I wanted to share with you my top 5 tips for decluttering. These are the methods that have stuck with me during my minimalist journey.
I do a lot of these without even thinking about it now.
1. A place for everything and everything in its place
This is my mantra when I’m decluttering or even just tidying up. It runs through my head constantly!
Of course, to make this work, you need to have decided on one place for your items. This means one location for pens in your entire house. No duplicate locations. This way you always know exactly how many of a given thing you have. And you always know where to find what you are looking for. Sounds simple? It is. But it really works!
2. Give yourself 10 minutes to tidy
Pick an area to tidy up. Is there loads of stuff on your dressing table? Is your coffee table cluttered? Haven’t tackled the junk drawer in your kitchen yet?
Give yourself 10 minutes to do it. Set a timer! You’ll be amazed at how much you get done.
Get tidy by moving stuff to its rightful place (see tip 1!), throw out anything broken or unusable. Organise the stuff that’s staying. Stack boxes, use elastic bands to bind things together, or simply tidy up.
3. Not sure whether to throw something out? You must use it/wear it this week
It can be hard to make a decision about whether to throw something away or not. There’s the danger of keeping things ‘just in case’ of course. This leads to clutter straight away.
One way to tackle this, if you are really not sure, is to give yourself a week to decide. The catch is that you must use or (if it’s clothing) wear the item you are being indecisive about. If you struggle to use it, or hate wearing it, you know it was meant to leave your home.
4. Get rid of duplicates
You need to be in the right frame of mind for this. I’ve set myself a task on a given day of sorting out my shoes or clearing my kitchen. These are bigger jobs than clearing the coffee table for example.
In my head I’ve usually hit a point where the cupboards are bursting or I can’t find anything anymore. So my approach is to empty out everything in the category you’ve chosen onto your bed or living room floor.
Then group similar looking things together. I did this and discovered four pairs of black ballet-pump style shoes. I kinda knew I owned them all but had never put them all together.
I then asked myself the question “If you had to choose one pair which would it be?” My mind came up with an answer immediately. You know what to get rid of!
5. Aim for a desert island bookshelf
This is one of the first things I ever did in my decluttering! The idea is that you go through your bookshelves (because I know they’ll be in the plural) and you are ruthless! Your aim is to end up with one shelf of books that you really, truly love: your desert island bookshelf.
I did this, and I still have five shelves of books. This is better than the nine I had previously. I’m just going to ignore the three shelves of books-to-read that I still have….
Share your tips
That’s it, they are my top five tips to get started with decluttering, I hope you found them helpful.
Why not share your tips in the comments? I’m always interested to know how others keep on their minimalist journey.