Do you own stuff – or does your stuff own you?
If your room feels cluttered, it might be time to take a good hard look – not at your stuff – but your habits. You can’t clean clutter, but you can dispose of it. But rather than go on a massive decluttering spree that takes all weekend, you instead need to focus on creating a new mindset entirely. One where decluttering becomes a fun, and even easy, life habit.
Where do you begin?
1. Make rules about new stuff – specifically if you bring one new thing into the house, to get rid of something else. That keeps you from keeping around a broken object once you buy a replacement. But it also helps out your closet. What if every article of clothing that you buy means another one has to go? Here’s your chance to finally get rid of those old jeans that were never going to fit again anyway – or if they are, are so out of fashion you wouldn’t want to wear them out in public.
2. Declutter 15 minutes every day. It doesn’t take long to make an impact, and 15 minutes is just enough time to sort through a drawer or glance over a bookshelf or two. In a week, you’ll have made a significant change to your environment without even noticing that you’ve done it. By doing it at a set time (before bed, before work, after lunch…whatever works) you’ll also have built in a habit in no time at all that will serve to keep your environment under control.
3. Put that back! When you’re done using something, then take a moment to put it away. Don’t leave that decorative paper out after wrapping a gift! If you’ve used the scissors, you know where they go! By getting in the habit of cleaning up after yourself, you guarantee that you’ll never have that lost feeling again when you can’t find what you’re looking for.
4. Keep your hands busy. Before leaving a room, take a quick look around. Is there something there that doesn’t belong, that maybe needs to go to a different room altogether? By grabbing one item every time you leave a room, you begin a slow migration of things back where they belong.
5. Tidy up immediately after meals. By taking a moment to clean the kitchen before grabbing the remote and some time on the couch, you’ll find that you don’t dread your kitchen the next morning anymore. Even better, you’ll find you save a lot of time on your morning routine if you do.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By creating a lot of small (not to mention easy) habits, you’ll keep your space under control, and be able to enjoy the rest of your day better.