7 Rules of Decluttering to Help You Get Organized

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Do you often feel overwhelmed when it comes to decluttering and getting organized?

If you answered YES, you are not alone. I too used to get so overwhelmed just thinking about organizing. But now I use the 7 rules of decluttering to guide me and I want to share them with you!

Did you know one of the key elements to getting organized is decluttering? It’s true.

However, the very idea of getting rid of your possessions is probably striking a bit of fear into your heart, right? Either that or you’re on board but your just not sure where to start.

The key to organizing is to have some rules in place. Consider these 7 rules of decluttering to help you take steps toward living a clutter-free and organized life.

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Rules of Decluttering – Rule 1

* Declutter and Stay Organized by Bringing Less Home

The most important rule to set before you even begin to purge items is to make a sincere effort to bring less stuff home.

There’s no point in putting forth the effort to declutter if you undo all your progress by buying more stuff.

Setting a mindset to shop with intention is the first step to clearing out the clutter for good.

For example: As I sit here and write this it is late April 2020. For many of us we are stuck in quarantine.

Now I don’t know about you but with Walmart being pretty much the only place we can go it seems that my husband and I have spent more money n the past month at Walmart than we have all year!

Okay, it was mostly food but to be honest we really didn’t need all the food we have been buying.

In our defense, I think we bought a little extra each week because when this all started our stores were cleared out for weeks.

So here we are now with no room in our cabinets. In fact they are so full I have completely ran out of room and started storing stuff on the ice box.

Therefore vowing to bring less home is one of the most important rules of decluttering.

Rules of Decluttering – Rule 2

* Document Your Emotions

Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion that can lead you to hold onto your clutter.  An effective compromise is to digitize your prized possessions.

You can scan the images of things like certificates or kids’ artwork into your computer and organize them into folders.

For three-dimensional pieces like trophies or prom dresses, take a photo of the item to add to your digital keepsakes.

You will find that doing things like this will free up space your home. And you will spend less time dusting and cleaning and more time doing what you love!

All the while you get to declutter and get organized but still get to keep your sentimental items close to heart.

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Rules of Decluttering – Rule 3

* Start Small and Simple

One way to gain momentum in the paring down process is to start with the easy things. 

Begin boxing up items that don’t hold much emotional attachment. Doing so will lead to a sense of accomplishment and provide motivation for you to keep going when the decision-making becomes tougher.

You can also try decluttering methods like the  365 Less Things or the Minimalist Game.

RELATED POST: How to Organize and Declutter Your Home

Rules of Decluttering – Rule 4

* Lose the Duplicates

Another relatively easy decluttering task involves getting rid of unnecessary duplicate items.

Take a moment to go through your home and gather up all your duplicate articles of clothing, dish sets and books.

Once you are done, sort through them, keeping only your favorite colored piece or the one that is in the best condition.

This goes for clothes, dishes, makeup, towels, shoes, books and more.

RELATED POST: How to Get Started Decluttering and Downsizing Your Home

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Rules of Decluttering – Rule 5

* Nip the Guilt

An empowering decluttering strategy is to get rid of things you’ve been holding onto out of guilt.

It doesn’t matter how much you paid for that stylish coat if it’s not being used, and unwanted gifts are something else you should part with immediately.

These things are yours. The decision of whether to keep them is also yours.

The first step in nipping the guilt is to understand that is your choice whether you hold onto or get rid of things.

Did you know clutter causes you to be indecisive and often stressed out?

I’m sure you’ve seen the social media memes that suggest clutter is a good thing because it’s a sign of creativity.

I bet you even smiled and possibly laughed because you no longer felt like the only person on earth with a clutter problem, right?

The truth is, clutter is not a sign of creativity nor productivity.

Instead it’s a sign of disorganization, procrastination, lack of control, and sometimes a lack of value or respect.

Clutter can even cause problems you may not even be aware of.

RELATED POST: How Clutter Affects Our Lives: A Life Decluttered

rules of decluttering and getting organized

Rules of Decluttering – Rule 6

* Deal with the Clutter

First, let’s discuss the various ways to deal with the clutter and then some common clutter spots to consider too.

  • Trash, Keep, Donate, or Sell – Set up three to four boxes that you’ve labeled with “keep,” “trash,” “Donate” or “Sell.”

Before you start, you should have a good idea where you’re going to donate things. If you can’t think of any place or person that you know to take the item and you cannot sell it, you must throw it away.

It can be shocking that no one wants your plate or Fabergé egg collection, but for the most part, they don’t.

  • Recycle – When it comes to throwing things away, make sure you know what you can recycle and what you need to only trash.

Most of your plastic can be recycled, as can glass, paper, and possibly even magazines.

Call your local garbage collection center and ask them about this because they may also supply individual containers to collect recyclables during your decluttering process.

  • Donate/ Freecycle – One way to get rid of some of your more useful stuff is to donate it.

You can choose a charity, but you can also join Freeclyle.org in your area and list the items that you’re giving away, and people will come to get them.

  • Sell on The Net – One way to get rid of stuff you no longer use is to sell it on the net.

Rules of Decluttering – Rule 7

* Everything has a Place

Another way to bring organization to your home is to make sure all of your possessions have a designated place and to always return them there.

Knowing where stuff belongs makes it easier to keep everything tidy and lowers the chance of clutter becoming a recurring problem.

These rules aren’t the definitive last word on clearing out the clutter, and they won’t remove all of the difficulties from the process.

Hopefully, though, they will serve as guidelines to help you begin your own decluttering journey.

Decluttering Rules: 15 things NOT to do when decluttering by Simple Lionheart Life

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