If you are overwhelmed with the idea of decluttering, or just a little discouraged by clutter creep, remember there isn’t a special trick or one size fits all method for decluttering. The simplest way to move forward is to get back to basics.
Getting rid of stuff comes with all kinds of complicated emotions and feelings, so it’s easy to get frustrated. If clutter crept back in after a big decluttering effort a few months or years ago, it’s easy to think that the work you did was a waste of time.
You might be wondering …
- Where did all this stuff come from?
- Why can’t I let go?
- What’s wrong with me?
Instead of getting lost in all of the questions, emotions and mind-drama, keep it really simple. If what you want is a clutter-free space, just start removing the clutter.
Getting back to basics is the simplest way to find calm in the chaos.
5-step back to basics decluttering
1. Know your why.
Remember why you want to live with less stuff. It’s different for everyone. Some people enjoy more space, time or money and others appreciate the freedom of owning less. Maybe you want room to dance, or bake, or entertain or simply to rest. Knowing your why gives your decluttering purpose. If you aren’t sure why, this will help.
2. Be clear on your approach.
This isn’t an organizing mission. If organizing worked, you’d be organized by now. Turn your focus from getting tidy to getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, want, or love. If if doesn’t add some kind of value to your life, let it go.
3. Start with the easy stuff.
Don’t worry about the sentimental stuff or the things you are really attached to. Start with the simple knickknacks, candle holders, junk drawer items, and clothes that don’t fit. Then look at the books you don’t read, towels you haven’t used in years and cords and chargers that don’t work or don’t belong to anything. Getting rid of the easy stuff will give you momentum and inspiration to consider the more challenging items.
4. Lighten up.
Lose the duplicates and the just in case items. Figure out how many kitchen utensils and place settings you really need and use and get rid of the rest. If you’ve been collecting place mats, napkins and linens for years, keep what you use and give the rest away. When you are struggling, consider this.
5. Celebrate your efforts.
Of course there is more that could be done. There always will be but this isn’t the time. Now that you’ve gotten back to basics and decluttered your home, or a room, or even a corner of the room, it’s time to celebrate. If you decluttered your kitchen, host a small dinner party. If your idea of celebrating is turning on music, grabbing a good book and relaxing in your newly decluttered space, do that. You deserve to celebrate your efforts in a way that resonates with you.
If you feel overwhelmed or confused about the benefits of decluttering, simply remember that your home is not a container for your stuff, but rather a place for joy and connection. I can’t think of a better reason to declutter than to make room for more of that.
P.S. If you are ready to level up from the basics, let go of these 120 items.