Clutter. It’s everywhere. And it can be so challenging to get rid of it, especially if you have a hard time parting with things. But the truth is, clutter can be harmful to your mental and physical health, not to mention your productivity levels. In this blog post, we will discuss ten ways that you can get a handle on your clutter and regain control of your life!
Start With A Small Area
Remove everything you don’t use regularly, organize the things you do, and promise to maintain them that way. Please take note of how nice it feels every time you open that drawer moving ahead. Next, move to another small area like a desk, side table, or counter. Again, remove everything that doesn’t serve a purpose and find a place for the things that do. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels to have an organized space!
Set A Timer For 10 Minutes
Take 10 minutes to clear out one section. When the timer goes off, you’re done—without guilt. If you want to continue, set the timer for another 10 minutes. But keep in mind that every time the timer rings, you have the option to stop without feeling guilty. Instead, look at what you accomplished in just 10 minutes and allow yourself to feel euphoric satisfaction and increasing self-assurance. This will spur you on to keep going.
Take a garbage bag out with you and try to fill it as quickly as possible. You may put the bag anywhere—trash, recycling, or a charity center. One reader claimed that collecting a bag took her 45 seconds! When it comes to insurance, plan to execute this approach just before your trash is collected or before you do a charity drop-off. You’ll avoid the urge to modify your mind about the mess you’ve gotten rid of. This method is also good for closets and drawers.
Keeping It Sustainable
We hear from a lot of women who go on a clutter-clearing binge, burn themselves out, and find themselves right back where they started in no time. Marie Kondo advocates for an all-out, no-holds-barred approach to decluttering and organizing in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If you’ve had a lightning bolt experience and are certain you won’t fall off the wagon, by all means, go the whole hog. However, if your life is filled with distractions (children, a job, a less-than-enthusiastic partner…), make it last. Do one corner at a time and work on keeping that area tidy before moving on to the next.
The habits we track have been demonstrated to be more successful. According to research, our chances of success are greater if we track our behavior. Those who keep a food diary and write down what they eat every day lose weight faster than others over time. People who practice mindfulness with the Headspace app may see their “streak” (the number of consecutive days they’ve meditated) grow, which motivates them to continue.
How can we use this in our efforts to clear our clutter? Perhaps you could choose to donate three items every day for the next month on your calendar and mark it off. Could you set a goal of eliminating 365 objects in a year and noting each one as you give it away? There’s strength in seeing your streak grow.
Create A Place For Everything
The best way to keep your things from becoming cluttered in the first place is to have a specific place for them. This works especially well with items that you use daily, such as your keys and wallet. It will likely become clutter if you don’t have a good spot for something. Assign everything a “home” and make sure you put it back in its rightful place when you’re done using it. This can also help you find things when you need them.
One-In One-Out Rule
This is a great rule for people who tend to accumulate things. For every new item that comes into your home, donate or trash one item. This way, you’ll never have too much stuff, and your home will always be relatively clutter-free. The key is to be strict with yourself and not let anything slide. It’s also important to make sure that the items you’re bringing in are actually things that you need and will use. This rule can be applied to anything, from clothes to books to kitchen gadgets.
Reduce Your Purchases
You’ll never truly get ahead if you don’t pay attention to what comes into your property. It’s as much about what goes in as what goes out. According to studies, the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages every day. Consider how much our brand exposure influences our purchasing decisions. Then, consider taking these simple steps to reduce your advertising intake—and hopefully, break that purchasing habit we all want to quit. Examples of reducing this include unsubscribing from shopping emails, deleting social media accounts that show ads, and using an ad blocker.
30- Day Rule
This is a great way to test whether or not you need something. If you’re on the fence about an item, put it in a box and label it with the date. Then, wait 30 days. If you haven’t used or thought about the item in that time frame, chances are you don’t need it, and you can donate it without hesitation. This rule also works well for clothes. If you’re unsure about an article of clothing, wear it and see how you feel after a month.
You deserve a gold star (or ten)! Take a moment to congratulate yourself on your progress. This will help you stay motivated and inspired to keep going. We often get caught up in what we haven’t accomplished and beat ourselves up about it. But if we take the time to celebrate our successes, no matter how small they may be, we’ll feel better about ourselves and be more likely to continue working toward our goals.
By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to a clutter-free life! Just remember to take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself. Creating new habits takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end. You’ll feel lighter, freer, and more organized—and your home will thank you for it. Thanks for reading, and we hope this was helpful!