What I hate the most is feeling unproductive and throughout my more simplified journey- I’ve learned whenever I accumulate things-everything suffers. I become lazy when it comes to cleaning, organizing, managing my time, etc. To over come this feeling I try to rid of clutter as often as I can. On average about every month seems to be a good time slot for me to downsize-this doesn’t mean every month I declutter everything I own, no, every month I tackle a category, this means every month I am getting rid of unnecessary clutter, of something completely different from the previous months.
As with anything, getting rid of clutter can be made incredibly simple-just go through your stuff, one section, closet, drawer, or shelf at a time, and get rid of everything that isn’t absolutely essential, that you don’t love and use often. Of course, simplifying a process like that isn’t terribly useful to many people who struggle with clutter. So, with that in mind, here are some tips that I’ve taken in from over the years.
- STOP bringing in stuff NOW! I wish it was that easy, however, if you’ve begun getting rid of clutter, or you’ve just completed it-the last thing you should do is to bring in more clutter that will take you back to square one. Learn to be more selective in what you bring into your home, ‘Do I need it? How often will I use this? does it bring me joy? Will this help improve my life’ are some of the questions you should think about before you are tempted to bring anything home. Don’t start decluttering immediately, if you can only establish one habit at a time, establish the no-more-stuff habit first. This way, when you do get to decluttering the existing stuff, you’ve already stopped making it worse.
- Donate & Sell stuff you’re decluttering. To keep you from feeling bad about wasting it, or tossing away your money. Try yard sales, craigslist, consignment shops, and facebook group-to get rid of mass amount of clutter in a short amount of time. If you are not ready to ridding clutter instantly try online consignment shop. Tips on decluttering your closet check out my blog post about poshmark other things to look into are mobile apps such as Mercari, offer up, etc.
- Toss expired perishables. This means, go through your refrigerator and pantry-start tossing away every expired item, this alone can shock you in how much money you have wasted. This will make you learn how to be more mindful on planning your meals better. If there’s anything in your fridge and pantry that is close to is expired date, try to use it up. Perishable does not only includes food, but it also includes cosmetics (makeup, skincare, haircare, hygiene, etc.) Check out on my blog post on how I decluttered my cosmetics, click here.
- Create a Goals chart with decluttering on it — either daily, or once a week. Check off the days when you declutter, and you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment.
- Start at the corner by the door and move your way around the room. Doing the superficial stuff first – surfaces, empty the bin etc. For more details check out my blog post Simple tasks to make to-do lists shorter
- Use the “one in, two out (or more)” rule. The rule: whenever you bring in an item, you have to throw away two other items. All items apply as a whole- for me anyways, if there’s a skirt I really want in my closet, I try my best to use up at least 3 items from my cosmetic stash, as well as try to sell 3 items from my closet before I purchase that one item. Also this gives me time to think about it, once I have rid 6 items, and I am still thinking about that skirt- then I will buy it.
- Make your storage space smaller and more minimal. If you have lots of storage, you’ll fill it with stuff. Before my journey, I found myself spending all my money on storage, and organizational tools to make my clutter seem less cluttered. I’ve learned being organize doesn’t necessary mean you are organize (if that makes any sense).
- Clothing rule: If you haven’t worn an item in 6 months, or a year, get rid of it. Check out my blog post on how I declutter my closet in a poshmark review post. A tip to keep track of what you have and have not worn in your closet is to turn your hangers backwards. When it is time for you to go back into your closet to make room for new items, you will know automatically what items you have and have not worn.
- The One-Year Box. Take all your items that you unsure about getting rid of (e.g. “I might need this someday…”), put them in a box, seal it and date it for 1 year in the future. When the date comes, and you still didn’t need to open it to get anything, donate the box WITHOUT OPENING IT. You probably won’t even remember what there was in the box.
- Declutter one room (including any closets, desks, cabinets, etc.) before starting on the next one. Spending time in that room will feel *so* good, and it will be so easy to keep clean, that it will motivate you to do more!
- Internalize that your value is not in your “stuff”. It is just “stuff”. And realize that your value grows when you share your “stuff”. Hoarding is a selfish act.
- Have someone else (who you trust!) help you go through things. They don’t have the (some times irrational) emotional attachment that you might have, but can still recognize if something should be kept.