Believe it or not, the best place to start when you want to declutter your home is with your mindset. It sounds rather harsh, but nothing will change unless you adjust how you think about your things. It can be really hard to let go of possessions but shifting your mindset to be okay to let go will be the biggest key to your success. Are you ready to let go of things in your home that have been there for years and maybe even decades? This is often where clutter starts, when we hold onto things just in case, instead of being at peace with letting go. If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to your belongings, you will have a difficult time moving through clutter in your home and won’t make the amazing progress you could!
To use clothing as an example, if you have a hard time letting go of clothing because you’ll probably (maybe) lose 5-10 lbs in the next few months, you can adjust your mindset by committing to donate or sell these items and put the money toward a fund for new clothing that you can only spend when you’ve reached the goal you’ve set. This way you’ve eliminated unnecessary clutter and you’re giving yourself motivation to reach your weight loss goal. Holding on to old clothes is not going to motivate you any more than a few bucks for selling it will. In other cases, maybe you haven’t tackled clutter, not because you don’t want to let go, but because you feel like you just don’t have the time or don’t really know where to start. Once you’ve given yourself “the okay” to let go, these tips will help you kick clutter to the curb!
Start small – focus on rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. Bathrooms are typically smaller spaces, and the build up is usually limited to old hair and makeup products, cleaners and linens. These things likely have less sentimental value and are much easier to get rid of simply because you don’t have much of an attachment to them.
Set out to declutter for 5 minutes a day for one week. The next week, try decluttering for 10 minutes a day. You’ll build momentum and see that even though you haven’t dedicated an entire day to cleaning out each room in your home, you’ve still made significant progress! The satisfaction of this progress will likely become mildly addictive and you’ll want to keep going.
Take part in a “30 day minimalism challenge”. You start at the beginning of the month by getting rid of one thing (on day one), the two on day two, three on day three etc. By the end of the month you’ll have removed over 300 items from your home! These items can be made up of anything you’re willing to get rid of, whether it’s trash, for donation or something you sell. The idea is that you make small daily changes that accumulate over time and become really impactful.
Book a donation pick-up. It gives a deadline to your efforts AND you don’t even have to leave your home. Many larger second hand clothing stores have this service available, and you can even book it online.
Sell your unused items! As you tackle clutter in various areas of your home, you’ll likely come across things you don’t really use, but are quality items in good condition. Before deciding to donate, try listing them online. If your listed items sell within a week, great! You’ve made a little extra cash. If not, add to the donate pile. You don’t want to end up holding onto things because they might eventually sell.
Remember that you don’t need to declutter your entire home all at once. It can take several months to get rid of years of accumulated stuff! Celebrate each time you manage to declutter an area. Some ways you can celebrate: using money from sold items to purchase cute organizing bins to keep your home tidy, or buy new decor items that bring you joy! Whether you end up getting ridding of 10 bags of junk or one – you’ve still made progress, and that’s something to feel good about.
Lydia Boudreau is a wife, working mom and creative who is passionate about sharing her journey to intentional living and hopes to inspire others to live a life they love. Follow her on Instagram for tips and ideas @lydiaboudreau