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Decluttering Is Not A One Time Event

by Nov 29, 20210 comments

When you are overwhelmed, tired and stressed, the solution is almost always less. Get rid of something. Lots of somethings.

Courtney Carver 

Decluttering Requires Vigilance

It Is Not a One and Done Activity

This is the next post in this series on decluttering and minimalism. I hope that you have made some progress in setting your goals and priorities and deciding what you want from minimalism. I also hope that you have made big progress in your efforts to simplify your life and home and reduce the amount of stuff. Congratulations on making a commitment to live a life of intention.

Keeping a clutter-free space is an ongoing process and it will require diligence to maintain the gains. It might also mean future purges to make sure that stuff doesn’t build up stressful levels again. Today, I’m going to focus on some strategies to keep the clutter from accumulating. Keep reading for strategies to stay on your desired path.

Take Small Actions Every Day

A strategic approach to keeping clutter in check is to commit to doing a little upkeep each day. Make it a routine and create a new habit. It can help to set the same time every day. For example, take time at the end of every day to tidy up and clear your clutter magnets. Involve all family members in a clean up their work or living spaces. Put everything back in its proper place. Do the same with your digital clutter. Maybe that can be the first few minutes of your day. Just fifteen minutes every day saves you the headache of collected physical or digital clutter in the future.

Live With Intent

Maintaining a minimalist mindset and continuing to live with intent will help to keep you from backsliding into old habits. Evaluate every purchase or experience you consider to be sure it’s worth the investment and aligns with your goals. remember the “one in one out’ guideline to minimize duplication and unnecessary acquisition.

Be Decisive

Asking yourself tough questions can guide you in the decision-making process when you are trying to let something go or decide about a purchase. If you’re struggling with a choice consider whether it would add value to your life and be consistent with your goals.  Think about whether you already have something similar something else that serves the save function.  If possible, avoid postponing decisions because that adds stress and does not help you to make progress on your goals.

Do It Now

While it’s inevitable that some clutter will need to be dealt with on a regular basis, you can eliminate some by simply taking care of things right away. For example, sort through your mail as soon as you bring it in the house, rather than letting it lie on the table. If something can be done in 5 minutes or less, do it now, if not, make a reminder or put it on your calendar or list rather than just adding it to a pile.

Clear – Review – Repeat

Some things will need to be tackled on a deeper level. Make a commitment to purging, clearing out, and organizing on a regular basis. Perhaps every six months will work for you. Sometimes shorter intervals are necessary. You might decide to re-assess your wardrobe with the changing of the seasons.  Spring brings to mind the idea of a fresh start and is a great time to do an annual purge.

Decluttering Tips and Guidelines

Decluttering is different for everyone and different strategies will work for each of us.  Similarly, some of us will get great value for a particular resource that others might find completely useless or uninspiring.  You have to experiment and find tips that work for you.  Sometimes, you might want to try something that you initially want to dismiss at hand.  Other times, a tip might really resonate with you – but not really work when you try to put it into practice.  All this to say, there are no rules to decluttering.  But there are some guidelines that can make it easier. Here are several blog posts that might help keep you on track and avoid some common pitfalls – or at least give you a new insight.

Decluttering Rules: 15 things NOT to do when decluttering

How to Declutter Your Home: The Complete Guide

How to Declutter Your Home: 10 Decluttering Tips

These 50 Best Decluttering Tips will Help You Get Organized at Last!

Take Action

Create routines to help you stay on top of your clutter.  Live with intention to maintain control with a minimalist approach and a clutter free home and life.

Challenge Questions for Day 29

What steps will you take to minimize the clutter in your home?  Create a schedule for regular cleaning and larger purges to stay on track. 

Declutter Challenge for Day 29

Something BIG

Donate or discard one piece of furniture that no longer suits your lifestyle.  Is there someone that you know that can use that sofa or cabinet?  If not, consider donating or selling it.  Clearing one larger piece will create a noticeable difference and go a long way to clearing some space.

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller

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