These 10 Decluttering 101 rules aren’t rules about which room to start with or how long to declutter each day. The rules don’t include specific decluttering methods, or tell you what you should or shouldn’t own. Instead, these decluttering 101 rules are here to …
- help you let go
- help you create space
- inspire you keep going when it feels like stuff is winning
Choose the three rules you need the most right now and use them as reminders that you want so much more than stuff … in your home and in your life.
Decluttering 101: 10 Rules to Help You Live with Less Stuff
1. Why is more important than how.
We all know how to declutter (and if you aren’t sure, here’s a list of articles to help), but knowing why will make it stick. Why do you want to live with less? Why are you making space — what are you making room for in your life?
2. One thing at a time.
You didn’t clutter up your home overnight and you aren’t going to become clutter free overnight. This is a step by step, inch by inch, scarf by book by measuring cup process. If you place 5 things, one thing at a time in a box each day to donate, by the end of a month you’ll be 150 items lighter and by the end of a year, 1825 things lighter. Your one thing at a time efforts will make a difference.
3. This is not a race.
Slow and steady change will be more sustainable than the fast and furious version you’ve attempted before. (Here are 10 slow and steady strategies.) There’s no benefit in comparing either. Just because you read about someone who decluttered their life over night doesn’t mean that pace is right for you. You have to consider your home, your family, and your heart. Drop the competing and comparing and make this an adventure, not a race. Curiosity and consistency will serve you better than stress and speed.
4. If everything matters, nothing matters.
In some stages of decluttering you may feel like all the stuff is important, that it all has meaning and that each thing matters. Remind yourself that if everything matters, nothing matters. It can’t all have your love and attention. When you let go of what doesn’t matter you can give more of yourself to what does.
5. Keep your eyes on your own stuff.
If you’re worried about how you will live a life with less stuff when your spouse is a hoarder, or you have children, come back to your own stuff. That will probably keep you occupied for a while. Demonstrate your desire to live with less stuff by living with less of your own stuff first.
6. Small progress is still progress.
Celebrate the baby steps and the small wins instead of waiting until the end.
7. Less is not nothing.
No one said you had to get rid of it all. You decide what you want in your life. Keep things that add value to your life and the stuff you enjoy. When it doesn’t add value anymore, or you stop enjoying it, let it go.
8. Just in case means never.
9. Holding on is harder than letting go.
Letting go may feel hard, but holding on is harder. You have to hold on every single day. You hold on by paying for items with your money, time, attention, and emotion. You only have to let go once.
10. This is love.
When you begin to declutter and live with less for reasons that matter to you, you understand that this isn’t about organized sock drawers or clean countertops. Simplicity is the way back to love. It’s the way back to people you love, work you live, and a life you love.
This is love.