Decluttering is not a one-night stand or a sprint to the finish line. It is a day by day, step by step, inch by inch revolution.
If you think it would be easier to walk away from your stuff, or hire a professional organizer to come in and fix things, you might be right. It might be easier, but that ease will be temporary.
I didn’t wake up one morning and think, I want to lead a simpler life. I didn’t wake up, cancel my cable television, quit my job and throw all my stuff in a dumpster. I also didn’t change because I started listening to the voice in my head that had been telling me things had to change.
I made a change because I was sick and tired and scared. One small change led to another, but the common thread through every change that I’ve made over the past 6 years has been simplicity, decluttering and editing. I’ve simplified and edited every part of my life and continue to approach my life and business with a less is more approach.
Instead of a massive spring cleaning, or a big purge, consider the tried and true, proven method of slowly but surely.
When you declutter inch by inch, you …
- you learn from your mistakes
- enjoy the process
- teach by example
- rediscover passions
- connect with like-minded people
- realize that the best things aren’t things
If your approach is more dramatic, stressful and urgent, you may miss these really big lessons and find yourself back at square one. If you have been losing the same ten pounds every year, and cleaning out the same closet every April, make a change.
The inch by inch decluttering method for every area of your life:
Choose one of the following recommendations. Just one. Do it. Celebrate it. Breathe. Choose the next. Let the power of inspiration and momentum from your very first tiny change make the next change even more enjoyable and less scary and overwhelming.
- Write down everything you want to change about your diet.
- Eat something green first thing in the morning.
- Don’t eat meat on Monday.
- Boycott fast food.
- Eat sitting down.
- Make a vegan pizza.
- Drink more water and less of everything else.
- Cancel one thing right now.
- Leave Friday’s open for the unexpected.
- Do errands on Wednesday instead of the weekend.
- Create a meaningful morning routine.
- Track your time.
- If there is something you buy almost everyday, don’t buy it for a week.
- Turn your closet into an emergency fund.
- Track your spending.
- Start a debt snowball.
- Don’t dine out for a month.
- Read Your Money or Your Life.
- Try unroll.me to roll your subscriptions into one email.
- Print photos from your phone with Postal Pix.
- Put Dropbox on your phone and save all your images with one click.
- Go Paperless
- Figure out what you enjoying doing.
- Connect with other people who do it well.
- Help people.
- Ask for help.
- Cancel your cable television.
- Close your computer and put down your iStuff.
- Don’t check email in the morning.
- Turn off all alerts.
- Kill your Facebook account or just be friends with your actual friends.
- Keep a box by the door. Drop something in it to donate every day.
- Try a decluttering challenge.
- Don’t buy anything new for 30 days
- Maintain a tiny clutter-free zone
- One in One out
Inch by inch decluttering is not about getting organized or spring cleaning. Instead, inch by inch decluttering will provide the time and space you need to recognize enough and to embrace real happiness without buying, storing or saving one more thing.
I know you want things to be better immediately, but if you want things to be better for good, take your time and enjoy the ride. This time next year, you’ll be glad you started today.
What other inch by inch steps have you taken to simplify your life?