Spring Decluttering: How to Make 2024 a Success

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you**

I will start this post with what might be considered an unpopular opinion: decluttering in 10 minutes a day does not work. If you have fallen victim to programs that promise you that in just 10 minutes a day, for 30 days, you can declutter your entire home, I'm here to tell you you are not alone.

It sounds simple, and it's appealing. Wouldn't we all love to work on our homes for a short time and reap the rewards of a decluttered home? Unfortunately, that's not how it works. First, we will explain why these programs do not work and then suggest what you should implement.

Decluttering in a Few Minutes a Day

There are so many programs out there that promise to have your home decluttered in as little as a few minutes a day over the course of a month, and even some that are spread out for a year. These programs work for people already in the maintenance phase of decluttering their homes, or those that don't suffer from an overwhelming amount of clutter.

Meaning if you have recently moved or if you have been keeping up with your clutter for the most part already, you can implement a daily reset to keep your home in shape and work through one of these programs to tidy it up. In my Facebook group, I post pictures and videos of my weekly and monthly resets, along with tips to do the same.

However, I make sure to tell my members that I am in the maintenance phase—and they can get there, too. But you gotta put the work in first.

What is Promised

Basically, you are given a decluttering checklist that covers common areas in your home. Then, through email or a Facebook group, you are prompted to declutter certain areas of your home on certain days. Typically, you will set a timer, work for that amount of time, and then be done. The next day, you do another area, and so on.

The areas are usually smaller – meaning they don't list the “Kitchen” as a whole. Rather, it would be the pantry, under the sink, or above the refrigerator.

While providing quick wins is a good thing, and I recommend starting with similar areas in The Declutter Boot Camp course I offer, this will not lead to your entire home being decluttered. It is great for endorphins, but not so great for progress.

Promotional graphic for 'The Declutter Boot Camp' priced at $27, showcasing a smiling woman, a laptop, and a smartphone displaying the '4 Benefits of Organization.' Website URL is bootcampmom.com/Declutter.

Why it Doesn't Work

If you learn nothing else from this post, please remember this: If you are drowning in clutter, if your home is chaos rather than calm, it is not your fault that these programs do not work for you. They were not made for you—and that's okay!

I've been in the homes of those buried in their possessions. These homes do not have a few months of paper clutter to go through; rather, we sift through decades of paperwork that has been stored in multiple containers all around the house. There is no way that can be done in a short amount of time (and, I know we will never be able to just throw them away…) so we sit and go through them.

When you get a reminder email to declutter the pantry for day 10 and instantly realize you can't even open your pantry door because of the donation pile you still haven't gotten to, don't give up. Just stop trying to do a program that was not meant for you.

There is a way to get your home back in shape and begin to enter the maintenance phase. However, it's not going to be quick, and it most certainly won't be easy. But following the Boot Camp Mom way of decluttering and incorporating time management skills will get you back on track!

Decluttering the Boot Camp Mom Way

When it comes to decluttering a truly cluttered home, I recommend tackling the challenge head-on. When I help others declutter, we follow this decluttering process:

  • Block out the Time
  • Make a Plan
  • Gather Your Supplies
  • Declutter
  • Put the Keepers Back Neatly
  • Disperse as Needed
  • Rinse and Repeat

I'll break each of these areas down for you, providing tips and tricks to help you succeed. While we are at it, check out the Stop the Shop Challenge. It's a free, email-based challenge that encourages you not to shop for 21 days. If you are trying to declutter your home – you need to stop bringing new and unnecessary items into your home.

Block Out the Time

Step one? Check out your calendar and find a time when you can work for 4-6 hours on decluttering your home. If you want to significantly change the appearance of your home, you will have to block out the time to do so. Think about it like this – if you got bad results from your doctor and were told you needed to start working out – you wouldn't just hope to find time, would you?

It's the same with your home. Don't hope that a 4 hour window will open up. Rather, be proactive and mark out the time. Make sure to add it to other family members' calendars too. They aren't getting out of the work either…

Make a Plan

Before your decluttering date arrives, it's a good idea to know what you want to declutter. For the love of all things – do not just wing it! Your home is more than likely in the state it is because of your winging it skills. If you have ADHD tendencies, and have an issue focusing, it is important to plan out your work.

Choose a room to start with. If it helps, you can write down all the rooms you have in your home and then sort them by order of importance to you. If you are new to decluttering, I recommend starting in a lower-traffic area. This will allow you to clear a lot of space (because, hopefully, most of the items in that room will be tossed), and since it's low traffic, your work of tidying the space up will not be so quickly undone.

If you are working with family (which I HIGHLY recommend), you can take this time to mark down what everyone will be responsible for. I would not tackle more than two rooms at once, even with family helping, until you and your crew get a feel for how the process works. The worst-case scenario would be having to declutter again.

Gather Your Supplies

Please gather your supplies before your decluttering time. Do not wait until the scheduled time; try to find everything you need. Go ahead and grab your supplies and have them ready to go. I recommend the following:

  • Carpenter Trash BagsThese bags are giant and very thick. I love using them to declutter because you can stay in the flow of things for a longer period of time before having to get a new bag out.
  • Ziploc Baggies—I use baggies when I can to sort loose items I find, such as kids' puzzles, paper clips, and pens.
  • Boxes or Bins—Try to find some unused bins or boxes to help you sort the items you are decluttering. You will want multiple boxes to help you sort items when you keep or toss them and to help move items to another location if necessary.
  • Step Stool – Have access to a step stool or step ladder if you will be reaching into high spaces. We want to make sure you can see the very back corner of those closets.
  • Music – Have something upbeat playing in the background or over your head phones.
  • Water – Super important – hydration station
  • Cleaning Supplies – Having access to the vacuum and dusting cloths will help you do a quick tidy before putting the keepers back neatly.
Checklist titled 'Boot Camp Mom Supplies Checklist' with unchecked items including Notebook and Pen or Note on Phone, Ziploc Baggies of multiple sizes, Boxes or Bins, Contractor Size Trash Bags, Step Stool, Music, and Water. The image features a green checkmark logo, and motivational phrases 'Woohoo!' and 'You Got This!' in cursive script.


Alright!! The day has arrived – so let's make the most of it. When decluttering, please follow these rules. These are RULES – not suggestions:

  • Have your supplies easily accessible from the area you are working on.
  • Start in one corner of the room and work your way around. If you can not get to a corner – start with the floor. Starting is the hardest part – but trust me, it's worth it.
  • Touch everything. Every single item needs to be picked up and sorted into piles. I suggest sorting by type when possible, and also having a dedicated donation pile. Grouping similar items together can help you see where you have an abundance.
  • Toss what you can. For real, get rid of as much stuff as you can. Recently, my parents moved to a new home and downsized. We ordered a dumpster, and they filled it for a month, eliminating 80% of their possessions. Now, in their new home, they have a place for everything and can access what they actually need. Donating and selling is great, but if you are drowning with stuff, it is perfectly okay to just throw the unneeded items away.
  • Do NOT leave the room. Stay in the room you are working on for the full-time you blocked out. If you find something that needs to be in another area of your home, just make a pile of items that need to go there, and you can disperse them when you are done. Again, do not leave the room.

Stay focused on the task at hand. If you get sidetracked easily, set a timer on your phone for every 30 minutes while decluttering. This way, if you go down a rabbit hole with the old family albums, hopefully, the strategically placed alarms will get you back on track.

Put the Keepers Back Neatly

If the majority of the items are deemed keepers, you can put some away as you declutter them. Make sure you wipe down the storage area before replacing items. For most items, leave them sorted by type as long as you can so you can see what you have.

When the majority of the room is completed, you can wipe down the storage areas and put the keepers back neatly. At this time, if you notice a storage solution that is needed, you should make a note to look for it later. When everything is put back neatly, run the vacuum cleaner and take a second to marvel at your accomplishment. Nice work!

Collage of printable organization templates from the 'Boot Camp Mom Resource Library' featuring various to-do lists, daily chores, decluttering checklists, and chore charts for kids, all in shades of purple and teal. A prominent title reads 'BOOT CAMP MOM RESOURCE LIBRARY' and a call-to-action states 'SIGN UP NOW!' with a kettlebell logo.

Disperse as Needed

When the area is done, it's time to disperse the items that do not belong in that room. If any item was deemed trash, take it to the garage or curb if trash day is coming. If items need to go to another area of your home, go ahead and move them, but don't start decluttering that area yet.

For items to be sold or donated, designate a staging zone in your house, make arrangements to drop off the donations, and take pictures to list the items to be sold. If you choose to donate or sell, please donate or sell the items as quickly as possible. The goal is to eliminate the items, not store them hoping they sell.

Rinse and Repeat

As you continue your decluttering journey, you will find items that need to be dispersed to already-decluttered areas of your home. It is very important to put the newly located items in a designated spot. When one area is done, it's time to block out time for the next area. Rinse and repeat this process until your entire home is clutter-free.

Maintaining the Decluttered Rooms

Once an area has been decluttered, it is crucial that you try to keep it tidy. I recommend implementing a 10-ish second tidy every morning or night into your daily routine. You can make a quick pass of the decluttered areas making sure to pick up any items out of place and disperse as necessary.

When your whole home has reached the maintenance phase, you can implement a weekly reset to stay on top of the items in your home. Lastly, I recommend not purchasing organizational items until your home is completely decluttered. The goal is to eliminate the unnecessary items to make space for what you use.

If you need help along your journey please reach out via our Facebook group. I'm here to help as much as possible, but you gotta block out the time and put the work in to get to your goals. You can do this!

Decluttering Tips

Decluttering can seem overwhelming. I get that your home is busting at the seams. I can assure you that the process of decluttering will be hard work – but you can get instant gratification and peace of mind when you get your home back in shape. Here are some of my favorite tips:

Have Family and Friends Help

Decluttering does not need to be a solo affair. Find a trusted friend, ask an Aunt, or reach out to your mother or sister-in-law. Don't worry about having people go through your items. If you want to enlist someone's help, but not have them digging through your possessions, you can give them jobs such as cleaning or putting the keepers away.

It's also okay to ask them to show up a little later in the decluttering session or do some prep work so they are ready to roll when they arrive. You don't want them standing around watching you try sorting through all the items. Plan ahead, but take the help.

Take Before and After Pictures

I'm positive you will see the difference in your home after working a few dedicated hours on the space. However, I also love to see before-and-after pictures because the transformations are incredible! So, take a quick snapshot of the room with your phone, or a video starting in one corner and slowly panning the room, before starting and after finishing the job.

You'll be glad you did, and you can share them in our Facebook group to motivate others! Remember, it's progress over perfection. You can work on perfection once you get rid of the clutter.

Before and after comparison of a hutch decluttering project. The 'Before' image shows the hutch cluttered with various items strewn across and below it. The 'After' image displays the same hutch neatly organized with dishes, books, and a clear surrounding area. Both images are branded with the Boot Camp Mom kettlebell logo

What to Get Rid of

No, I will not have you asking if the item sparks joy before choosing to get rid of the item. Rather, I like to focus on the purpose of the item. You can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need this item?
  • Do I have/need more than one of these items?
  • When was the last time I used this item?
  • Do I have a place for this item?

Truly try to keep only what you need and use. It's fine to keep things “just in case,” but you also need to make room for the items you are keeping. How do you do that? By getting rid of other unnecessary items.

How to Deal with Sentimental Clutter

If you struggle to get rid of family heirlooms or boxes full of old slides, it's okay. You do not have to throw out all of your treasured memories. However, I will challenge you to minimize the number of items that you deem sentimental. After all, if everything is sentimental, then truly nothing is sentimental, right?

I recommend having a dedicated tote(s) for sentimental and keepsake items. As you find these items, store them all together in that tote(s). When you finish decluttering your home, go through all of the sentimental items and sort them.

You'll want to identify items you want to display, items you want to store, items you want to have digitized (using companies such as ScanMyPhotos), and items you want to get rid of. As long as you have the space to display or store the items, it is fine to keep them. Just get them all together and try to lessen the amount if possible.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *