6 Simple Rules Of Decluttering
When it comes to getting more organized, one of the key elements must be decluttering your life, home, and activity schedule. However, the very idea of getting rid of personal possessions strikes fear into the hearts of many. Do you feel this way?
As with any other process, it often helps to have some basic, simple to follow rules in place. Consider these six rules of decluttering to help you take steps toward living a clutter-free life. Decluttering has so many other benefits for your overall mental and physical health, you really need to consider learning some declutter skills. Become EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
1. Vow To Bring Less Home
This is the most important rule to set before you even begin to purge items. You need to determine and make a sincere effort to bring less stuff into your home. There’s no point in putting forth the effort to declutter if you undo all your progress by buying more stuff.
Setting a mindset to shop with intention is the first step to clearing out the clutter for good. When you shop with intention you will help your financial situation also. Remember, is this item you are about to purchase a need, or is it just a want?
2. Document Your Nostalgia
Nostalgia and memories are powerful emotions that can lead you to hold onto clutter. An effective compromise is to digitize your prized possessions. You can scan the images of things like certificates or kids’ artwork into your computer and organize them into folders. For three-dimensional pieces like trophies or prom dresses, take a photo of the item to add to your digital keepsakes.
With technology today, cellphones that take instant photos, and more, this step is becoming easier to do. It is the memory of the event attached to the item that holds the greatest nostalgia, not necessarily the physical item itself.
However, this is perhaps the biggest struggle about letting go of something. That is because the attachment is deeply personal. So this process may take some time. However, if you’ve only kept stuff in boxes shoved in the back of the closet anyways, why not photo document instead? It certainly takes up less space. Especially if you never really open or go through those nostalgia boxes anyways.
Think about it. Why are you keeping those items?
3. Start Small And Simple
One way to gain momentum in the declutter process is to start with the easy things. Begin boxing up items that don’t hold much emotional attachment. Doing so will lead to a sense of instant accomplishment and provide motivation for you to keep going. Especially when the decision-making becomes tougher later on. You’ll be able to look back and reflect on the emotions you felt as you decluttered the simpler areas. This will be the motivation for cleaning the tougher areas of your home.
Start with doing a 15 minute session. As you clean an area, make your 3 piles:
- give away or sell
If you are new to the concept of decluttering your life, doing it in small time segments will help ease you into it. As you declutter, you can also ask yourself “why” you have kept this or that. This will help you in the future when you are tempted to bring other things home. You will be better able to stop and ask yourself “why” do you need it?
Remember the clutter didn’t appear overnight—so don’t beat yourself up over reversing the process. Declutter in small and simple steps. This whole process is to help reduce overall stress in your life. So don’t stress out over learning how to declutter.
4. Lose The Duplicates
Another relatively easy decluttering task involves getting rid of unnecessary duplicate items. So take a moment to go through your home and gather up all your duplicate articles of clothing, dish sets and books. Then sort through them, keeping only your favorite colored piece or the one that is in the best condition.
What to do with all of these duplicates? Well you can re-purpose them in a couple of ways:
- sell and use the money to knock down some of your debt
- or give away to a humanitarian organization in your community
Remember, you might have 5 can openers, but to someone who doesn’t own even one—it is a piece of gold. But do you really need 5 of them for yourself?
So, take a moment and remove the duplicates from your home. You will free up space very quickly this way. Remember, you don’t need to be a squirrel keeping piles of things everywhere. However, in all honesty, during our first Pantry Challenge for Beginners, I discovered that I was part squirrel. But since that revelation, I’ve been working on keeping my piles of duplicates under control.
Now it is your turn—start with the simple task of getting rid of the duplicates.
5. Ditch The Guilt
An empowering decluttering strategy is to get rid of things you’ve been holding onto out of guilt.
- It doesn’t matter how much you paid for that stylish coat if it’s not being used,
- and unwanted gifts are something else you should part with immediately.
These things are yours. The decision of whether to keep them is also yours. So holding onto these items out of guilt is just weighing you down. Now is the time to regain your independence from “things”. Be EMPOWERED today.
Again, you can choose to either sell those items to recoup some of what you overspent. And as for the unwanted turtleneck sweater you received at Christmas, re-purpose it by giving it away to a humanitarian aid organization in your community, re-gifting, or selling.
Remember, these things are now yours. What you choose to do with them, and that includes deciding whether you keep them or not, is your decision.
6. Put Things In Their Place
Another way to bring organization and order to your home is to make sure all of your possessions have a designated place. Once they have an assigned place, remember to always return them there. Knowing where stuff belongs makes it easier to keep everything tidy and lowers the chance of clutter becoming a recurring problem.
If you have a struggle learning to organize check out some of the products from Thirty One Gifts. A company founded on the principles of Proverbs 31, they specialize in items to help you better organize your home.
Wrapping It Up
These 6 rules aren’t the definitive last word on clearing out the clutter in your life and home. They also won’t remove all of the difficulties from the process as you learn to part with items. Hopefully, though, they will serve as guidelines to help you begin your own decluttering journey.
So, try to remember these 6 rules of decluttering to help EMPOWER you:
- Vow To Bring Less Home
- Document Your Nostalgia
- Start Small And Simple
- Lose The Duplicates
- Ditch The Guilt
- Put Things In Their Place
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