Too many possessions can tie you down, clutter up your home, and cause debt and stress. But it can be hard letting go of stuff, especially if you’re a hoarder or you love scouring garage sales for bargains.
If you’re looking for ways to declutter your life and keep it that way, then you’ve come to the right place. These five creative decluttering tips will set you on the right path to organize your life and home.
- Slowly but surely change your behavior
The thought of decluttering your home in just one day might be tempting but it’s unrealistic. Sure, the clutter will be gone, but not the behavior that caused it in the first place. You’ll probably find that, within a few months, all the clutter will be back with a vengeance.
The secret to permanent decluttering is to make it part of an existing habit, something that you do on an everyday basis. This technique is called ‘anchoring’ and it’s extremely effective.
It can look something like this:
- Every morning after you get dressed, take 10 minutes to organize your closet.
- Whenever you boil the kettle for a cup of tea, use the time to tidy the kitchen.
- Every evening after you’ve brushed your teeth, take 10 minutes to declutter the bathroom vanity.
The beauty of this approach is that it’s simple, doesn’t take much time out of your day and can be applied to any existing habit you have, anywhere in the home.
- Keep a check on impulse buying
If a lot of your clutter is the result of impulsive purchases then this tip is a great way to make yourself more aware of what you’re doing when you’re blinkered by that ‘shopping fog’.
For a month, every time you go out shopping and see something you ‘love’ or ‘have to have’ note it down on a list and how much it costs – you may want to call this your ‘Stop and Reconsider’ list (or something more creative) – and then leave the shop, without making the purchase. Give it a week. If you’re still thinking about the item after a week, then by all means go back and purchase it. Chances are you’ll probably forget about it in a few hours.
At the end of the month, total up the amount of all the things you almost bought and see how much money you saved, isn’t that a good feeling?
- Time capsule trick
Go around your home a room at a time and declutter as you go, spring is a perfect time to start the process. Along the way you’re likely to come across items that you can’t bear to part with or aren’t sure about getting rid of. This might be anything from a favorite sweater you haven’t worn in years, a lamp you liked the look of in a garage sale, or an out of date magazine collection that you ‘might need someday’.
Put everything in a box, seal it and date it for one year in the future. If you don’t need anything in the box before or after that date comes then it’s likely you never will. Donate the box without opening it to charity.
4. Make a decision to commit
Decluttering is just like any other life decision, such as changing jobs, losing weight or getting fit – it deserves your full commitment.
Once you’ve decided to declutter your life and build a habit to do so, you need to stick to it for at least a month to make sure it sticks. This includes consistently decluttering your home for 10 minutes everyday to keep it organized, and checking your impulse buys to make sure new clutter isn’t brought in.
- Reward yourself
A reward system is key to keeping on top of clutter and celebrating the big moments when you manage to do so. Decluttering will also be more enjoyable if you know there’s a treat in store for your efforts.
A reward could be a weekend away with your partner or a night out at the new gourmet restaurant in town. You may decide to donate the money saved from your ‘almost’ buys to your favorite charity. Whatever you choose, it’s best to focus on an experiential reward rather than go shopping, just in case you’re tempted to buy something you don’t really need and undo all your hard work!
Featured Image via Labella