Nowadays, the average American has as much individual space in their home as an entire 1950s family shared. Therefore, you’d think these bigger houses could cope with all our possessions, but there are now actually more self-storage facilities in America than McDonald’s restaurants.
However, at the same time, research suggests that Americans are more depressed now than they have been in decades. Therefore, material goods clearly don’t build happiness, so maybe minimalism is the best way to go. Below you will find 12 ways to declutter your home and life.
1. Write Down Your Reasons for Decluttering
This list will help you get started and keep you on track throughout your decluttering process. Some of your reasons might include feeling less stressed, saving money, having more time to spend with friends and family, or simply having a nicer home.
2. Decide on the Value of Your ItemsMinimalism isn’t all about getting rid of excess possessions, it’s also about choosing to give more weight to those you value the most. Once you have decided which items you cannot part with, and those which you feel more comfortable getting rid of, you can begin the process of actually letting go.
3. Set up a Charity Box Get a big box and fill it with those items that you no longer use, or those which you value the least. Donate this box to a charity store – you’ll be helping the environment too as producing new items to meet demands wastes energy and water, and contributes to pollution.
4. Sort out Your Wardrobe
Choose 30 items of clothing that will see you through the next 3 months and donate or store the rest. Pick classic, neutral pieces, and you’ll never be stuck for something to wear. Even better, choosing your outfit every morning will be a lot easier.
5. Dump the “Just in Case” Stuff
Things such as random screws, buttons, pieces of strings, the remains of insulation tape and all those other junk items you’ve been hoarding “just in case” have got to go! Try the 20/20 rule – if you can replace it for $20, and can buy it within 20 minutes of your home, then you can get rid of it knowing that it’s easily replaceable.
6. Digitize Everything While the digital age can sometimes add clutter to our lives, it can also be a great minimalist tool. Embrace technology and get rid of that pile of paper on your desk. If you have a filing cabinet, you can scan all your important documents, and then get rid of the cabinet. Digitize your old photos and they’ll be safe forever – backed up on an online storage system.
7. Borrow, Don’t BuyIf you need something for a one-off event, such as a party, ask friends or neighbors for extra tableware and equipment. If you happen to be a bookworm, you would benefit from joining a book club or a library.
8. Buy Experiences, Not ThingsInstead of treating yourself to some new shoes or an expensive perfume, invest in an experience. This will help you make memories that will last far longer than your average pair of shoes.
9. The “One in, One out” RuleIf you really must buy something new, then get rid of something old. This way you’re guaranteed not to slip back into your old, clutter-filled ways.
10. Quality over QuantityIt’s much better to have one good quality pair of shoes than to have four pairs of mediocre shoes. Even though better-quality items will cost more, they look better, work more effectively, and last longer than lower quality items, meaning they work out cheaper over time.
11. Vow to Get Rid of One Item Every Day Getting rid of one item every day means that come the end of the year you’ll have 365 less things to worry about.
12. Use Multi-Purpose ProductsA great and simple way to keep your house decluttered is to keep multi-purpose items on hand. Take coconut oil for example. This can be used for cooking and baking, as a coffee creamer, as furniture polish, moisturizer, toothpaste, and so much more.