When it comes to getting organized, decluttering is a must. However, just the thought of getting rid of possessions strikes fear into the hearts of many. As with any other process, it often helps to have some rules. Consider these six rules of decluttering to help you take steps toward living a clutter-free life.
Vow to Bring Less Home
The most important rule, before you even begin to purge items, is to make a sincere effort to bring less stuff into the home (or garage). There is 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.
Document Your Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that can lead us 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.
Start Small and Simple
You can gain momentum in the paring down the process if you start with the easy things. Actively search for items that do not hold emotional attachment. Box them up and deal with them right then and there. Doing so will lead to a sense of accomplishment and provide motivation for you to keep going when the decision-making becomes tougher.
Lose the Duplicates
Another relatively easy decluttering task involves getting rid of unnecessary duplicate items. While this is not one of the set rules of decluttering, if you get rid of duplicates, you will be amazed. Take a moment to go through your home and gather up all your duplicate articles of clothing, dish sets, and books and then sort through them. Keep only your favorite colored piece or the one that is in the best condition.
Nix the Guilt
An empowering decluttering strategy is to get rid of things you keep out of guilt. It does not matter how much you paid for that stylish coat if it is not being used. One of my favorite rules of decluttering is to nix the guilt because I no longer will allow people to rent space in my head and home. Unwanted gifts from others fall into this category. These things are yours to do with as you wish, so don’t wait. Part with the unwanted gifts from others immediately and don’t regift something you don’t like. Others may feel the same as you. Just because Aunt Sally bought you something she loved does not mean you have to keep it.
Put Things in Their Place
Finally, bring organization to your home by creating a designated place for all of your possessions and always return them to that place. Knowing where things belong makes it easier to keep everything tidy and lowers the chance of clutter becoming a recurring problem.
The garage is one of the most popular dumping grounds. I know way more people who do not have their cars in their garage than who do. Since I have both cars inside of the garage, I’ve started researching the best organizers for my situation. Here are two of the items on my garage organizing list: Galvanized Steel Peg Board Organizer and Utility Holder.
These rules are not the definitive last word on clearing out the clutter, and they will not remove all of the difficulties from the process. Hopefully, though, they will serve as guidelines to help you begin your own decluttering journey.
If you want help, join my Busy Woman Facebook group and tell the group what you are trying to do.
Keep reading every week. There’s going to be a surprise at the end!
Until next time…