Whether you’re a hardcore minimalist or don’t even know what the term means, you probably aren’t a huge fan of clutter. Having clutter, no matter where it is, can often bring about immense amounts of stress that no one needs in their life. What better way to expel stress from your life than to declutter, but not just to declutter, to declutter like a minimalist. Decluttering like a minimalist doesn’t involve crazy methods that take years of practice. It’s all about utilizing your time wisely and staying focused throughout it all. And maybe, just maybe, you may find that decluttering isn’t half bad at all. Read on to find ten ways that you can start decluttering like a minimalist.
- Set a Goal
This is where you create your plan of attack. Write down the areas that you’d like to clean and how you see your area looking after the declutter has commenced. Also, while you’re at it, set a time period (or, a specific day) that you’d like to be done. Think about possibly setting it a bit shorter than you’d feel comfortable. Having a sense of urgency often helps with your productivity.
- Shoot for a Number
It’s better to be as specific as possible when you’re drawing up your list of goals and setting up a plan. A great idea is to pick a specific number of items that you’d like to keep (i.e. three pairs of pants, five shirts, etc.) This can help you stay focused during your decluttering session and influence you to get rid of more things that aren’t bringing you joy. Be sure to be realistic with your number and stick with it once you’ve decided upon it.
- One Room at a Time
Once you start decluttering, keep it in one room at a time. This will help you stay focused and knock off tasks easily. Dealing with the whole house at once may overwhelm you at first. Also, it’s incredibly easy to get distracted when you’re going through multiple rooms at a time. Set a specific list of things to accomplish for each room, and knock them out one by one. Also, try not to linger from each room throughout your home. Give this room in particular, all the attention that it needs.
- Set a Timer
This is another way to input a subtle sense of urgency. Set a small time period for each of your tasks and work against the clock. Some people work well under pressure; if that’s you then implementing a timer would definitely work well for you. Also, if you fail to do your task in the allotted time period don’t be afraid to start over. As long as you get it done eventually, that’s all that matters.
- Discard Broken, Dirty, or Despicable Things First
Do what’s easiest first. Anything that’s broken, dirty, or ugly; let it go. You’ll definitely breathe easier once you throw these items in the trash can. If you haven’t used the item in over a year then it’s also probably time to get rid of it. Also, if it’s broken, don’t try to save it unless you care about the item tremendously. Mending broken items used much-needed time, money, and effort that could be used more efficiently in other places; like your declutter.
- Clean Surfaces
A light clean can make a huge difference on the complete aesthetic of the home. Quick tasks like wiping counters and organizing help simplify the look of your home. They also don’t require too much of your time. You’d be surprised how long it’s probably been since you’ve cleaned off certain areas in your home, so look around and wipe off all that you can.
- The Four Bins Method
This tried and true method among minimalists keeps all your things organized throughout your decluttering debacle. As you’re going through your things, organize it all into four specific bins: keep, donate, sell, and store. The store bin is for things that you don’t necessarily use all year, but you still need to keep around (i.e. Christmas decorations) Utilizing this method and getting rid of the items that you’d like to discard of will surely be a breeze.
- Plan Ahead Before Purchasing Again
Now that you’ve done all this amazing decluttering, the best way to make sure that this declutter lasts is to not bring new things in. If you need something new, add it to a to-buy list that you can think about extensively before you go out and buy it. Also, if you’re randomly introduced to an impulse buy (it happens to the best of us) make sure to step away from it for at least a day before you buy it. If you still want to buy it after that, go for it!
- Be Okay With Imperfection
Comparing your home to other “minimalist” digs on social media and in magazines can be quite intimidating. But, don’t let those homes frustrate you. Map out a dream home that you can achieve, and go towards that. Only use those homes that you may see online as a source of inspiration. There’s no such thing as failure when you’re moving towards a life that you want to live. As long as you’re always progressing, you’re a success story.
- Tell a Friend
Don’t be afraid to tell those around you what your goals are. You may be the inspiration that they need to start decluttering as well. Also, they can be the ones that hold you accountable if you ever fall behind.
Many people don’t like to declutter, and that’s completely understandable. But, if you choose to declutter like a minimalist, it’ll save you time, money, and effort that you can use to live your life the way that you’d like to live it. Just focus on your goals and keep them small so you can knock them out fast. Before you know it you’ll be living in a clutter-free home, and truly decluttering like a minimalist.