This is a guest post from Marie Pierre of Home Awakening.
In a world full of shopping opportunities, it’s easy to fall prey on the temptation of buying as many items as you can. Then, you find yourself with a big heap of “bargains” and a huge source of stress.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable by the sight of clutter in your home, you’re not alone. Psychology says a big heap of mess can cause stress for various reasons – from drawing our attention away from what we really need to focus on to invading our space for breathing and thinking.
To regain control of your life, decluttering is the key! But where do you start? How do you start?
Simple. Make changes within yourself – your routines, lifestyle and all! To help you get started, here are 8 simple changes you can start practicing for a clutter-free environment at home!
Start Decluttering Room by Room
For those who are decluttering for the first time, the idea can be overwhelming. Imagine going through all your items one by one, deciding which you still need and which to dispose of. Sounds like a headache, especially if you have a large home!
To avoid this overwhelming feeling, start decluttering room by room. For today, you’ll tackle the master’s bedroom, and tomorrow, your living room. Set a goal to declutter at least one room per day, so you could focus your energy and decision-making skills better. One step at a time is better than doing all at once and ending up frustrated.
Pull a Marie Kondo and Ask Yourself, “Do I love this item?”
Here’s how it goes. You take an item, for example, a piece of clothing, and ask yourself, Do I still love this piece of clothing? Will I actually use it now? Then implement the 6-second rule. If you can’t answer YES to all those questions within 6 seconds, then it’s ideal to get rid of the item.
Sometimes, we love to hoard things because they hold sentimental value, or we just regret letting go of that item because we bought it on sale. But if it doesn’t spark joy in you, and it has been lying on your cabinet/storage for 6 months or so, chances are, you still won’t use it in the future.
Practice Recycling and Donating
Unleash your creativity while decluttering. Convert those unused items or those that fall into your “get rid of” basket into a new item – pen holders, pots, jewelry, and items for display. You can search for some DIY recycling projects on YouTube for inspiration.
You could also collect some of your items and donate them to recycling centers or any individuals/institutions that may have better use for them. You could donate some of your books to charities, for example. That way, you could declutter your home and do an act of kindness at the same time!
Try the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule simply implies that we only wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. It also applies to other items in your home – shoes, books, toys, video games and more. So if you want to free your home from the unnecessary clutter, leave only 20% of your items, and get rid of the 80%. Get rid of the items you don’t use, those you’ll never use again, and those you’ve bought but haven’t been used for once.
Organize Before Buying Storage Items
One of the common mistakes people make with decluttering is buying storage items first before doing the organizing part. Some might think, Well, I need some items during my decluttering process, right?
That’s not entirely wrong, but doing this can lead you to buy more storage items than what you really need. Which leaves additional clutter for you! Before you go shopping, organize your items first, so you could have an idea of how many storage items you need to buy.
Avoid the Sale Aisle
One of the major reasons why we have so many items at home is our obsession with sales. People love the idea of getting new items at a bargain. If I don’t buy this now, who knows what the price will be if I need it in the future?
But the truth behind this thinking? You’ve just spent more than you really intend to! And ask yourself, have you really used those items?
The next time there’s a sale on your favorite shops, hold back your urge to shop too many items. If you don’t need the items on sale right now, then don’t purchase them.
Try the Swedish Death Cleaning Method
If the KonMari method doesn’t suit you, try this cleaning method popularized by Margareta Magnusson. The idea behind this is to revisit your storage areas and think, which items will still be useful for others when I pass away? Who will take care of all of your stuff when you’re gone?”
Sounds morbid, but a lot of people has found this method effective! It got people thinking which stuff they really need and find useful, and which items they could let go. As some would say, it’ll get you decluttering like there’s no tomorrow!
Evaluate your Pending Projects/Hobbies and identify which of these you’ll really commit to.
Sometimes, the clutter in our home is brought by our passion to pursue a new hobby or project. Unfortunately, some people can’t maintain that passion, and in the end, leave their project pending forever.
So whenever you’re thinking of getting into a new hobby, ask yourself first, Is this something that really interests me? Don’t be carried by your infatuation with a hobby if you don’t see yourself doing it for a long time. When you do this, you could prevent yourself from buying supplies and items you’ll just leave behind in the future.
Decluttering is not just about aesthetics. It's also about bringing wellness and clarity to your life. Click To Tweet
When you get rid of all the unnecessary items in your life, you’ll have a clearer head and more area to get a fresh breath of air. Even science has proved that a clutter-free environment can boost your creativity, mood, and performance!
The first step to a better and stress-free life starts within your home. Be the change you wish to see in this world! Allot a few minutes on your daily schedule to get rid of the clutter in your home (and life!)
Marie has always been one to spend hours tinkering her home. By making easy, DIY changes here and there, she aims to make the home a perfect place to relax, to spend time with her family, and to create lasting memories. She blogs at Home Awakening hoping to inspire others to do the same.