Tired of never knowing where anything is? Or maybe you’re always stepping over things you haven’t touched in years? Has your spare bedroom become a storage closet?
There are many benefits to owning fewer possessions. Even then, it’s tough to move into action. That is… until the many benefits of getting rid of clutter reveal themselves.
Less to clean. Cleaning is already enough of a chore, but having to clean around things you have zero emotional attachment to (or worse, actively dislike) makes cleaning the house much more stressful and time consuming.
Less to organize. Finding things suddenly become easier. Things don’t just “disappear” anymore. You can actually move around your home and enjoy the space, instead of moving around things that are in the way.
Less stress. Looking around at the clutter is a nausea-inducing sight once your home becomes cluttered enough. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to look around and see a home you love?
Less debt. Spending less time shopping for material possessions and adding to the clutter means your wallet and bank accounts remain fuller, your credit cards’ statements are lower, and your home doesn’t get filled with costly things you don’t need.
Let’s get started:
1.) Start with 5 minutes at a time. If you’re new to decluttering, you can slowly build momentum with just five minutes a day. You can do this by adding the 1-in 1-out rule whereby any time you bring something new into the house, you get rid of one item. Essentially you’re performing a 1-for-1 replacement, which helps you net out with no additional clutter.
2.) Fill an entire trash bag. Get a trash bag and fill it as fast as you can with things you can donate at Goodwill. This bag could be filled with old clothes, clothes that still have the tag, or ones that you haven’t worn in years. You could also add items that you bought for one specific purpose, because buying something for one specific purpose can end up not only costing you money, but you also have to store something that you don’t use very often. It’s that “Maybe one day I’ll need that thing” syndrome, and realistically you never end up using it and it just clutters up your space. All of these could be donated to the Goodwill.
3.) Create a decluttering checklist. It’s a lot easier to declutter when you have a visual representation of where you need to get started.
4.) Get rid of duplicates. The more doubles, triples, quadruples of items that you have, the more clutter you have to deal with. You don’t need 4 different colors of the same shoes. You can help motivate yourself by using the 6-second rule. Pick up and item and ask yourself, “Do I need this? Do I use this? Do I love this?”. If after 6 seconds you can’t answer yes to any of those questions, then you probably don’t need that item anymore.
5.) View your home as a first-time visitor. It’s easy to “forget” what your home looks like to a new visitor. Enter your home as if you’re visiting the home of a friend. Write down your first impression on how clean and organized the home is and make changes.
6.) Get help from a friend. Have a friend or family member go through your home and suggest a handful of big items to throw away or give to someone else. If you defend the item and want to keep it, your friend has to agree with your reason. If they don’t agree, it’s time to get rid of it.