1. Put Away Things You Don’t Use
We like to think that we need the two extra sets of plates because they’re cute. Or that throw pillow because they match the walls. Or those extra pair of shoes “just in case”. In reality, we own more than what we really need but we don’t like admitting it to ourselves.
How do we actually part ways with all the cute clutter? Load up all of the miscellaneous stuff in a box. You’ll inevitably take out the ones you use. If they end up forgotten and unused for months, chances are you didn’t need them in the first place.
2. Let Go Of Sentimental Value
We hold onto things not because we use them but because the object reminds us of good memories. We repeat this pattern until nostalgia creates a mound of clutter in our rooms. The worst part? There’s too much sentiment and not enough will power. This is how we end up with an entire room filled with our grandmother’s old, tattered, unloved dresses.
The first step to overcoming this is to stay practical. Remember that these are objects that you don’t use. Aside from the memory you have with it, it’s really nothing more than another thing that could be donated or thrown away.
3. Get Real With Your Clothing
The same goes for clothing. When choosing which clothes to throw out, keep in mind decluttering tip #1. Put your clothes in a separate wardrobe. If you need them, you’ll fetch them out and wear them. Otherwise, place the space-hogging clothes in a to-be-donated pile.
4. Set An Expiration Date
One surefire way to decluttering is setting an expiration date on the things you own. Those clothes you haven’t used for an entire year? Throw it out. Those CDs you keep “forgetting” to listen to? Donate them. That pile of borrowed books you’ve been meaning to read for 3 years now? Return them.
Set a certain amount of time for items around your home. If you don’t touch it before then, chances are you were never planning to in the first place.
5. Follow Through Your Clean Up Routine
Don’t wait for your clutter to snowball into an impossible pile of mess. When you decide to declutter something, make sure that you see through the end of it. Finish vacuuming that floor. Take off your clothes and put them away properly. File your mail the right way.
If you stop at something halfway, you’ll end up with a hundred tasks that are almost done. And these combined result to one giant cleaning task.
6. Keep Track Of Paper Waste
Bills, mail, brochures. It’s easy to get lost browsing through them. More often than not, these items wind up on an unsorted pile that is too messy for you to ever touch again.
The solution? As soon as you sit down with a pile of paper, start filing away. Don’t open anything yet – save that for later. Take away the trash first: everything you don’t need, you throw away.
7. Set Aside 15 Minutes Every Day For Decluttering
This is perhaps one of the more suggested decluttering tips of all time. Spend 15 minutes every day with a trash bag in one hand. Go around your apartment and clear out stuff you don’t need. Keep an eye out for surfaces especially, where we tend to absentmindedly place different clutter throughout the day.
8. Set A Standard For Hoarding
It’s easy to end up with a roomful of clutter if we keep every single thing that remotely makes us feel good. If you’re going to keep stuff around, the very least you can do is set a standard.
One way you can do this is by setting questions to ask yourself every time you want to keep something. With these, you can objectively evaluate every object before taking it into your possession.
9. Free Up Space With Extra Storage
If you’re not sure how to start freeing up your space, know that there’s an alternative to throwing things away. Storing your items in a safe location such as storage lockers frees up some much needed space. Not only that, you get to keep your stuff around while you decide what to do with them.
10. Understand What Starts The Mess
Becoming a pro declutterer starts with one thing: understanding the root of the problem. When you see patterns in your behavior that inevitably lead to a mess, you can adjust that behavior and start changing for a better, more organized you.
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