I’m a decluttering fiend! I could rifle through my possessions all day, any day. It has to be my favorite chore. Actually, I don’t even think I can call it a chore since I consider chores to be the tedious, mind-numbing tasks on my to-do list that I procrastinate on for as long as possible. I find decluttering satisfying and, dare I say it, calming. I have a knack for it! While I love sorting through my wardrobe, bookshelf or bathroom cabinets, I know not everyone feels the same. It can be difficult and annoying for many! Since I’m in the midst of a spring declutter, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips! Just keep in mind that these are tips I find useful. They may not work for everyone! However, I think they’re a good starting point for those of you trying to sort out your life.
One in, one out
This is a simple, no-brainer tip. Before you buy a new item, make sure to toss or donate an old one. I’ve heard this tip mentioned online quite a few times in regards to wardrobe declutters but you can use this for other possessions too. Want that new fancy schmancy face mask? Use up the one you already have first! That book getting rave reviews? Resell or regift one you weren’t a big fan of. A new pair of jeans? Look through the ones you have. There might be a pair you don’t wear anymore that you can donate. I find that this one in, one out method helps limit impulse purchases and buying non-essential items. While I don’t strictly adhere to this simple tip, I do try my hardest to limit my spending by only buying what I absolutely need.
Take it slow
Decluttering your entire home (or room, or wardrobe) all at once is anxiety-inducing. If you can force yourself, try to declutter gradually. Do one section at a time. It could be one part of your wardrobe a day. Shoes on Monday, accessories on Tuesday, etc… Or declutter a new area of your apartment every Sunday. Focus on your books one week, kitchen utensils the next, and so on. Whatever works for your schedule! I find that this helps break up decluttering into small, easy doable tasks, which will (hopefully) prevent procrastination. To make things more entertaining, I like to put on a playlist of whatever music I’m listening to. Having a soundtrack always puts me in a productive mood!
Sort into sections
Many recommend the dump everything out onto the floor all at once then sort into piles method. Personally, I find that daunting and overwhelming. Seeing a messy floor makes me anxious! Instead, I don’t take the items I’m keeping out from their resting place. I also don’t dump it all out at once. If I’m rifling through my clothes, for instance, I’ll look through them on the clothes rack or in the drawers first then take the pieces I’m not keeping out and sort those into three piles: Sell, Maybe and Donate. Less mess on the bedroom floor, which means fewer things to put away! If the dump everything out method works for you, that’s perfectly fine!
What do you really use?
There are so many items I adore but never use. They just don’t suit my style or work for me. However, it can be tough to give up pieces you love! I always try to justify keeping the Maybe items by promising myself to use it in the future even though they’ve been collecting dust in my closet for months. I know I’m not the only one who does this! At some point, you have to be honest with yourself. If you haven’t used it in months, maybe even years, and don’t see yourself using it in the future, it’s time to let it go. One of my rules when decluttering my wardrobe is to get rid of items that don’t fit or are uncomfortable (i.e. short skirts). For skincare, I think about how many times I’ve used a product in the past few months. If I haven’t touched it in ages, it’s a sign that I don’t love it. That method works for clothes too!
Give it a month
If there are items you are unsure about, give it a month or two. I always have clothing items or beauty products that I’m not ready to part with. In that case, I keep them for an extra month. If I don’t use them or realize they aren’t right for my lifestyle by the end of that trial month, I get rid of them. When I sort through my wardrobe, I like to create at least three outfits using my Maybe pieces. If I can’t figure out how to wear something, then it’s probably not the right style for me.
Since you’re already sorting through your possessions, you might as well take the time to reorganize. Now, I’m not here to give you tips on how to reorganize your space. I find that everyone has their own preferred method. That could be sorting your clothes by color. It could be buying some storage containers. It could mean rearranging furniture. Whatever works for you! The hard part is keeping things organized and neat… That, I’m afraid, I’m no good at. I highly recommend taking some time to clean your space every other day. This doesn’t have to be intense. It could just mean putting away those beauty products resting on your bookshelf or placing clothes back on their hangers. Again, it’s better to do things gradually than to let the clutter pile up and up.
Donate or resell
Never carelessly toss items in the bin! Always find ways to give your old possessions a new life. Maybe that’s donating them to your local Goodwill. If you’re looking to make some money, you can resell gently used items to a thrift shop or on apps like Depop or Poshmark. Feeling crafty? Repurpose objects! I always keep my empty candle containers to use as succulent planters or for storing my makeup brushes.
There you have it! My mini 7-step decluttering guide for anyone struggling to declutter their possessions. I hope you found this useful! What are some tips you’ve picked up?