Minimalism has become a popular trend. Just look at the success of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Many people have discovered the benefits of getting rid of unwanted, unnecessary possessions – and having just what they truly need, want and use in their home. The end result is a living space that is less cluttered and easier to clean. Storage areas such as closets and drawers are easy to keep tidy and well-organised, and the contents can be seen at a single glance.
More importantly, though, decluttering your home can result in a sense of serenity and a feeling of increased control over your life. The proponents of minimalism claim that you will be able to enjoy your home like never before and even live comfortably in one that is smaller and less expensive. After moving from a large house to an apartment, I’ve discovered that there was no need to have closets crammed to the ceiling and every surface in my home did not have to be covered with unused items. I really didn’t have to keep stuff that I hadn’t seen or touched for years.
After going through the process myself, here are my suggestions if you would like to try decluttering your home.
1. A home that is just the right size
Think about your current home and whether it’s the right size for you. A small house, townhouse or apartment will be easier and less costly to clean and maintain. You really don’t need enormous living spaces and empty rooms that you only enter once a week to clean. Your weekends don’t have to be spent in an endless round of cleaning and home maintenance activities.
That will give you more time to spend on those things that are really important to you, including your family. New options can open up as you consider how to spend the extra time that you have available.
2. Declutter your clothes
The best place to begin the process of decluttering is your own wardrobe. If you are prepared to be ruthless, your clothing storage areas can be transformed.
First of all, remove everything – even from those hard-to-reach top shelves – and give the inside of your closets and drawers a thorough clean.
Now start the process of discarding items – and that includes shoes and accessories. Try on each item and make a decision about it. Dispose of anything that no longer fits you – unless you are on a weight reduction program and are certain that you will soon need some of your smaller-sized items. Look at yourself from all angles in a full-length mirror. Ask yourself if each item is still in fashion or if it belongs to a bygone era. Decide whether or not it still fits you well and is in good condition. Then decide if it suits you or if you have a use for it.
Discarded items can be thrown out, donated to charity stores or given to friends. You can even make some money by selling clothing online or having a garage sale. Other options are local markets or second-hand clothing stores.
You should now have a much smaller but far more functional wardrobe. Return the items to your closets and drawers, arranging them in a neat and orderly way so that everything can be easily seen and accessed.
3. Declutter everything else
The easiest way to declutter the rest of your house is to focus all your energy on one room at a time. Remove everything from the storage spaces and be ruthless in making a decision about whether to keep or discard each item. If you’re like me, you will find long-forgotten things and wonder why you didn’t throw them out years ago.
Reduce the incidence of multiple items. For instance, if you have six salad bowls, get rid of three of them – you are unlikely to need more. You only need one crockery set and saucepan set, so throw out the extra ones that you have stored at the back of the cupboard.
Aim to become paperless in your home office, storing documents and photographs in digital format and backing them up in the cloud to cut back on all those files and albums on your shelves. Sell or donate books that you have already read. Discard your old CDs, DVDs and other relics from the past.
Many items can be sold and others can be donated to charity or given to friends. Many things will rightly belong in the trash.
When all that decluttering is finished, everything that remains will now fit neatly into your storage spaces and it will be so much easier to keep your home clean and organised. I hope you have fun tidying up your home, and I’d love to hear about your top tips.
Thank you for stopping by. I’m an author who loves writing thrillers, and you can find out more about my books HERE. My latest release DEAD DRY HEART has been receiving great reviews at Amazon and Goodreads.
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Hi Toni, great reminder as we get toward spring cleaning! I know I have to be in the right frame of mind to go through things. I just discovered Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up program on Netflix, both my husband and I enjoy it and learn something new. Over the years, I have been pretty good about getting rid of stuff. I also have to keep in mind all the images I’ve collected in my cloud–lots of duplicates. I also love Marie’s question when tidying up–does (the item) spark joy in you? Also, thanking our homes and possessions for taking care of us, helps deal with the emotional state of tidying up. It’s easier for me to toss things (I donate to charity for tax purposes) but my hubby loves to collect and hold on to stuff! *sigh*
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Hi Terri, I agree with you, it is so good to get rid of stuff and keep our little world neat and tidy. Yes, Marie Kondo is great. So many people are like your hubby, and don’t want to get rid of things. We really became ruthless when we moved from a house to an apartment. It’s interesting that you can claim what you donate to charity – we can claim money donations but can’t claim items. x
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I have the same problem as Terri above. i’m a minimalist and only keep what i need but DH, the other half freaks if I want to throw out an date expired packet of aspirin. I need to wait until he is out to de-clutter but then I feel so guilty.
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Hi Lucinda, How funny. I think many people have that problem – they’re keen but their partner doesn’t share their enthusiasm. My other half was like that, but changed his attitude after his mother died and he had to clear all the stuff out of her house.