Is clutter ruining your life?
If so, it’s time to do something about it. For the sake of your health, your relationships, your career, and your finances, commit to decluttering your life.
Before we jump into the tips, you should know that this isn’t going to be an easy journey. It will take time and it will be difficult at times. However, it’s worth pushing through until you get that clutter-free home you’ve always dreamed of.
What are you waiting for? Keep reading to find out how you can get rid of the clutter that’s dragging you down.
1. Get to the Root of the Problem
The first thing you have to do when decluttering is figure out why you’re in this situation in first place. That’s the only way you’ll be able to keep from falling right back into it when you’re done.
If you find yourself compulsively saving everything out of fear of not having something when you need it, you may need to get professional help to avoid becoming a hoarder.
Otherwise, you may simply be overwhelmed by the clutter and not know where to start. If that’s the case, then this article will help you come up with a plan to get everything done.
2. Make a List
Tackling your whole house is going to feel overwhelming. In fact, it’s probably why you haven’t already gotten it done. Taking your time to make a list will allow you to break bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.
Go through each room and list everything that needs to be done there. You can make the items as small as you want. For example, in the kitchen your list may look like this:
- Top of refrigerator
- Silverware drawer
- Miscellaneous drawer
- Pots and pans cupboard
- Baking cupboard
- Top shelf of pantry
- Can shelf of pantry
Now, whenever you have a few minutes to spare, make a point to cross at least one thing off your list. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can declutter your house when you take it piece by piece.
3. Challenge Yourself
There are two many decluttering challenges to list here, but you’re sure to find one that will help you get it done. The 365 item challenge, for example, encourages you to get rid of just one item every day.
Another challenge you might consider is the 12-12-12 challenge. The idea is to find 12 items to sell, 12 to donate, and 12 to throw away.
4. Consider Every Item
When something has sentimental value, it can be hard to get rid of it, even if it’s something you don’t use or really even want. However, you still need to consider it and deal with it as appropriate.
If necessary, you can put all of these items together and wait to go through them after you decluttered the rest of the house. After having done everything else, you’ll be more willing to do what needs to be done.
5. Ask Yourself 3 Questions
As you’re going through things, if you’re not sure if you should keep an item or not, the easiest way to make that decision is to ask yourself these three questions:
- Do I need this?
- Do I love this?
- Does this improve my life?
If something doesn’t meet all three criteria, it’s time to find it a new home!
6. Set a Timer
One way to make decluttering manageable and even fun is to set a timer. See how many items you can cross off your list in that time. Another way to use a timer is to fill a bag or box with stuff to get rid of before the timer goes off.
7. Return Others’ Belongings
Whether it’s a CD you borrowed back when people actually used CD players or your ex’s stuff, it doesn’t belong in your home. In fact, when it comes to exes, one of the healthiest things to do after a breakup is get their stuff out of your life.
As you’re going through everything in your home, set aside an area to put things that don’t belong to you. Then, make sure you return items to those you borrowed them from or ask people to get things they’re storing at your house.
8. Know What You Actually Use
If you don’t use something at least once a year, you probably don’t need it and can get rid of it. There are some tricks to figuring out what you use in every area of your home.
For clothing, hang everything and place the hangers backward. Then, as you wear items, flip them around the other direction. At the end of six months to a year, remove everything you haven’t worn.
In the kitchen, pull all your utensils out and place them in a cardboard box. When you use something, place it back in the drawer after it’s washed. Then, after a year, you can safely sell, donate, or toss everything still in the box.
A great way to do this with larger items is to place them in a storage unit. If you don’t find yourself missing them after they’ve been out of your home for a while, it may be time to let them go.
You can learn more self-storage tricks here.
9. Have a Place for Everything
Whatever you have left after the decluttering process should have a place. If you don’t have a place for everything, you’ll find that clutter will start creeping in again simply because you don’t know where to put certain things.
10. Set Yourself Up for Success
The ultimate goal of decluttering your home should be to set it up so that you don’t end up needing to work so hard at it again. Finding a place for everything is half of the battle.
The other half is putting a system in place to ensure you don’t buy things that will turn into clutter. Use the three questions we talked about before every time you make a purchase to help keep clutter at bay.
Want More Tips on Decluttering Your Life?
Now you have ten tips that will help you declutter your home and provide you with an environment that looks and feels cleaner and freer.
If you want more tips on decluttering your life, be sure to check out the article we did with five tips to organize your life. This will help you keep everything organized once you get the clutter out of it!