One Room at a time, One cupboard at a time, One closet at a time

 

The 27 Best Decluttering Tips of All Time

Decluttering is just editing your home. And since your home story is always being written, decluttering is a never-ending task. "Keep what you need and what makes you happy," but many of us need a little extra guidance to help decide what's worth keeping.

1. Don't treat your home like a storage unit.

Keeping something because you might need it someday is like paying mortgage to a storage company-and it comes at the expense of living in an empty, breathable space. So think twice about hanging on to the curtain rods or the six old cell phones.

2. Realize that what you keep costs you a lot.

Many times, you're tempted to hang on to things because you feel like it's a waste of money if you should ever have to buy them again. But there's a cost to keeping something. You need to think about where to store it, give up the actual storage space, or take up precious empty space.

3. Give yourself permission to buy again.

The simple but powerful conscious act of giving yourself permission to buy again down the road will help you get so many more things out of your home.

4. Touch it once.

For example, standing by the recycling bin with your handful of mail as you sort it and signing those permission slips as soon as they come.

5. Ask yourself if it's "the best, the favorite, or necessary."

If you're looking at an overly large collection of mixing bowls, for instance, narrow it down to the best ones.

6. Ask yourself if it's useful or beautiful.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

7. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

Ask yourself if each and every single belonging in your possession sparks joy. It's a galvanizing way to let go of so many things.

8. Recognize that the important part of a gift is the act of giving and receiving.

It's so hard to get rid of gifts. You appreciate the thoughtfulness shown in getting and giving you something and you wouldn't want to dishonor that in any way. But if the gift itself is something you don't need or enjoy, it's okay to let it go, guilt-free.

9. Keep a box in your closet.

This super simple trick is disproportionately powerful. The idea is that every time you put something on and don't feel good in it, you toss it in the box.

10. Practice one-in-one-out.

Promise yourself that with each new thing that comes into your house to stay, you'll get rid of one other thing.

11. Use the 90/90 rule.

The Minimalists' 90/90 rule has you ask yourself if you've used the item in the last 90 days and if you will use it in the 90 days to come. If the answer to both is no, out it goes.

12. Use washi tape to declutter your kitchen.

To decide what's worth keeping in the kitchen, set a designated length of time, such as six months or a year, to give you a chance to see what tools you actually use. You'll know which items pass the test by sticking a piece of washi tape or masking tape to each thing at the start of your experiment. When you use the tool, peel the tape off. At the end of the time, get rid of any unused thing that still has tape on it.

13. Use garbage bags.

Garbage bags take less space and are light to carry. Use boxes only when nessessary.

14. Don't stash your unwanted stuff ever!

Don't wait until you are completely done to take things to the garbage bin or resale shop. Don't stash your unwanted items.

15. One room at a time

Concentrate on one room at a time, and finish it.

16. Ask yourself if you'd buy it now.

Asking yourself, "If I were shopping now, would I buy this?" is so useful.

17. Try the hanger trick.

This decluttering hack is similar to the washi tape one, only this time you're turning hangers around in your closet. Commit to a specific period of time, say three months, and get rid of anything you haven't reached for and worn within that time span.

18. Shop for others.

Rather than approaching decluttering with the mindset of finding things to get rid of, consider instead what you could part with-books, clothes, craft supplies-so that others can have it.

19. Pretend you're moving.

This one's a mental exercise: Pretend you're moving from one apartment to another, and you need to pack everything up, pay to have it moved, and then unpack it.

20. Paper stacks begone with a three-pronged approach.

To work through paper clutter, create three options for each paper you handle: shred, file, recycle. By confining your options, you force yourself to actually deal with the paper piles you've been avoiding. "File" includes storing digitally.

21. Try the 10 percent method.

For instance, your shoes. Pull them all out and into one space and then make it a goal to reduce the total number by 10 percent.

22. Do a little bit at a time.

You can do this by designating a certain area you'll work through start-to-finish (as long as it's not a huge one) or by pre-determining a set amount of time.

23. Remember what you gain by letting go.

Decluttering opens the door for some pretty great things.

24. Limit yourself.

One way to decide how much to keep and how much to set free is by setting a limit on how much space you'll take up with that one category of items.

25. Don't buy containers or organizers until you purge.

Buying baskets and bins and dividers is my favorite part, too, but if you have these around before you declutter, you risk organizing stuff you don't need and that's risky.

26. You won't start liking something you never liked.

You might have perfectly useful hand-me-down lamps stuffed in your closet because it feels wasteful to get rid of them, but you don't really want to use them in your own home. The solution is simple: Out they go. You aren't going to suddenly start liking them. But someone somewhere out there will.

27. These two common pitfalls aren't reasons to keep things.

Having something for a long time or something being valuable does not mean that you have to keep it. The same criteria (useful, beautiful, joy, etc.) apply just as much to these types of items as to anything else.

I am soooo doing this!

Blessings, Julie

 

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