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So you’ve completed the ULTIMATE declutter after ditching minimalism for intentional living. If you haven’t already, check out my Ditching Minimalism post.
So what’s next to maintain the momentum of decluttering your mind and simplifying your life? If you’re now asking ‘how to organise my life’ after you’ve decluttered your home, then this post is perfect for you.
Check out these 5 simple steps to maintain the momentum in living with intention and to declutter your life.
#1. Sell/donate any unwanted items from your purge
Have you done this already?
How many of you are guilty of doing a cleanout and then leaving the items you’ve decided to get rid of in a pile by the door, in the spare room or in the car for weeks, or even months after the clean? Make sure you clear the clutter as soon as you can.
My general rule of thumb now is that you need to sell or donate the item(s) within a week of deciding to get rid of it.
Keep track of how much you make selling online so you can understand the monetary value that decluttering your home has had.
I’ve included a printable tracker in my Declutter Your Life workbook for busy families. Having a tracker will help keep you accountable to removing the unwanted items from your home. Plus it’s a fantastic reminder of how much money you can make selling unwanted and unneeded household items.
#2. Cleaning schedule to maintain the house
Working parents need to be organised to maintain a tidy home unless you’re willing to sacrifice several hours of your weekend getting the house in a tidy state for the week ahead.
Allocate a cleaning task to each day of the week so you maintain a level of cleanliness in your home.
As the kids get older, it becomes even easier because family members can rotate tasks.
There’s also a printable you can download as part of my Declutter your Life workbook. Now you can keep track of what task is done when and by whom.
#3. Make the house smell fresh
So the house IS clean but what makes it FEEL clean? When you’re home, open up the house and let the sunshine and fresh air roll through.
But if you can’t leave windows and doors open because you’re at work or it’s freezing cold, but like me, you love walking into my home after a day of work and to a lovely smelling home, you need some fresh scents.
We make our own linen scents and spritz them on the sheets when we make the bed so the smell eventually permeates the rest of the house.
I also have an essential oil diffuser in each room so this helps us keep our home smelling beautiful. My favourite diffuser (I have a few different brands scattered throughout the house) is my Plant Therapy one. This thing gets a thrashing in my lounge room.
After using my essential oils tracker, I’ve created some nice images of my favourite blends so I can save them on Pinterest or Instagram. Here are some of my favourite diffuser blends for the house.
#4. Make a list of any purchases the family wants and assess the necessity
Even though you’ve decluttered the house for now, eventually there will be a need for a new item.
The key to maintaining an intentional living approach is to assess the necessity of the item.
- Will it add long-term value?
- Can you afford it with cash?
- Will it have its own home once you bring it home?
If so, add it to a list of items and prioritise it in terms of how soon it is needed in the house.
Here’s a look at what my husband and I want for our home / personal lives. We collate all our ideas onto a shared Trello board and review them, and reorder the list as required.
#5. Review the family finances and see what you need to adjust
For me, finances are the biggest thing you can simplify in your life, after your home.
While your mind is actively in a state where it is focusing on intentional living, take a look at your finances. Does your family live paycheck to paycheck?
If so, it’s time to declutter your finances in order to simplify your life.
Where do you start?
Family finances are the only thing I will agree that using the Konmari method of decluttering is productive to your goals of living with intention.
Start by auditing your bank statements and find where money is pouring out.
Is it takeaway food? A takeaway coffee every day? Where can you plug the hole?
When I started full-time work and started getting paid monthly, I knew I had to budget to make the paycheck last an entire month.
I wrote down the expenses I am responsible for (my husband pays the rest from his paycheck)
- Food shopping (including incidental trips and takeaway) – 20% of my pay.
- Childcare – 25% of my pay
- Travelling to work expenses and fuel- 10%
- Bills (electricity, phone and car registration) – 10%
- Saving – 20% of my pay
- Anything leftover is my spending fund, which is about 15% normally.
Pay down debts
We are exceptionally lucky we don’t have any debt except our mortgage (as my student debt is deducted from my paycheck) so we can afford to save so much. ALWAYS pay down debt to reduce interest you will pay before adding significant amounts to savings.
If you have debts and if your pre-audit “spending money” exceeds more than 10-15% of your income, then it’s time to assess where that money is going to make sure your family isn’t struggling between each paycheck.
Manage your spending money for the pay cycle
Setting up an electronic “envelope” system with my bank accounts helps to reduce over-spending. I move all funds to their nominated accounts or payees on as soon as my pay comes in. Because I only have a debit card for the spending account, I can never overspend throughout the month.
Once the spendings money is gone, that’s it. You might even want to take the month’s spending money out as cash to make it last the entire month.
As long as you have the willpower not to transfer money from savings or bills accounts to supplement a spending deficit, this system will really help you go beyond the paycheck to paycheck cycle.
Decluttering my finances makes my life so much easier.
A quick case study on using this system to declutter your finances
My best friend (who didn’t want to be named) used this same financial declutter system to help clear her consumer debt a lot sooner than if she’d just stuck to minimum payments.
Rather than saving straight away, she made extra repayments (money she found by reducing her incidental spending money to 10% of each pay) on her personal loans each pay to reduce the interest and therefore cleared the loan much sooner.
Within 18 months of clearing her personal loans, she was able to save enough of her paycheck to allow her to quit her job and backpack over Europe for months (she’s still there AND thinking about side hustles to bring in passive income while she sees the world)!
It takes some sacrifice. But I’d rather make small sacrifices on non-essential expenses that serve no long-term purpose in my life than lay awake at night stressing about how I’m going to pay the essential expenses.
It’s this way of life that made it easy for my husband and me to purchase a brand new mattress and then a new oven two days later when our oven blew up, without stressing about where we would find the money to cover this emergency.
Taking such simple steps to simplify your life and mind after you’ve decluttered your home is the next step in the path of intentional living. And once you’re living with intention, the rest comes so easy.
I’ve combined all the various printable systems I used to simplify my life over the years and put it in one printable package for you so you can take it away and slowly declutter and simplify the rest of your life.