Every year, millions of home owners spend their weekends “spring cleaning” – throwing out unwanted junk, organizing keepsakes and trying to get on top of the clutter that they have accrued over the holiday period. This year, instead of just spring cleaning, why not make a resolution to de-clutter your home once and for all?
For most people, de-cluttering is easy, but preventing the clutter from building back up is not. Instead of making a sweeping rule that you won’t let your home fill up with clutter again, try these simple, easy to stick to resolutions that will help you to conquer your clutter problem.
1. Do a little decluttering every day
Commit to throwing out or giving away one item every day. It doesn’t matter how big or small that item is, just resolve that you will throw out a book, magazine, item of clothing or toy every day for a year. By the end of the year, that means you’ll have gotten rid of 365 unwanted items that were just taking up space.
2. Stop unwanted mail
If you are subscribed to newspapers or magazines and never read them, unsubscribe! Take a moment to remove your name from the mailing lists of any catalogs and marketing services that you are subscribed to, and make a habit of opting out of information sharing and offer lists in the future. Sign up to the relevant mailing preference service for your country to cut down on the amount of spam that you get.
3. Stop shopping
Most people are fairly good at throwing stuff out; the problem is that they replace that stuff with new possessions too quickly. Identify your biggest clutter problem – perhaps clothes, books, or even ornaments, and resolve that you won’t buy another item in that category for at least three months. Once you stop shopping for that long, you may find your collector instincts evaporate.
4. Use self-storage
If your collection of “clutter” includes family heirlooms, highly collectible items or things that you use only seasonally (such as bulky sports equipment), consider putting those items into self storage for part of the year. This will free up space in your home, and save you from having to get rid of items with sentimental or practical value.
5. Go digital
Do you really need thousands of CDs, blu-ray movies or physical books? Copy your existing collection into a digital format and put the originals into self-storage if you cannot bear to part with them. Stop buying physical products and buy digital versions instead. If you are concerned about DRM locking you out of your content, choose companies that sell DRM free products. For example, GOG sells DRM free games, and Amazon’s MP3s do not have any restrictions on them.
6. Set a One In, One Out Rule
Promise yourself that if you want to buy new clothes or books, you will get rid of at least one item for every item you buy. This rule serves two purposes. Firstly, it helps to stop you accumulating items that you will never use. Secondly, it makes you think about whether you really want the item you’re considering buying. This will save you money, as well as stem the flow of clutter into your home!