The Ultimate Decluttering Guide: How to Make the Most of Your Space
Decluttering, it’s a necessary part of life! But, so many of us put it off as something we don’t quite have the time for.
Well, stop right there! We’re about to give you the ultimate decluttering guide so you can work through your stuff once and for all.
First, what does ‘decluttering’ mean?
Removing unnecessary items from your space.
Having a sort out makes you feel freer, more alive, and appreciative of the things you do own. You can’t argue with that! We touched on decluttering in our Minimalist Transformation article but wanted to dedicate a whole post to it.
So, if you’re moving house and need to work through your stuff, if you’re sick of not knowing what to wear in the morning, or if you’ve lost track of what you own, this guide is for you!
We’ll first take you through short term decluttering techniques if you want to blast at it. Then, we’ve collected some longer-term approaches to keep your spaces clear. Enjoy!
Short Term: The Ultimate Decluttering Sesh!
So, if you want to have a major decluttering sesh, clear out a room all in one go, here are steps you should follow. We’ve taken some inspiration from Marie Kondo. If you want to learn more about having a life that ‘sparks joy’ then check out her website! Now, back to the decluttering...
Take a breath and decide what you will focus on first
It’s important to complete this process one step at a time. Trying to work through a whole room at once would just be overwhelming. So, decide on one type of item to tackle first. Is your wardrobe bursting at the seams? Or, do you have more bathroom products than you ever remember buying? Decide on a section, and stick to it.
Once you’ve decided which items to work on first, put them in front of you
Let’s say you’ve chosen to work through your clothes first. Lie them out on your bed so you can see every item. This will help you understand just how much excess stuff you have!
Go through the items one by one and work out if they are adding anything to your life
Marie Kondo calls this step ‘sparking joy.’ Use it as your chance to ask yourself some important questions. Would you even notice if this item wasn’t here anymore? Does this item bring value to your life? Would you replace it if you lost it? Soon, it will become clear what needs to go and what you still have space for.
Make a pile of the items you no longer want
Don’t throw anything away! Stick around to the end of this article for ideas of what to do with your unwanted stuff. Just know, even if you don’t have space for it anymore, it might go on to add value to someone else’s life!
Go onto the next section and repeat!
You’ve finished working through one section of possessions. What’s next? Just keep going!
You will feel so much lighter once you’ve freed yourself from all your excess belongings! If you want to keep going, why not have a look at our 4 Simple Steps to Kickstart Your Minimalist Lifestyle article. Decluttering is just step one!
After decluttering and adopting a minimalist mentality, you’ll find yourself being more selective about the items you do bring into your life. It’s always important to look for durability, low environmental impact, and timeless design. That’s why Project Nord posters are the perfect fit for a minimalist, decluttered space! Take a look at our collection to add something meaningful to your home today.
Long Term: Tips to Keep Your Spaces Clear
Now, you’ve had a clear-out and you’re feeling fresh. But, how are you meant to keep your spaces clear? Try out some of these personal challenges! It’s also great to use these challenges if you’re a bit stuck, or a major declutter feels overwhelming. Whatever the scenario, they’re guaranteed to change the way you feel about your belongings!
Try the 30-Day Minimalism Game!
This idea has come straight from Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, a pair who call themselves ‘The Minimalists’. They certainly deserve the title as they have a whole website devoted to maintaining minimalist lifestyles. This challenge involves giving away one item on the first day of a month, two on the second, and so on. Start slow, and 30 days later, you’ll be giving everything away! And, they suggest you take the challenge on with a friend. A bit of camaraderie (or competitive spirit more like!) never hurt anyone.
Project 333, reduce your wardrobe to 33 items for 3 months
This next challenge was created by Courtney Carver. She suggests that for 3 months, you should reduce your wardrobe down to 33 items and box the rest of them. In the process, you’ll naturally pick out your favourited to carry on wearing. I wonder whether you’ll ever go back to those boxed up belongings!
The Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment
Here’s a clever trick to work out which of your clothes you actually wear. Go into your wardrobe and turn the hangers so your clothes are all facing the wrong way. If you wear an item of clothing, return it to your wardrobe the right way round. After a while, you’ll be able to tell which clothes you wear and which are collecting dust. If it’s Oprah-approved, it must be good!
What to do with items you no longer want
And, don’t go thinking because you don’t want something then no one else will. There are loads of things you can do with your ‘clutter’ that doesn’t involve landfill! So, clearing out can still be a sustainable process. Here are your options…
Do any of your friends or family want your excess things?
This is a great way to let more things go. If you know someone else would be happier owning something you have at the moment, then take the leap and let it go! Maybe, your sister has always had her eye on that dress you never wear. Or, your friend would love to get her nose into your shelf of books you’ll never read again. Giving your excess items away feels meaningful!
Can your items be mended or up cycled?
Nowadays, we’ve lost our motivation to mend the things we own as rebuying is so cheap and easy. We need to stop being lazy! If an item of clothing doesn’t fit, investigate how much an alteration would cost. The same goes for shoes. You could even try mending things yourself to get that beautiful, satisfied feeling afterwards. You’ll be doing the environment a favour as well as saving yourself some money!
Go to a donation centre, charity shop, or second-hand store!
For items that your friends and family don’t want, donate them! This is a great way to be more sustainable, get more use out of the things we own, and maybe generate some money for charity in the process! Make sure your items are in the best shape they can be in. That way, they’ll find a new home that bit quicker.
For the rest, recycle!
A lot of your excess stuff will be accepted in household recycling. But, for anything more unusual, take it down to your local waste disposal facility. You’ll find that very little of it actually goes into landfill when it's separated out correctly.
There you go, your ultimate decluttering guide! After you implement some of these techniques, you’ll be feeling freer than ever!
Written by Jessica Slater
Images sourced from Pintrest and the Project Nord website.