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7 Essential Rules of Decluttering

    Looking for decluttering tips? Follow these simple rules when decluttering your home to make the process quick & easy.

    Decluttering your home can sometimes feel intimidating, so there’s no need to rush or take on too much at once. But if you’re willing to put in the time & effort to get it done, you’ll have a home that’s neat, tidy & peaceful.

    Maybe in the past you’ve hesitated to declutter because you felt overwhelmed or just didn’t know where to start. Been there!

    As with any other daunting task, it often helps to have some simple rules in place. Consider these seven rules of decluttering to help you take steps toward living a clutter-free life.

    Ready to get started decluttering on the right foot and create more space in your home?

    Let’s dive in!

    7 Rules for Decluttering Your Home

    The seven rules of decluttering are all about finding what works best for you and your space. Follow these simple rules while clearing out the clutter in your home.

    Rule #1: Bring less home.

    The most important rule to set before you even begin to purge items is to make a sincere effort to bring less stuff in. There’s no point in putting forth the effort to declutter if you undo all your progress by buying more stuff.

    When considering making a purchase, ask yourself if it is something you really need and will get regular use out of. This can help you be more intentional about the items you bring into your home and ensure that you are bringing in only those things that you truly need.

    Tip: To help yourself be uber intentional when considering a purchase for your home, try implementing the one-in-one-out rule: before bringing in a new item, get rid of something else.

    Setting a mindset to shop with intention is the first step to clearing out the clutter, and maintaining a clutter-free home. 

    Rule #2: Have a game plan for sentimental items.

    Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that can lead us to hold onto clutter.  In fact, this is one of the most asked questions when it comes to decluttering your home.

    What’s the best way to declutter sentimental items?

    It can be difficult to part with sentimental clutter, but there are a few steps you can take to help you make progress in this area.

    Lets break them down.

    How to declutter sentimental items & emotionally detach from keepsake clutter:

    1. Go through your belongings and separate the items into categories: things you absolutely want to keep, things you can donate/give away, and things you can discard.
    2. Preserve the keepsakes you’re unwilling to part with by creating a digital copy. You can scan the images of things like certificates or kids’ artwork into your computer and organize them into folders.
    3. For three-dimensional pieces like trophies or prom dresses, take a photo of the item to add to your digital keepsakes. (You could also create a memory jar, where you write down your memories of the item and store them in the jar.)
    4. As for the sentimental items you decide to donate or give, take a moment to cherish the memory & express gratitude for it. Then let it go.

    Creating a digital archive of your memories is a great way to ensure they are preserved for years to come, without taking up physical space in your home.

    Rule #3: Start with the easy-yes’ clutter first.

    Gain momentum in the decision making process by starting with the “easy-yes” items first. 

    These are items that don’t hold much emotional attachment and are “easy” to get rid of. This could include items like old clothes, kitchen gadgets, toys, books, etc.

    Start by going through each room in your house and boxing up your “easy-yes” items that you don’t use or need anymore.

    Doing so will lead to a sense of accomplishment and provide motivation for you to keep going when the decision-making becomes tougher. 

    Speaking of momentum… I created a FREE guide with 10 easy decluttering tasks that you can do TODAY (that’ll make a BIG difference.) Each one should take you under 10 minutes!

    Rule #4: Ditch the duplicates.

    Another relatively easy decluttering task involves getting rid of unnecessary duplicate items.  We all have those items that we tend to hoard for those “just in case” moments.

    To give you some ideas of common duplicates in your home, here are some to consider getting rid of:

    • Clothing items that are similar (how many white T-shirts do you really need?)
    • Dish sets
    • Books
    • Throw blankets/pillows
    • Kitchen utensils
    • Bedding sets
    • Small appliances/kitchen tools that do the same thing
    • Decorative vases

    Once you’ve gathered up all your duplicates, take inventory of the items – evaluate their condition, how often they’re used and how much they cost. Only keep what is truly necessary for your home. Then donate or sell items that can be used by others.

    Getting rid of duplicates in your home will help you achieve your goal of living with less, while avoiding having drawers full of multiples “waiting” to be useful.

    Rule #5: Squash the guilt.

    An empowering decluttering strategy is to get rid of things you’ve been holding onto out of guilt. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for that stylish coat – if it’s not being used, it needs to go.

    It’s perfectly normal to feel guilty when you’re decluttering and getting rid of things. However, it’s important to remember that the process of decluttering can help bring clarity, joy, and peace to your home (and life!)

    Ask yourself, “Why do I feel the need to keep this? Is it because I really love it? Do I use it often enough to make keeping it worthwhile?”

    Unwanted gifts are something else you should part with immediately. While it can be difficult to get rid of items that someone else gave as a gift, if you don’t personally use or love it, then it isn’t worth the stress it causes you by cluttering up your home.

    Some great options for decluttering unwanted gifts you’ve received are to donate the items to a local charity, sell them online, or recycle the item. This way, someone else will be able to receive the gift and appreciate it in a way that you can’t.

    Remember, it’s the thought of the gift that counts. You can appreciate the gesture, without having to make room for the item in your home.

    Instead of feeling guilty about getting rid of expensive items or things that were gifted to you, focus on the positive benefits that decluttering can bring.

    Try to think of decluttering these items as a way of creating more space in your home for the things that truly matter.

    Rule #6: Put things in their place, always.

    Another important rule to keep in mind while decluttering your home is this: create a place for everything and put everything in its place, always.

    Did you read that last part? Always return items to their designated place. This is the real secret to avoiding clutter.

    Knowing where stuff belongs makes it easier to keep everything tidy and lowers the chance of clutter becoming a recurring problem. 

    Rule #7: Declutter regularly.

    The last decluttering rule may be the most important.

    Set aside some time each week to go through your items and get rid of things that you no longer need or use. Clear off surfaces regularly and find a place to store items that don’t have a specific home.

    Whether it’s every Sunday afternoon, or Friday evening – pick a time of the week you can commit to doing a once-over on any clutter that’s found its way into your home.

    Decluttering your home regularly is crucial. Once items start piling up, it can quickly become overwhelming. So make sure to address clutter as soon as it starts to accumulate.

    This will make it easier to keep your home clutter-free in the future.

    Need some serious decluttering motivation?

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    Final Thoughts on 7 Decluttering Rules For Your Home

    Hopefully these decluttering rules will serve as guidelines to help you easily & efficiently start decluttering your home. Follow these seven rules to finally create a space that’s free of clutter and filled with items that bring you joy.

    For additional encouragement and tips on decluttering your home, check out my simplified decluttering method for decluttering your entire home and grab your free copy of the 10 easy decluttering tasks above.

    You’ll be well on your way to decluttering your home in no time!

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