Last updated on February 12th, 2019
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So you’ve decided to declutter your home. But are you ready to do the work?
Near the end of 2018, I prepared to pack up the contents of my 500 square foot apartment and move to a 2300 square foot house. Sounds like a no brainer, right?
“C’mon stuff, we’re all moving!” *Yells and fist pumps and hip thrusts to get all my inanimate objects excited.* I imagined packing being a breeze to be accomplished in one evening along with a glass of ice wine. I was wrong.
I was actually horrified at what I dug up out of my cabinets, closet, and sneaky “storage spaces” I had hidden away over four years of living in my apartment. Needless to say, packing did not encompass one relaxing evening with one glass of ice wine. Try a whole week and a Costco-size bottle of wine.
Wait, if I unknowingly accumulated this much stuff in 500 square feet, imagine what I could do in a whole house…
And so started my quest to live a more minimal lifestyle. That apartment was a learning experience in so many ways, and my lesson in “stuff management” is a big one. I vowed to never let items into my new home that I wasn’t absolutely in love with, and also to get rid of things that no longer served me.
After lots of trial and error and mistakes and successes, these are the places that I firmly believe should be tackled first on your when decluttering your home. Seriously, just getting these spots in order will make you feel like you are in a whole new home!
Your (un)curated wardrobe
Figuring out my personal style over the last couple of years had a nasty side effect: I accumulated quite a substantial clothing collection. I was doing the “trial and error” method, ok? Now that I have my style more or less worked out, my new focus is on curating my wardrobe so that I can get dressed quickly and easily for any occasion.
Contrary to what you hear from “true minimalist,” you don’t need to whittle your wardrobe down to 33 pieces. (Heaven knows I have many more items than that.) Focus on organizing your clothing in an appealing way that makes sense for your lifestyle. Only get rid of the absolute duds. You’ll finally have a wardrobe that makes you excited to create outfits each morning.
Junk drawers are strange places because they actually do house useful items that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. Unfortunately, the name “junk drawer” tends to attract a plethora of not-so-useful stuff too. I advocate for no longer calling the drawer holding your box cutter and spare batteries and emergency ponchos the junk drawer and instead calling it the “utility drawer,” a place for storing useful items and create a declutter schedule to tackle these spaces often.
Kitchen cabinets (& counters)
I don’t like wasting food, but keeping food around for months as it ages into oblivion isn’t helping anybody. Be ruthless and throw out food you aren’t realistically going to eat. The same goes for small appliances and all the other little gadgets that seem to just let themselves in without you even noticing.
Another culprit, (besides lidless Tupperware, of course)? Random dishes, cups and utensils. How is it that we start off with one matching set and before we know it, our cabinets are overflowing with mismatched kitchen wares? All plates and cups and utensils all work the same way. Feel free to donate anything that doesn’t match or that you don’t use often.
Beauty products and toiletries
I used to nurse a bad habit of buying a beauty product, using it for a bit, and then purchasing something new so that I would have (unneeded) variety in my life. What I ended up with is a collection of half used, slimy bottles and dusty containers of this or that, and the mess just keeps multiplying. Why?
Here’s the new rule: if you have one, use it. Making it a point to use up what you have saves you money, space, and time. Select a product you absolutely love and use it every day it until it’s empty. When it’s empty, then intentionally go shopping for a new one. Trust me, that’s a much more satisfying way to live.
The always-growing sample collection
I have samples of all kinds of products hidden in all kinds of weird places, and I bet you do too. I used to collect all the samples, especially the beauty variety, in the name of “travel.” Except when it actually came time to pack for a trip, I was found filling GoToobs with my favorite products, because I was not interested in experimenting when I knew I’d be taking plenty of photos. And the samples, well, they remained in the back of the cabinet “for next time.”
Collecting samples it a part of modern life. Companies will do nearly anything to get you to spend money on whatever they are peddling. I’m not saying to never accept samples, but be selective. Only take samples that will be useful to you in the foreseeable future.
…And by that I mean where receipts, statements, and orphaned tech cables go to die.
Our home offices should be inspiring workspaces that encourage us to be productive. Instead, they end up being catch-alls for our useful yet unattractive items. Sort of like the junk drawer, but worse.
Start by sorting through that stack of “important” papers. Sort into categories, digitize what you need to keep, and shred the physical papers. Gather up the items you use on at least monthly basis and find them permanent homes. Next, declutter further by separating duplicate items and only keeping the “best of the best,” and getting rid of items that you rarely use or aren’t even sure what they’re for.
I can’t promise it will be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it
Decluttering and cleaning may or may not be your cup of tea. But I think we can all agree that we feel much happier and less stressed when we are surrounded only by items that we thoroughly love.
That’s all for today!
LIKE THIS POST? Check out Part 1 >> 7 Minimalist Lifestyle Changes I’m Making in 2019 (& how you can reap the benefits, too!)
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Till next time ♥︎
FTC- Not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.