As I finished the first part of decluttering my items, I realized that the more I decluttered, the more I had things to declutter. Then I needed some unconventional tips for decluttering than I previously knew.
I picked up the book Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo months ago. However much like many other books I bought, I didn’t even open it for months. Recently, as I decided to make my dream of living a minimal, conscious and slow lifestyle a reality, I was forced to pick up this book from my shelf. Here’s my minimalism story and why I’m becoming a minimalist to learn more about my journey.
So I’m going to share some amazing life changing tips for decluttering that I learned from reading this book.
1. Tidy once and for all
Marie proposed that you should technically only tidy once in your life. Anything after that is just putting things away to where they belong. This is contrary to what many of us practice. We often spend hours every week going through the same tidying routine. We often don’t realize how time-consuming it really is. With Marie, she said, once you declutter and tidy once you won’t need to do it again. This initial decluttering might take you even up to 6 months to do but the idea is that once it’s done, it’s done. All you need to do from then on is just maintain what’s already done rather than always decluttering and throwing things away in bit weekly or monthly.
2. Two approaches to Tidying
Marie proposed that there are two main approaches to tidying: a) Discard First b) Organize your space completely and thoroughly. It’s important to decide whether or not to dispose of something first before deciding where to keep what you decide to keep. If you don’t do it this way, you will find yourself storing things you just don’t need because you never took the time to decide whether is something worth keeping. With this, you will constantly go through the decluttering cycle routinely because each time, you keep things you wouldn’t otherwise keep.
3. Choose what to keep and keep only what brings you joy
Up until now, I never paid attention to the effect things I had at home had on me. The attitude I and many other people have when it comes to decluttering and tidying is mainly focusing on the things we want to get rid of. Marie proposes that we should “focus on things we want to keep and not on things we want to get rid of”. With focusing on the things we want to keep, we are forced to only keep things that serve a purpose in our lives and keep only things that spark joy in our lives.
The beauty of keeping only what sparks joy in you is that you will be surrounded by things you love. This will, in turn, result in you being challenged to take better care of those things you own. She also said that “through the process of selecting only those things that inspire you, you can identify precisely what you love and what you need.”
4. Clean by Categories not by Location
I’ll be first to say that this is what I am very guilty of. Many of us focus on cleaning and decluttering by location. We focus on cleaning the kitchen today, bathroom tomorrow, bedroom next etc. The problem with this is that often times we have many of the same things sitting in different locations and so when we clean one spot, we move those things to different locations.
This means that we end up cleaning the same thing over and over but in a different location. For most people, this means abandoning that project altogether because you just got done with say tidying books in one location and now you have more books to tidy in another location in the house. However, if we choose to clean by category, it makes it so much easier. So you can decide to declutter ALL your shoes on one day and all your shirts on another. Better? Yup!
5. Start with items that are easier for you to get rid of
This might seem like common sense but it’s so important. Personally, I find it easier to knock out the simpler tasks first. With decluttering, this is particularly useful. Starting out with the things easier to get rid of gives you the assurance that this decluttering thing is something you can do. When you start with items that are harder to get rid of, you might end up abandoning the whole process simply because it’s just too tough. So if you find it harder to get rid of your shoes or bags, then focus on decluttering other clothing items that are easier for you first.
6. Focusing on Simplifying How you store things
We don’t just have clutter simply because we have too much stuff. We have clutter because we do not properly store things where they belong. “When we don’t return things to where they belong, we cause clutter. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away not the effort needed to get them out.” This is so true. The reason why we don’t put things away is often because how we store them is just too tedious to keep up with. When you focus on simplifying your storage method, you make it easy to store items each time you use them.
Many of use store things in a place that makes that item easy to grab. However, if something is hard to put away then you end up dumping it in the easiest place. So focus on making sure that where you store your items are as simple as possible that way putting it away is just as simple. This is a key step to eliminating clutter.
Marie advises that we pursue ULTIMATE SIMPLICITY when it comes to storing the things we have.
These tips for decluttering have helped me in my journey to getting rid of things. I hope you find them useful. If you have other tips that might be beneficial, do share in the comment! Please be sure to subscribe to my blog for more posts like this one! I have more awesome lifestyle contents coming 🙂
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Xx Asaake ♥