How You Can Start Decluttering & Live Minimally
Decluttering and minimizing your home can be the biggest project you’ll ever undertake. Not only is there just so much stuff, but it’s in every nook and cranny of your house. It’s maddening and overwhelming, but we’re going to get through this together!
I started my minimalism journey after I went through a bit of a breakdown.
I was miserable, and every time I looked around our house, I felt so burdened by the fact there was so much to tidy up. Cleaning took me several days in 4-8 hour shifts; from polishing the baseboards to wiping down every cabinet in the kitchen. Decluttering was happening every other month it felt like, and I just kept reorganizing the stuff that was stashed away.
In our home, it’s just the two of us, yet we were living in a house filled to the brim with stuff. My husband dubbed our house the “old lady house” where you don’t touch certain things because there’s unspoken rules. The itch of something wrong had been lingering for a few months but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
That’s when I lost it.
There were bags of stuff, piles of dishes, mountains of coffee mugs. I hit that point in my life where things didn’t make me happy. I realized that the things I set aside to be donated were just things, yet they were having such a strangle-hold on my time, my life. The things that I kept, actually made me happy. Some were functional and others were sentimental, and that’s okay because that’s the balance that I needed.
Have you reached that point yet or are you getting the itch? Either way, lets dump some water on this fire and get it under control so you don’t lose it like I did. Let’s talk about some immediate things we can start now to help save your sanity.
If you’re just starting your decluttering journey, or you’re looking for guidance in your minimalism journey, you're in the right place!
Check out the Minimalism tag for all things minimalism related. Here you'll find every resource you need for your journey! These articles will help you start and continue your journey to your ideal minimalism that fits perfectly in your life.
Looking for even more tips on how to declutter and wrangle your stuff? I got you covered! Check out the Decluttering tag for everything you need to get control back over your home and beat the mess.
Have you wrangled most of the clutter in your life and are looking for tips to live more intentionally? The Intentional Living tag has steps to be more present and how to live focus on being meaningful in your journey.
Downsize Your Closet/Dressers
It is so easy to keep adding items to your closet without realizing how expansive it can get. Don’t waste your time going through your entire wardrobe once or twice a year, I remember it would take me hours to do this and it’s such an energy drain, as well as a day waster!
Now I don’t have to go through my wardrobe because there’s one simple process that I started to follow. No more setting aside hours each season to go through clothes!
Each time you buy a new article of clothing, shoes, or accessories: exchange it for something in your current wardrobe.
If you buy a new pair of heels, it gets exchanged with a current pair you own. This process will also help you when you’re shopping because if you can’t exchange it for something, do you really need it? And it’s okay if that answer is yes!
Don’t guilt yourself in buying something that you really like, the key is to make sure you’re happy with it and/or it has a function.
Give Your Decision-Making Time to “Cook”
This one is a “get this going yesterday” tip.
If you’re like me, I have a tendency to get wrapped up in the moment. Not only do I knee-jerk into a decision if I’m not careful, but I have immediate guilt over it happening.
Give yourself 30 days to make a decision. If the decision affects your wallet, your family, and/or your future, let it cook on the back burner for 30 days.
Think of it this way, how many of the things that you bought 30 days ago that you wish you would have planned better? There’s probably some things that you wish you didn’t buy at all. I know the feeling.
Write down when you first wanted the item. Mine are stored in my planner and my budget book so I cover all of my bases. When the cook time is up, look back and see if it’s still something that fits into your life. You will save yourself so much hassle.
Write down all of your items, get specific!
This was the one thing that really kicked me into an organizing, decluttering machine.
Sit down and get comfy with a pen and paper. Now, if you had to pack up your stuff tomorrow, what would you pack? Get specific in your list, don’t just write “clothes” or “dishes,” what would you tell the moving people to pack up?
This was an eye-opener since I’m super sensitive and fall into nostalgia very easily. With my family being so far away, anything that came from them is on a pedestal and I cherish it. When I wrote this list, I was surprised at how many items I didn’t include.
When you write down your items, make a mental map of your house and move room to room. This helps keep it in bite-sized pieces and keeps important items from getting left behind.
It’s easy to let your things start accumulating, even if you know how overwhelming it is. I’ve been there, and I let it get so bad where it really hindered my overall happiness.
But the great news is: it’s fixable! And it's easy to fix!
Starting these few things can cut down on clutter and help you realize what you and your family need in their home. I kept repeating the one quote from Francine Jay that kept repeating over and over in my head: Your home is a living space, not a storage space.
It really hit a nerve and threw me into all of this research. But I think the most comforting of everything that I read is that a lot of people and families go through this, and they did something about it. It all starts with the first big step and everything gets easier from there with mental prep and tenacity. I know you can do it too!
Tell me about why you started considering minimalism, decluttering, or simple living in the comments below! Share your story and let’s chat!