There’s a load of declutter experts out there with checklists of declutter rules that we are all meant to follow.
But you know what?
Most of these experts – Marie Kondo included – never had a huge clutter problem. So to be honest, they really, really, really don’t get it!!
They don’t know for themselves, how truly miserable clutter makes us. Or how hard it is, emotionally and practically, to let stuff go.
And so the declutter rules they tell us to follow fail us in real life. Except they say it’s our fault because we didn’t follow their rules properly!!
So what on earth should we do to declutter our homes successfully?
What rules should we follow?
Well, I have been there and I do get it. I was buried miserable under a mountain of clutter but I cleared it successfully to reclaim our home.
But it ALL boiled down to 10 simple declutter rules : 5 must dos and 5 things we absolutely need to avoid.
So if you’ve failed again and again to clear your clutter, try instead the 10 golden declutter rules I have here …
5 Rules Of What Not To Do When Decluttering
1. Don’t Put It Off
Waiting until till we’re “ready” or “have time” turns decluttering into a big complicated project rather than a simple doable daily habit.
2. Don’t Try To Blitz It
We can shift 10 bags of clutter in a day but we can’t shift 200. Our stuff has taken a lifetime to accumulate, it will not be gone in a week.
Decluttering is a journey not a sprint.
We can actually find joy on our way.
3. Don’t Yank Stuff Out
Yanking everything out Marie Kondo style creates a huge unholy mess that leaves most of us feeling even more like a complete failure.
Don’t do it!!
4. Don’t Start With Clothes
Our own clothes aren’t actually what tips most of us over the edge daily.
It’s kitchen counters, hallways and living room floors PLUS kids rooms, hobby mess and scary paper clutter.
So focus your big effort on these to really appreciate the benefits.
5. Don’t Try To Be Brutal
Most of us are NOT ready to make instant on the spot chuck or keep decisions about everything we own.
There are big complicated emotions bound up in all our stuff, so decluttering is a voyage of discovery about what truly matters in our lives.
In a month or 6 we will happily pass on stuff we couldn’t possibly be parted from on day one.
OK, we now have 5 rules for what we must NOT do when decluttering :
- Do NOT put off starting.
- Do NOT try to blitz it.
- Do NOT yank everything out.
- Do NOT start with clothes.
- Do NOT try to be brutal (at first).
So next, let’s discover the 5 declutter rules we should follow instead …
5 Golden Declutter Rules You Should Follow
1. Start Today
Set a timer for 15 minutes and find a few quick things to chuck out. Get them out of your home, fast.
It’s an instant no mess win that motivates us to do more.
2. Do A Little Everyday
Letting go of just 10 things everyday will clear over 3,500 in a year!!!
And it turns decluttering into an easy daily habit we win at every day as effortlessly as cleaning our teeth.
3. Keep To A Time Box
Your timer is your secret weapon!!
It keeps us focused, stops us from yanking stuff out into a huge pile of mess and makes each day a success.
Do 5-10 minutes daily PLUS weekly half hour bursts when you can.
4. Do Easy Stuff First
Start with anything you are ready to let go so you get into the flow of feeling good about passing stuff on.
Don’t worry about other things.
You will be ready to be radical later on in your journey, I promise you.
5. Focus On One Small Area
Every day focus on just one small area – one shelf, one counter, one drawer – and ignore the rest.
Shutting out all our other stuff stops us from diving in and drowning.
And again, it lets us win every single day which motivates us to keep going and truly clear all our clutter.
So if you are swamped by stuff, start today small – with just 10 things – and stick, steady as it goes, to these 10 golden declutter rules.
They truly can shift miserable mountains of clutter and give you the space to enjoy living again.
For more simple practical support read these decluttering tips:
Original image source : Maria Eklind