A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, goes the saying. And that’s just a desk. If your house is overflowing with stuff and it’s weighing your life down, why not make decluttering your New Year’s resolution. Better still, embrace the philosophy of professional ‘declutterist’ Marie Kondo. Her minimalistic approach to living (known as ‘the KonMari method’) has taken off all over the world. Here are some steps that you can take to decluttering to give you that breathing space back.
The 1 item a day method
For those who want to ease into decluttering, the 1 item a day method is the perfect strategy. Each day, choose one belonging to chuck out (and that doesn’t mean leftover food or packaging), and dispose of it – whether that means selling, giving away for free or throwing in the trash. In one year, you’ll have thrown away 365 objects. Think of all those items in your bedroom that you could do without.
Grab a bin bag and see how much you can fit into it
For more cluttered home where drastic measurements need to be taken, the 1 item a day method might not put a dent in it. Take a more instant approach by grabbing a bin bag and see many items you can physically fit into it. You may find you only get through one room!
Rent a skip
The ultimate decluttering approach for hoarders – resorting to skip hire is the perfect way to force you to throw things out. You’ve just paid for that skip after all – no use letting it sit empty. This approach allows you to target furniture you no longer need and toss it out. Those downsizing may often hire a skip as the only solution to fit the content of their old big house into a small new house. If you’re simply looking to go as minimalist as possible, this approach may also suit the average household, allowing you to assess everything you no longer have a need for and chuck it out.
The Oprah Winfrey closet hanger experiment
Famously used by Oprah (but not invented by her), this method is great for assessing which clothes you no longer have a need for. Hang all clothes with the hanger facing in the reverse direction. Every time you put a piece of clothing in that you’ve worn, face the hanger in the opposite direction. After six months, look at which ways all the hangers are facing and identify all the clothes that haven’t been worn. These are the ones that you chuck out!
Create a sales target
Throwing away items can be wasteful. Why not give your unwanted items another home – and even better, make money from them? Make it a weekly task to sell items on the internet. Give yourself a weekly or monthly target – either a certain amount of items that you must sell within that time, or a certain amount of money that you must raise in that time. You’ll soon see your clutter shrinking, and bank account growing.