I’ve always been a cheerleader for minimalism. I like the idea of keeping it simple, basic and to the point. Whatever that may be. And then I watched the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. It’s been six months and I am still following the basic guidelines to decluttering my life and subsequently, my mind.
To begin with, I was so excited about the prospect of finally ridding myself, my home and my family of unnecessary clutter that I worked it up in my head so much, I eventually crashed. I didn’t know where to start, what I TRULY wanted to throw out, give away or store.
So I did this: I walked around the house one day with a notepad and pen and as I walked into every room I wrote down the specific places I should look for clutter and stuff I just don’t need anymore. In the kitchen, I knew I had chipped plates and cups I had to get rid of. In the laundry room, I knew there was a drawer – or two- brimming with odd socks, tights and underwear I don’t even know exists anymore! And let’s not get started in the playroom. Actually that was where I faced a problem I hadn’t even thought of. It was easy throwing out broken toys or toys I knew I could give away. But what about G’s artwork? All his little drawings and arts and crafts projects. Suffice to say, I was ruthless and kept a little box with the ones I cherished the most and of which I have fond memories. And also the ones that had dates on them! Very important!
So, with the help of the internet (ha!), the documentary and my own experience, here are 20 ways you can declutter RIGHT NOW. Start by doing one a day or even one a week.
1. Odd socks, old underwear including old bras.
2. Chipped plates, mugs and cups.
3. Expired food.
4. Old shoes.
5. Old papers, bills, receipts, flyers, etc.
6. Old CDs or CDs in general. And DVDs.
7. Make up you don’t use or hasn’t been used in over a year. Perfume too.
8. Gifts you don’t use/like/want.
9. Old magazines.
10. Medicine and vitamins.
11. Jewelry: odd earrings, cheap necklaces and bracelets that are tangled, etc.
12. Outdated electronics.
13. Pots and pans you no longer use.
14. Expired freezer items.
15. Plastic containers with no lids.
16. Bedsheets and pillowcases.
17. Cooking utensils with similar functions.
18. Dried nail polish.
19. Phone decluttering. Photos, apps, etc.
20. Computer, laptop decluttering.
Before you start decluttering make sure you have two bags or boxes with you. One for the stuff you’ll throw out and another for the stuff you will give away. Take them to the car/recycling bin immediately.
And remember, you are working towards this:
Have nothing in your house that you do not know
to be useful or believe to be beautiful.