Decluttering doesn’t have to be a long and involved process. Your goal should be one of focus and intention. Decide ahead of time what you want to accomplish, and stick to the plan to achieve the desired outcome.
One approach that typically helps is the “rule of 3” for decluttering.
- Do you love it? As you look at an item, do you feel you absolutely cannot live without it? If so, then keep it and move onto the next item.
- Do you use it? You may love the antique canister set your grandma gave you, or that fishing pole that you and your dad shared while you were growing up. But, if you never use it and it’s collecting dust, get rid of it and move on.
- Do you need it? There are items we need. They are those that we really don’t love, we wouldn’t select them for a specific use, but we need to have them. You need personal hygiene items and things of that nature. The problem becomes when you have too many of them to make it feasible to use them. In that case, need turns into want and that’s why you have to declutter your home.
Here are a few scenarios to show how to make a distinction.
- You have an afghan you aunt made for you. Do you love it? Yes. Do you use it? Yes. Do you need it? Perhaps (e.g., if it keeps you warm in the winter). Keep it and make sure to take care of it.
- You have a set of tools your dad gave you. Do you love them? Not really. Do you use them? Rarely. Do you need them? Probably not. However, even though it’s an item that really should move on to another home, you’re afraid to part with it because it was given to you by your dad. Do some research and determine how much money you could potentially make by selling it. Then think about how you would spend that money. Perhaps you would spend it on another tool that would get more use. That’s a better solution than keeping something you don’t love, use, or need. You’re instead recycling what you have and replacing it with something else.
Select a small area of your home with approximately 10-12 items. Look at each item and ask yourself the 3 questions, above. If it really needs to remain in your home, you’ll know. Just be sure to move it into it’s proper place.