Decluttering is a popular new year’s resolution. It gives you greater control of your life and eliminates stress. However, many people begin to feel overwhelmed and anxious around the idea of decluttering. Your decluttering journey doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many creative and fun ways to declutter your home without feeling overwhelmed.
We put together a list of seven creative decluttering tips to get you started:
1. Make a List of Areas to Declutter
Make a list of areas (drawers/closets/rooms) that need to be organized and then check off as you go. You can start with the easiest areas first to help you build momentum to move on to more difficult tasks. Dedicate about an hour for each problem area on your list and move to a second problem the next day. This approach will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. It’s important to rest and reflect on the process.
2. Give Away One Item Each Day
Often we keep things just because they’ve always been a part of our lives. Do these things serve a purpose for you or can they be donated or thrown away? If you are not ready to say goodbye to all of these things at once this decluttering solution is perfect for you.
Colleen Madsen of 365 Less Things recommends giving away one small item each day. “This resolution will help you declutter every wardrobe, bench, shelf, under bed, pantry and garage space by giving away, throwing away or selling one item everyday for the next twelve months,” says Madsen. Over the past eight years, she has experienced quite a transformation by reducing her stuff one day at a time.
3. Bring in “Keep, Toss, Store, Donate” Boxes
Decide what to keep, store for future use, throw away, or donate. Empty your closets and drawers, then sort through your items and place each item into one of the boxes.
BinSwap can help make this whole process a lot easier for you. They will deliver pre-labeled bins to your home and store, toss, or donate ones you’ve filled.
BinSwap will store your items for as low as $7.5/month and will throw away or donate your stuff at no extra charge. They can deliver your belongings as needed so you never have to go to a self storage unit. You can also easily track what’s in storage with BinSwap’s free online inventory. Schedule a BinSwap bin delivery if you want to avoid a trip to self-storage.
Always remember to find ways to keep this process stress free. Ask friends to help. They will help you work faster and provide useful ideas.
4. Keep Like Things Together
It’s important to categorize items as you go through them. Keep all your lunch boxes and food storage containers in the same place. Put all your utensils in one drawer.
Image credit: The Container Store ®
It’s important to consider your usage of each item. Keep rarely used items, like a punch bowl, on the very top shelves. This will not only help you find things faster, but also reduce some of frustrations in your daily life.
5. Use the “One In, One Out” Rule
Every time you buy something new, you have to sell/donate/toss an item. This rule is most helpful for clothes closets, especially if you love to shop.
Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist
“The system takes a lot of discipline; it’s tempting to cheat, and tell yourself you’ll get rid of something later,” says Francine Jay of Miss Minimalist. Therefore, it’s important to commit to “one out” rule right away, or it may never happen. Jay also adds that “it puts a lid on your number of possessions, and ensures you don’t accumulate more than you purge.“
6. Don’t Buy, Rent or Borrow
If you are planning on buying something that you will use infrequently or only once, consider renting or borrowing it. When it comes to books and movies, you can buy a digital version or go to the library. For DIY home projects, Lowe’s and Home Depot will rent many tools to get the job done. Fashionistas can rent designer dresses from companies like RentTheRunway.com – ideal option for weddings or big events. This is a great way to save money and space.
7. Make Decluttering a Habit
Decluttering is something you have to work into your daily habits. You’re more likely to see permanent results if you make it a routine.
If you want to start living with less, you have to bring less into your home. Before buying an item always ask yourself if you need it or you are buying it because it’s on sale.
“We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.” – Donald Horban