- Clutterfree: book / course
- Zen Habits – Search for ‘Declutter’
- Fly Lady – How to Declutter
- Organized Home – Where Do I Start?
- Create a relaxing clutter free home
- Positivity Blog – Declutter, declutter, declutter
- Declutter & Simplify
- Organized Home
- Alejandra Costello – on YouTube – Best Organizing Products
- Angela Harris Design
- Organize Anything
- YouTube videos about organising, selected by me
- Zen Habits
- mnmlist’s links
- Be More with Less
- miss minimalist
- Married with Luggage – The joy of less: a minimalist living guide
The process of decluttering is actually very simple. There are just 4 decisions we have to make regarding our stuff on a regular basis.
- keep it
- trash it
- donate it
- leave it for later
By the way, one can apply this process not only to physical things, but also to relationships, commitments/projects, plans, ideas and so on (because ‘donate it’ can only be used with physical stuff, in some cases it should be replaced with ‘share it’). 🙂
Let’s look at the 4 decisions in detail:
- keep it means:
- keeping a physical thing: keeping this thing and assigning a ‘home’ for it – a place where this item can always be found when not used, where it ‘lives’ when not used
- keeping a commitment: doing our very best in pursuing it, dedicating ourselves to it and making sure we enjoy it and it is good for us
- keeping a relationship: keeping in touch on a regular basis
- keeping an idea: doing something about it – taking it one step further
- trash it means:
- trashing a physical thing: literally throwing it away – all broken or unusable things should be trashed (if something needs to be repaired, it has to be done ASAP)
- trashing a commitment: stopping pursuing it – we have no more interest/no more energy/nothing more to give, so there’s no point making promises we cannot fulfil
- trashing a relationship: ‘unfriending’ someone on Facebook / deleting someone from the address book – usually it is good to do it if we communicated only once with someone or went to school together, but never actually talked to each other afterwards; – there is no point keeping up with people with whom we wouldn’t normally communicate – being aware of what’s going on with them or checking out their pages from time to time is like stalking 🙂 – also, people that already have more than 500 friends on Facebook don’t really care whether we’re friends with them, they can’t actually even keep up with all their ‘friends’: that’s just too many – idea: use Facebook for real friends/those that you’d like to share your personal information with; use LinkedIn for contacts that might be useful for our future career (so it’s less personal)
- trashing an idea: deleting the info about it from our computers or physically trashing the sheet of paper where it’s written or just forgetting about it
- donate it means:
- donating or recycling a physical thing: donating to charities or recycling the items with the help of websites like Freecycle, Craig’s List, eBay… – more info on where to donate stuff: here
- donating a commitment: sharing with others what you did and that you’re quitting, so there’s a spot opened (for example, if there was a limited number of participants..) – maybe they’d like to pursue it…
- donating a relationship: for example, when moving to another country, some relationships become ‘obsolete’ – share the details of the practitioners that don’t have much space for new clients that we went to can be very helpful for our friends who live where we used to live.
- donating an idea: sharing the idea with others – maybe they’ll find passion and ways to implement it…
- leaving it for later means: making the above 3 decisions regarding some the items some time later – in 2 months, for example
Asking ourselves the following questions might help us make the right decisions:
- What are the things that I use on a daily basis?
- What did I use this week? – make a list of things we used can also help make a decision about what we really need on a daily basis
- What are my necessities? – make a list of things that we need for particular activities: for example, bathroom necessities, make up, wardrobe, things needed for particular hobbies
- Which things/activities/people make me happy/bring me joy? What/whom do I adore? – we should definitely keep those, definitely be in touch with those people often
- What are the most annoying things/activities/people? Why are they still in my life?
- Are there any things that are hard to get rid of? What are they? Why is it difficult? – find out how to deal with emotional things here
- Why do I have this?
- Do I use this item? Or is it for ‘just in case’? When did I use it last time? – read how to deal with ‘just in case syndrom’ here and here
- Will I use it again? When will I use it again? At which occasion?
- Do I have things that cost me a lot of money? Am I using them? – if yes, keep them – if not, get rid of them: sell/give away – keeping expensive (any) stuff that’s not being used brings emotional discontent – money has already been spent (it’s like ‘sunk cost’ in economics terms), keeping the item will not bring the money back, whereas getting rid of the item can bring a sense of calm, sanity, peace of mind (that’s worth much more than anything expensive IMO)
- What does decluttering mean to me? What kind of result do I want to achieve? – Is it minimalist look? Is it arty look but well-organised? What is it? – we have to determine what we want for us, for only then would we know whether we’d reached our goal
I would do it this way:
- get myself some boxes (if there aren’t any, buy some from IKEA or similar – this is not clutter, and they are fairly cheap)
- do the first round of decluttering just by going around all the corners of my flat, through all the folders on my computer, through all the email and so on – and eliminating that obviously has to go, applying the first 3 decisions
- take time to answer general questions above – a week maybe
- do the second round of decluttering – this time really tough, in order to achieve the desired outcome
- when achieved a decluttered life, admire this clean look, love the clean computer, enjoy fulfilling and meaningful relationships, focus on projects at hand – invite guests more often 🙂
RESOURCES – HOW TO DECLUTTER
WHAT IS DECLUTTERING?
Decluttering is a process of eliminating things that we don’t need – out of our lives, out of our homes, out of our computers, out of our inboxes and out of our heads. It leads to simplification of our lives as well as to the state where we feel liberated and free to achieve anything – everything that we would like to achieve, for there’s nothing left to stop us: no clutter, no junk!
Decluttering is a lifestyle. Once started on this journey, we never stop decluttering our lives further, for in order to maintain uncluttered space and state of mind, we need to continuously ask ourselves one question: CAN THIS BE ELIMINATED?
WHAT IS ORGANISING?
Organising is a process of arranging our commitments, belongings or life in general in the most effective way.
Being organised means having an easy access to all the things we need, never forgetting commitments or things, keeping promises – and doing it all in a calm and relaxed manner – never rushing or being stressed out. When we’re truly organised, we know exactly what, when, where, how and with whom we are supposed/or have chosen to do, and the surrounding environment effectively assists us in all our undertakings.
I believe that only by decluttering – by asking the question “CAN THIS BE ELIMINATED?” – by challenging our every action, object, project, or commitment – can we decide and determine, what’s truly important for us. And then – FOCUS on it.
So, decluttering is something that frees up our space and minds, letting us focus on what’s important for us and in turn achieve our goals and dreams.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it?.. 🙂
Check out others’ thoughts on WHY DECLUTTER?
- Leo Babauta’s of Zen Habits
- Joshua Becker’s of becoming minimalist
- from The Art of Manliness
- Rachel Meeks of Small Notebook
Do you want to know exactly what, when, where, how and with whom you are supposed/or have chosen to do? Do you want your environment to effectively assist you in all your undertakings? Then I guess it’s quite clear what effective organisation can do for you. 🙂
I believe, decluttering and organising go hand-in-hand.
Becoming truly well-organised is only possible together with decluttering. At the same time decluttering alone won’t bring as much order, harmony and peace as it will when the stuff that’s left after the elimination process is well-organised/arranged.
And so, by decluttering and organising our ‘stuff’ (life, environment) we stop focusing on ‘stuff’ and start focusing on important things, achieving our goals and dreams systematically.
Wish you achieve all your dreams, especially those that are the most important to you! (Sense the irony? C’mon! Why would you actually bother doing something that’s not important?) 😉
”By clearing the clutter, you can begin to breathe, to focus and to discover what makes your heart sing.” – ‘Clutterfree’ by Leo Babauta & Courtney Carver (http://clutterfreecourse.com/)
Lately I’ve been working on eliminating clutter at home.
Generally I find that in order for me to work well and be productive, my space should be as clear and free as possible.
In fact it’s not only me who thinks that way. There are blogs dedicated to helping people declutter and simplify their lives in order to free up space in their homes and minds (yes, it’s all connected) to really understand their values and make their most desirable dreams come true:
Well the fact is: we all have some things that we bought compulsively or had been given that we don’t use anymore or never used at all.
However, there might be some other people, even among our friends, who could put those things to a good use.
So there is a website that’s helping people to give away stuff: http://freecycle.org/ – I’d recommend using it! 😉