10 Steps to Jump-start your Decluttering Journey
Minimalism: Where to Start
Check out a list of books here to read to learn more on decluttering and living with less. Try to resist the urge to start decluttering before at least doing a little reading so you don’t end up discouraged or making common mistakes.
What do you want out of this process? What do you hope to feel when you come home? Create a vision board on pinterest for what you want your space to look like. Write down why you want to declutter. Come back to this when you get discouraged.
3. Sort by category
Marie Kondo suggested this order: clothing, books, miscellaneous, and finally sentimental items. I will note a few suggestions. Only start a category that you will be able to finish or be ok with the mess if you cannot finish it in the given chunk of time that you have. This was the hardest part of decluttering initially for me. I had to do it all on limited time chunks (#momlife). I ended up breaking it down further into smaller subcategories to be able to finish the category in the allotted time for that day. (for example I did just towels one day, another day I did just sheets, another day I did just makeup, another day I did just utensils, etc.).
Toys sorted by category
4. Make it a priority.
If you really want to change this is crucial. I skipped social gatherings, I simplified our schedule, I consolidated errands, etc. during my initial decluttering. Believe me it will be worth it. It may take you months, but you can do it especially if you truly want to. And in the end I really liked having fewer things on my schedule and errands to run.
Please do not throw away your unwanted items. Sort them into piles of items you want to donate, rehome, sell, and recycle. There really should not be much trash if any from the process. Make frequent trips to your donation center. Fill your car each time. It will be shocking and liberating each time.
6. Halt your purchasing
It is important that during this process of decluttering you really don’t buy much of anything new. It will just cloud your vision and make the process more confusing.
7. Say “No thank you” often
Just because it is free does not mean you need it. Say no thank you to that free coffee mug, to that bag of hand me downs, to the goody bag, to those work freebies. When is the last time you actually enjoyed using any of those items? You will just have to get them out of your house eventually anyway so save yourself the time and just say no thank you.
8. Change your purchasing habits
Be a conscious consumer. Put thought into what you are buying after decluttering. Does it align with your values? Ask yourself why before you buy.
9. Continue to donate
Just keep a bin accessible and once it is full go donate it and start again. Think items such as clothes your kids grow out of, extra cups you never use, that vase you never wanted in the first place, that gift that you don’t love, etc.
10. Remember it is a journey
It is SO much easier to continue to buy and buy and buy than it is to sort, sell, donate, and finally put away all of the “stuff” that you have purchased. It will take time. All of those items did not show up in your home in a weekend so be kind to yourself. Know that it is a process.