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Whether you jumped on board the trend after binge watching the Marie Kondo series on Netflix or if you’ve dabbled in decluttering a few times, there’s one thing most people will agree on – decluttering isn’t something that just happens once.
The idea of being able to go through your house once and remove anything from your home that you don’t need, love, or want is overwhelming to even type let alone actually do.
The key with decluttering is forming habits, it’s more to do with what you do over and over again as opposed to what you do once and then continue as you were.
When it comes to creating habits, these are the habits of people who declutter regularly, and are successful in doing so. You can adapt these habits to suit your decluttering style and enjoy the result of your decluttering efforts for even longer.
1 – They Are Strategic About Their Decluttering
There’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to decluttering, but there is one thing that most people who declutter can agree on – you need to be strategic.
Flittering from room to room, doing bits and pieces here and there might be okay for a first pass at decluttering and might help you remove some of that top layer of clutter – however, if you wanting to see the real benefits of decluttering and get the most out of the process, then you need a strategy.
It might be that you start with one type of object (ie, clothing) and you go through the house and remove any pieces of clothing that are not longer wanted, needed, or loved.
Or you might go for a room by room method, choosing to focus on one room each week and then continue to repeat the process again and again to ensure no clutter builds up.
Whatever method you find works for you is fine, as long as there is a strategy behind it.
2 – They Declutter In Stages
You saw me mention just before a ‘first pass’ declutter and you may have been wondering what on earth that is. When it comes to decluttering effectively, it needs to be done in stages.
The reason for this is because as we go along, we get better at the decluttering process. We might find that when we start we feel like we cannot remove sentimental items because well, they’re sentimental. But after some time, you may find other ways to honour those sentimental items that don’t involve you keeping them stored in your home.
Which is why I always suggest a first pass at decluttering, and why those who create decluttering habits know that each time they declutter, they do so in stages.
Your first pass is simply your very first go at decluttering. There’s no pressure to be ruthless, it’s more of a very straightforward go at removing the top layer of clutter. Things such as broken items, torn and ripped clothing that cannot be recycled or reused, unnecessary paper clutter, double ups of items that are not needed, anything that is easy to declutter and remove.
This gives you a ‘quick win’ and makes a huge difference to your decluttering processes, meaning you’re more inclined to keep going and declutter deeper because you’ve already seen and felt the positive effects of the first pass declutter.
3 – They Make Money From Their Unwanted Items
Did you know you can potentially make a ton of money from the clutter laying around your home? Crazy hey? But oh so good.
I made over $2000 in one month just from selling items we no longer wanted or needed from around our home. And I didn’t have to even leave the house to do it. Not too bad hey?
4 – They Have Some System of Organization
It doesn’t have to be a perfect system, but for those who declutter regularly and keep on top of their clutter situation, a system is essential in ensuring this happens.
They may create a system of decluttering a set room each month, or a set area or zone, or perhaps they even spend time each week going through and removing clutter from certain areas.
Whatever their system is, they stick to it.
5 – They Don’t Bring More Clutter Into Their Home
Decluttering is amazing, we know that. It makes you feel so much more free and gives you so much more space in your home. But do you know what counteracts that? More clutter.
People who declutter regularly become more aware of the clutter they bring into their home and therefore avoid it.
When you declutter regularly you notice patterns, items you repeatedly bring in that you end up removing later. It could be certain types of food, knick knacks, or even certain clothes you buy on sale but never actually wear.
The best way to stay on top of clutter is to stop bringing it into the house!
6 – They Understand That Decluttering Is Less About ‘Things’ And More About Mindset
This is one of the most important lessons you will ever learn about decluttering. The ‘things’ you declutter… that’s not even half the story. It’s far less about the ‘things’ than it is about the mindset that goes along with it.
The mindset of understanding you don’t need all the things to make you happy. That ‘retail therapy’ quickly gives way to clutter and overwhelm (of which we try to fix with more retail therapy – thus the cycle continues). That you deserve space in your home to think, to have clarity, to enjoy.
I could go on forever about the mental benefits that come with decluttering, but those who declutter regularly know this. That is why they continue to declutter over and over, refining their space and their process to keep this decluttering mindset.
7 – They Don’t Just Declutter Their Home
Decluttering doesn’t just apply to the physical aspects of your home. It stretches far beyond that and someone who declutters regularly looks for areas in their life that need a clear out.
We declutter our minds by journaling, writing, making lists and using planners.
We declutter our friendships and relationships by removing toxic people and toxic attitudes from our life.
We declutter our schedules by removing ‘busy’ and doing all the things without gaining anything (whether it’s an intrinsic or an extrinsic gain).
There is so much more to decluttering than clearing the clutter in our homes, but that is where it starts. And when you start to declutter regularly, you’ll see the other areas in your life open up to your new decluttering mentality.
Decluttering is a habit that is formed by repetitive practice. It doesn’t happen overnight, but is a continual movement towards creating more decluttering habits and creating a life that looks exactly how you want it.
What decluttering habits are you going to work on today?