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How long should it take to declutter your home? (The answer might surprise you!)

Do you feel like you should be further along in your decluttering journey but not that much has actually changed?

Perhaps you have unrealistic expectations when it comes to your decluttering progress!

To help you understand how long it takes to declutter your home, we’ve put together a simple calculator that provides a more realistic timeframe.

how long should it take to declutter your home - use this simple calculator to find out!

How long should it take to declutter?

Many people will declutter for two weeks and then get discouraged because there is still no end in sight.

Shouldn’t I be just about done by now?

Not necessarily!

That clutter you’ve been working through may have taken you years to accumulate, and that’s something that 2 weeks isn’t going to fix (for most people).

So how long should it take?

Listen to Sarah explain the Declutter Time Calculator in the video below to find out!

Or, you can read on to get an overview of the concept if you prefer.

How to calculate the average time to declutter a home

Sarah has created something called the Declutter Time Calculator. This formula helps you to identify a more realistic timeframe for making real progress in your decluttering journey.

The formula:

A (years of clutter) x B (volume factor) = C (months)

Input A: This number is the number of years you’ve been accumulating your clutter. It may be your entire adult life, or it could be during the pandemic (approximately 2 years).

Input B: This number is a variable depending on the volume and level of the clutter in your home.

  • 0.5 – Minor clutter. You have some stuff, but not much. It doesn’t cause you much stress at all.
  • 1.0 – You may have a room to deal with, but the overall feeling is that it doesn’t paralyze you when you think about it.
  • 1.5 – You may really struggle with your clutter. It is actually painful to deal with. There could be a room you can’t physically go into anymore at this stage. (We find most of our community members are in this range.)
  • 3.0 – This is where your home is just pathways. Your house is simply filled to the brim of stuff (may be on a hoarding level).

Output C: When you multiply A and B together, this equals the approximate number of months it will take to declutter.

Example:

If you have accumulated clutter for 5 years and really struggle dealing with it, then your equation is as follows:

5 x 1.5 = 7.5

It will take you approximately 7.5 months to declutter.

Obviously, this is just a rule of thumb and your progress will vary depending on many factors – primarily on your amount of action and effort. You have to do the work.

You do the work for today but also for the future. Life gets easier when you declutter.

Why does it take so long to declutter?

The decluttering process is about 80% mental.

You have to make a lot of decisions when you declutter, and that takes up mental energy. Deciding whether to keep or declutter sentimental items, useful items, and items you spent good money on can be taxing.

There’s only so much you can do in one sitting. Decision fatigue is real!

Add to it the fact that you probably spent years and years acquiring that clutter, and that turns into one very long list of decisions.

Then, you also need to figure out what to do with the stuff you actually keep. The organizing process can end up being just as tedious. (Guess what – the less you keep, the easier it is, though!)

How do you speed up decluttering?

Do you want to cut down on the number of months in your decluttering timeline? Here are some great ways to make that happen:

You can also…

Join the Organize Like a Boss Challenge!

OLAB challenge

For extra motivation, join our upcoming OLAB Challenge to organize 5 cluttered “hotspots” in your home in just 7 days.

This will help jumpstart your decluttering process when you feel overwhelmed.

How long is your decluttering process going to take? Does this surprise you?

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5 thoughts on “How long should it take to declutter your home? (The answer might surprise you!)”

  1. So my home has become pathways over the course of 20 years. This is primarily because of health problems, depression, stress, a negative federal administration, and an oppositional spouse.

    That means 3 x 20=60 months or five years?

    Swell. . . As a senior, by then I’ll be dead.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Reply
  2. Yeah, I will die long before I get through 15 years of decluttering. (All my life, plus my parent’s belongings x near-about hoarding level.)

    Thanks. More discouraged than ever.

    Reply
  3. Thank you for putting the amount of time it may take to declutter. It will take me 8 months according to the formula. Now, I understand the reason why I can’t do it all during my week off from work. This clutter is like eating an elephant, I’ll need to take one bite at a time. Each bite will be 10 minutes a day. I just have to get out of my head and start. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I must do the work!!!

    Reply
  4. Thanks for the realistic formula based on 2 hours per week of decluttering. I did some further math. Decluttering 2 hours per week, it will take me 30 months. Decluttering 6 hours per week, it will take me 10 months. I want faster results, so I will aim for three 20 minute decluttering sessions per day.

    Reply

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Welcome. I’m Sarah!

Sarah

I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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