So lately I have made my number one goal to de-clutter every inch of my home and of my life as well. I'm always reading blogs, websites and books on organization (it seriously is a hobby of mine!), and these are the top tips I've found on de-cluttering.
- Declutter for 15 minutes every day. It’s amazing how much you can get through if you just do it in small increments like this.
- Don’t allow things into the house in the first place. If you are on a mission to get rid of clutter, make the commitment to not add more clutter to the already existing clutter. Even if you find a cute little whatever that will go great with your decor. Wait until you are done! And even then, think about it, real hard, you don't want to just start cluttering again!!!
- Donate stuff you’re decluttering, so you don’t feel bad about wasting it.
- Create a goal, write it and make it visible — maybe you just want to declutter your closet, maybe it's your entire house. Either way, an unwritten goal, is nothing but a thought!
- Start at the corner by the door and move your way around the room, doing the superficial stuff first – surfaces, empy the bin etc. Repeat, but do more the 2nd time around – ie. open the cupboards.
- The 6 month rule for spices: if you don't remember using it in the last 6 months, get rid of it. This goes not only for spices, but for other foods in your pantry like those chocolate sprinkles from last years birthday party. Also, if it makes you feel any better, spices older than 6 months loose their taste and potency anyway...
- Use the “one in, two out” rule. The rule: whenever you bring in an item, you have to throw away two other items. First you cheat, by throwing out two pieces of paper, but soon you will have to move to big stuff. I've always done this with clothes. Before I go shopping, I go through all my clothes and pick out what doesn't fit, what I don't like and so on to give away. Then not only do I have room for my new clothes, but I also don't end up with a clother stuffed with clothes that I don't wear.
- Make your storage space smaller and more minimal. If you have lots of storage, you’ll fill it with stuff.
- Clothing rule: If you haven’t worn an item in 6 months, sell or donate it.
- 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!
- Keep a list in your planner labeled “Don’t Need It – Don’t Want It.” When you’re out shopping and run across some kind of gadget or other item you crave, note it down on the list. This will slow you down long enough to reconsider. Also, seeing the other things on the list that you nearly bought on impulse really helps.
- 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 (sometime’s irrational) emotional attachment that you might have, but can still recognize if something should be kept.
- Gift everything. Books you’ve read immediately get recycled among friends, family or local libraries. If you buy a new gaming system, donate your old one – and all the games.
- Toys. leave only a small box of toys out. Your kids will get plenty of entertainement from those toys, and once they get tired from it, you can switch it up with other toys that have been hidden and it will be like Christmas morning every 2-3 months.
I'm not saying you should throw away everything, but at least with me, I know I am guilty of keeping things just in case I ever need it... only to find three years later that I never did need it.
So be smart with what you keep, be even smarter with what you buy and you won't need to go through decluttering!
Do you have any other tips on decluttering?!
Who out there is also on a mission to declutter?! How has it been?
Share! share! share!