Even though there are plenty of how to start decluttering articles here, including challenges, the best places to start and other resources, what you may need more than anything else is support and encouragement. I know that’s how I felt in the beginning. I loved learning clever ways to start decluttering but finding daily motivation is what kept me going.
Use these 7 notes to help you live with less to help you find consistency when you start decluttering. You could turn these notes into wallpaper on your phone, or simply write the words down on post it notes and leave them in the areas where you are decluttering.
Start Decluttering: 8 Notes To Help You Live With Less
1. Notice What You Love
When you look at the things around you, pay attention to what makes you smile. Noticing the stuff you know you want to hold on to and make space for will make letting go of the rest a little easier. Interestingly, it works the other way too. You may discover what you enjoy underneath all of the stuff you don’t really want.
2. Start decluttering at a pace that works for you.
Sometimes it’s helpful to zoom out and see that getting rid of the pile of clutter in front of you will help you recognize the stuff that may really be weighing you down. The best way to start decluttering is to take it step by step, go at your own pace and don’t be too serious about the stuff that probably doesn’t matter that much to you anyway. Art: The Life On Purpose Movement
3. Organized stuff is still stuff.
If your focus is on buying more stuff to store your stuff, or to make your stuff look good, you are probably organizing and not decluttering. Shift back to letting go of your stuff. It’s easier to organize less. Or, if you are like me and find it hard to stay organized, living with less will serve you well.
Questions You May Have When You Start Decluttering
What is the best way to start decluttering?
The best way to start decluttering is to match the project with your time and energy. We have to stop pretending that we all have the same time and energy as Beyoncé and instead be honest about where we are and how we are feeling. If you have 10 minutes, work on the junk drawer. If you have an hour, try this decluttering burst. If you are low on energy, declutter emails or digital phots. If you feel great, try decluttering these 120 things.
What is the 20/20 rule for decluttering?
Sometimes it’s helpful to have some guidelines when it comes to decluttering. For instance, when I was still in debt, I created a rule to sell anything worth $50 or more to put towards my debt. Anything worth less, I donated. The 20/20 rule for decluttering is explained here. The Minimalists say, “Anything we get rid of that we truly need, we can replace for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes from our current location. Thus far, this hypothesis has become a theory that has held true 100% of the time. Although we’ve rarely had to replace a just-in-case item (fewer than five times for the two of us combined), we’ve never had to pay more than $20 or go more than 20 minutes out of our way to replace the item.”
How do you declutter your home when you are overwhelmed?
It will be harder to declutter or do just about anything when you are overwhelmed. I recommend creating a list of low-energy decluttering tasks that you can do when you aren’t feeling your best. That way, you don’t have to make extra decisions about what to do that may contribute to more overwhelm. Consider that this might not be the best time to declutter or do a lot. Instead, ask yourself what would make you feel better. It might simply be time to rest.
4. Consider that decluttering doesn’t have to be so hard.
When you are letting go of clutter and other things that aren’t serving you, remember that it doesn’t have to be painful. Keep what matters and kindly blow the rest away. Art: @beorganizedomaha.
5. Start decluttering by removing something that doesn’t serve you.
Create space for yourself by removing something from different areas of your life. Start decluttering with your junk drawer, to-do list, and your thoughts. Just a little bit will make a big difference.
6. Declutter because there isn’t room for all of it.
They told us we could have it all but forgot to tell us we might not want it. Hold on to what matters. Let go of the rest.
7. Slow decluttering progress is still progress.
Use these beautiful words from Jamila Reddy to remind yourself that you are on the path. Slow progress is progress. You are doing great. I am over here forever cheering you on.
Whether you are about to start decluttering for the first time or the twenty-first time, consider these notes and reminders to help you move forward with less stress and more joy.