If you haven’t heard of the decluttering methods taking the nation by storm thanks to a Japanese woman’s revolutionary approach, you must be hiding under a rock! Everyone these days seems to be following the Marie Kondo method of tidying up, trading their cluttered lives for a more minimalist, clean approach.
A clean, organized space is easier to concentrate in than a messy one. There’s even science that supports this, so it’s not just a fad. Decluttering can actually help make you more productive.
Not only that, but your extra clutter is causing you stress! Another study showed that people who describe their homes as “cluttered” had more stress present in their bodies.
Need another reason? Keeping a neat, clean home is related to good health. Scientists aren’t sure exactly what the relationship is, but cleaner homes were undoubtedly a factor in predicting good health in this study.
Are you ready to enjoy the many benefits of kicking clutter to the side? Here are 10 practical decluttering tips you can use to get organized this year:
Break it into Chunks
You’re ready. You are sick and tired of looking at your cluttered house. You just want to delve in and get it clean. Now! But, it’s best if you can invest energy into one space or area at a time. Otherwise, you might fall into a common trap where you try to tidy up all over your house, but don’t make much of an impact because you get distracted by clutter in other areas along the way.
For example, start with your entryway, bathroom or kitchen. Even tackling a particularly cluttered table can be a great place to start. Take one chunk at a time and focus on it, decluttering completely before you begin a new space. This means you should sort through everything in the space, throw out and donate what you don’t want and reorganize the items so that they all fit nicely in the area again.
Set Long Term Goals
If you want to declutter your whole house, make a plan detailing how you’ll do it. Allow yourself a month or more. Give yourself one small task every day to complete it. Leave bigger tasks like, say, decluttering the kitchen, for a day when you have more time.
Keep a Donation Bin
Get into the habit of donating items you don’t use regularly. With a donation bin, you can toss in things and take it to the charity regularly. Set that date in your calendar to drop off your donation items and don’t miss it!
Use the One Year Rule
The one year rule is great for staying decluttered and helping you let go of items. This rule says that if you don’t use an item for a whole year, you toss it or give it away.
For clothing items, you can quickly determine which clothes you use within a year. Just turn all of the hangers in your closet around so that they’re backwards. As you use each clothing item, turn the hanger around the correct way. At the end of the year, the hangers that are still backwards are for clothing that you never used. Time to give them away or throw them in the trash.
Eliminate future clutter by setting rules for yourself about purchases. For example, you can use the “1 in, 1 out” rule. With this rule, if you buy a new shirt, you have to get rid of one. The same rule can function for other purchases.
Make it a Habit
There’s a deceptive feeling you may get after a good day of organizing. The misconception is that now you’re “done” decluttering. You’re never done! Make decluttering a part of your life. For example, you might do a 10 minute pick up at the end of each day or do a weekly check for items you’d like to toss or give away.
Give Everything a Home
Getting organized is essential for decluttering. This means that everything you own should have a home. So, do some evaluating of the items in your home and determine whether any of them need a storing space. Then, either get rid of the items or create a space for them.
Create a Landing Station
So much clutter can appear when you or family members walk in the door and leave things strewn about the house. So, create a landing station where everyone can place their bags, jackets, and items when they walk in the door. Whether you use a closet, a set of hooks, bins, or a coat tree, the landing station can keep everyday things contained.
Get Attractive Storage Solutions
You can make the organization appealing by using beautiful baskets, gorgeous bowls, and beautiful bins. After taking stock of what sorts of storage and organizational items you need, go ahead and make some purchases! But, always make sure you know what you need before buying any new storage items.
Give yourself time to get through the process of decluttering and remember that it’s a process. It’s also important to remember that decluttering is ongoing, not just a one-time thing. So, be realistic about your goals and how much time you’ll need to dedicate to your efforts.
A decluttered house will let you be productive, healthier and ultimately, happier. Get started today!