How to Declutter When You Have No Time to Declutter!

How to declutter when you have no time to declutter!

One of the biggest struggles for many people trying to declutter is simply having no time to declutter! In today’s post, I’m sharing 8 tips to help you figure out how to declutter and simplify your home, even when you feel like you have absolutely no time to declutter.

Does decluttering feel like one more thing on your never-ending to-do list?

Does this sound like you? You feel completely overwhelmed just trying to keep up with everything you need to do on a daily basis. Between meals to cook, chores to do, work, extracurricular activities, time for friends and family, laundry, etc., your to-do list feels never-ending.

When you already have so much to do every day just to keep up, it doesn’t feel like you have time for anything extra, like decluttering. The thought of adding one more thing to your to-do list feels overwhelming.

How to declutter when you have no time to declutter!
Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash

If you feel like you have no time to declutter, decluttering matters even more!

But, if you feel like you have absolutely no time to declutter, that’s a good sign you’ll benefit even more from clearing the clutter and simplifying your life!

The more you declutter and simplify your home, the easier your home will be to manage. You’ll have less stuff to pick up, organize, look for, take care of, clean, clean around, re-organize, etc.

Clearing the clutter means you’re getting rid of the excess “stuff” in your home. The stuff that’s taking your time, energy and attention, but not adding any value to your life in return.

The less stuff you have, the less time you’ll need to spend managing your home and the stuff in it. And the more time you’ll give yourself for more important things.

So, if you’re feeling like you have no time to declutter, simplifying and decluttering your life probably matter even more!

Decluttering pays off in the long term

Decluttering is something that requires you to put the time and work in upfront to start experiencing the benefits. If you’re struggling to keep up with daily life, decluttering will likely help make keeping up and feeling less overwhelmed easier.

Putting the time and effort in now to clear the clutter will make life significantly easier after the decluttering work is done.

But how exactly do you clear the clutter and simplify your home when you feel like you have no time to declutter??

In today’s post, I’m sharing 8 tips to help you figure out how to start decluttering – and follow through and finish decluttering – even if life gets in the way and you feel like you have no time to declutter.

Slow & steady is key when you have no time to declutter

If you already feel like you have no time to declutter, it helps to take a slow and steady approach to decluttering.

Decluttering doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to declutter your entire house in one day to make progress. Of course, you can declutter fast if you need or want to. But that’s not the only way to make progress decluttering.

There are plenty of ways to tackle clearing the clutter even when you feel like you have no time to declutter.

Over time, slow, but steady progress will add up to make a big difference in the amount of clutter in your home, and the time your home takes to manage. Just remember that any progress you’re making towards decluttering your home matters.

Progress is progress, even if you’re taking baby steps!

How to start decluttering when you have no time to declutter!

Here are 8 tips to fit decluttering in even if your schedule is already full and you feel like you have no time to declutter.

1. Declutter a little bit every day

If you feel like you have no time to declutter, keep reminding yourself that doing a little bit of decluttering is better than doing no decluttering at all!

Sometimes it’s a matter of adjusting your expectations a bit. Instead of trying to get your entire house decluttered in one weekend or even one month, aim for slow, but steady progress. Your slow and steady efforts will add up over time!

For example, even if you don’t have hours to devote to decluttering, try to declutter for a few minutes every day. Even if you can spend 5 or 10 minutes decluttering, and do it consistently, you’ll make progress!

Another approach to take is to find a certain number of items to get rid of each day. You could find 1 item to declutter every day, or 10 items every day. The key is to consistently make an effort to remove clutter from your home day after day.

2. Focus on one small decluttering task at a time

If you feel like you have no time to declutter, breaking the project down into small projects or tasks can be a great approach to take.

The thought of decluttering your entire house might feel overwhelming, especially if your life is busy and you have no extra time to devote to decluttering.

Again, adjust your expectations. Instead of trying to get an entire room decluttered all at once, break it down into much smaller decluttering tasks. For example, plan to work on one drawer or one shelf at a time.

If you get on a decluttering roll and want to keep going and do more decluttering, that’s great! But if not, even if your days are busy and full, try to work on one small decluttering task at a time.

Not only will your efforts add up over time. But breaking the work down into smaller, easier to manage tasks can help keep you from feeling overwhelmed thinking about all the decluttering work you need to do.

3. Declutter as you go about your day

This is my favourite way to declutter when life gets busy and there is no time to declutter. Instead of setting aside additional time specifically to declutter, you simply look for things to declutter as you’re doing other tasks and going about your day.

For example, as you’re cooking, pay attention to which cooking utensils you always use, and which ones you never use. If there’s something you never use or don’t even like, get rid of it right then.

Another example of decluttering on the go is with laundry. As you fold or hang clean laundry, look for anything you don’t love wearing, doesn’t fit well, is stained or damaged, etc. and get rid of it instead of putting it away.

Don’t put it away, get rid of it!

Another great time to use this decluttering strategy is when you’re cleaning or tidying up your house. Instead of just picking things up and putting them away on autopilot, keep an eye out for anything you don’t use, need, want or like anymore.

Then get rid of it instead of putting it away.

Always keeping a critical eye out for things you can get rid of is a great way to clear the clutter even if you have no time to declutter. You’re already doing these tasks, but now you’re just looking for things to get rid of while you’re doing them!

Have an ongoing decluttering box handy

Having a decluttering box handy somewhere in your house will be really helpful to declutter as you go about your day. Anytime you find something to get rid of (aside from trash) just add it to your decluttering box. When the box gets full, drop it off at your donation center and start again!

A decluttering box makes it easy to declutter as you go about your day because you don’t even have to think about where to put the stuff you’re getting rid of. Which makes decluttering on the go even easier!

4. Enlist help when you have no time to declutter

When your schedule is full and extra time is in short supply, enlist help! See if you can get your family on board to help you declutter. Or have your family pitch in to help with some of your other tasks to free up time for you to declutter.

If you feel like you have no time to do anything extra, including decluttering, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s nothing saying you have to do this all on your own!

How to declutter when you have no time to declutter!
Photo by Nicolai Berntsen on Unsplash

5. Make decluttering a priority

If your life is full and busy and you have no time to declutter, sometimes it requires making short term changes to what you’re doing with your time.

We all have the same number of hours in the day. Whatever we choose to prioritize is what we are able to get done in those hours.

Hold yourself accountable and make your time to declutter a priority. Make “decluttering appointments” with yourself and stick to them.

It doesn’t have to be huge chunks of time. It could be just scheduling 10 minutes a day to declutter. But the key is making this decluttering time a priority and following through with it.

Short term sacrifices for long term benefits

If you want to clear the clutter from your home to simplify your life, you have to make decluttering a priority in the short-term.

Remember, if you’re overwhelmed with your house, your to-do list and everything you need to get done during the day, the best thing you can do is prioritize decluttering. You’ll have a lot less to manage in your home when you clear the clutter and have less stuff.

Making decluttering a priority might mean making some sacrifices in the short term. You may have to give up something in your schedule in order to make time to declutter. But the great thing is, the more you declutter, the more time you’ll gain in the long run!

6. Find pockets of time to declutter

If you can’t think of how you could possibly find time to add “decluttering appointments” to your schedule, sometimes it’s a matter of looking at where your time goes and finding pockets of time to use for decluttering.

Take a few days to track your time and how you spend your day. Try tracking your day in 15 – 30-minute increments. Be honest with yourself as you do this. Nobody else has to see it! But sometimes seeing exactly where your time goes every day can help you find pockets of time you could use for extra things, like decluttering.

Often once you see where your time is going every day, you can tweak your schedule to make more efficient use of some pockets of time.

Maybe you’ll find small pockets of time to declutter. For example, you could tackle a shelf or drawer in your kitchen as your coffee brews instead of checking your email or social media.

Or you could find larger pockets of time to use for decluttering by simply changing how you’re spending your time during the day.

7. Create pockets of time to declutter

However, sometimes, you can’t find pockets of time to work on decluttering, so you have to create pockets of time instead.

You may have to make decluttering a priority now, so you can experience the benefits of a clutter-free home later. This may mean giving up something in your schedule, for now, to use that time to declutter instead.

This could mean saying no to an activity or commitment for the short-term to give yourself time to declutter. Or it could mean getting up 15 minutes earlier or staying up 15 minutes later to work on decluttering. It could even be giving up 15 minutes a day of time you spend watching TV or on social media.

You won’t have to give up these things forever. Remember, the more you declutter, the more time you’ll give yourself as you clear the clutter!

8. Make a decluttering plan to set yourself up for success

If your life is busy and you feel like you have no time to declutter, what time you do find to declutter needs to be as productive as possible. That time is precious!

The best way to make your decluttering sessions as efficient as possible is to have everything planned out ahead of time. Then whenever you have time to declutter, you can dive in and get right to work.

Make a list of decluttering projects in your home you want to tackle that fit your decluttering timeline. For example, if you plan to spend 10 minutes a day decluttering, list decluttering tasks you can accomplish in 10 minutes. Things like one drawer, one shelf, one basket at a time, etc.

This will make it really easy to dive in and get to work whenever you have some time available to declutter. You won’t have to waste what little time you have deciding where to declutter or what you’ll work on. And when you only have a few spare minutes a day to declutter, every minute counts!

Don’t give up if you have no time to declutter

When your life is busy and your schedule is full, it can feel completely overwhelming to try and find time to declutter. But remember, small steps you take to clear the clutter will add up to bigger steps, which will eventually add up to a clutter-free house!

Keep working away at clearing the clutter and it will add up over time. As the saying goes “slow and steady wins the race”!

Consistency is more important than intensity

Consistency is often more important than intensity when you’re decluttering. Clearing a little clutter every day often adds up to more progress than decluttering a lot once in a while.

Remember to give yourself grace throughout the process too. If you fall behind with your decluttering or don’t keep up with it for a while, don’t beat yourself up. Just get right back to clearing the clutter and keep going from where you are.

And don’t forget to take a break from decluttering once in a while if you need to, especially if your schedule is busy. Don’t burn yourself out trying to do too much at once.

Do you feel like you want to clear the clutter from your home but have no time to declutter? Which of these decluttering strategies do you think will work best for you to declutter even when life gets busy? Leave a comment and let me know!

How to declutter when you have no time to declutter!
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

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10 Comments

  1. Everyone has 168 hours in a week. Prioritize for sleep, work, recreation, and other responsibilities. Personally speaking, I get up before dawn every single day with the two little rescue dogs who live here, too. The very early morning is for meditation, a small amount of computer use, and heat-producing chores. Later in the morning I exercise and run errands. I have had to learn to pace myself and to not overdo.

  2. These are really good tips! I am going to share this with my mom who will be teaching a session on decluttering at a ladies’ retreat this fall.

  3. First off, I love this page. I am in the process of decluttering the entire house. Just the support from this page keeps me on track and thinking about what I’m using and whether or not I like it. When I am focused on a certain area, then I can work more quickly and efficiently. This has sort of evolved for me. But I am almost done converting a 10×10 office into my art studio. This forced me to do a lot of decluttering including getting rid of 5 pieces of furniture. Now I am determining what to keep and what must go. My next BIG decluttering will be the storage room. Too hot for that now. Love this page. Please stay with it

    1. I’m so happy to hear this, Debbie! Thank you! And great work decluttering!! It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job. And how wonderful to be able to use your newly decluttered art studio for all of your creative pursuits. That’s so awesome! Thank you for reading and sharing your journey 🙂

  4. These tips are also great for someone(like me) who has a chronic illness and has very little *energy* to declutter! I think doing it in big chunks is much more productive. However, I have to do a little here and there, and I can attest to the fact that, as you said, continuing to work at it consistently really pays off! And it decluttering definitely saves time in the long run 😉

    1. Yes, that’s a great point, Elizabeth. There are many reasons someone might not be able to declutter all at once, besides just being short on time. Chronic illness is good example. Good for you for continuing to work on clearing the clutter. And I’m happy to hear you are enjoying the benefits of your hard work. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

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