Wherever you are, take a scrutinized look at the room where you are standing right now.. Is everything nicely put away in its designated place? Your answer will probably be umm, NO.. NO NO!
Think of your home, own room and office, and you will find that no matter how organized you are, a few things will always have nowhere to belong. That’s because most of us tend to consume more than our actual needs, and that’s how clutters are created.
If you often fantasize about those nice photos on Pinterest, but think it is impossible to have a room as neat as that at your home and/or office, here are some tips to help you declutter your space and ease that long tiring process. However, first off, be sure that planning is your friend and guide in the transition from a piled up space to an organized one. And thus, the decluttering process will likely have 3 phases: the pre-decluttering phase, the decluttering one and post decluttering.
Picture, in your head, the way you want your home to look like. You can also download and print photos from the web of your desired home setting and final room decoration (the same way vision boards work). Visualization has proven to be effective in implementing such brain-created images.
2- Plan and divide.
Make a thorough list of what you want to get rid of and what you want to reorganize and divide the tasks according to your weekly schedule.
3- Give yourself time.. and BREATHE!
Decluttering a whole apartment, or even a single room, won’t happen overnight. Give yourself time and don’t stress over the whole thing. Remember, approaching a somehow minimalist home setting is about finding your peace of mind, so stressing over things is basically pointless!
- During decluttering:
1- One task at a time. ONE COMPLETE TASK!
The first thing that makes the decluttering process successful is that you completely finish one task before moving to another one on your list. Leaving a few things behind and starting a new task would make the work ENDLESS. Eventually, you won’t be happy clearing one spot, while creating a smaller pile in another.
2- Organize, then buy.
Before rushing to buy shelves and storage boxes, organize your stuff first, so you can buy what you exactly need. The last thing you’d want is to end up with a bunch of empty boxes and shelves that would need more space, and become a potential threat of a huge future mess (Do you need that? Ugh, throw it in the empty box over there!)
3- Use your third eye..
Homes often have more space than what we make use of, but we’re used to going to certain places to store things, otherwise, things will be all over the place. Think of all these empty walls, for instance, that you can make use of, by hanging a couple of nice shelves here and there. Two birds, one stone, get your stuff put away and add a decorative touch.
4- Mobilize the tribe!
You might find creative ways to ease your decluttering process, however, it’s definitely not an easy process, and would really be cumbersome to be carried out by a single person. It’s okay to ask for help from your family members and close friends. You can also benefit from their similar experiences and new ideas.
1- What do I do with the extra things?
After you declutter your home, you’ll end up with a bunch of stuff you no longer need, even if they were in a good condition, such as clothes that no longer fit, old handbags, shoes you haven’t worn in months and maybe even years,.. etc. You can make 3 labels and divide thing amongst them: Donate, Sell and Throw. Still, there will remain a few things you can’t make a decision about. A good tip here is to take the item you can’t decide upon, put it in a bag and hide it for 2-3 months. If you, one day, reached for this item, then keep it. If you didn’t, then donate or sell it. Also, things you haven’t used for the past 2 years, you probably won’t use now, so no need to keep them. One last thing, check the expiry date. If it’s expired, then you know what to do! (Puh-lease!!)
Approaching a more minimalist lifestyle is the key here. Think twice and even thrice before buying new things. We all know how dazzling those perfectly rowed bowls are, and how tempting that offer on these pants is, but remember, things are 100% off when you leave it at the store.
3- Wants Vs. Needs.
We all want a lot of things, but do we actually need them all? NO. Be mindful when you shop. If you really want that dress that you fell in love with on a first sight, leave it and come back to the store the next day. If you’re like, Nah, I like it, but it’s not as charming and to die for as it was yesterday, then turn your back and NEXT! If you bought a new piece of clothing, make sure you donate another that became old or almost no longer fitting.
4- Consider smart storage.
If you’re to buy a new piece of furniture, consider ones with clever storage ideas, that could be either hidden or decorative.
5- Get everyone in the house on board.
If you want to avoid that daily mess after clearing it all, it is really crucial to get everyone in the house involved. Agree on some ground rules for everyone to follow, so you won’t be back to point zero, after a couple more years.
6- And most importantly…
Getting attached to things we possess, especially things that are associated with memories, whether it was a childhood gift from your aunt, or a letter from your little niece is okay, as long as these things are few and not making the situation problematic. But getting attached to everything we own is definitely not okay. We often get the sense of obligation to keep certain things (that we most of the time no longer use or even need) and a huge feeling of guilt when considering getting rid of it, but, hey, don’t let that be your excuse to stay in a messy place, and later complain about the mess that never goes away. Please rethink these things. We know it’s difficult and all, and yes, we know how much you love your first tennis racket and how proud you feel when you hold it, but please, no need to keep it, along with the bunch of other rackets that you no longer use. Stick to the one or two you currently play with, and believe me, it will make you even prouder and remind you how a persistent tennis player you are now!