Simplify your home over a weekend by following these 4 expert-approved steps

Organizing and decluttering your home needn't feel overwhelming when you follow this easy 4-step process

Three images of contemporary, blue toned homes
(Image credit: Future)

As a professional organizer, I have a fairly decluttered and organized home. It’s not always picture-perfect, but it’s my priority to keep it organized so everyone in my family can find what they need.  

But like everything else, keeping a tidy home requires regular maintenance, so I set aside a weekend a few times per year to streamline and simplify my home.  

Below, I share my easy 4-step process that you can copy to simplify your home over a weekend.

Simplify your home over a weekend

Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of home organizing ideas and decluttering tips online? Take the stress out of your routine by following these 4 expert-approved steps.

1. Pre-Weekend Prep

Writing a to do list in a notepad next to a laptop

(Image credit: Getty Images/Timm Cleasby Photography)

Your pre-weekend prep doesn’t require actual work, but it does require some thought. In the days leading up to the weekend, think about what isn’t flowing smoothly in your home. These tasks feel more complicated than they should, the tasks you dread, and the spaces you clean up only to become a mess just minutes later.

I also want you to think about what you wish you had time to do in your home. Entertaining friends, spending time outside, or reading for pleasure for example. My only suggestion is to avoid adding things you think you should do. 

Jot down notes as you live life. Keep it simple using the notes app on your phone or a simple scratch pad.

2. Focus on high impact areas

A contemporary grey kitchen with marble countertops and an island topped with a cake dome and a large white bowl

(Image credit: Future / Jon Day Photography)

I want you to be realistic about what you can get done in one weekend. Set yourself up for success by choosing no more than three areas in your home that need to be simplified.  

Remember the list of problem areas and tasks you created during the prep stage? Use that list to determine 2-3 projects for the weekend. The projects you select are the ones that make the most significant difference in your day-to-day life.

Here are some ideas:

  • You are eager to park your car in the garage before spring storms roll through, so you need to consider how to declutter a garage.
  • You’ve been eating more take-out than you’d like, so you want to get your kitchen cleaned out and organized in a way that inspires cooking.
  • You want to read for relaxation, so you want to set up a clutter-free space to bring your reading nook ideas to life.
  • Your kids’ after-school routines are a little haphazard in the second half of the school year, so you want to reset for a solid end of the year.

You get the idea! Evaluate the areas of your home that need a touch-up or the parts of your day-to-day routine that feel harder than they should, and plan to make some changes.

3. Declutter

A mint green living room with a statement wall hanging and a beige futon

(Image credit: Future)

Now that you know your focus areas for the weekend, it’s time to declutter. Clutter is anything that gets in the way of your goals or vision for your home. What is clutter to one person may be a prized possession to another person, so focus on you and your home when determining what to keep and what to discard.

You’ll have three piles:

Rehome: These items are still essential and must be in your home, but they don’t need to be stored where they are in your home.

Donate: These are items you don’t need but are in good enough condition for someone else to use.

Toss/Recycle: These items are not in good enough condition to keep or donate.

Ask yourself these questions if you get stuck on what to keep versus what to discard:

  • If the item broke or was lost, would I replace it right away?
  • If it were missing, would I even notice?
  • Is there something else in my home that serves the same purpose?

Your answers to the above questions will help you decide whether or not to keep an item.

4. Plan the System

Craft room storage

(Image credit: Future / Brent Darby)

Now that you have decluttered the space and everything associated with your weekend focus, it’s time to consider the flow of the space.

If your kitchen counter collects objects from all over the house, consider what they are and what storage solutions or drop zones you can implement to contain them before they reach the counter. 

If your weekend focus is the garage, consider what items are in the way. Consider space-saving ways to use vertical storage and hang things on the wall to create more floor space. Install shelves or may even bike racks.

If you focus on creating a cozy reading nook, place a basket by a comfy chair that holds your book and a soft blanket.

5. Source Accessories

I always suggest making any organizational purchases as the last step because you may realize once you declutter, you don’t need nearly as many storage containers as you first thought.

This is the stage where you can blend style and design with function. It’s our favorite part of organizing in my company!

As you plan your weekend, remember that the focus is on simplifying. Don’t add complicated routines and storage solutions for the sake of being 'organized.' Let your goals and how you use your home guide your steps.

Caroline Roberts
Contributing expert

Caroline Roberts, a certified KonMari Consultant and professional organizer, founded the organizing agency The Simplified Island in 2019. Caroline believes being organized goes much deeper than pretty bins and can be life-changing. She recognized her organizing and streamlining skills were unique as she ran her marketing agency, Coastal Connections Marketing, and raised her two sons.