Each time I’ve attempted to declutter, I have been amazed by the sheer volume of stuff that is jam-packed into our little home. It accumulates in every room, every drawer, every closet.
Yet each fresh wave of minimizing seems to sink in a little deeper, leaving behind a way of life that I’m thoroughly enjoying.
Here are some of my biggest take-aways from my years of attempting minimalism!
1. Declutter regularly. The more often you declutter, the more familiar you become with your belongings and the faster it will go next time. When it gets hard and you’re ready to quit, remember: it will never again be as hard as the first purge!
2. Assign everything a designated place in your home. It makes it tremendously easier to tidy your home when you have a specific space for each of your belongings. When you’re having a hard time finding space for something, do you really need to keep it? If yes, what else can you get rid of to make room for it?
3. Take inventory of the things you’re getting rid of, and look for patterns. I’m a huge advocate of the zero (or low) waste movement, which at first might seem at odds with minimalism, but here’s how they can be adhered to simultaneously: don’t hold onto trash just because you want to keep it out of the landfill. Get rid of it, but always investigate what you’re tossing to see if it can be prevented in the future. If your inventory report consistently shows that half of your Goodwill haul is comprised of cheap plastic toys, then perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the quality (and quantity) of toys that are coming into your home.
4. Before searching on Amazon for organizing bins, see if you already have something you can use. Those glass jars you’ve been saving? They’re perfect for organizing your junk cabinet or for extra bathroom storage (for q-tips, cotton balls, reusable cotton rounds, makeup brushes, etc). Random cute baskets in your house? Use them to store your mail that needs to be sorted! This gives new life to items that were previously clutter, and it also helps with organization.
5. Just because it came with an item you’re keeping doesn’t guarantee it needs to stay. Extra attachments that you never use, instruction booklets (most of which are easily found online), original packaging — these eyesores just take up space and add to cluttered shelves.
And there you have it – my 5 Doctrines of Decluttering. Comment below if you have any other original ideas! I’d love to hear them!
For ideas on how to responsibly get rid of items when you’re ready to part with them, read here.