A home is not just a place where we structure our daily and physical lives. It’s also a place where we feel the most comfortable and relaxed after a long day at work. Having a decluttered and simple space is something that a lot of us are stressed about. But the actual process and reality to get to the point are really overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of planning and strategies, you can turn from a stressful process to a refreshing and rejuvenating process. Here, I’m going to show you 7 easy steps you can follow to start simplifying and decluttering your home.
1. Know Your Why
First, know the reason behind your desire. What is the reason you try to simplify your life? Is it because you want freedom from less stress, more peace or more space? Why is your motivation? Take a minute and visualize what your life will look like once you have a fully decluttered home. How will your space feel? How will it make you feel? Save that picture in your mind. Focus on the positive of the future you’re creating, rather than the negative of the things you’re leaving behind in your life. Really focusing on the life you’re creating will help the decluttering decisions easier.
2. Start Small
Think of decluttering like a muscle. If you’ve never exercised before, you’re probably not able to go and pick up an 80kg weight and start doing the chest press. Instead, you’re going to start with the lighter weight and slowly grow your strength and muscle. You’ll eventually get stronger and able to lift heavier over time. It’s the same way as decluttering. If you try to start off decluttering the sentimental items first or the area that will get you overwhelmed, you’ll have the tendency to give up quickly or never begin decluttering at all. Start with the most manageable and smaller area such as purse, wallet, inside of the fridge, inside of the car, shoe rack, or coat hangers. This allows to build decluttering muscle and to get better at the process.
3. Making Decluttering Decisions
It’s always difficult to make real decisions when you just begin to declutter. Ask yourself these two questions “Do I use it?” and “Do I love it?”. These two questions tell you so much about the true value an item has to you. As you begin to declutter, ask yourself those questions and let the answer help to decide whether you going to keep something. Don’t feel intimidated if the whole process is challenging or unnatural to you at first. That’s why we started off with the small and easy area instead of the bigger and more sentimental area. Once you’ve practised enough, you’ll feel a lot more into it and you don’t even need to ask yourself these questions anymore.
4. Declutter by Areas
Dividing your home into smaller sections makes the decluttering process so much easier and doable. So, write down a list of the areas in your home that causing you to feel stressed and overwhelmed right now. Start systematically working your way through those areas one by one. Maybe you want to declutter 1 category every day, 1 category a week, or once a month. Pick whatever pace that is going to work the best for you and your schedule. Remove all of the items in the category, lay them out and go through one-by-one items so that you can make your decluttering decisions based on all the items of that category you have.
5. Know Where the Items Go
Once you’ve separated what you want to keep and what not, make decisions on where the items are going. Perhaps you want to donate, sell, or give to your friends and families that will need the items. It’s really important to get those items out of your house in a timely manner. Otherwise, the items will be piled up at the corner in your house for far too long. Make a plan to get those items out of your home. If you want to do a mass donation, gather all items together and schedule a drop-off for the next day.
6. Create New Habits
It’s incredibly important to create a new habit. There’s a big mistake that a lot of people makes is that after they got through the process and get a lot of items out of the house, they go to the store and buy a ton of new things to fill up the space they just created. Obviously, we want to avoid that. There are a few things you can do here. If you think you are kind of a shopaholic and you think you need a habit reset, you can try a temporary shopping ban maybe for a month, three months, six months, or a year if possible. Try to buy nothing but essential. That can be a little challenging but in the longer term, it’ll help you a lot.
7. Maintaining New Habits
Maintaining a decluttered home is something a lot of people couldn’t keep up to. No matter how neat and tidy you are, it’s all too easy for clutter to pile up in your home. To help with this, try to implement a one-in-one-out rule. So, for every item you buy, you’re going to commit and let go of another item in your house. This is one of the best ways you can maintain your freely decluttered space.
Decluttering can be stressful and emotionally exhausting when you first embraced this journey. But as you committed to continue in a timely manner, you’ll find it less challenging and more of a relief. You will be able to walk into a room and feel the peace of having fewer items and all those items being in their place, you’ll find plenty of spare room for joy.