Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share my decluttering tips with you.
I will admit I’m a hoarder, so I have a ton of stuff that I just don’t want or need! It’s so hard to throw anything away though because it just feels wasteful so I often end up keeping things way after I should get rid of them.
Within the past few years though, I’ve been making strides towards a slightly more minimalist lifestyle. I’m no where close to it yet but getting closer! I’ve mentioned how I’ve been selling stuff on Poshmark before, sold books at Half Price Books, and had a garage sale before to sell stuff I don’t need. However, in order to do all of those things, I’ve had to determine what I want to sell and what I want to keep!
I’ve also done things like consume a lot of content regarding this. I watched Marie Kondo’s series on Netflix earlier this year, watched a ton of moving/declutter vlogs, and so on. Here are the tips that work for me!
- Be Practical About It
This one came up when I was thinking of clothing specifically but can apply in many cases. If you don’t wear it often, there’s no point in keeping it! Same thing if it doesn’t fit well anymore, you have a newer or similar item you like more, it’s torn, or anything else that just doesn’t make it something you want to wear. I’d say the best time to do this is after the season. You’re much more likely to get rid of a pair of shorts that you didn’t wear once over the past three months than you are at the start of the season when the opportunity is still there.
- Get Rid of Storage Solutions
I know, everyone always seems to say “More bins! More boxes! GO STORAGE!!!!” but I disagree. Have you ever heard that stores want you to grab a cart instead of a basket because you’ll subconsciously want to fill up the cart, therefore spending more money? Well, it’s a similar concept. If you have three storage bins instead of two then you’re going to want to keep enough stuff to fill three bins simply because there’s room. If you have a five drawer piece of furniture, you’re going to also want to fill it. Instead focus on downsizing. Now, this does backfire a bit on me because I live just north of Chicago. Most of the year it’s cold, so winter items are bulkier and they never fit into the two bins, while the summer clothing easily fits in about one and a half of the bins. But it really helps to have a limit of what you can keep.
- Tackle Items by Sections
I find it so much easier to pick a category of items or a certain spot to go through first. One weekend I decided I wanted to scale down on the number of books I have so I completely removed my 5 shelf bookcase and took all the books off of it. I had way too many books for my four shelf one as that one was already full too but then that just meant I had to start getting rid of books. There were so many that I had no interest in keeping and I knew it, so I started to go through them all. There were books I was able to get rid of because I knew I either would never read them or had read them and wouldn’t read again. There’s a ton that I only want to get rid of once I read them first so that’s just motivation to read some more.
- Lay Everything Out
Once you pick the section you want to work on, take it all out of it’s current place! Not only is it easier to see everything when it’s laid out, but also you can reorganize at the same time for everything you do want to keep. Plus, then you have to get through it.
- Start Early in the Day
Remember how I’m a hoarder? Well that means there’s a lot to get through! I hate going to bed at the end of the day if I haven’t finished what I’m going through, so if I task myself to go through my drawer of old documents then I want to get through all of them before the end of the day. That means examine each document and either put it back or shred it before moving onto the next. It can be time consuming so best to start early and get it all done.
- Don’t Forget the Digital
If we’re being honest, we all have digital clutter as well. Old files saved on our computers, too many pictures of the same thing, etc. And if you’re doing a ton of physical decluttering you’re bound to get tired. So I say once you hit that point where you have to sit and take a break, just start decluttering some photos or something. You’ll still be in the right mindset when you’re rested and still have gotten so much done!
- Find an Easy Place for Donations or to Sell Items
So a huge problem for me is that I hate throwing away things that aren’t broken. It seems so wasteful. Knowing where I can take stuff after I’ve decided I don’t need the item anymore is really motivating as well. As I mentioned, I found a place where to sell books, so it’s easier to decide I don’t need some books because I know the store can buy them to resell them or take them to recycle. I also have a Poshmark (StarringPamela) to sell clothing items on so I don’t feel like I need to toss them or donate them to a place that may throw them away. That being said, some things really do need to be thrown out so if that’s the case, then I just suck it up and throw them out.
- Stick to the Expiration Dates
There’s plenty of items that will expire but I don’t always check if I’m not actively using them. If there’s an expiration date then I’ll stick to them pretty strictly. For example, when I clean out the pantry for my parents in the kitchen, my mom always overstuffs it so when everything is out there’s stuff she forgot she had and were hidden behind everything. By the time I clean it out, items are expired and I figure if it wasn’t used in a time long enough to get expired then it won’t be used anyway! This makes it much faster to get through it if there’s no grey area, and there’s not much of that in decluttering so just stick to this one to make it a bit easier.
- On Sentimental Items
I highly suggest following Marie Kondo’s tip for this one. Do them last! It’s so much easier to go through them once you’re already in a decluttering mood. I also recommend putting them all together and going through them all at the same time. It’s also easier to get rid of older items that maybe aren’t as meaningful anymore compared to the newer memories you have.
- Try to Take a Photo
This might be a weird one but… honestly just try to take a photo of your work when you’re done! If you wouldn’t post it on your Insta or blog or whatnot after you’re done, well, then you’re not done! This works great for me because if the point is to have less items and have less clutter then taking a photo and seeing it from the lens of my camera really helps put it into perspective.
And those are my decluttering tips! Let me know what your tips would be. I could always use all the help I can get!
Thanks for reading!
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