“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
I love uncluttering.
Because a life with less clutter makes it easier to find inner peace, to focus and to keep your attention on what is most important and meaningful in life.
Clutter creates distraction. It can create stress and confusion that you may not be aware of that it is creating.
But after you have uncluttered there is usually a sensation of feeling calmer and lighter, a bit more upbeat and being able to think more clearly.
Decluttering a drawer, shelf or some kind of space in your life can be an unexpectedly positive experience not just practically but for you as a person both emotionally and mentally.
This is the most important reason why I declutter.
But it also frees up space and in many cases saves money.
If you have just 5 or 10 minutes to spare today and want to take a first step to simplify your outer and inner life then I recommend uncluttering just one small space in your house.
Here’s how I declutter in a few simple steps.
First, pick a drawer or a shelf.
Empty it out and clean it out.
Put everything that was in the space in one big pile.
Then make choices about those items, one at a time.
The choices are:
- Choose to trash the item. Then put it in a trash bag.
- Give it away. Give away old books, clothes etc. Give it to someone you know that you think could make good use of it. Or give it away to your local charity. Put such items in another bag or box.
- Keep it and find a home for it. If you want to keep the item then find a home for it. It could be at one of the front corners of your drawer or to the right in the top shelf of your book case for example.
- Put it in a 6-month box. If you are unsure about if you should keep the item or not ask yourself: have I used this in the past year? If not, then it is often pretty safe to say that you won’t be using it in the future either.*
If you are still unsure after having used the question, put the item(s) in a box. Put the box away somewhere where you can easily access it – a closet for example – if you need something from it. On the outside of the box write the date when you put the stuff in it.
6 months later get the box and see what is still in it. If you haven’t used those things in the past 6 months then you have no need for them and you can safely give them away or throw them out.
And that’s it.
By taking small 5-10 minute steps when you have some time to spare you can declutter a whole lot over a few weeks or months.
Or that first small step may lead you to uncluttering a whole room at once.