Basics of Decluttering
"The less you own the more freedom you have."
-The Drums, I Need Fun In My Life
This past week I've been making sure I started the new year free of clutter, mentally and physically. I love love cleaning, organizing and getting rid of things. It's an obsession I think. Decluttering is important to do, and often!
When you're first starting out, it's hard. I used to keep everything just incase I ever needed it someday. And I promise you I never ended up needing it! Rarely ever do I remember anything I've gotten rid of and thought "oh I wish I didn't give that away." It's happened maybe twice and it was about a shirt, and then I never thought about it again. That just proves to me that I can live without all those things that I thought I needed.
Winter can get pretty boring so it's the perfect time to completely clean up your life and start out the year on the right foot. A clean foot too! I'm going to share with you guys 5 areas of your life and home that are helpful to declutter.
If you asked old me to get rid of clothes I would probably faint. But now, I love getting rid of clothes! I go through my closet once or twice a month. Sometimes I find a lot of things to give away, sometimes it's only one or two things. I often times have really cute stuff, I just never wear it for whatever reason! I like to look at it like this- if I reduce my closet there will be room to get more, and let's be honest, I'm always buying more clothes.
Typically when I buy new clothes or I know I am going to go clothes shopping, I try to get rid of a few items to make room for the new ones.
I urge you to empty your entire closet, lay it out on your bed and floor and question each piece individually. Don't forget shoes and accessories like bags and scarves! The first time will be the hardest. Even if you only find a few things to give away at first that's okay! Each time you do it you will find it easier to decipher what pieces you really want to keep and are really going to wear.
When I take a photo I have to take like 53,000 in order to find the right one. And then I never end up deleting the ones I don't use. I don't know why! So I'm constantly daunted by the "cannot take photo, storage is full" pop-up on my phone and computer. There's nothing worse than that! Digital decluttering is very time consuming but so worth it.
Back up your photos onto iCloud, Google photos, or hard drives, whichever way you choose to do it and then delete the pictures from your phone. Delete apps you don't use. Back up memory cards and then delete the photos from the memory card as well.
Social media is also important to tidy up. Take time to unfriend and unfollow those who you don't want in your digital space (nothin personal people!), clear out any drafts you don't need whether it be on Instagram, Twitter or email. Unsubscribe from all those annoying companies you never shop from that send you emails on the daily. Empty your inbox and don't forget your spam folder! Then delete your trash bin. I always feel so great after I tackle this area of decluttering!
Junk drawers/junk boxes
This is the scariest one. I'm cringing just thinking about the boxes I went through full of random knick knacks, stickers, cords that go to unknown electronics, etc. I even had a box sitting in my closet literally full of nature. Like do I really need 28 acorns sitting in a box? Probably not. My best advice for tackling these is to find all your junk drawers/boxes and dump them into one pile. Keep things like batteries, chapsticks, pens, rubber bands, etc-everything that you use on the daily. But put them back neatly and in one place so they are easy to find. Anything else that you never use nor will ever use-cords to unknown items, old phone cases, rubber bracelets that say "live laugh love", lanyards with weird companies on them, headphones with only one earbud left-DITCH EM.
I am notorious for having a million diaries, bullet journals, prayer journals, list notebooks, quote notebooks, all going at the same time. I also keep all my old journals to look back on. These are things I would never get rid of, but I found it helpful to see if I have journals that are only half used or are full of lists, to-do's, schedules that are no longer useful. If I do, I will rip out only the pages I want to keep and store them in a folder or add them to my other notebooks so I am able to get rid of the notebooks that are no longer needed and create more space for those that I do use.
I also can easily collect millions of papers with doodles, quotes, etc in folders and in my craft bins. I like to weed through all those pages and maybe combine the quotes and doodles into my notebooks that are being used or a folder and recycle the rest that I don't need to keep.
Maybe you're not as bad with notebooks and papers as I am, but it's always helpful to go through what you have!
I rarely buy books unless I know it's something I want to reread or write in, I just use the library. But if I own a book that I haven't read yet and I'm probably not going to read, I get rid of it.
Somehow I always end up with a ton of makeup products that sit in my makeup bag but I never use them. Same with hair products, headbands and what not. If you take a look at yours, it's probably the same situation. Get rid of them!! Those lipsticks you never wear the blue eyeshadow that's probably from 2009, you don't use them and you won't use them so you don't need them!
I know everything above is pretty much brief and basic, but if you're as serious about this as I am and want to learn more in depth techniques, I learned a lot from
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy both by Marie Kondo. They are easy to fly through and were so fun for me to read. I learned a lot about the proper way to get rid of things and the correct mindset to be in when tidying up.
Even Emily Gilmore is a Marie Kondo fan!!
*Important reminder to recycle everything you can, donate anything that's donation-worthy, then throw out the rest.*
Decluttering your home not only gets rid of junk physically but mentally as well. It leaves you more space for living intentionally and productively. William Morris once said,
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
Cleaning can be so much fun! Make it a meditation and tidy your mind while you tidy your home.