So, you don’t consider yourself a hoarder. Yet when you look around your home, the truth is everywhere.
Clothes you haven’t worn in years are hiding out in plastic boxes in your garage. Linen – including that floral sheet set you were given as a wedding gift – is avalanching out of cupboards. Books with sunburnt pages are sporting new covers – dust! Collecting or holding onto material goods can become all-consuming, IF you don’t have a plan in place.
Since having my children, I’ve been on a mad mission to find better ways to organise our things, which has worked to some extent, but often ‘organising’ is just a band-aid solution that disguises the real issue – holding on to things that aren’t important or good for you.
A better solution is to ‘minimise’ your belongings so they are no longer in your care (or mind!). Decluttering involves clearing out what’s not necessary so that you can live a more streamlined, simplified and meaningful life. When you intentionally ‘live with less’, you’re forced to ask yourself, ‘What do I value in life?’ And you begin to keep only those things that have a purpose and bring you joy.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or defeated, and you want an easy way to declutter your home and your life, this is for you!
Here’s 3 Easy Ways To Declutter Your Home (And Your Life!)!
// 1. DECLUTTER YOUR MIND FIRST
Have you ever forgotten an appointment, or missed a special occasion because you’ve had too much on your mind? Guilty as charged here! I once forgot my Dad’s birthday! As a busy mum and business owner, I know the struggle is real. When you’re busy and you are relying on your mind alone to remember everything, it’s only a matter of time before something or worse – someone – gets overlooked. The only way to declutter your home and your life is to get your mindset sorted first. When your mind is cluttered, often you lack focus and concentration, your sleep is interrupted, and you find it difficult to relax and enjoy yourself ‘in the moment’.
One way you can prioritise what’s most important and feel more organised and less stressed is by writing everything down. Decluttering your mind involves putting processes in place so that you can minimise the amount of information that you need to store in your mind. It helps to have a routine or a schedule that is repeatable each day/week/month. Another way you can support yourself to declutter your mind is to integrate technology into your processes. A useful app that helps you to record information and manage all of your commitments is Life Sorted. Life Sorted will help you to organise your hectic family life as you’ll always know everyone’s schedules and will never have to send nagging messages to your partner again.
It’s incredible how the simple act of removing your mind-clutter, will free you up to focus on other things, like culling the ‘physical’ clutter in your life.
//2. START WITH AN END GOAL
When you’re decluttering, it’s important to have the big picture in mind. It can be easy to focus your attention on sharpening pencils and forget entirely that there’s a whole office and a whole house that needs your attention beyond the pencil box. While ‘getting started’ can feel overwhelming, the easiest way to kick off your decluttering habit is to start with one room at a time. You can either work progressively by tackling one room/space a day or you can go all in, hire a dumpster and throw out everything during a designated decluttering period. First, use the Lists feature in Life Sorted to create a list of places/areas in your home to declutter. Consider:
- Do you want to declutter the whole house or just a single room? (Be specific!)
- When do you want to have it cleared by? (Allocate a due date using your Life Sorted app)
- How are you going to make time in your schedule to de-clutter? (Schedule de-clutter sessions into your Life Sorted app so they actually happen!)
Next, break your decluttering goal into smaller tasks. For example, you might want to declutter your workspace. And go even smaller again and designate time to clearing and tidying your filing cabinet then your desk draws. It’s proven that if you have a messy workspace you are less productive than those who have an organised workspace. To avoid overwhelm or exhaustion, create a habit of tidying your workspace at the end of each day and discarding what you no longer need.
// 3. GET DOWN AND DETAILED
Letting go of possessions you think you may need later can be difficult, especially when it comes to throwing away toys or books that belong to other people.
According to Joshua Becker, Author of The More Of Less, there are only two questions you need to ask yourself in order to decide what to keep and what to clear:
- Do I need this?
- Why do I have this?
When you ask yourself, ‘Do I need this?’ you’re discerning whether you need or want something. When you identify the things you no longer need, you can easily identify the things that can be discarded.
By asking yourself, ‘Why do I have this?’ you’ll be better equipped to answer, What next?
When decluttering your wardrobe, a technique I love using is the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. Have you heard of it? It’s so simple. To identify which items your wardrobe you want to cull, start by hanging all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. Each time you wear an item, return it to your wardrobe with the hanger facing the correct direction. After a few weeks, you’ll start to see which clothes you wear and which you can discard, based on which direction the hanger is facing! Awesome, eh?!
Get creative with decluttering
Trust me, once you get on a roll, you won’t want to stop, decluttering everything from unwanted hair on your body, to weeds, to clothes, toys and cushions, tools, craft items and even makeup! You’ll be amazed at how decluttering physical objects in your home, will make you feel more purposeful, productive and powerful in all areas of your life. It’s a great idea to get the kids involved so de-cluttering becomes a fun activity you can do together regularly.
Have fun trying out some of these creative ways to declutter, including The Four-Box Method. This involves bringing four empty boxes into the space you are decluttering and labelling them – Rubbish, Give Away, Keep or Relocate. Each item is assessed before being placed into one of the four boxes.
So that’s how you can declutter your home and life in three easy steps…done and dusted! I hope this gives you some clarity and hope amidst the clutter and chaos so you can start focusing on the things and people who are most important to you and live a life of purpose and joy.
It’s very hardtodeclutter my fabric stash. Now that I am almost 77 and don’t want to sew anymore I don’t know whether to throw it all out. Your blog is very useful and it has helped me so far.