I never considered myself one to keep too much “stuff”, but somewhere inside I knew there was an issue. I had the typical American single-person household’s worth of stuff, so why did I still feel so bothered by the clutter? I wasn’t happy with the amount of clutter in my home and- though manageable, it was time for a change.
I was tired of organizing. Tired of feeling like I spent more time washing, drying, and hanging up clothes than I spent wearing them. Tired of that un-closable drawer in the kitchen. Tired of throwing travel-size shampoo bottles into the dark abyss that was my bathroom sink (maybe that’s just me).
I decided to try the Uncluttered Course to restructure my approach toward decluttering. Here are 7 techniques I learned:
1. Identify the Purpose of a Room, and Get Rid of Anything that Doesn’t Serve that Purpose
The importance of determining a purpose for the rooms cannot be overstated. Once you are clear on what you want each room to accomplish, it becomes easier to decide what stays and what goes. For example: If the purpose of your bedroom is rest, does the television on the dresser promote or detract from that goal?
2. Distinguish Between Minimizing and Organizing.
A minimized home is a home that is first of all purposeful. Just because a room is tidy or organized doesn’t necessarily mean there’s still not too much stuff inside it. Organized clutter is still clutter and you should never organize what you can discard.
3. Start With the Easier Spaces and Move on to Harder Ones.
The Central process of The Minimalist Home and the Clutterfree App is that decluttering works best when you start with easier spaces and build up the skills and confidence to tackle harder spaces later. Take your focus off the garage and attic, and move it to an easier place to start: the living room and bedrooms. Easiest to hardest, starting with the most lived-in areas first.
4. Focus on the Gains, Not the Subtractions.
A minimalist mindset is all about how owning less creates an opportunity to live more. Minimalism isn’t about removing the things you love. It’s about removing the things that distract you from the things you love. It’s about living more by owning less. So focus on the benefits and make even more progress than you ever dreamt possible.
5. Find Clutter Hotspots in the Home.
Not only does this course focus on decluttering items, but we also learn how to keep our homes clutter-free. This happens by discovering the specific clutter hotspots in how our home functions. We learn that some habits are needed daily, (like tidying the kitchen) while others (like cleaning the garage) only need to be accomplished seasonally or yearly). But learning how to discover these hotspots was entirely life-changing.
6. Overcoming the Desire to Buy Stuff.
One of the most surprising things about the course was the new mindset of owning less and decluttering began filtering into the way I shop and the money that I spend. There is a whole webinar focused on the Keys to Overcoming Consumerism in my life. I am so thankful for the money and time that will be saved as I apply these principles to my life and my home.
7. How to Bring my Family Along.
I learned there is no magic word to change your teenagers or your spouse, however, there are strategies that we can use (sometimes even as simple as setting an example by going first) to bring them along in this journey. I won’t make false promises that taking the course yourself will change your family overnight, but you will certainly learn strategies and principles to apply going forward to make change more likely.
About the Author: Caitie is the Managing Editor and a writer for No Sidebar. She lives in sunny California with her cat Roxy and enjoys editing and reading all of the submissions she receives. Caitie also works as a Graphic Designer at www.wheresmydesign.com.