Decluttering your home is the easy part of the equation. Keeping it decluttered can be another matter entirely. How do you manage the mess before it happens so you can keep your home feeling the way it does after tidying up? It starts with building some good habits geared toward staying decluttered. Here are the hacks to get you started:
Put Decluttering on Your Calendar
Scheduling time to declutter your home every day makes it part of your routine—you’ll get in the habit of tidying as you go. Set a timer and permit yourself to stop when it goes off. Even 15 minutes a day will help keep your clutter under control.
Make Rules Regarding New Purchases
You just bought a new pair of shoes? Great! Now it’s time to get rid of an old pair. Making rules about removing an item from the house when you buy an item keeps things from building up all over again. Generally, it’s pretty easy to find a possession to remove, as often buying something new indicates certain displeasure over something you already own. If the thought of getting rid of something makes you cringe, maybe you don’t want that new pair of shoes after all.
Don’t Keep the Donation Item
Keep a donation box out at all times so that you and your family toss in unwanted items consistently. Once that box is full, hustle the box off to the donation center. The longer you keep it around, the more likely you are to create excuses as to why you still need the object you put in there. If you can’t get there immediately, at least put it in your car trunk, so it’s out of sight.
Nothing is more heartening than a before and after shot of an overly cluttered and messy room that you’ve tidied. Use those pictures for inspiration when you’re feeling overwhelmed by this decluttering process. Remind yourself how good it felt when you finished decluttering another room.
If you’re not sure about whether you should get rid of an item or not, put it in a “Maybe” box somewhere out of sight. If it turns out you don’t even miss the item after a couple of weeks or longer, it’s probably time to let it go altogether. If you find yourself looking for the thing, put it back.
These hacks will help you stay decluttered once you’ve already gotten the process started. If you keep them up, after a while, the hacks will become automatic. Imagine the difference it will make when you’re free of all those things that have been holding you down!