I’ve been slowly decluttering my home over the last year or so. Sometimes it seems like a never ending battle. On the other hand, I can definitely see the progress!
Decluttering your life can feel like an overwhelming task if you have a lot of clutter. Years of living in one space and collecting things can really get out of hand if you’re not careful. In fact, clutter is a problem that Americans are dealing with on a crazy level.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the clutter and the mess? Do you feel like you can never keep it clean? It may be time for a major purge of your house!
12 Golden Rules for Decluttering Your Life
Evict your duplicates.
We all have duplicates somewhere around our homes. I can promise if you were to walk through your home right now, you’d find at least one. Search your home for any duplicates and get rid of them if they aren’t necessary. When you buy a new one, make sure to rid your home of the older one. If you must decide between two, pick the nicer one and get rid of the other.
Rid your home of anything you haven’t used in 1 year.
If you haven’t used it in a year, you likely won’t use it in the future. Telling yourself you might use it someday is just putting off the inevitable. Do your home and yourself a big favor and get rid of any items that aren’t being used.
Digitize when possible.
Ask yourself if the items in your home that are nostalgic or sentimental really need to be there. If you still want to hold on to the memory by looking at it, scan it or take a photo and get rid of the item. You’ll still be able to keep it around without adding clutter to your home.
Maybe it was a present from your grandparents, or a family heirloom that was passed down to you, but we all have something around the home we keep out of guilt. It’s time to be a little tougher on what you allow to take residency in your home! Get rid of any items that you don’t like.
Put things back when you’re done with them.
Sure it’s always easier to leave things out or “get to them later.” This is exactly how your clutter problem started in the first place! When you are done using something put it away, or throw it away if it can’t be reused.
Give every item in your house a home.
Everything you own should have a place to live. Whether it’s a plastic container in your cabinet or in a drawer on your nightstand, everything should have a home. A pile does not count as a home. If you can’t find a good home for your items, ask yourself if it’s because it doesn’t belong.
When needed, find it a new home.
Sometimes we realize the items we thought we’d use don’t actually get used. In this case, start by seeing if you can sell or donate any of these items to give them a new life. Consider selling it if you think you can make money on it, but make sure to give yourself a time limit to get rid of these items.
Don’t keep anything you wouldn’t buy again today.
When evaluating which items to keep, ask yourself if you would buy this item right now if you were in the store. If not, you probably never needed it anyway! Take a good hard look at the items you have and figure out why you think you need them.
Re-evaluate your spending habits.
Most of us probably ended up with more than we needed by being a little frivolous with our spending. Look at your spending habits regularly and see if you’re the reason for clutter in your home.
We all have some vertical storage we can use. When storing your items, make the most of all the space you have available to you, including the vertical space. The answer to your storage system might be right above you.
Don’t be afraid to use creative storage.
You have a lot of valuable real estate right there in your home for items to be stored. One of the most popular forgotten spaces is right under the bed! You sleep on it every night, but you’ve probably never thought to store things under it. Don’t be afraid to get creative when looking for places to store your items.
Everything should be stowed.
It’s tempting to just leave things out because we feel there is nowhere good to store it. Whether you use it everyday or not, everything should be stowed. Flight attendants make us stow even our most personal belongings while we are taking off, and you should be stowing them in your home too! If it’s not in use right this second, it probably needs to be stored out of the way.
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