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Organizing takes a lot of time and letting go of things is sometimes hard. To be smart with decluttering (and to create SMART decluttering action plan), feel good about yourself and see real results, it’s important to:

  • Create an action plan with “bite-size” tasks
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Determine milestones

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Create SMART decluttering action plan (+ free templates) | Smart decluttering | Organizing | How to | Minimalism | Simple life | Mindful minimalism | Simplify Life | Action plan | Free Templates | SaturdayGift | Saturday Gift #SaturdayGift

SMART goals are the smart way to make the tasks at hand realistic and “bite-sized”. And SMART goals work perfectly also for decluttering and organizing. 

Instead of just mindlessly decluttering a thing here and another there, with SMART goal you’ll have a clever plan, you’ll know when you’ve made progress and your expectations are reasonable and realistic. 

What is S.M.A.R.T goal?

There are a lot of different variations of the SMART goals, but to create SMART decluttering action plan, I like to use the original one by George T. Doran .  

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym and means:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – how to measure the improvement?
  • Assignable – who does the improvement? 
  • Realistic – given available resources, what can be achieved?  
  • Time-related – when results can be achieved?

Did you read the article: 6 essential steps to take before starting a decluttering project? 

If not, read it first here and do the the exercises on the workbook before continuing.

SMART decluttering

The way I like to use SMART goals to smart decluttering (and create SMART decluttering action plan) is to:

S=Specific 

  • analyze room by room
  • find out which area needs your attention/needs improvement 
  • choose a room/area

M=Measurable

  • take before and after pictures
  • choose some of the following to measure:
    1. how many things you decluttered
    2. how many things you kept
    3. how many things you moved to another area
    4. how much money can you get by selling the items
    5. how many could you donate

A=Assignable

  • choose who does the job (in most cases this is going to be you.)

R=Realistic

  • what kind of resources you have (rooms, closets, cupboards, drawers, boxes etc.)
  • what can be achieved with those

T=Time-related

  • how much time you have at hand
  • what can you realistically achieve in that amount of time

To make it even easier, I’ve made these templates, so you can start immediately.

You can download them from our password protected free resource library. If you already have the password – click here.

If you need the password you can get it here. Or sign up to our newsletter in the end of this post and I’ll send you the password immediately.

And then continue reading the step-by-step instructions how to use the templates to create SMART decluttering action plan.

Did you read the article: 6 essential steps to take before starting a decluttering project? 

If not, read it first here and do the the exercises on the workbook before continuing.

How to create SMART decluttering action plan

Here are the step-by-step instructions to use the templates to create SMART decluttering action plan. 

The steps are

  1. Analyse room by room
  2. Prioritize rooms one-by-one
  3. Areas one-by-one
  4. The next area
  5. Follow your progress
  6. The next room

How to use the SMART decluttering templates: 

1. Analyze room by room

First: analyze room by room which rooms/areas need your attention/need improvement

You can download these templates from our password protected free resource library. If you already have the password – click here.

1. Write down all rooms/areas in your home:

Living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, family room, bedrooms, bathrooms, storage rooms, others.

2. What is the condition of the room:

Draw a smiley face: poor, ok, good, excellent.

3. Add extra information on the “Usage” and “Importance”.  

This is optional and is only needed if you have difficulty prioritizing the rooms.

“Usage” means: do you use the room all of the time, daily, sometimes, rarely, special occasion

“Importance” means: is it important to have the room organized asap or can it wait

2. Prioritize rooms one-by-one

Second: prioritize rooms one-by-one so you know which room to start with.

After you’ve done the prioritizing you don’t need the first template anymore, because all the information will be in the two other templates (rooms one-by-one and areas one-by-one)

You can download these templates from our password protected free resource library. If you already have the password – click here.

1. Write down all rooms/areas in your home in the order of the smiley faces / condition:

First the ones that are in poor condition (sad face) 

Then the ones that are in ok condition (“i’m fine” face)

Then the ones that are in good condition (smiling face)

Then the ones that are in excellent condition (happy face)

If you have a lot of rooms that are in the same category prioritize the ones that are in a lot of usage and are important

2. Choose the first one (and only that one) and fill in:

Before picture: Take a picture of the room

Condition now: Draw here again the condition of that room

Condition goal: Draw here the condition you would like it to be.

Important! When you choose your “condition goal” be realistic. If you start from a poor condition, it might be too time-consuming to get to immediately to an excellent condition. It’s ok to go from poor to ok condition or from ok condition to good one AND feel good about it. 

3. Now move to the next template “areas one-by-one”.

After that template has been done, you’ll fill the rest to this template.

3. Areas one-by-one

Third: write down areas in the prioritized room one-by-one and choose one area to start with

1. Write down all areas in that room in any order.

Areas can be tables, closets, drawers, shelfs, nooks etc.

2. Choose any one of the areas (and only that one) and fill in:

Before picture: Take a picture of the area

Condition now: Draw here the condition of that area

Condition goal: Draw here the condition you would like the area to be.

Important! When you choose your “condition goal” be realistic. If you start from a poor condition, it might be too time-consuming to get to immediately to an excellent condition. It’s ok to go from poor to ok condition or from ok condition to good one AND feel good about it. 

3. Declutter

Read more about decluttering tips and techniques from the future posts.

4. Organize 

Read more about organizing tips and techniques from the future posts.

5. Calculate how many you decluttered

Things: Write here a number of the things you decluttered (trashed, donated, sold)

If you moved things to another area, don’t write those here

This is for you to have an idea how many things left your house.

6. Take “after picture”

Look at the “before picture” and the “after picture” and feel good about your progress! 

7. And draw smiley faces – how did decluttering and organizing this area made you feel?

4. The next area

Then when you next time want to or have time to declutter and organize

1. choose another area in that same room

2. do again numbers 2-7 from areas one-by-one instructions.

You can download these templates from our password protected free resource library. If you already have the password – click here.

5. Follow your progress

Last: After all the areas in that one room are decluttered and organized to your liking go back to the template “rooms one-by-one” and fill in the rest:

How many things decluttered: 

Calculate together all the decluttered items from the areas one-by-one template. 

Things: Write here the number of the things you decluttered (trashed, donated, sold)

And  remember if you moved things to another area, don’t write those here.

This is for you to have an idea how many things left your house.

After picture: Take an after picture of the room. Look at the “before picture” and “after picture” and feel good about your progress! 

Feelings after: Draw how decluttering and organizing this room made you feel.

6. The next room

Then when you next time want to or have time to declutter and organize 

1. choose the next room on the “rooms one-by-one” template

2. take “before picture” of that room

3. draw condition now and condition goal smiley faces.

4. Then print the “areas one-by-one” template for that room

5. start “Areas one-by-one” insturction from the beginning. 

What next?

Print the templates and keep them somewhere you can see them. 

You can find the workbook/templates in the free resource library. You’ll need a password. Subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll get the password with the welcome email. 

Once the “action list” is done, it’s on a paper and out of your mind. Only think about the next area you are going to be doing. Don’t worry about the other ones, they are already on your action list and there’s a time for them later. 

And most importantly: feel good about your progress and remember to celebrate each milestone!

What do you think? Did you create SMART decluttering action plan? And if you have any questions about decluttering and/or organizing, please let me know. I would love to see, if I can be of any help! 

Want to remember this? Pin this post – how to create a SMART decluttering action plan –  to your favorite Pinterest board!

Create SMART decluttering action plan (+ free templates) | Smart decluttering | Organizing | How to | Minimalism | Simple life | Mindful minimalism | Simplify Life | Action plan | Free Templates | SaturdayGift | Saturday Gift #SaturdayGift
Create SMART decluttering action plan (+ free templates) | Smart decluttering | Organizing | How to | Minimalism | Simple life | Mindful minimalism | Simplify Life | Action plan | Free Templates | SaturdayGift | Saturday Gift #SaturdayGift