If you are serious about managing the clutter in your home, then these 7 pieces of decluttering advice will be a lifesaver.
1) Be very strict about what you let pass through the front door.
Don’t make the mistake of allowing more belongings to come into the home when you are trying to remove what is already there. We don’t want a situation of one step forward and two steps back. It is hard enough to tackle the clutter we already have, without having to manage new items we bring in each day. Why not have a ‘buy free’ month where you buy nothing except groceries? Good for the bank balance and good for your sanity too.
2) Always put things back where they belong the same day you took them out.
Use an item and then return it to its correct location as soon as possible. Quite often the items that clutter up a room are useful and necessary, but are causing clutter because they are in the wrong place. They do not need to be thrown away, just relocated. If you already have a number of items in the wrong place, this is a good time to use your 2 minute rule. Pick up as many items as possible and quickly relocate them. Done each day, this will help you get and keep on track.
3) Don’t buy things to store the clutter in.
There is nothing worse than buying more things in which to store the items of clutter you already have. This is an attempt to legitimise the clutter by storing it in pretty boxes or tubs. All this is really doing is preventing you from managing the problem. When the clutter is gone, you will have plenty of space to store the things you really want and need and no reason to have many boxes and tubs full of stuff.
4) Declutter a small area every day.
Remember that a walk of one thousand miles begins with a single step. It is impossible to walk such a huge distance in one day just as it is impossible to declutter a whole house in that time. Think of it as a journey you are on. Walk a few miles each day and you will slowly but surely get yourself closer to your goal.
5) Don’t try to sell it, instead, donate it and get rid of it quickly.
When we are trying to develop momentum in our decluttering, trying to sell our unwanted items can add up to a lot of extra effort and wasted time for very little gain. Yes, you might make a few dollars but in the long run it will slow down your progress and might prevent you from ever reaching your long term goal. Donate or toss at the end of every decluttering session and get the objects out of the house as quickly as possible.
6) Learn to say no more often when people want to give you things.
It can be difficult to say no when someone offers us something for free but there are a few rules to follow in this situation. Ask yourself whether you would have paid for this item if given the choice. If the answer is no, then politely thank them for the offer but decline the item.
7) Focus on what has been achieved rather than what is still left to do.
If we think about how much work is still in front of us, we can fall into the despair created by overwhelm. This can prevent us from even beginning the process. On the other hand, if we celebrate our successes, however small, we can create the momentum required to keep going even when times are tough.
By keeping these 7 key pieces of decluttering advice in mind, it will be much easier to begin decluttering, continue when times get tough and follow through until the job is complete.
Learn more on the Decluttering 101 Ultimate Guide page.
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