Decluttering is NOT about getting rid of stuff
Spoiler alert: Just getting rid of what you don’t need isn’t enough. 🤷♀️
Decluttering, a life-changing process
If you really want to change things and get rid of the clutter in your home once and for all, you’re going to have to do more than just randomly get rid of things.
And trying to get rid of AS MANY THINGS AS POSSIBLE isn’t going to help either.
The key to reclaiming your home is to learn how to take intentional decisions about your belonging that are aligned with the life you want to have.
If you just get rid of things without thinking about why and how the clutter happened in the first place, OR what you actually want in and for your life, then the clutter will come back!
Now, as a professional home organizer and certified KonMari® consultant, I KNOW that one of the reasons behind the Clutter-YO-YO-Effect is that people just throw things away aimlessly without going deeper, like a headless chicken.
There is a big difference between getting rid of things because you HAVE TO and letting go of things because you know they DON'T SERVE you anymore.
So, how to declutter intentionally and actually transform your life, feel free again, and gain time for the things that really matter to you?
You need a purposeful and systematic approach.
Set clear decluttering goals
Start by defining your why. Write it down. Determine what you want to achieve, whether it's creating more space, reducing stress, or improving the aesthetics of your home. Having a clear vision will help you stay motivated throughout the process. If it works for you, create a vision board you can look at every time you feel like giving up.
Create a plan to follow to tackle the clutter
Break down your decluttering project into smaller tasks.
You can either work by room or areas you want to tackle as in the “traditional” home organizing, or use the Marie Kondo's KonMari® Method and work by category if that sparks joy for you.
Having a plan will help you stay on track and prevent overwhelm.
Sort and categorize all your possessions
It doesn't matter how you proceed, start by taking everything out. Then begin by sorting your belongings into categories. We want to get to that moment when you realize how many things you actually possess. Realizing that will make decision-making MUCH easier.
Declutter one category at a time
Focus on one category at a time when decluttering to avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you're following Marie Kondo's method, don't forget to look for ALL items of the category you're working on.
For each item within the category, ask yourself if it serves a purpose, brings you joy, or aligns with your current lifestyle. If the answer is no, consider letting go of it. You can donate, sell, recycle, or discard items depending on their condition and usefulness.
Identify the items you frequently use or genuinely love, and let go of those that don't serve a significant purpose in your life.
Learn from your mistakes, think about your consumption habits
Why did you buy those items in the first place? You followed a trend that wasn't inline with your true self? It was an impulsive purchase because you were frustrated by something else?
Why did you keep them years after years? Was it to please someone else? Was it because you were afraid, you will possibly need it one day? It was a gift from a family member? Is it a piece of clothes you fit in 20 years ago? Is it because you don't to get rid of something that expensive?
Ask yourself all these questions. Think about it and learn your lessons.
That's almost the most important part
Organize and find storage solutions
Once you have decluttered a category, organize the remaining items in a way that makes them easily accessible and visually pleasing. Use storage containers, shelves, baskets, or drawer dividers to create a home for each category. When things have a clear place to go back to, they tend to actually do go back.
Try to first use what you have at home. Through the decluttering process, you probably emptied a lot of boxes and baskets. Use those to avoid spending a fortune on organizing products. By the way, just so you know, shoe boxes are my favorite organizing product and they cost nothing!
Develop new habits:
To prevent clutter from accumulating again, establish new habits. Regularly go through your things and act before the clutter comes back. Make a conscious effort to avoid unnecessary purchases. This will help you maintain an intentional and clutter-free environment.
Remember, decluttering is personal, and it's a marathon that you need to commit to. Be patient with yourself, celebrate progress along the way, and try to really be aware of the benefits of a decluttered home on your life.
Until next time,