With the season change or any major festival, it’s time again to get rid of the clutter and unwanted junk in the house. Preparations start well in advance by decluttering and cleaning of the home whenever a festival is round the corner or we are organizing some function at home. These are the times when everybody gets busy going through their stuff, one section, closet, drawer, or shelf at a time, and getting rid of everything that is rendered useless, isn’t absolutely essential or that one doesn’t love and use often.
While it’s good to declutter, clean and decorate your home before any festival or function or change of season but isn’t it a good idea to make it a daily habit to prevent clutter from piling up in our homes?
Tackle your clutter by using these 21 great decluttering tips I have learned from experience and from the various simplicity blogs:
- Declutter for ten minutes every day. Small incremental changes over time yield amazing results.
- Stop bringing in new stuff. There is no point in decluttering your possessions if you are going to constantly replace them. Take a vow to buy less.
- Donate the decluttered stuff which is still in useful condition. Your unwanted stuff can be put to some good use and at least, you won’t feel bad about throwing stuff away.
- Use the simple “one in, two out” rule. Whenever you bring in an item, you have to throw away two other items.
- If you haven’t worn a dress for last six months, donate it.
- Declutter at least one item every day. Colleen Madson at 365 less things has decluttered over a thousand things from her home by using this simple technique.
- Gift or donate the books you have read to your friends or local library. The same can be done with music, movies and gaming cds.
- Pick up five things and put them back in their designated spot. If there is no designated spot then assign them one.
- Grab a trash bag and fill it as quickly as you can. You can use a timer and take it as a game or challenge. You can involve other family members as well and have fun while decluttering at the same time.
- Use the simple ‘three box method’- trash,donate,keep while decluttering a closet or a room.
- When you are done with your work, put the things away immediately. This will help in maintaining a clean, organised look.
- Tidy up the kitchen or clean the counters while waiting for water or milk to boil.
- Do not be afraid to let go of unwanted sentimental stuff like old photos, greeting cards, handwritten notes, diaries etc.
- Start with a clean slate: completely empty the closet, or drawer you’re working on. Then put back only those things you truly need or love.
- Be very mindful of what you are bringing into your home. Don’t pick up things just because they are free, or because someone is giving them to you.
- Have a place for your house/car keys. Put them in the same place every single time; it will eventually become a habit.
- Keep a bottle of washing-up liquid and a cloth in your bathroom and every day squirt and wipe round the sink, bath and shower. It takes maybe one or two minutes at most and you’ll find you never have to ‘clean’ the bathroom.
- Have an in-tray: put bills that need to be paid, insurance that needs to be sorted, receipts, queries and so on in your in-tray. Set aside a little time, twice a week to deal with paperwork.
- Focus on what’s important to you, and let that guide your decisions in life, your purchases, and your activities.
- Avoid duplicates and enjoy owning one item of everything.
- Remember these wise words: ‘If in doubt, throw it out’ and ‘If it’s not beautiful or useful, get rid of it.’
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