Do you want to declutter your home but time just seems to disappear?
If you feel like you never have any control over time, maybe you simply need to look at it in a different way. Linda Bee has recently shared with us all the ways to finally find the time to declutter.
Yes, it’s possible! It comes down to better time management – the ultimate secret to decluttering!
This post was created from a live video interview with one of our network decluttering coaches, Linda Bee. Watch the video version at the end of the article!
How do I find time to declutter?
After sleep, we all tend to have the same amount of time in the day – about 16 hours or 960 minutes. (The minutes part is important to emphasize for future points.)
To find the extra time needed to declutter, it really comes down to figuring out the best way to spend those minutes. Decluttering doesn’t need to take place in one 8-hour chunk; it tends to be more productive when done in small 10-15 minute bursts every day.
Yes, this is the time management part of this process. Before your eyes glaze over, Linda shares just how she looked at time that changed it all for her – and maybe for you, too!
Think of time like money.
Time is a lot like money! You have to budget your time (those 960 minutes) wisely to live the life you want to live. And there are often leaks in your time, just like spending.
Leaks are what we’re focusing on here because if we can gain back those minutes, we now have the time to declutter.
Linda focuses on the dividends to free up the time in her daily routine. For example, unloading the dishwasher at night while waiting for her husband to get back from walking the dog has freed up 10-15 minutes the following morning for something else.
It’s all about finding the little opportunities that are everywhere throughout the day to bank some decluttering time for later.
Related Read: The Hidden Value of Time
How do I find those little opportunities?
This part is important! In order to get a grasp on your time management, you need to start timing the small tasks throughout the day.
Time how long it takes to put the dishes away, put a load of laundry on, take the trash out, wipe down the counters, etc.
It might take a bit of work in the beginning, but once you know this information, you can start to bank some time dividends.
For example, if you are waiting 5 minutes for your kids to finish getting ready for school, don’t stand near the door twiddling your thumbs.
Use those minutes to complete 1 or 2 tasks you know can be done in that time. This not only frees up actual time for decluttering but also mental bandwidth since you no longer have to worry about them today.
Build decluttering into your routine.
Once you get a sense of what takes up your time throughout the day, you can create a daily routine for decluttering. Linda’s personal decluttering routine runs Monday to Friday for just 10-20 minutes per day.
It’s nothing overwhelming, and it frees her up to live life on the weekends without becoming a slave to a schedule.
(We talk about these same principles in our workshop, Step-by-Step Decluttering.)
And that’s an important point as well. While building your schedule, which you can do by time blocking, NEVER overschedule yourself. Your mental state is important for maintaining your decluttering progress. Life happens.
Add buffer minutes before and after tasks and know when to give yourself grace.
At the end of the day, the goal is to feel like you used your time well.
This energizes and motivates you to continue!
Related Read: 10 unusual ways to get motivated when stuck
Struggling to make this happen?
Time management is a process, just like managing your money. The first best step is to simply understand where your time is being spent every day. That way you can make the necessary changes to free some of it up.
But if that isn’t enough and you find yourself scrolling through Instagram wasting those valuable minutes, this tip may help:
Get into the habit of stopping yourself several times a day and asking, “Is this the best use of my time?”
Sometimes that’s all it takes to reappropriate those minutes somewhere more useful. Other times it may come down to better boundaries.
Listen to Linda discuss this and more in the video interview below:
Linda Bee is one of our Decluttering Coaches specializing in time management. Learn more about working with Linda on her website.