The Clutter Snowball

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Clutter Snowball - Great idea!

My husband has wisely made the correlation between Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and an effective decluttering method.  I’ll elaborate on the steps as we make our way through our Live With Less year-long journey but today I want to share how our proposed Clutter Snowball is similar to Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball method (Baby step #2).  Dave Ramsey’s method is very effective and we hope that ours will be too!

{By the way, I have to stop and say that I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover!  I know his plan well because my husband and I followed it to become debt free and we are currently on step 4.  We love it!}


It’s called the snowball method because of how it works.  When you want to build a snowman you could bring handfuls of snow and pile them up in one spot but most people start with a tight snowball and roll it around the yard.  Why is that?  It’s because everyone knows a rolling snowball will build a snowman much quicker.

Big Snowball

Just like Dave Ramsey suggests paying off the smallest debt first I’m recommending that you start with the smallest space in your home to declutter first.  That’s why last week’s challenge was to clean one drawer.  For the next two weeks your challenge is to tackle the smallest section of your home but I’ll give more details on that tomorrow.

Clutter Snowball Method!

Here are the three ways they are similar:

– Behavior Modification – Both the debt snowball method and the clutter snowball method are designed to change your behavior.  Change your habits, change your life, as the cliche goes.  When you’re intentional about a goal and you have steps to reach it, you are 100 times more likely to succeed.  I know that you already have your goal in mind.  You can probably already visualize your home looking fabulous, can’t you?  I have those day dreams often.  I’m here weekly to help supply you with the baby steps.

– “Gazelle Intensity – Dave coined the term “gazelle intensity” after reading Proverbs 6:4–5, which says, “Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler.”

In other words, when you’re in debt…or when you’re in over your head with clutter, you need to work as hard to get out of debt as a gazelle works to run from a cheetah.

It’s possible to escape the cheetah but it won’t happen if the gazelle shuts his eyes and hopes the cheetah will disappear {like I’ve done a time or two with the clutter that surrounds me}.  It takes work, hard work, and a plan to outrun that cheetah…but WE CAN DO IT!

– Visual Change = Motivation – When you see change happening you’ll stick to your plan.  This is my favorite point!  I know that a few of you have already came to this conclusion on your own by the comments you’ve left in our Facebook group Live With Less and I just love that.

When we start small we can see the rewards of our work and that feeling of accomplishment is amazing!  Sometimes we’re even motivated to go and clean even more but if we’re not, that’s okay.  Cleaning out my linen closet made me want to clean out every closet in our home and donate even more trash bags.  I didn’t have time to do that this week but that’s okay!  Small steps are the way to go.  What if I had attempted to clean out a massive space only to have pulled everything out and ran out of time?  I would have had more of a mess than I started with.  I’ve done this before.  I became overwhelmed, threw everything back in it’s place, and left defeated.

Together, let’s take small steps this week to clean our smallest room or section.  If you haven’t divided your home into 12 sections yet, you can see this post for more information.  Tomorrow, I’ll be back to share a more detailed method for attacking that clutter filled small space but feel free to get started on it now if you’d like!

Do you like the clutter snowball idea as much as I do?  I hope so!  What is the smallest room that you’ll be tackling in the next two weeks?

About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy. She is the main voice behind Embracing Homemaking.


  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    My junk drawer is over flowing with, well, junk. I think I will start there.

  2. It has been several years, but I heard of something similar through a couples group I was part of. I should put this into practice!

  3. Thanks for this. I hate to say it, but my clutter snowball would be like one of those giant snowballs you see on cartoons.

  4. This is such a great idea! If you approach a problem in its smallest steps, you’re sure to succeed.

  5. I always have to start in small sections otherwise I get completely overwhelmed with the mess!

  6. What an awesome comparison between clutter and debt! it totally makes sense! And getting out of both situations are the very same methods! I love it. I need to get going on decluttering. We moved into a new home and not everything fits where we want it (cause since its a long time move, i don’t want to just leave stuff in boxes in storage. No it’s time to clean out and get rid of). I want a place for everything and everything in it’s place. So I need to start on this. My office is one of the worst rooms in the house. I think I”m going to start there. 1 shelf or drawer or box at a time.

  7. WOW, that is one perfect snow man! I have a whole basement to organize, I think I will start there!

  8. Your snowman is looking great! I hope to see some snow soon!

  9. I really like this advice. Starting small and building our way to the big things helped me with debt BIG TIME.

  10. My parents had two of their friends over the other night and they highly, HIGHLY recommended Dave Ramsey. It really sounds like he has helped you guys out a lot, too! 🙂

  11. Excellent comparison. I’ve been trying to convince my wife that we should all just pack a bag of clothes and set fire to the house to de-clutter, but she’s strangely reluctant for some reason. Maybe we can start with this instead.

  12. Great tips! you have to start somewhere. This makes things so much easier!

  13. I have been working on organizing my house. It feels good to get rid of all the clutter.

  14. Amy Desrosiers says

    These past few weeks, I have been in the declutter modes too! Currently, we only have a mortgage debt, and normal monthly bills.

  15. I so needed to read this! My whole house is a clutter snowball and I need to start attacking it a little at a time. Thanks for the great motivation!

  16. This is a great idea. I really like it. We are trying to simplify our lives and declutter too.

  17. You have to start somewhere! My hubby and I decluttered a few weeks ago and I can tell you- I feel so much better!

  18. I love when sound principles translate from one area to the next. I’ve declared 2015 the year of paying off debt and I’m actually super excited about it! Ready to change our expenditures from things to experiences.

  19. Where have you been all my life? I have had a problem with clutter for many many years. It is almost painful to have to get rid of anything that I have, even if I haven’t used it in months.

  20. All that snow is making me jealous. We haven’t had one good snowfall yet this year and I’m DYING to get the kids outside to make an Olaf snowman.

  21. I really appreciate this post because I’m trying desperately to fix the mistakes that we’ve made financially. I’m praying with all of my might that I land this job I’m trying to get so that we can make a huge leap into making that happen. Thank you for this well written post.

  22. I am n major declutter mode right now. I am recycling papers, donating things, and throwing away anything that is broken. I’ve done a lot, but boy it sure doesn’t seem like it!!

  23. That is a fantastic idea! I know that I have quite a few projects to finish, but the idea of starting can be overwhelming. I’m going to pick the smallest (the pantry) tomorrow.

  24. This is such a great idea. I thought our clutter would get better moving into a bigger house, but it seems to have actually gotten worse!

  25. I’ve been wanting to declutter but it totally seems so overwhelming to me. I like the idea of the snowball and just starting with a drawer first. Now that I can do!

  26. great analogy! Your pictures made me jealous of all your snow!! I have to say I’ve been doing some serious de junking lately. It feels good!

  27. Great tips!! I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of clutter I’ve had all my life. I never wanted to get rid of stuff because “I can find a use for it later” or it had a tiny bit of sentimental value. Going through your 30 days of decluttering challenge (in the middle of a move) has helped me so much! I feel like my mindset of holding onto EVERYTHING is shifting and I love it!

Speak Your Mind