Need to declutter, but struggling to find any spare minutes in the day? It’s a real issue. Here are some fantastic ideas to try so that you can still declutter when you have no time – yes, really!
Ways to declutter Even when time is short
#1 – Do a little Bit Every day
Decluttering can feel overwhelming – especially when we try and do it all in one go.
But chances are – we’ll NEVER have the time to do it all in one sitting – so why try?
Instead, make it more manageable by breaking it down into do-able projects.
Even with no spare time in the day – we all still have some margins where we can do things while waiting or doing something else.
5 minutes here and there can really add up – and is a LOT easier to find than a whole hour or two (or even a day) – so split spaces up into smaller chunks and get busy!
Where to find these minutes
- While dinner is cooking (or order takeout and use the time you save not cooking, decluttering)
- Instead of a TV programme you usually watch
- Go to bed a few minutes later, or get up a few minutes earlier
- Save travel time and use that for decluttering – order online food delivery / exercise at home rather than the gym etc…
If you’re still sure that you can’t get things done as you don’t have the capacity to find those pockets of time, it’s probably worth time tracking for a week.
This is the simple process of writing down EXACTLY what you spend time on right now.
You may be surprised at what you find from this easy task – as often we realise that we’re spending too much time on other things that really aren’t important – and just wasting our time instead of making it count.
For instance – you may LOVE looking at Facebook each day. No problem. 10 minutes is a lovely way to catch up with what’s going on.
But if you THINK you’re spending 10 minutes and it’s actually 30 minutes – then that may be an alarm for you to re-train yourself to make the 20 minutes decluttering time instead.
You didn’t know you were spending on Facebook – so it will make you more aware of how you spend your time.
#2 – Do it while Going About Your Normal Routine
This means that when you use something, or come across something – you can make the decision whether to keep it or not there and then, rather than making a big deal about finding the time to declutter.
For example – have a pair of scissors that you’ve just used for something – but found them to be not that great? Let them go right now to avoid the same frustration at a later stage (check that you have another pair to use instead, of course).
TIP – Have a charity box ready and waiting for donations by your door – so you can take it to the charity shop when you’re next in the area without having to find extra time.
#3 – Do Some Stuff Without Actually doing it!
Yes, I know that sounds strange, but you CAN declutter without giving it more than a few minutes – if you’re clever about it.
For instance – turn all your hangers to face the other way – then carry on as normal. When you wear items, put the hanger the other way around. After a while, declutter items you haven’t worn.
Or – add small removable dot stickers to items in your kitchen. When you use the item, take the dot off. After a while, declutter the items that still have a dot on.
To make this type of decluttering work well, you need to be able to do the letting go without taking time to second guess the decision.
Acknowledge that you’ll be OK with whatever is left at the end of the time you specify – and leave it at that.
#4 – Acknowledge the lack of time will be alleviated if you declutter
This is basically the chicken and egg scenario that you’re no doubt already familiar with (Which came first?).
Well – if you are lacking time, chances are clutter is one of the reasons for that. And therefore if you declutter, you’ll get back some of that time.
Yes, you need to find some time to get it done, but it will pay for itself in the weeks /months to come.
And talking of how to find the time…
#5 – Prioritise it
Sometimes we just have to get things done, which means other things have to become less important for the short term.
As the saying goes – if everything is important – nothing is.
Make decluttering your priority, and make time for it. It will be worth it.
Commit to a time just like you would any other important appointment. You always find time for the important things – whatever has to happen.
- Get childcare – swap a day with a friend, or ask family to help
- Take time off work to really get stuck in and deal with it in one go
#6 – Create habits
You can change habits slowly in the margins of your day – and these can add up over time to make huge changes.
Habits that help you declutter when you have no time are as follows:
- Put things back as soon as you use them.
- When you finish something – put it in the bin/recycling as soon as you finish it
- When you walk out of a room – pick something up that needs taking elsewhere – keep it moving!
- Never leave something where it doesn’t belong
- Declutter while you’re watching TV. Multitasking is a great way to create a habit. I like to decluttering my paperwork while sitting watching TV – it makes it easier AND I actually get it done…
#7 – Get help With It
- Ask a friend for support
- Get the kids to do their spaces
- Get a professional in
- Join an online group / program
#8 – Have a plan
This will mean you make the most of your time when you find it. You’ll know what you’re doing next, you can focus in more quickly, and you’ll have the right tools for the job ready to go.
#9 – Get Help With what you already do
Yes, we are all busy and we all fill our days with things we need to do.
But – how often do you really look at what you’re filling your days with? Chances are there are ways to get a little time back by doing things a little differently.
Making time to declutter doesn’t mean you have to ADD it to your days work. You can swap it instead.
Why not get help with OTHER tasks you’re doing, so that you can free up time to declutter instead?
Some ways are (and I’ve written a more detailed post about it HERE):
Delegate cooking, cleaning, errands etc… to other members of the family for the short term. This will free up some time for you to declutter, without you feeling overwhelmed.
Can you start doing your food shopping online, which would save you going out to shop etc…?
Can you pay your bills by direct debit so you don’t have to sit and go through them each month?
Really look at what you’re doing – because often we do things out of habit that we don’t actually need to do if we’re honest. They’ve just become part of our routine, and we don’t question them anymore.
Do you vacuum daily? Would it be OK to vacuum every other day for a while?
Think of things that you do more often than really necessary, and you’ll find those extra pockets of time without changing much at all.
If you’re trying to declutter when you have no Time, these tips should help you get ahead…
I really hope so!
But remember – if you really can’t find any time – no matter what you try – don’t give up.
Doing even the littlest amount when you can WILL add up – and you’ll be glad you tried…