It used to be the bigger the better when it comes to home sizes. Nowadays, downsizing has been the trend. People are giving up landed houses for an hdb in toa payoh. It’s not all about the square footage anymore.
Downsizing and decluttering often comes hand in hand. Clutter overloads your senses, just as multitasking overloads your brain. A messy space not only affects your life physically, but mentally as well.
Here are some simple decluttering tips that can help you live a simpler life, no matter how big or small your home may be.
A place for everything and everything in its place
Start by ingraining some habits in your daily life. Clutter is not something that you just throw out once and be done with. Rather, clutter tends to accumulate through time. So, you should nip it in the bud before it has a chance to overtake your home. Start by making sure that everything is put back to where its supposed to go after every use. Everything in your house deserves to be given its own home. When everything is returned to its rightful place after each use, it helps you spend less time cleaning and organizing on a daily basis. Your space becomes lighter and brighter when it is consistently organized.
This is another nifty tip that helps you manage your possessions, or rather, helps you manage the number of your possessions. Whenever you purchase anything, think about why you’re buying it, what you need it for, and what is being replaced by it. This helps you keep on top of what you have in order to prevent an unhealthy accumulation of stuff. For example, if you purchase a piece of clothing, make sure another piece of clothing has to go.
Spend on experiences, not things
One easy way to prevent clutter from entering and gathering in your home is to spend your money on experiences instead of material things. This prevents you from developing a ridiculous attachment to material objects. The paradox of possessions is that the happiness things provide fades quickly, and you end up with an accumulation of stuff. Instead, make your life all about experiences. For example, instead of buying that new piece of clothing, spend the money to go watch a play. The only thing we can take with us when we leave is our memories and experiences.
Try the “grab and go” approach
If you are dealing with a lot of clutter and you don’t know where to start, you can simply just grab a small pile of clutter and get to work. Don’t put too much thought into which particular area or space you should start with. The important thing is to get things going, as the act of starting is usually the most difficult decision. Take a small basket, box or trash bag to house a small pile of clutter temporarily and start working with that. This way, you will be dealing with a small and finite amount of clutter that is contained. This makes it much easier to focus and process without being overwhelmed by a mountain of clutter.
Take an objective look at your things
We have all gone through that process of holding on to clutter because, in our words, “it cost a fortune” or “it is sentimental to me”. However, what this causes is that the clutter begins to burden us with their presence. Thus, it helps if you take a practical and objective look at your possessions. Think about how you are, or how you are not, using them. Have a list of questions for each item you own. Ask yourself questions like if you have used it in the past year, are you making good use out of it right now, or are you saving the for some time in the future. More importantly, ask yourself if the item adds value to your life and your space. If it doesn’t, then it shouldn’t have a place in your home.
Declutter in small sessions
Decluttering your house in one day is a surefire way to turn it into a stress-fest. It takes up a lot of energy, effort and concentration if you do it in one shot. The process of decluttering requires you to sort and identify through a myriad of items and require you to make decisions on what to do you’re your things constantly. So, you need to regularly devote some time to declutter your space so things don’t pile up and get too out of hand. For example, you can set up a weekly schedule to declutter small areas of your home. Or you can even set aside five minutes of your day to tidy up a certain space in your home. Cleaning up the clutter in small sessions will save you from long and exhausting decluttering sessions in the future.
There is no perfect time to declutter
We all have the tendency to wait to do something until the time is right. We think that when the situation is in place, it will make everything a much smoother process. However, in reality, there is no perfect time to declutter. Decluttering is all about learning how to keep things organized and under control: it’s a constant process. As they say, there is no time like the present, so don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!