Have you ever thought about using the one – year rule to declutter?
One reason we accumulate so much clutter in our lives is because of the mentality we hold that we just might need the item again later on.
The intention behind this rationality makes sense. It seems thrifty to keep the things you’ve spent money on and that could come in handy down the road, right?
Sometimes though it just isn’t worth the cost to your emotional state to hold on to those things. A good rule of thumb to consider is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. Read on for some tips on how to go about this.
Subscribe and get instant access to my Minimizing and Decluttering Checklist
The One-Year Rule
If You Haven’t Used It in a Year, Get Rid of It. Simple as that. Or is it?
Objectively, if you haven’t used something in a year’s time, there’s a very good chance you don’t have a need for it. Or you are less likely to use it again. You could probably rent or borrow that item if you find you do need it in the future, rather than taking up valuable space in your home and mind.
In addition, it’s quite likely you’ll never even miss it. Once you move through this process, you’ll probably find it much more of a relief than a loss.
Things to Consider
When implementing the one-year rule, there are some questions you can ask yourself to make the decision-making easier.
If you’re unsure about whether to purge something, ask yourself:
- if you can think of three times you might use the item
- come up with ways you might use it within the next two weeks
- is it something that duplicates the use of another item you own
There’s no use in having two possessions that serve the same purpose, yet one sits around unused.
Finally, get honest with yourself as to why it is you haven’t used that particular item for a whole year. Chances are, the answer to this question will ease your worries about discarding it.
Don’t forget to subscribe!
Exceptions to the One – Year Rule
Sure, there are some things you haven’t used in a year that are actually worth keeping and will likely be used again.However, these are exceptions to the rule. Things that come to mind are:
- occasion clothing
Fancy dresses can be expensive. Hold onto it if it’s classic, you love it, and you’ll honestly wear it again. Seasonal items fall into this category, as well. You know you’ll need winter clothing and accessories again.
Try and be diligent in removing those that no longer fit or bring you happiness.
Store them in an out-of-the-way place so they don’t clutter your everyday space.
- sentimental items and mementos
Some things are just more meaningful than others.
Get rid of the ones that aren’t emotionally significant. Digitize kids’ drawings, certificates, and photos when possible.
Give these suggestions a try to help you get rid of the stuff you rarely or never use. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it!
If you find that you struggling to let go of item you can always use a planner to help guide you.
Reasons to Use the One – Year Rule to Declutter
- not enough storage
- you have more than one of something or everything
- it is an embarrassment to have family or friends over
- you have more than one junk drawer
- you put things into piles when cleaning
- junk mail ends up in a pile of its own
- you own way more make up than you actually use
- finding simple things like keys are frustrating and ruins your morning
- “everything” has a sentimental value to it
- you buy organizing stuff but never actually declutter
- allergies are the new norm
Final Thoughts Why You Should Declutter Using the One – Year Rule
More times than not we tend to hold onto things that pair of jeans we fit into 20 pounds ago. Wishing and hoping we will someday fit back into them.
All while in reality if we really wanted to get back into those jeans we would. Instead we hold onto to those jeans or sentimental items as a vice. That’s right, a vice. We dwell over them and feel sorry for ourselves instead of doing something about it.
Instead throw all the vices such as the old jeans, the radio, and whatever other past you are holding onto out.
It is important to understand you will never be happy or be able to move forward in life unless you let go of the past.
To let go of the past you must let go of the clutter that is holding you down.