cooking for, but you are often hosting for multiple days at a time.

So how do you set up a killer meal plan that your family will love, without making yourself go crazy with all the extra work?

It’s not as hard as you think!

Here’s how it’s done:

How to Meal Plan for the Holidays

1) Stick With The Routine

Breakfasts

If you typically use a simple weekday breakfast every day of the week, like I recommend in this post, then continue doing that!

You don’t have to prepare fancy breakfasts every day just because you have a company.

If you like to do more elaborate breakfasts on the weekend as I talk about in this post, go ahead and do that if you’d like, but don’t make things too complicated!

Since you will be doing a lot more cooking than usual during the holidays, I recommend doing easy breakfasts every day (aside from maybe a special brunch on Christmas Day.)

How to Have a Simple and Stress-Free Holiday Meal Plan that your Guests will Love!

Lunches

If you eat leftovers for lunch every weekday as I recommend in this post and this one, you can still continue to do this when you have company there.

Especially since you will be putting in all the work of making delicious food every evening, it doesn’t hurt to get two meals out of each time you cook!

Just have an alternate easy meal ready for lunch each day that you have guests.. just in case you do not have enough leftovers.

Here are some examples of easy lunches that you can have on stand-by if needed:

  • Sandwiches
  • Salads
  • Casseroles
  • Soups
  • And any other Meals that are Easy to Make!

If you don’t end up using the easy meal for lunches because you had plenty of leftovers, use the food for dinners the following week after everyone leaves… then you can save yourself a trip to the grocery store and a bunch of extra time in the kitchen after a busy holiday… you’re welcome.

Dinner

If you are using my Set-It-And-Forget-It Meal Planning Technique and have created Theme Nights for every night of the week, don’t throw your plan out the window just because you have extra company… use it to your advantage.

Other than the specific holiday, like Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, keep all of your theme nights the same.

So if I were hosting the Thanksgiving Weekend at our house, it would look like this:

  • Thanksgiving Day: Special Holiday Family Meal
  • Friday Night: Build-It-Meal Night
  • Saturday Night: Dips and Chips/Crackers
  • Sunday Night: Family Favorites Night

So the only night of the week that changed was the Thanksgiving night meal.

When we have Christmas at our house, I like to do a special dinner on Christmas Eve, but I keep the other meals the same on Christmas Eve.

When we host Christmas Day, I like to have a special brunch in the morning, a light lunch, and a bigger holiday dinner. Or we will have Christmas “Dinner” around lunchtime and have a light supper… it isn’t always the same every year, but it is generally one of those two options!

2) Plan The Holiday Meal(s)

Look at How Many People are Coming

Take into account how many guests you will have for the big holiday meal… Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner, Christmas Eve Dinner…etc.

Do a headcount and figure out how many people will be joining you for the meal.

Decide How Elaborate You Want to Be

Just because it is Thanksgiving or Christmas or whatever other holiday you are celebrating, doesn’t mean that you have to spend a day, or week, or month preparing for the dinner.

If your family loves pizza, and you want to eat that for your holiday dinner, so be it!

We like to get takeout Thai food or Chinese food on Christmas Eve because I will be cooking a lot the following day. (And because we love Thai and Chinese food… who am I kidding!)

Don’t feel like you have to follow any sort of rules, just do what works well for your family!

Create a Minimalist Holiday Meal Plan that Your Guests Will Love

Decide on Your Main Dish

If you are having an involved meal (that is something more than takeout or pizza ;)), then you will want to decide on your main dish first.

Unless you adore cooking, I suggest only making one main dish (unless you can outsource as second main dish, see number 3 down below!).

Our main dish for all of our holiday meals is a vegan Special K Loaf. It’s a family favorite at our house and it goes well with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce and traditional holiday side dishes.

Think About Your Side Dishes

You may feel like you have to have all the sides, especially if you are planning a traditional holiday meal… but side dishes are optional!

Think about which side dishes are important for you. Then throw out everything that you don’t love to eat or want to make (unless you can outsource it, see number 3 down below!).

Some side dishes that we love to have every holiday meal are:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Cranberry Sauce

Decide on Dessert

Decide on how many desserts and which desserts you would like to eat at your holiday meal (and throughout the weekend ;).

My must-have holiday dessert is an ah-MA-zing Key Lime Pie that my mom makes (if you aren’t afraid of making complicated healthy desserts, check this cookbook out! Everything we’ve tried out of it is divine.)

Most people like to have a few different options for dessert, but desserts can take a lot of time, energy, and oven space to make.

One easy way to have a lot of variety with your dessert is to have each family that is coming be responsible for providing one dessert in addition to anything else that they are bringing.

This also ensures that every family will have their favorite and no one will complain that you didn’t make their favorite dessert because they could have brought it themselves!

3) Determine Who Is Cooking What

Decide What You Are Making

When you are hosting, you get the first pick of what you want to make (yay!).

Many hosts like to provide the main dish, but it isn’t a must, especially if you know someone else who would enjoy making the main dish and do a great job with it.

After you decide if you are going to make the main dish or not, choose any side dishes that you want to make.

How to Create a Simple Holiday Meal Plan Your Family Will Love

Ask For Help

Since most people don’t enjoy making decisions, instead of asking people what they want to bring, tell them what would be helpful for them to contribute to the meal.

Try to assign dishes to people who would be good at making them.

I always have my mom make the desserts because she does an amazing job and she is able to make desserts that fit with my wacky diet (vegan and sugar-free isn’t easy for most people to navigate!)

If someone coming doesn’t enjoy cooking, ask them to bring a salad or store-bought desserts.

But remember not to overload your guests. They may want to take a break from cooking if they are not hosting!

I find it helpful to list out all of the dishes that you want to have on a piece of paper and write down who will be in charge of each one.

Now send those texts or make phone calls to let people know what you want them to bring!

Decide What You Are Buying

If you aren’t able to make or delegate all of your dishes (or you just want a break from cooking altogether!) you can purchase just about anything that you want for your holiday meal at most grocery stores.

But be sure to order in advance so that you don’t have to worry about things being out of stock on the busiest grocery days of the year.

And that’s all it takes to create your amazing holiday weekend meal plan!

I’d love to hear what you are going to have for your holiday meal! Let me know in the comments below!

Ready to Stop Feeling Stressed About Meal Planning?

Then check out Set-It-And-Forget-It Meal Planning!

In Set-it-and-Forget-it Meal Planning, you will learn how to 

  • Create a Breakfast Rotation
  • Create a Lunch Rotation
  • Create a Snack Rotation
  • Choose Theme Nights
  • Create Rotations for Each Theme Night
  • Fill in Your Meal Planning Calendar

Set-It-And-Forget-It Meal Planning walks you through my unique method for setting up your meal plan so you will never have to start from square one again!

Plus you will receive the Set-It-And-Forget-It Meal Planning Workbook and Spreadsheet and email support from me anytime you have questions.

I hope to see you inside the course!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Meal Planning Resources!)

How to Have an Awesome Meal Olan for the Holidays

Want 7 Extra Hours in Your Week?

Then check out Simply Streamlined!

In Simply Streamlined, you will learn how to 

  • Declutter Your Home
  • Put Effective Routines in Place
  • Create a Set-It-and-Forget-It Meal Plan
  • Get Your Finances Under Control

Simply Streamlined walks you through exactly how to Completely Streamline Your Home in just 15 Minutes a Day!

Plus you will receive

  • Cluttered to Calm Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Put Your Home on Autopilot Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Set-It-and-Forget-It Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Master Your Money Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • AND Weekly Live Coaching Calls!

I hope to see you inside the program!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Streamlining Resources!)

Want 7 Extra Hours Every Week? Grab the Streamline Your Home Quick-Start Guide!

You May Also Enjoy…

If you’d like to set up your own weekly theme nights, check out The Secret to Meal Planning for the Absolute Beginner | Plus 50 Theme Night Ideas for Your Meal Plan.

If you want a step-by-step guide for setting up your meal plan, check out How to Begin Meal Planning When You Don’t Know Where to Start.

For ideas about how to eat everything you buy, read How to Work Leftovers into Your Meal Plan.

If you want to learn more about Decision Fatigue, check out Why Is Meal Planning so Difficult.

For Quick, Healthy Breakfast Ideas, read How to Get Started Planning Quick Healthy Breakfasts.

See you on the next one! Kassy
How to Make a Holiday Meal Plan for the Minimalist Family
How to Create a Minimalist Holiday Meal Plan that will make your life easier.
How to Create a Holiday Meal Plan that will Make your Life Easy
How to Create a Holiday Meal Plan Your Guests Will Love
How to Have an Awesome Meal Plan for the Holidays When you are having company.
10 Tips for Creating an Awesome Meal Plan for the Holidays
How to Have the Perfect Meal Plan for the Holidays
How to Have An Awesome Meal Plan for the Holidays
A Clutter-Free Gift Registry for Minimalist Couples

A Clutter-Free Gift Registry for Minimalist Couples

How to Create a Minimalist Wedding Registry

You’ve been proposed to and picked a date, so you hop over to pinterest and start looking for the perfect wedding registry list and start adding items to your registry.

But most wedding registry lists out there have way too much stuff on them!

It’s like they are setting you up to be stressed out and overwhelmed by clutter before you even tie the knot.

But some people (like me!) don’t want to have their houses stuffed to the gills with things that they will only use once or twice a year.

So now you need to sort through the lists and determine what would actually be important to have.

And the advice that I would give to soon-to-be brides is to have a Simple, Minimalist Wedding Registry.

Why Should You Have a Minimalist Registry?

You won’t have to declutter later.

When you stick to the basics, you don’t have to worry about having too many things and needing to declutter your house down the road.

It creates less waste.

When we register for things “just in case” we end up throwing away or donating perfectly good items that we never end up using. And many of the things that you didn’t need will just end up in a landfill… even if they are donated.

When you choose to limit the number of things in your house, you are limiting the amount of waste that you contribute to.

You won’t have to worry about your first place being too small.

When you have a simple wedding registry, your home will be able to hold all of your things comfortably.

First Things First…

Before you run down to your favorite store and start registering, take a minute to think.

Which places offer the best return policy? Are there any discounts from registering with a certain company? Will any places be more convenient for your guests to buy from?

We decided to have our primary Wedding Registry with Amazon.com for a few reasons:

  • Everyone knows Amazon. And since it is well known, no one is nervous about buying from them online.
  • We had friends and family all over the country. And everyone has access to Amazon no matter where they live.
  • They Have a Large Selection: You can register for anything on Amazon. (And I mean anything! You can even register for things that Amazon doesn’t carry.)
  • You Receive a Completion Discount: Everyone gets a one-time 10% discount (20% for Prime members) on select items shipped and sold by Amazon.com. (And you can sign up for a free trial of Prime before you make your completion order if you are not Prime members.)
  • Amazon Offers 180-Day Returns: You can return items 180 days from when they were shipped.
  • Free Bonus Gifts: When your guests buy registry items from certain brands, you will get a free gift.
  • Amazon has Group Gifting: With Group Gifting, your friends and family can contribute any amount of their choosing to more expensive items.
  • We were moving as soon as we got married and Amazon would send gifts to the address that we wanted them to if people shipped the gifts.

We did register for a small amount of things from Bed Bath and Beyond as well, but that was mostly for older people who were nervous about buying online.

Now let’s look at what you should include in your registry!

How to Create a Minimalist Wedding Registry

How to Create a Minimalist Wedding Registry with the things you actually need.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the area that you will probably need most of the gifts for… but you don’t need nearly as many as you may think.

Kitchens can easily become cluttered if you aren’t careful, so this is a great opportunity to start your kitchen off on the right foot.

Remember that more stuff=more time you spend cleaning.

If you do already have everything you need for your kitchen, this can be a great time to upgrade some items or ask people to contribute to some larger items that you have been wanting.

Here is what I would include in my Minimalist Kitchen Registry:

Large Items

The thing to remember with putting larger items on your registry is that you might not get them.

BUT when you put them on your registry, it lets people who might want to spend more on your gift know what you would want and need, it gives people the opportunity to go in together with other friends or family to purchase larger items, or it allows you to use the clearing discount to purchase the items yourself at a discounted price.

Blender

The Vitamix Blender is the best blender I’ve ever had.

For plant-based cooking, it’s the only way to fly!

I used the Bosch blender for years because it came with the mixer that we received for our wedding… but once we finally sprung for the Vitamix a couple of years ago, I’ve never looked back.

My sauces instantly became smoother.

If you don’t have a blender and like to make sauces or smoothies (that are drinkable and not chew-able) I recommend adding the Vitamix to your registry.

Mixer

If you make bread from scratch, having an electric mixer will save you tons of time.

My sister and I sold homemade bread when we were in middle school and high school and the Bosch was our right-hand man.

I knew when I got married that I wanted to continue making bread from scratch and to teach my kids to make their own bread too.

We registered for a Bosch for our wedding a several of my family members went in together to buy one for us.

I highly recommend adding this to your registry if you plan on making bread consistently.

Pots and Pans

If you don’t have post or pans yet, or if your set is old, put a nice set of stainless steel pots and pans on your registry.

We have had our set for about 5 years now, and by using Bar Keeper’s Friend when we clean the pans, they still look as new as the day that we bought them!

Dishes

Instead of picking out china patterns on plates that you will only use once a year, look for dishes that you will love using every day.

Just remember that dishes break, so instead of getting something trendy that you may not be able to find replacements for in a few years, go for something that you know will be around if you need to buy another set.

Silverware

Most likely your silverware will be around for a very long time, so I recommend picking something that will stand the test of time and you will love for years.

Glasses

Long story short, glasses break. Especially if you will have children using them.

So don’t spend too much money here and choose a style that you know you will be able to find again when half of your set is broken!

A lot of minimalists these days are opting out of the traditional glasses look and going for Mason Jars instead.

Mason jars for drinking glasses are nice because you can find lids for them if you want to use them out and about, some come with chalkboard lids so you can label them, you can convert many of them into straw-lid tumblers, they are very easy to find replacements for, and it can be fun if the patterns and styles are mismatched.

We currently use mason jars in addition to the glasses that we got for our wedding!

Small Items

It might be tempting to think that you should just get these small items yourself, but all of these little things can add up quickly.

Plus putting them on your registry gives people who may not be able to give large gifts some great ideas if they want to give you something.

Here are my other must-haves for a minimalist kitchen:

Measuring Spoons (These Magnetic ones keep your drawers Neat and Tidy)

Measuring Cups

Spice Jars

Knives

A Tea Kettle (Fun Colors Optional!)

Glass Storage Containers (Check out how to incorporate your leftovers into your meal plan here.)

Glass Containers for organizing your pantry.

Baking Pans

Bread Pans (I love my stoneware bread pans)

And absorbent Dish Towels and Wash Cloths.

The Bedroom

If you need any bedroom furniture, it’s a good idea to put that on your registry as well.

You may have someone who wants to purchase it for you, but more likely you will able to use the clearing discount and get a good deal on these larger items.

All you really need is:

A Mattress (We LOVE this one!)

A Bed Frame

Two Bedside Tables

Two Dressers

The Living Room

In the living room, you will want a couch and a cozy chair (I personally recommend a papasan chair!)

And, if you have space, I also love having an ottoman with storage so that I can put my blankets in it.

The Bathroom

For the bathroom, you will want some good towels and a soft bath mat.

In my experience, towels and bath mats tend to last forever… so choose your colors and your style wisely! (I still have a set of towels my dad bought me as a gift over 20 years ago!)

I also recommend getting some Amber Soap Dispensers and making your own soap because it saves a ton of money! You can see my recipe for soap and other ways for saving money on groceries in this post.

Cleaning

If you have long hair as I do, I can’t recommend my Shark Apex Vacuum enough. You can check out my full review here.

I didn’t think that I would get a vacuum as a wedding gift, but I put it on the registry thinking that we would use the discount at the end to buy one… but someone actually got our first vacuum for us! It never hurts to put something that you need on the list!

I make my own cleaning solution and I use these Amber Spray Bottles. It saves a lot of money to make your own cleaning solution so I recommend getting these and trying it out. But if you don’t have time to make your own solution, I also use Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Solution when life is busy

And believe it or not, that it all you need for a Minimalist Home!

If you want to have a Streamlined Home from day one with Routines that Put Your Home on Autopilot, A Decluttered Home, A Set-It-and-Forget-It Meal Plan, and a Budget that allows you to Master Your Money… check out this program:

Want to Streamline Your Home?

Then check out Simply Streamlined!

In Simply Streamlined, you will learn how to 

  • Declutter Your Home
  • Put Effective Routines in Place
  • Create a Set-It-and-Forget-It Meal Plan
  • Get Your Finances Under Control

Simply Streamlined walks you through exactly how to Completely Streamline Your Home in just 15 Minutes a Day!

Plus you will receive

  • Cluttered to Calm Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Put Your Home on Autopilot Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Set-It-and-Forget-It Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • Master Your Money Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
  • AND Weekly Live Coaching Calls!

I hope to see you inside the program!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Streamlining Resources!)

You might also enjoy…

How to plan a Simple Wedding When you are on a Tight Budget.

See you on the next one! Kassy
How to Create a Minimalist Wedding Registry for couples who don't want extra clutter!
How to Create a Simple Wedding Registry for couple who don't want Extra Clutter!
How to Create a Simple Wedding Registry for Minimalist Couples
A Minimalist Wedding Registry with things you actually need!