When it comes to getting organized, one of the key elements must be decluttering. However, the very idea of getting rid of their possessions strikes fear into the hearts of many. As with any other process, it often helps to have some rules in place. Consider these 6 rules to declutter your life to help you take steps toward decluttering and living a calmer life without clutter.
6 Rules to Declutter Your Life
Those who know me best know I have a clutter problem. I have always been this way but never realized until recently how stressful the clutter is for me. I always find I can breathe better when the house is less cluttered.
That’s not to say I want the house to be void of life – just that things have a place and the piles are no longer apparent. These rules definitely help me in my decluttering journey.
Vow to Bring Less Home
The most important rule to set before you even begin to purge items is to make a sincere effort to bring less stuff in. 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. Don’t buy things just because they are on sale or it’s a good deal. You must keep in mind if you really need it. If not, don’t buy it.
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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. I have boxes of mementos from my parents who passed away that I know I cannot keep forever. I will go through them and make a conscious decision to keep only some.
Start Small and Simple
One way to gain momentum in the paring down 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 accomplishment and provide motivation for you to keep going when the decision-making becomes tougher.
Put household or kitchen items that you don’t use and clothes that are out of style or don’t fit in a box for donation. Books that you have read? Give them away!
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.
Nix 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.
Put Things in Their Place
Another way to bring organization to your home is to make sure all of your possessions have a designated place and 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.
These rules aren’t the definitive last word on clearing out the clutter, and they won’t remove all of the difficulties from the process. Hopefully, though, they will serve as guidelines to help you begin your own decluttering journey.
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