Many people feel overwhelmed when they think about letting go of items to declutter their home, but I’m here to tell you that you have more power than you think! Actually, you have all of the power! After all, this is YOUR home you’re decluttering. That means you make the rules. You get to decide:
what goes in it,
how much goes in it, AND
what to let go of!
Imagine your ideal home. What’s it like? Is it cozy, filled with objects you love and display proudly? Is it functional, with everything you need and nothing you don’t? Is it sleek and minimalist, a place where you can think clearly and feel freedom?
How does your ideal home differ from your home now?
I’m asking all these questions to clarify what your goal is when it comes to decluttering. As famed inventor Charles Kettering said, “A problem well-stated is half-solved.” When you know what you’re working toward, it’s easier to see the path to it. Find useful questions to ask about your space, like:
Marie Kondo’s “Does it spark joy?”
Not everything in your home will spark joy—a toilet scrubber is a must-have, but choosing to have one that is easy to use and gives you a sparkling bowl just might spark joy. But for items that aren’t purely practical, make sure you ask yourself what you’re getting from it. If it’s anxiety, sadness, or nothing at all, it might be time to let it go.
“Do I love it?”
When you’re thinking about whether to let go of an item, ask yourself if you love it. A worn-out teddy bear you’ve had since you were five might not be the most useful or beautiful thing, but if you love it—really love it, keep it.
“Can someone else use this more than me?”
Those two copies of the same book you have—might it be time for someone else to read one? Maybe you don’t use your hula hoop anymore, but your cousin would love it. Instead of holding on to items you’re not using, pass them on so they can live out their useful life.
“When was the last time I used this?”
If you’re going through your closet and find a surge protector you haven’t used or thought about in years, it’s a good sign you don’t need it anymore. You can set the rules for how long an item can stay on the shelf before its time is up: three months, six months, a year?
“One in, one out”
When you do purchase or procure a new or new to you item, let an old one go. If you continually accumulate you will eventually run out of room. If you have too much stuff, consider adjusting the rule to “One in, six out!” to help you declutter. Once you have decluttered, use this rule you stay in stasis, in equilibrium; you will maintain a clutter free environment easily.
By asking these types of questions and applying your rules as you declutter, you get a better handle on what to keep and what to let go. The answers to these questions are uniquely yours, just like your home! There’s a reason we don’t offer a one-size-fits-all kind of organizing service. If we judge your items by my standards, you might end up with a very organized home—but if it’s not right for you, clutter will pile back up and the stress of the mess will return.
Write down your decluttering rules, stick to them, and you’ll have a clutter free home in no time!