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  • Writer's pictureHeatherAnne Norbury

14 Tips to Get Your Family Onboard with Decluttering

A family of four sitting around a table, discussing chores. Smiling and clapping.

Decluttering can be a life-changing process. It helps organize our physical space and brings a sense of clarity and calmness to our minds. Starting a conversation about decluttering with your family members can be challenging. In this blog post, I will share some practical strategies for talking to your family and fostering a supportive environment for decluttering together.

Clarify your intentions about decluttering

Before discussing decluttering, take a moment to reflect on why you want to embark on this journey. Do you desire a more peaceful living environment, enhanced productivity, or reduced stress? Understanding your own motivations will help you express your intentions to your family. Take time to clarify your “why” - why do you want to declutter your home?

Share your frustrations

Openly communicate the challenges you face due to clutter. Tell them how it affects your daily routine, makes it difficult to find things, or creates unnecessary stress. By sharing your frustrations, you can help your family members understand the significance of decluttering and inspire them to join you. If one family member is happier, the entire family is happier.

Share your hopes

Discuss your aspirations for a more organized and harmonious home. Paint a vivid picture of the benefits that await everyone once you have minimized the clutter. Talk about the increased space, improved functionality, and the ability to cherish the things that matter. By sharing your hopes, you can instill a sense of optimism and excitement in your family members.

Get them excited about the possibilities

A decluttered home is much easier to care for and clean. Your family will have more opportunities to engage in fun activities together. No more frantic mornings spent trying to find a missing item. No more weekends lost to cleaning and upkeep. There is time and space to indulge in the most loved hobbies and take spontaneous adventures. Everyone feels calmer and more connected without the clutter-induced drama.

Ask for their help and support

Approach the conversation with a collaborative mindset. Let your family know that you value their opinions, input, and help throughout the decluttering process. Encourage an open dialogue where everyone can contribute their thoughts and concerns. By getting their help and support, you create a sense of shared responsibility, increasing the chances of their participation.

Be respectful of everyone's feelings

Not everyone is going to be as excited about decluttering as you are. Different people have varying levels of attachment to their possessions. While some may find it difficult to let go of things, others may feel overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering. Be patient and understanding, and try to find ways to make decluttering a positive experience for everyone involved.

Start small

Begin the decluttering journey by taking small steps. Suggest starting with a specific area or room that is manageable for everyone. A shared space, like the kitchen table, where everyone will benefit is a great first choice. This approach avoids overwhelming your family and encourages them to experience the immediate benefits of decluttering. As you make progress, it becomes easier to motivate and engage everyone in tackling larger spaces or sentimental items. You have to build everyone's decluttering muscle first.

Be consistent

When it has taken years to build up a mountain of clutter, it may feel like it will require losing whole weekends to get it all done. No one will be excited about that, regardless of the benefits. Start with small, consistent, daily actions to build the habit and shift mindsets around clutter. For example, every night before bed, set a 5-minute timer. Have everyone pick up and put away the items they got out that day. You can do more and expand on the habit as you go, but in the beginning, getting habits established through consistency is important.

Here are a few tips on how to make the actual decluttering effective and collaborative:

Set aside a specific time each week for decluttering. This will help to make it a regular part of your routine and make it less overwhelming. Set a timer. Do what you can in that time.

Pick a decluttering theme for each weekly session. It could be clothing, toys (even grownups have toys), craft supplies, sports equipment, or paperwork/schoolwork. Knowing where to start and where to focus can help avoid feeling overwhelmed. Pick a new theme each week or stick with the same one until you reach a stopping spot with that category.

Create a decluttering station. This is a specific area in your home where you can sort through your belongings and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Have a trash can, recycling bin, and donation box close by. Leave a few minutes at the end of a decluttering session to put everything away that you are keeping from that day's session.

Have a plan for what you will do with the items that you decide to get rid of. It’s okay to sell some of the things but have a plan for the dollar amount that is worth it to sell and how long you will try to sell something before donating it. For donations, where will you take the items and when will you take the items? Don’t let the boxes pile up.

Make it fun! Decluttering can be a great opportunity to get creative and declutter in a way that works for your family. Have a family decluttering party, turn it into a scavenger hunt, or turn on some favorite music and dance party your way through decluttering.

Celebrate! Celebrating small wins is a great way to boost motivation, stay focused, and foster a sense of togetherness in the process. Cheer. High five. Congratulate one another on a job well done.

Talking to your family about decluttering can set the stage for a harmonious and organized home. By following the tips I have shared, you can foster a collaborative atmosphere. Patience and understanding are essential as everyone adjusts to the decluttering process. Working together is a great way to create a home that promotes calm, productivity, and a deeper appreciation for what matters.

If you need more support and guidance in talking to your family about decluttering, I invite you to join the Decluttering Community, my free Facebook group. You will find friendly support and advice from others who are on the same journey. Feel free to share your stories, ask questions, and even offer tips and tricks that have worked for you! Small, consistent actions add up to big changes. Declutter your life today!

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