A Decluttering Snowball Plan

Declutter space


Dear friends,

When asked to describe my blog, I often say it’s about Simple Living for Real People.

In other words, we’re in this together–experimenting, trying new strategies, practicing the art of less, and slowing down a bit to enjoy life.

I have a number of other simple living blogs I love to read, and one of my favorites is Frugalwoods. Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods are the real deal–they live very simply at a homestead in the country, chop and burn their own firewood, and even cut their own hair.

Mrs. Frugalwoods recently wrote a lovely post about decluttering her whole house over a period of 4 to 5 months. This BIG, somewhat overwhelming idea stuck in my mind. Wouldn’t it be heavenly to have a completely uncluttered home?

But where to begin?

A Space Blessing Decluttering Plan

Because I’m a certified Type A, I love lists and plans.

With that in mind, I decided to apply the same principle of Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Plan to the spaces in our house.

Similar to the idea of systematically tackling debts from smallest to largest, I made a list of spaces and arranged the list from least-cluttered to most-cluttered. “Decluttering Plan” sounded too dreary, so I named it a Space Blessing Plan

This took some time and several drafts to get it right, so I was glad I wrote it with a pencil.

I counted freestanding closets like the linen closet as one space. I listed the utility room in the basement and the garden shed as individual spaces. Then I took the two largest and most challenging rooms — the garage and basement — and divided them into smaller, more manageable parts.

The result is a nice, tidy list from smallest to biggest. Here’s how it looks:


Space blessing plan


Doing this plan helped me get real about each space in our house, and order it from least clutter to most. Decluttering the powder room, the #1 space on the list, only took about ten minutes but it was so satisfying to write “DONE” and move on!

My hope is to get through all of the spaces on the list by the end of this year. We’ll see how it goes.

How About You?

Would you like to try creating a Space Blessing Plan, too? I’d love to hear about your ideas and decluttering experiences on the Comments section of this post, or over at the January Money Diet Community Facebook Group.

I hope you enjoy a relaxing, uncluttered weekend.


The signature for Eliza Cross

Grateful thanks to Michael Browning on Unsplash for the lovely photo of the yellow chairs above.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

A Decluttering Snowball Plan

  • I’ve been working on my plan for when I get home. I trying to think how not to get overwhelmed and have decided that one week for each room/space between February 1 and June 1 (with some breaks in the middle) should do it…the garage has lots of nooks and crannies and needed three different listings! Thank you for the idea. I like the snowball plan.

  • Eliza – -I love this idea. I’ve been in CT for this entire month helping my mother-in-law move from her 3,000 square foot three floor condo into a two bedroom apartment. It’s taken weeks, but working in stages made the entire process manageable. First, she chose what she wanted and moved it. Then her sons came and took what they wanted from what was left. Then, we hired a company to come in and take the rest to be given to charity or thrown away. To do all of this, however, I had spent about 25 days during the previous 6 months culling what was there, cleaning one shelf at a time so that my mother-in-law could actually see what she had in the first place! If I had tried to tackle it all at once, it would have been impossible. By doing it over time and in small pieces, it worked. Now, I can’t wait to go home and do the same in my own large house. Thank you, as always, for the inspiration.

  • Lulu

    Into the 6th month of recovery after a triple bypass. They tell me it takes up to a year to really feel better (now!). My house is trashed from 2 years of feeling terrible, the cat that knocked the bookcase off the wall, and the dog that eats EVERYTHING – including raw potatoes. This system of listing spaces to tidy up just might work for me since I am also type ‘Z’ and would rather sit with a cat in my lap and read.

  • Holy Kazoli! I think I’m the opposite of type A… what would that be? Type Z? Well anyhow, I have an odd theory about decluttering – I think you should start at the bottom. I know that sounds crazy, but bear with me…

    See, in an ideal world, the stuff that you’re using now would be out, then the stuff you use frequently would be away, but easily accessible (like in a drawer, closet or on a shelf) and then the stuff that you seldom use would be on the “bottom” – like in a storage room, or a hard to reach shelf, or whatever.

    But, for me, at least, the problem is that stuff never makes it into the drawers etc, because they are full of stuff that doesn’t actually get used often… and that stuff should be moved to the “bottom,” but it can’t be, because the “bottom” is full of crap that never, EVER gets used. Anyhow, I realize it’s crazy, but starting at the bottom is the only thing that’s ever worked for me.

  • Kathleen

    I love this idea Eliza! Though I may have to take areas like my kitchen, cupboard by cupboard! But I love the idea of it being a blessing!

  • Oooo, I like the idea of a snowball decluttering plan. Right now our main living areas and closets are pretty decluttered, but the garage is a work in progress. It’s my current project right now, and I have a plan, but it’s area-by-area. I didn’t think of snowballing it!

  • Gail Riley

    Ok, Ok I’m in.
    Right now we are in Florida and the house we are staying in is “designed” with fish, shells, frogs, boats and clutter throughout!
    I can not wait to declutter when we get back to Colorado. Thanks for the push!!

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