I have been hearing people ask this question a lot lately. Which is better, decluttering your home fast or slow? I’m sure you already know about a generic answer to this question…” well, it all depends.”
*Insert eye roll to this answer here*
Well of course it depends. It depends on if you work full time, have kids, or have a house filled to the brim with stuff to sort through! Yet the question is, should you declutter your home fast or slow?
I wanted to dive deeper into this question and identify which is the better option. Which choice truly is better despite what it depends on?
I needed to weigh out the pros and cons and try a personal experiment and here’s what I found out, and it may surprise you…
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EXPERIMENT ONE- FAST DECLUTTER
Who doesn’t want to declutter their homes fast? We’re busy!
We got a million other things to do and the whole idea is that if our homes are clutter-free we will have more time to do the things we want to do and less time cleaning and organizing our clutter.
Decluttering your home fast can be done. It is easier than you think. It shortens the emotional turmoil and helps you trigger your inner beast to be ruthless with purging your stuff. A fast decluttering session can help make you feel incredibly accomplished in a short amount of time.
I have been decluttering my home very fast all of May. I call them micro-decluttering bursts.
Once a week I grabbed some trash bags, rummaged through my closets, my cupboards, and drawers, and would make very fast decisions on what to remove and donate.
One coffee cup here, a couple of shirts there. Just small decisions constantly.
That bag would get tossed in the garage to deal with on a different day (out of sight out of mind!)
I also learned how to aggressively say no to items coming into my home. This lovely ability I do believe stemmed from the quickness in which I was learning to declutter and make decisions.
I felt really good about my choices…but only for a short amount of time because decluttering fast was not a large enough change to my home to feel like I made a massive impact. I wanted to feel different. I wanted my home to be different.
When doing smaller sessions of quick decluttering, I was constantly removing small annoyances but did not have the time to deal with the big ones.
Like, creating new organization solutions for spaces that get cluttered quickly.
Overall when I declutter quickly I feel small boosts of gratification and just enough accomplishment to pat myself on the back, but not enough to make a HUGE difference in my home.
But hey, small wins are still won aren’t they?
So let’s recap on what works and doesn’t work with decluttering fast.
WHAT WORKS WHEN YOU DECLUTTER FAST
- Your home stays consistently decluttered
- You feel frequent small bursts of accomplishment and gratification
- Saying no to new items coming into your home is very easy
- It works great with a busy lifestyle
WHAT DOESN’T WORK WHEN YOU DECLUTTER FAST
- Not a large enough change to your home to “feel” significantly different
- You create extra projects to deal with later (Pile of bags to donate in the garage)
- You do not have the time to create organizational solutions to the areas you keep decluttering
The Most Helpful Decluttering Guide Ever
EXPERIMENT TWO- SLOW DECLUTTER
The slow method is known to be solid and true. When you take your time, you really can transform your home from a cluttered nightmare to a minimalist dream home.
I think we all know the problem though when we declutter our homes slowly… it takes forever.
I usually have two slow decluttering sessions a year in my home. Once in January to freshen up my home for the year, and again in September right before the Holidays to feel less stressed.
I love and loathe these longer decluttering sessions.
I love them because when I am finished, every square inch of my home is clean, organized, and decluttered. Most importantly I feel like I can think and breathe again!
On the other hand, I do loathe decluttering slowly because unless I have two weeks off from work to dedicate towards this goal (which never happens), I often find myself incredibly overwhelmed with the entire project.
Sometimes so overwhelmed, I get started and never finish.
Also, weeks on end I feel my schedule is filled to the brim with a never-ending to-do list.
The worst thing about decluttering slowly is that if you cannot keep some sort of routine and time frame, what you decluttered and organized first might be a mess by the time you finish the last project. (It all comes full circle doesn’t it?)
I will admit though when I do a slow declutter, I spend so much more time putting thought into the process. I handle each item with care and I take the time to sell things if I want an extra buck.
When you slowly declutter you know it’s not a race so if you need to spend an entire afternoon just sorting through pictures you can.
You give yourself permission to walk through this process at your own pace and make sure you have the time to solve problems to prevent future clutter hot zones.
So what works and doesn’t work with a slow declutter?
WHAT WORKS WHEN YOU DECLUTTER SLOW
- You have the time to go through more items more thoughtfully and create solid organization solutions
- How much time you have doesn’t matter, you set your own pace
- Makes a large impact in your home when complete
WHAT DOESN’T WORK WHEN YOU DECLUTTER SLOW
- It can feel overwhelming
- If you take too long, what you decluttered first might get disorganized by the time you finish the last project
- May take too long to feel like you are accomplishing anything, thus making it tempting to give up
So you know what are the pros and cons of each speed of decluttering. We know that going fast provides maintenance, quick rewards, and fits a busy lifestyle.
Decluttering slow provides us with solutions to our clutter hot zones, provides a huge impact when the entire home is complete, and tedious decluttering projects get done.
So the question remains, which is better. Decluttering slow or decluttering fast.
The winner is… DECLUTTERING FAST
Not what you were expecting? Well, let me tell you why decluttering fast works better!
I have been using this method all month and I feel so much more in control of my home. I can pop open a drawer in the bathroom and less than 5 minutes have it cleaned, decluttered, and organized.
Because I move so fast, I feel I take one cluttered room and transform it into a more relaxed environment in minutes versus spending an entire Saturday to get it perfect.
The time I save and the result I get is truly what made decluttering fast the ultimate winner in this competition.
Every weekend I do one small micro-burst of decluttering and my home is shaping up just as quickly as if I took a few weeks off of work to declutter my entire home.
Now don’t get me wrong decluttering slowly is still a fantastic way to declutter your home, especially if it is your first time decluttering. Taking your time to clean, organize, and declutter every square inch of your home will help you ease into “maintenance mode.”
Maintenance mode is where you consistently declutter your home every month or so to stay on top of any new clutter issues.
Overall, you know what will work for you and what won’t, but if you have never considered decluttering your home fast, maybe it’s worth a try!
What have you got to lose? Clutter?