How To Creatively Declutter

Many people seem to like the idea of decluttering their homes, but the actual act of giving up things is harder than it looks. Or maybe it’s just the process of getting started—where do you even begin? Feelings of anxiousness or defeat may overrule any aspirations of a cleaner, simpler lifestyle. These 10 tips have taken a new stance on decluttering: have some fun. Read on and see which activity fits you best:

  1. Give yourself 5 minutes. Come up with a list of simple decluttering acts. This could include clearing a shelf, putting a load of items in your car to donate, set up folders, identifying clothes you don’t wear, cleaning out your medicine cabinet, clearing off a counter…the list of simple decluttering opportunities can go on and on. Number this list and each day, pick a number and give yourself five minutes to commit to that task. Only stop revisiting the number when the task is complete.
  2. Give away an item a day. Don’t try to completely empty a house, or even a room, in just a day. Instead, take your decluttering one literal item at a time. In a year, that amounts to 365 items. That could be a lot of clutter!
  3. Fill a trash bag. You could make this into a game, timing yourself and family members to see how quickly they can fill a trash bag with unneeded items. These items could be actual trash or could be for a donation center, like Goodwill.
  4. Reverse your hangers. Maybe you remember Oprah talking about this challenge. The idea is to turn every coat hanger the opposite direction, only turning them back the right way when you wear the item. After six months, it will be easy to see which items you no longer wear and can get rid of.
  5. Make a list. Create a list of places in your home that need to be decluttered. Start with the easiest room. When you complete a room, do not automatically move on to the next one. Give yourself a break. The next time you have a free moment, move to the next area.
  6. Take the 12-12-12 challenge. Find 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to find a place for in your house (or return to its place). This can be a quick way to organize 36 items in your house, and can also be made into a friendly competition.
  7. Get another point of view. Maybe there’s a place in your house that doesn’t seem too messy to you, but an outsider looking in notices a mess right away. So change your perspective—take some pictures of your house, invite over a child or a toddler or ask a coworker (maybe even your boss) to come over for a meeting. This way you will have a sort of desperation to see what they might be seeing…and clean it up.
  8. Play a numbers game. Wear only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. Too little? Adjust to your own needs, but challenge yourself to see how you live with less and reflect on what you learn from the unique experiment.
  9. Use your imagination. For those especially difficult objects to remove, ask yourself some questions about it, like, “If I bought this today, how much would I pay for it?” If you can’t see the value in the item you’ve had for a while, get rid of it. If it holds more sentimental value, then consider taking a picture of it and just keeping the picture. This frees up much more space than keeping the larger or bulky items.
  10. 10.Try the Four-Box Method. In every room of your house, place four boxes: trash, give away, keep and relocate. Every single item in the room has to be placed in a box. Some rooms may take an hour, but some may take days or weeks. Don’t let the time discourage you though; give yourself a chance to seriously consider every item.

So whether you try all 10 suggestions or you end up using none, find your own creative way to declutter so you can experience how nice it is to have more empty space.

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