Written by Janyce Rideout | @clarityclean
The holidays are a time of relaxing with family, enjoying time off from routines and of course giving and receiving gifts. While it’s an enjoyable time of year, many of us start the New Year feeling overwhelmed, not only with getting back into our routines, but also with the amount of new stuff we have accumulated. Friends of mine have been chatting about the show Minimalism on Netflix (www.theminimalists.com/netflix) and how interesting it is to live with less. Although in theory I think the idea sounds amazing, my house is filled with so much stuff it seems like a daunting task to even start the process. After scouring the Internet for ideas on where to begin, I have created a list of 5 simple techniques I am going to use to declutter my home.
1) One in One Out
While simple in theory, this method will take discipline. Every time you add something to your home, whether it is a new sweater, a dish, a nail polish, etc. you remove something similar. Got a new grey sweater for the holidays? Great! Add it to your closet but also take out your old grey sweater and donate it. Better yet, take out the pink one you haven’t worn yet this winter and donate it too. Stick to it. Never add anything to your home without removing something else.
2) One Bag a Day/Week/Month
You decide on what works for you but always try to keep a black bag in your house that you continually add things to. Depending on how much you need to declutter; maybe you aim to fill a bag every day or once a week. If you keep a bag always going, you will find that your home will be less crowded and easier to manage.
3) Have a 10-10-10 Competition
I absolutely love this idea because my family loves games and loves to compete. This is a fun way to engage the whole family in decluttering and organizing our space. The game is to host a competition where everyone has to find 10 things to donate, 10 to recycle and 10 to throw away. I know it will be hard for my kids to find their 30 items because they like to hold on to everything. However, by making it a competition everyone will be excited to be involved. Also, it will teach them good skills for when they are homeowners.
4) The One-Year Rule
Grab a box and put things in it that you are not sure about…maybe you are afraid to give it away because you might need it one day, maybe it will come back in style, it has a strong sentimental value, etc. Seal the box, label it with the date to be opened (in one year) and store it away. If after one year you haven’t opened the box, donate it without opening it up. The critical part is to not open the box. I know for me I would be able to talk myself into why I should keep things because ‘you never know’!
5) 5 Things at a Time
Walk around your home weekly and pick up 5 things. Find a place in your home for these 5 things and if you aren’t able to find a spot, donate it, recycle it or throw it away. These 5 things can be anything, small or large. Maybe they are a pair of socks, a hairbrush, a knickknack or a table lamp. If you can’t find an appropriate spot for it, get rid of it.
After all your hard work reorganizing your home, it’s time to treat yourself. Make your home even more appealing by getting the carpets cleaned professionally, book a window cleaner or hire a residential home cleaner. Your home will look amazing and you will be that much more proud of your accomplishments. Remember, decluttering should be an ongoing task not a monumental one that is completed once a year. If you are removing things from your home at the same rate you are bringing them in (or hopefully at a faster rate), you will be on your way to living a life with less.
Do you have any favourite decluttering techniques? Share them with us in the comments.
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