Do you ever get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff you’ve collected over the years? I sure do. I recently decluttered my house and it felt so good! Decluttering and learning to live with less is not only good for peace of mind, but it can also be great for your wallet! Decluttering and simplifying is a great way to help you avoid spending money on things you don’t need.
I want to share some tips that helped me go through this (sometimes difficult) process. I’ll tell you the top 10 tips that helped me along the way, so you can simplify your space, focus on the important stuff, save money, and not get bogged down in clutter.
Take your time.
“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time”. It can be overwhelming to think about organizing or decluttering your entire home. Instead, choose one room or one task at a time. It might also be a good idea to start small and then move to the bigger tasks. Personally, I started with my sock drawer!
Make a list.
I love lists, so this was a great one for me. I made a list of all the areas in my home that needed to be decluttered, starting with the easiest. It helped me map out the areas that I would start with and allowed me to get a better sense of how much time each area would take. That way, I could pick and choose which area to work on depending on how much time I had.
Try to see your home from a different perspective.
It can be easy to get used to clutter and for a messy area to start to feel like the norm. Getting a fresh perspective can be helpful to see things for what they are and you can do this a few different ways. Invite a friend over to help you find areas that need attention, or take pictures of each room (you may notice some clutter you didn’t notice before).
The closet hanger trick.
This trick has been around for awhile. Hang all your clothes in your closet with the hangers in the reverse direction. Every time you wear a piece of clothing, return it to the proper direction. After six months, you will have a good idea of what clothing items can be sold, donated, or tossed out.
Plan a “keep it” or “toss it” day with a friend.
See if you can rope a friend or significant other into helping you declutter (promises of pizza and wine seem to work well). Go through your closet (or other cluttered area) piece by piece and decide what you really want to keep. You should be able to justify the items you’re keeping.
Struggling? Make a “maybe” pile.
If you’re having a hard time with some items you’re unsure of, throw a bunch of stuff in a “maybe” pile. Keep it out of sight for a few months and if you don’t miss anything from it, you know you can sell, toss, or donate the contents.
Fill a garbage bag.
Grab a bag and just go for it. Make it a goal to fill the bag as quickly as you can. Sometimes we can overthink each item and imagine ourselves using it or wearing it in the distant future. Don’t let your imagination make the decision for you. Be logical and ask yourself if you really need it. I bet you won’t think about this stuff once it’s gone!
Okay I’ve decluttered…now what?
Wait a month before buying something you have your eye on.
No matter how much we declutter, it doesn’t make much of a difference if we keep buying and filling our home with more stuff. Before you bite the bullet on a purchase, wait a month to mull it over. You might just lose the urge or change your mind.
Remember the “new purchase” feeling doesn’t last long.
Do you ever buy something and get a little excited about it? I know I do. When I feel like I want to buy something I try to remember how quickly that feeling fades and that “new” thing becomes just another old shirt, or another trinket. Keep that in mind before purchasing something that seems really new and shiny at the store.
Learn to love the way your decluttered home looks.
See how organized and clean your space is now? Get used to it and remember how great it feels to know that everything has a “home”. It can be stressful coming home from work to a messy and disorganized space or bedroom. Remember the satisfied feeling you get from your decluttered home and try to keep it that way.
If you have any other tips for decluttering, I want to hear from you! Feel free to comment in the comments section.
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7 thoughts on “10 tips to declutter and live with less”
Excellent article. After 26 years on 2.5 acres, downsizing to four? suitcases. “Cleansing”. The ultimate peace/piece
Hi Peter! Thank you so much for feedback. Good for you! Downsizing is never easy, but it can be so satisfying once you get there 🙂
Great tips, thank you! I love the idea of starting small – I might start with my sock drawer too!
Good article. Thank you.
I think a list of good types of clothing material would be interesting.
Some types of material wear better then others.
How to avoid material that pills for example.
Hi Bonnie, thanks for your feedback! We’re glad you liked the post!
Nicely worded tips. I’ll include to make sure you take the decluttered items to their new home (recycle, donate, trash) right away! Also to identify those places in your area.
Great additions, we also have a blog post on the topic you can find here: Recycling tips