Blog, Minimalism

Go Hard Core with a Clean Slate Room Declutter

by Faith Janes

“The only thing constant in life is change” – François de la Rochefoucauld

Things are changing here on the home front. Our not-so-little combined household of 10 has decided against making renovations on the house. There’s not a lot of money floating around for home renovations right now, plus we came to a decision as a group that we would rather make do with what we have instead of adding onto mortgage debt.

The result of that decision is that 7 out of the 10 of us, are changing rooms around to make the best use of the space here. It has been pure insanity trying to move everyone around. The process of moving someone completely out of a room before we can move someone (or more than one someone) else in a room has been nothing short of exhausting.

What this crazy room swap adventure has shown me (again) is how much I am loving our minimalist lifestyle. Unfortunately not everyone in this combined household shares those ideals, but interestingly that has just driven the point home for me even more! As we moved my grandmother’s room today, I kept saying to myself and to my mom, “I never want to have this much stuff.” Her room was something like a clown car at the circus. None of us could believe how much she fit in a single bedroom and bathroom.

The really cool after effect of moving a room is creating a clean slate for your belongings. After our move today, we only have two dressers, our bed, two nightstands, and a love seat in our new room. We already know we want to get rid of the dressers as soon as we can choose between either built-in closet storage or under the bed drawers. I’ve seen a really cool headboard set-up at Ikea where the nightstands slide into the headboard so they disappear. I’d love to get that, but we have too large of a mattress and I’m not sure we want to deal with that expense. Finally, the love seat probably won’t stay because it looks too large, but I would like some kind of cozy seating in here.

All I know, is that by starting over with a clean slate, we are even more picky about what is coming into our room to stay. I think it’s awesome and I think it’s a great way to declutter. It can be too easy to overlook clutter if you aren’t physically touching each item you own in order to evaluate it. So I’m challenging you to go hard core and make your own clean slate!

How to Go Hard Core With a Clean Slate Room Declutter

  1. Give yourself adequate time. This is not a project you’ll want to complete half way or you may never get back to finishing it. I would give the process of unloading and reloading a room an entire day just to be safe. The level of clutter will determine a lot.
  2. Decide where the room contents will go during the process. You may want to pick a spot out of the way for any boxes or piles of clothes to go until you have a chance to prioritize them.
  3. Do the big pieces of furniture first. Remove all the furniture pieces first. Then work your way down to the smaller items. I’m assuming you won’t be moving to a new location like we did so keeping the items sorted will help with reloading the room.
  4. Give your room a quick clean. Go ahead and run the vacuum and attack those neglected baseboards. You’ll be glad you did and maybe even a little embarrassed by the mess you’ve been overlooking.
  5. Evaluate your space with new eyes. Now that your room is totally empty, decide if you’d like to put the items in different places or maybe not replace them at all. You’ve got your clean slate so take full advantage of it.
  6. Only put back the essentials. Start by putting back less than you think you need. Yes, the bed gets to come back. But after that, decide if you really like what you have. If new dressers or a built in closet system would help minimize clutter in your bedroom, maybe you should sell some of your old furniture.
  7. Be extra discerning with what you bring back in. If you can stand it, leave the rest of your belongings in a different room and go to that area to declutter your stuff. Donate old clothes, sell your books, and remove whatever else you can before you start bringing things back in. Once it’s back in your room, it will be easy to overlook in the future.

So that’s my challenge to you. It’s a big one, but it pays big rewards. Sometimes the drastic moves are the most rewarding.

Have you taken any drastic moves in your journey to minimalism?


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photo by txpotato

Article originally published on 11/23/2010