How to Plan a Weekend Purge


I just love those home makeover and house-swap shows. You know, Weekend Cleaning | Weekend Purge | Home Cleaning | Cleaning Tips | Cleaning Hacks | Declutter Rules | Home Organization | Decluttering Tips & Ideas | Spring Cleaning | Spring Cleaning Tipsthose shows where a family spends the weekend organizing, cleaning out, and “making over” their home? It’s so exciting to see people get a fresh start. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the opportunity to work from a blank slate?

Truly decluttering your life is a much larger process—it’s going to take longer than just one weekend of cleaning. However, there’s quite a lot to be said about getting a big chunk of purging and organizing done at once.

You might not be on a reality show, but you can certainly spend a weekend emulating the pros and making headway.

In my new book, Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul, I provide a detailed process to help you undergo a weekend of purging, decluttering and getting yourself organized. If you’re ready to get started, here are the basics of the weekend plan.


The first step is to harness your plan and get ready. You’ll want to start preparing at least a few days ahead. Schedule your clean-out for a weekend when you can dedicate the entire time to the process—no lessons, no games, no activities, no visitors.

Assemble a team of helpers, including your spouse and (depending on their ages) your children. By including the whole family, you ensure their buy-in and commitment to keeping your house unstuffed after the work is done. It’s so easy to slide into bad habits, but it’s more difficult when you’ve exerted such effort and had a hand in the process.

If your children are very young, you’re going to want to also consider childcare. If you have pets, you may want to arrange for a sitter or boarding for the weekend. Consider preparing freezer meals or easy-to-assemble make-ahead meals, because you aren’t going to want to focus on preparing food and cooking. Have items like granola bars and water bottles readily accessible, so your team isn’t slowed down by thirst or hunger.

Consider where you’ll be donating items and be sure you can drop items right off at the proper location THAT day. Don’t wait! Waiting means holding onto stuff, which can lead to changing your mind and undoing some of your hard work.

Compile the supplies you will need, such as: boxes, garbage bags, markers, tape, storage containers and baskets. Consider assembling hangers for each closet. (40 hangers per family member works well.) If you have a label maker, shelf paper and other organizational tools on hand, you may want to also gather them together.

You can include your photos on social media by using the hashtag #unstuffedchallenge. Let’s compare our progress and exchange some tips and tricks we learn!