So you’ve done all the work and you’ve decluttered all the categories in your home but now what?
The good news is that you don’t have to declutter again and again in order to keep a tidy house. Instead, you can set up some guidelines that will help you to achieve this without you even realising that you’re doing it.
That, of course, doesn’t mean that you can’t do a full decluttering session for specific categories again – I’ve decluttered my wardrobe six or seven times before I felt I could focus solely on keeping it tidy.
So when you’re ready, these tips will help you efficiently maintain what you’ve achieved so far whilst also making sure you’re still learning and making progress in the long run.
1. THE ‘ONE IN, ONE OUT’ RULE
You’ve probably heard of this one – every time you want to add something new, you have to let go of something you already own. You can apply this ‘rule’ for any area where it makes sense – like books, cosmetics, clothing, shoes and accessories.
The best approach for this is to notice when you’re happy with the number of items in a particular category so you can commit to that number. And if you have only kept things that you truly enjoy using, that will give you an incentive to think hard about buying the new thing.
*NOTE: Be sure that this doesn’t become a way of forcing yourself to live with less or a way of depriving yourself. So despite setting the number, stay open to changing it if you want to in the future.
2. A DEDICATED SPACE
After you’ve thoroughly decluttered your space, you don’t have to do it step by step anymore.
Instead, you can do it as you go – by designating a spot where you can put things you no longer need, you create a habit of placing an item there whenever you recognise that you don’t want it anymore, instead of waiting for another decluttering session.
For your space, you can pick a drawer, a box or anything you like, as long as you and other members of the family know what the purpose of the space is.
*TIP: When your friends and family come over, they can go through your box or drawer and take something if they like it. And whatever’s left – either donate it to charity or pass it on to someone else.
3. TURN THE HANGERS
If you want to have a clear idea of how many articles of clothing you actually go through each season or in a year, then you can simply turn the hangers the wrong way round. And then, whenever you take something out to wear, put it back so the hanger faces the right direction.
This way, by the end of a season or a year, depending on if you’re doing a capsule wardrobe or not, you can let go of pieces that you didn’t wear.
*TIP: Before you let go of something, make sure you understand why you weren’t using it in the first place so you can learn more about your preferences and make better purchases in the future.
4. THE ‘JUST IN CASE’ BOX
What if you have some things that you’re not using but you’re still unsure about them? Then you can take a box to put those things in.
Make sure it’s not see-through and that you put it in a place where you can’t see it daily – it should be out of sight so that it can be out of mind.
Now decide on a time-frame of how long you want to keep those items for before passing them along – I recommend doing it for six months so you can be absolutely sure you won’t be needing them anymore. And if you need to use something during that period, simply take it out of the box and leave everything else there.
5. SPRING DECLUTTERING
We can do a quick whole-house declutter once a year, but instead of doing it for each category like you did in the beginning, you can combine it with your spring cleaning – this is what I did this year and it was great!
Because we’re going through our house so we can clean it anyway, quickly assessing what we use and don’t use right there and then makes a lot of sense.
I recommend using a box or a laundry basket where you can put everything that you don’t want to keep anymore.
*TIP: You don’t have to do in the Spring. You can, of course, choose any time you like – it can be at the end of a year to get you started for a new year or whenever you have some time for yourself and your house. And if you want to, you can also do it twice a year.
Clutter is not just stuff on the floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living. – Peter Walsh
These are probably the best five rules that I apply to keep my house organised and tidy 😊 I hope they help you and if you have any ideas of your own let me know 😉