Simplify Your Life! 5 Easy Approaches to Decluttering Your Home.
This year started the way all new years do — with resolutions, goals, and lots of good intentions. One big difference, though? A great many of us have started asking whether our stuff “sparks joy” or not and stayed strong in our resolution to FINALLY DECLUTTER the house.
While Marie Kondo has certainly captured our collective attention, hers is not the only way to organize and simplify your spaces. Read on for five easy approaches to decluttering, find the one that sparks joy in you, and get to work!
Photo credit: Konmari.com
If you’ve been living under a rock (or a pile of personal possessions), you might not be familiar with the tidying up craze. In addition to keeping your house neat, this strategy also promotes mindfulness and respect. Unlike other organizing approaches, Marie Kondo suggests you declutter by category, rather than by room, so things don’t continue to float from space to space, forever (how’d she know?!). Her signature instruction, however, is to physically touch each item, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if not, to thank it for its service and send it on its way. In addition to a simpler, more organized space, Marie Kondo’s lessons might just change how you look at life!
If the thought of respectfully evicting years’ worth of clutter panics you, the baby steps of this strategy might be a little easier to tackle. Simply set aside 10 minutes each day, grab one bag for trash and one bag for donations, and find items around the house to put in each bag (dancing optional). The more days in a row you can commit to the “tango,” the faster your clutter will disappear. Bonus: Get the kids in on the action by handing them each smaller plastic bags for their rooms and buy yourself a 10-minute parenting vacation!
Decluttering can be tough, especially when you get lost in the nostalgia of old photos, tchotchkes, and other memorabilia. If you’re worried about getting lost on a trip down memory lane, start by detrashing your home instead. Removing obvious trash from your spaces — think dried-up markers, old receipts, and random food in your fridge — can help you see feel a sense of accomplishment at getting started, and also let you see the bigger tasks more clearly. Pro tip: start in the junk drawer.
Break down your decluttering tasks using this simple acronym.
F: Fix a time. Schedule your organization session and make sure it’s a family affair. Be sure to give yourself and your helpers enough time to get the job done.
A: Anything not used in 12 months. In all likelihood, if you haven’t used something in the last year, you won’t need it in the next. When looking at each item, ask yourself how long it’s been since you’ve used it and if there is an immediate need for it in the future. If the answer is no, it’s time to go.
S: Someone else's stuff. Nerf guns from that epic sleepover, an ex-boyfriend’s old jacket you used to think was *so* cool, Tupperware your mom lent you (and now she keeps telling everyone who’ll listen that you haven’t given it back) — when you start looking, you’ll find there’s actually quite a bit of stuff in your house that’s not yours. Make a plan to get it back to its rightful owner or, in the case of that not-as-cool-as-you-thought jacket, take it straight to the Goodwill.
T: Trash. Are we sensing a theme here? Much of our clutter is actually trash. There is so much to throw away in every room of the house, and twice that amount in the garage. Gamify this part and compete with your family to see who can fill their trash can first. Whoever wins, so do you!
Photo credit: Celebquote.com
This tried-and-true decluttering method is likely the one you’re most familiar with. Here are the details, just in case. In each room or space, start with four labeled boxes or bins:
Ideally, everything from that space will go into one of the four bins, depending on how you feel about the item. Your frame of mind is important here, as it’s easy to move things you don’t want to deal with into the storage bin, only to never be used/worn/seen again. If necessary, invite over some good friends who’ll make it more fun and — most importantly — be honest about that outfit from college you’re trying to keep.
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