I wrote an article called 50 (more) ways to leave your clutter in 2011 and thought it was time for an update. I turned to the lovely people on the Be More with Less Facebook page and asked for help. They told me their favorite ways to leave their clutter. Here they are (in quotes) along with a few other recommendations. In the spirit of less is more, and because 15 sounds like 50 if you say it fast, I thought I’d give you a shorter list this time. (P.S. If you can’t get this song out of your head, you are not alone.)
15 ways to leave your clutter
1. Move it. “I moved everything (and I mean everything) out of my kitchen into the spare bedroom and would bring stuff back only as I needed it. I did not need or use 90% of what I had. Fastest way to make a decision.”
2. Shoot it. Take pictures of all your awards, trophies, and sentimental items, and then get rid of them. You’ll still have the memories but fewer things to store and clean.”
3. Host a “Bring your clutter to work” day. “I bring things (gifts that I don’t need/want, beauty product freebies, books, candles, etc.) to the break room at work. If nobody takes them after a few days, I donate them. They are usually snatched-up fairly quickly.”
4. Be inspired. Read books, watch documentaries, and hang out with like-hearted people in your neighborhood or online by curating your social feeds. Try these new books …
5. Be generous. “If something I have would make one of my friends happy, I give it to them. If they don’t want it, I send it to the free store because I know if I am willing to give it to a friend I can let it go.”
6. Don’t let it in. “Deposit junk mail directly into the recycle bin so it doesn’t even make it into the house. The coupon isn’t worth it, and your time is worth more than it will take you to read it. (Avoiding looking at junk mail also prevents you from becoming interested in buying more things that you don’t need.)”
7. Kick it to the curb. “We put bulky items out on the curb (coffee table, iron magazine rack, metal step-ladder and a metal card table) and it was all gone in less than 3 hours.”
8. One in, more out. “Now that I have purged my jewelry six times, any new piece I bring home means another piece must leave the house. Same is true for my books. Got rid of over 100. Now, if a new one enters the house, then two leave that week.”
9. #MinsGame. “Find a friend or family member: someone who’s willing to get rid of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Learn more here.
10. #Project333. Dress with 33 items or less for 3 months including clothes, accessories, jewelry, and shoes. Learn more here.
11. #Declutter100. Set your timer for 60 minutes and get rid of 100 things. Grab a box for trash, and a box for donations. Next, choose the recommended areas and items here that resonate with you (or create your own) to equal 100. Write down what areas you are going to attack and how many items you will declutter from each. When you start the timer, use your list so you don’t have to waste time thinking about where to start.
12. Empty it. “When you declutter a drawer or cabinet or box, don’t just look at it. You have to empty it. I tried decluttering my craft boxes by looking at them and pulling out two or three items to give away. But when I emptied the boxes, and replaced only those very necessary items, only a few made the cut to keep.”
13. Thank them. “As for the most sentimental objects or favorite old clothes and shoes I wanted to let go, I spoke aloud and told them, “Thank you for all the joy you once brought to me!” Those items have been gone for nine months now and I never think about them because they’re gone!”
14. Support your local community. “I donate to our local refugee center. I have a list of things they need so it’s easy to make decisions whether I need it more or they do. It also helps a ton to take the kids so they realize what a blessing their things can be instead of a mess at our house!”
15. Turn it around. “Turn all the hangers around in your closet. When something is worn, replace the item by hanging the hanger the ‘right’ way. After a very short period of time, you’ll realize those items you aren’t wearing and can donate them. This was especially helpful with my spouse who lost track of how long it had been since he had worn a particular item.”
If you want to see other recommendations, check out the original FB post and comments.