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♥︎ Hooray! 2021 Simplified Planners are here!

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Emily Ley Blog

Simplifying Life in a Crisis #11: Decluttering & Making Your Home Homey

March 19, 2020

Hi, friends! We're on Day 4 of a self-imposed isolation over here. We're not required to, but I just feel like its what's safest for us given the circumstances. Are you feeling stir crazy yet? If so, I have a good idea! Use this time to get your house in order AND to make it feel even more homey. This is so important because you're probably going to be staying in your house for a good while. Why not make it a space that feels good and serves you well! I originally considered mapping out a 14 day declutter, but we already have versions of this here in our Ruthless Declutter E-book if you're interested in such a timeline. Instead, I want to give you a roadmap to investing your time and energy into making your home an orderly space of rest, replenishment, and comfort for these tricky times. Let's get started!

  • Step 1: Gather trash. I always suggest starting any declutter project by walking your house with a trash bag. Gather trash from trash cans, tags, receipts, food wrappers, and any other trash that may not have made its way to the trash can yet. Sanitation services are still running (at least where I live), so this is a good way to clear your home of some clutter. Remember, be ruthless. Some not-so-obvious items can be trashed or recycled (stained or torn clothes that aren't able to be used as rags or donated, expired food, etc).
  • Step 2: Make a plan for clearing clutter. Make a mental map of your house and which room you'll start with first. I always suggest starting with the kitchen. Every home has some sort of kitchen, and, its cabinets and drawers are typically crowded with clutter. NOTE: Given the times we're living in, you may not be able to take "clutter" to be donated or have it picked up. If that is the case, I recommend simply organizing what you have. Save the decluttering portion of this for another time (you don't want mounds of trash bags or boxes taking up your living space while you're quarantined). The decluttering can wait until it makes sense, if needed. For now, just remove trash and organize if you need to. If you *are* decluttering, remove everything from the space (cabinet, drawer, closet), clean the space, then handle each item as you find a place for it in the space (remember to keep only the best, favorite, and necessary). You don't need 6 carrot peelers or seven shades of red nail polish. Unless you're into that sort of thing. :)
  • Step 3: Go room by room. Instead of tackling all the clothes in your house at once, then all the cabinets at once, go room by room. The sense of accomplishment you'll feel when an entire room is done will be fantastic and a great boost to help you keep going. Be ruthless. Move quickly. Don't dwell on things. 
  • Step 4: Consider your daily life right now and make adjustments. Now that your home is organized (and possibly decluttered), think about how you're using your space these days. Are you spending a lot of time snuggled up on the couch watching movies? Bring out some blankets and drape them across the back of your couch. Place a candle on your coffee table. Put a bowl of candy on an end table. Are you working at your kitchen table? Place a jar of pens, a calculator, and a picture frame there. If you have kids home from school, bring some of their toys to the living room so they can play while you get a few tasks completed. Remember, this time is temporary and no magazine photographers are coming over to shoot your home this week, so live in your home. Make it work for you.
  • Step 5: Make your home a place of comfort. We all need a little comfort right now. Think through each of your senses and how you are experiencing your space. SEE: Consider rearranging a room or furniture so that the layout works for you. Bring photos out and place them in frames. HEAR: Turn on a good playlist (we have quite a few over on Spotify) to match the mood you're hoping for (happy, quiet, calm, joyful, whatever it might be). SMELL: Light a candle that smells fresh and clean to lift your spirits. Clean your countertops to freshen things up. (Kill the germs, double duty!) TASTE: Make some cookies or take time to make muffins. Comfort food is good for the soul. FEEL: Place pillows along your couches, blankets within arms reach, and hang your robe in your bathroom for a bit of comfort after your shower. || You might also consider just placing things where you need them: bubble bath next to your bathtub, an extension chord for a computer or phone charger in your living room, or a stack of books next to your children's beds for quiet time. 

Remember, this situation is changing rapidly. We can't control much of it. But we can control (at least to some degree) what happens within the walls of our homes. These things will make your daily life that much better as we wait this thing out. 

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Here are a few more resources I hope you find helpful.

  • The Lifegiving Home is a book that changed my life. It's written by my dear friend, Sally Clarkson. I highly recommend it on Audible or paperback.
  • Our Simplicity Challenge will offer you thirty simple tasks to complete that each take 15 minutes or less.
  • Our Facebook Group for entrepreneurs, called Get Scrappy, is on fire these days. We're supporting each other through this weird time and we're nearing 1,000 members. I'd love for you to join us if you need help or community right now. 
  • Simplified just launched text messaging! We'd love to stay in touch with you this way. Simple text SIMPLIFIED to 29071 (or to 1-720-605-1331 if you're international), and we'll send you occasional freebies, important news, and Simplified tips right to your phone! We'll be sharing some big news about Dapperdesk (and showing a new cover!) BEFORE Cover Reveal to our text subscribers only. PS: If you respond to any of our texts, you might just get a special text back from our team!