Everyone dreams of living a simpler, uncluttered life, but when it comes to decluttering our homes it’s easy to get overwhelmed about where to begin.
Here’s how to make the process of choosing which of your stuff to jettison a whole lot less painful :
1. Start small. If you’re finding it hard to know where to start, put aside just 5 minutes today to declutter something. Zen habits have put together a great guide to ways you can conquer your mess in just 5 minutes – pick your favourite and get going!
2. Take the 12-12-12 challenge. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. It’s a fun way to quickly organize 36 things in your house and you can get the whole family involved.
3. Give away one item each day. Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she has experienced quite a transformation simply reducing her stuff one day at a time.
4. Ask yourself: “If somehow this item was taken from me and pawned, would I pay to get it back?” This is a great way to sort out the must-haves from the unwanted in any home.
5. Downsize your wardrobe. If you’re still hanging on to those short shorts, ask yourself the three F’s: “Does it fit? Does it flatter? Does it make you feel like a million bucks?” If the answer’s “no” to any of these questions, it’s time to liberate it from your wardrobe and give it to goodwill.
6. Hold a killer garage sale. Choose a strategic day when you know there’ll be a lot of foot traffic (i.e. public holidays are good), put up some easy-to-read, attractive signs and take your unwanted stuff to the street. Pre-price everything (but still be prepared to haggle), put your big-ticket items up the front where they’re easily seen and then settle in for some fun with snacks and drinks on hand. To make the time go faster (and share the duties) team up with your neighbours for a mega garage sale. Any thing that’s left over at the end of the day, see points 4 and 5!