We all have too much stuff. When we have far too much stuff we become over cluttered and the things that we bought to help ourselves, starts to hinder us. As someone who naturally hordes, decluttering is a very difficult process and it takes some ideas to motivate us to declutter.
The fact that we have lots of clutter indicates that we are pretty bad at throwing or giving things away. Over the years I've been given many tips and ideas for decluttering, which I hope you will find useful as I have done.
1. Don't buy it in the first place
The easiest way of dealing with clutter is not to acquire it in the first place. As a student I learnt to be very careful with my money and so I didn't buy stuff that I didn't need. This includes items from stationary, to new coffee machines to new computer keyboards. This is the easiest way of dealing with clutter as it stopped any kind of emotional attachment and saves you money.
2. Donate it
Part of the reason most of us struggle with decluttering is that we create an emotional attachment and value the item at more than it's worth. We may feel that by throwing it away, we are losing money and hence we should keep it. The decluttering idea of donating it to charity helps us, as someone else will use the item and retain its value.
3. Reduce the amount of storage space
This decluttering idea works along the lines of if you have less boxes and places to put stuff, you have fewer places to fill. Therefore, you won't feel the need to buy more items as there wont be a place for them. Get rid of the boxes on top of your wardrobes and underneath your bed, and enjoy seeing the clear space.
4. When did you last use it?
Did you use the item in the last six months? If not then you probably don't need it. Keeping items for rainy days doesn't work as when you get to that rainy day you probably forget about the item at all. If it's for seasonal use, then obviously extend the deadline, but if it hasn't been used in several seasons, then you might be better throwing it away. This idea to declutter is one of my favourites as it allows rule-based decluttering, preventing any rationalisation of the item.
5. Get someone else in
Getting a friend or family member to help you declutter is an excellent idea. They won't have the emotional attachment but will still be able to see if something has value. The embarrassment of some items and your attachments to them may allow you to see the true value, rather than the one rationalised in your head.
Those five decluttering ideas should help you on a path to declutter your life. It may take a long time but it will be worth it. Any ideas for decluttering or stories that you have, please write them below in the comments.