Decluttering your home must be one of the best feelings. Maybe not necessarily while you are doing it but for sure after you are done. There is something really therapeutical about getting rid of things, organizing and making your home environment just the way you like it the most. Since being more mindful about living a sustainable lifestyle I have been decluttering my home a lot. And even though I barely get new items I am able to constantly get rid of more and more. My home is turning into a zero-waste/ minimalistic place and I feel so much more comfortable in it the more I let go of things. Having a clean and organized home with just the items that you really need and love is a great feeling. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t use the majority of the items in our houses.
If you are currently looking to get more storage space in your home, buy more cabinets, drawers wardrobes, etc. or even want to get a bigger apartment or outside storage, take a second to reconsider. While some of it might be a great upgrade and necessary, it is helpful to go through all of your stuff first. Every time I was browsing the web for more storage options I was able to actually get rid of so much that it wasn’t needed anymore. In theory, it is quite simple: Let go of anything you don’t use. If this is hard for you I get it, it was so hard for me too. You will get better at this the more you do it. I am going to share with you a system I have developed over the years using 5 steps to declutter your home. If I can do it you can do it too!
5 steps to declutter your home:
Start with your clothing, it is often the easiest part. You can apply the same method to anything in your house. I am going to take the closet as an example. You can either do all of the clothes together or work through sections individually, like for example pants sweaters, shirts. etc. If the thought feels overwhelming start small, and go through smaller sections every now and then. Everybody works differently, so do what feels best for you. The important thing is to start somewhere.
Go through your closet and make the following 3 piles. Pick your favorite items, the ones you love and wear/use all the time. They will go into pile number 1. This might be your smallest pile. Make another pile with items you wear sometimes (pile number 2) and another one with items you never wear (pile number 3).
So you have your 3 different piles. Congratulations pile number 1 can go straight back into your closet. Pile number 3 can go straight into your donation bin. There is a reason why you never wear these. If this is hard for you I get it, it was hard for me too. What helped me avoiding to feel guilty of giving away something I don’t really wear, especially when someone gave it to me, is the thought that I am keeping it from being used and loved by someone else (quote by Bea Johnson). That made me be able to let go of these items. Now instead of feeling bad or guilty or feeling like I need to keep it, I feel that it would be selfish for me to keep it packed away in my closet. From a sustainable point of view, it is quite bad to keep items that you are not using from either being used by someone else or the material being re-used. That way less new material needs to be sourced. Think about all of this when in doubt.
Now you still have to go through pile number 2 with the items that you use sometimes. If it is clothing, shoes, etc, try it on, raise your arms and move around. Now go through the following questions (skip the first two questions if the items are not shoes or clothes):
- Does it fit right? If not get rid of it.
- Is it comfortable? If not get rid of it.
- Can you match it with your other items? It can be helpful to try on some combinations. If not get rid of it.
- Ask yourself honestly if you are ever going to wear/use it again? If not get rid of it.
If you answered yes to all the questions congrats, it will go right back into your closet. You will have a lot more space now and can reorganize it to your liking. For the best folding technique check out Marie Kondo’s method in this tutorial.
You can use a similar approach, for everything else in your home. Bedsheets, towels – do you really need 6 sets? 2 for you and 1 or 2 for guests. You get my point. 🙂
Now what to do with all the stuff you decided to let go of? Don’t just throw them away! Here are some ideas about what to do them.
- Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You might find something new you will actually wear and like.
- Donate it to places like for example the salvation army or the farmers market. You can also sell or donate it to your local second-hand shop.
- Use an app like letgo to sell or give away bigger items like books or furniture. People can pick it up right by your door. If you worry about your personal safety and security (since you are dealing with strangers) don’t give out your address, just set up a meeting point close by.
Just because you have more space now don’t go on a crazy shopping spree. Be more critical when you are buying stuff and ask yourself right away:
- Am I really going to use/wear this?
- Does it match my home/style/usage?
- Do I really need it?
- Is it going to improve my quality of life or just clutter my home?
Now that you are done tap yourself on the back and take in your beautiful spacious home. Enjoy more clarity, less stress, less looking for things, less decision making, and save money.
Check out my closet after using the 5 steps to declutter your home method:
I now only have items that I really love and wear a lot. I used to feel that I don’t have anything to wear even though my closet was full of clothing and I noticed that I wear very few items on a daily basis. Of course, you will wear some items more and some less and only because you wear jeans and t-shirts all the time doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of all your dresses. I have my summer clothes in a box on the bottom shelf of my closet, so this is obviously the winter collection. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I recently decluttered my closet, and you saw the whole process in the behind the scenes videos. Using my method I was able to let go of 88 items in my closet that will hopefully find a new home or some good use (see the last picture).