Decluttering is a big leap especially in today's world. These seven tips should help you break free of the hustle and bustle and help you reevaluate your stance on having numerous things.
Haven't worn it in six months? Toss it!
Simple as that, really. Six months gives you a big enough buffer, especially when taking into account changing seasons, waistlines, etc. Give it six months. If you haven't worn something in the time frame, donate it. Or sell it. Just get it out of sight. Someone somewhere will appreciate it more than you.
Have two of one item? Toss one - and maybe the other
One thing I've never really understood is buying multiples of one thing. Being a "sneaker head", fellow sneaker heads are known to buy two pairs of shoes - "one to rock, and one to stock", as they say. Oh God does that make my head hurt. Not only are shoes meant to be worn, but A) don't buy them if they're too expensive to wear and B) use that money elsewhere! But I digress.
If you feel you have to buy two of one thing, stop and ask, "why?" Do you really need the second one? Do you even need the first one? Would your life be better because of this purchase - why or why not? Get used to questioning what it is you're actually buying.
Junk drawer? More like hunk drawer.
Because you're so much more of a hunk for cleaning it out!
The concept of a junk drawer has also always baffled me. Why is there so much junk in one place? Why keep all the junk? Why dedicate an entire drawer to it?
Take those questions to your next junk drawer excursion. Ask yourself what needs to be kept, what can be thrown, etc. - and act accordingly. My guess is your junk drawer is filled with old bills, batteries, rubber bands, and old ball-point pens that you've accidentally had for close to 10 years.
Shred the bills, test the batters to make sure they don't work and then properly recycle them, create a rubber band ball, and bring your old pens to work. We all know pens get stolen at work, so what better place to share the wealth!
Stop collecting items - start collecting $$$
It should go without saying but the less you buy, the more you save. I've experienced this first hand. Sure, I slip up every know and again - and that should be expected. I'm human. When you find yourself buying less and less, start using only cash for purchases.
You're more connected to your transactions when you use cash. Think about it - when you use plastic, you simply swipe or hand that piece of plastic to the cashier. With cash, you have to count out how much you owe, you receive the proper change, put it in your pocket/purse, and you're on your way.
Try this and I bet you'll be more conscious of what you buy.
Put Everything on Your Bed
Want to put into perspective everything you own? Throw everything on your bed.
Rule #1 - If you can't fit everything on your bed, you own too many things.
Rule #2 - Once everything is on your bed, immediately go into "need mode". "Do I need this?". Doing this will help you continue to ask yourself "Do I need this?". To be honest, I've never done this exercise - but I feel like once I do it, I'll be able to get rid of that much more.
Rule #3 - Get rid of something. Anything. Everything! Whatever you feel is useless, repetitive, or unnecessary, get it out of your life.
Seriously - thank God for Pinterest. It has been a huge inspiration hub of mine since I began my decluttering mission. If you haven't gotten lost in it yet - I suggest you go to Pinterest, type in Minimalism and enjoy. The photography is gorgeous. The thought leadership is second-to-none, and I promise it will be beneficial for you in the long run.
What I've appreciated about it most, though, is how it has helped me visualize the life I want to live. I can simply look at a photograph and acknowledge yes - that is how I want to live my life. From there, follow the "steps" of other users by reading their comments, or visiting the different links throughout the site. I promise - it's worth an hour or two.
Done for the day? Good - start again tomorrow.
Decluttering is taxing. It takes a lot out of you. It can be emotional. It can be physically taxing too, depending on how many things you own. You use a ton of mental power when weighing the options of keeping or getting rid of something. So when you feel the need - stop. You'll always have the opportunity tomorrow. There is a good chance you'll wake up feeling refreshed and even more excited to declutter the next day. And - as a bonus - you'll have so many fewer things that next morning that continuing to declutter will be that much easier.
Hopefully with at least a few of these steps your can get started on your decluttering journey. By no means are these in order, and pick and choose whichever ones resonate with you most. Just realize that the most important thing you can do - is start!
Now go - and keep me updated on your progress!