Do you need to declutter your life but have no clue from where to begin? I was facing the exact same dilemma. I know what a messed house and workspace feels like.
I also know how angry you feel when have to throw 100 things around to find that one thing. A cluttered life feels absolutely horrible and claustrophobic. I know because I have been there.
But why is decluttering necessary? You may question what is the point of decluttering? The junk will come back anyway.
Yes, it will and guess what you’ll clean it again.
A cluttered space reflects your state of mind. You cannot think clearly when you have clutter around you. It affects your motivation, focus and productivity; your ability to live freely.
In this post I will share 35 ways you can get rid of all junk from your life and feel a little free.
Hopefully this post will inspire you enough to begin decluttering your life and I promise you once remove all that junk you will find your peace again.
Make a declutter plan
If you have a massive list of things or areas you would like to clean I really suggest you make a plan on how to go about it, otherwise the process could be over-whelming.
Also have a mental frame of mind to clean all your junk at one go. Trust me, if you don’t do this you will procrastinate.
- Make a check-list of all areas/thing you want to declutter
- Choose a time-frame to complete the cleaning process. Some complete it within a day or two while other may spread their cleaning ritual spanning few weeks.
- Divide your house and each room into sections before starting to clean.
- Start with small spaces and sections like your bedroom or washroom cabinets.
- If possible, label your cabinets and arrange things alphabetically it’s totally worth the effort.
- Approach each section as if you are cleaning it for the first time. Throw away all things you don’t need or haven’t used for a year atleast.
Don’t start with your wardrobe
This perhaps goes against conventional norms, but our wardrobe is the first place which comes to mind when we think of decluttering but often the process is so lengthy and tiring we don’t have the will to go through another cleaning chore.
It also leads to a bit of procrastination and we conveniently delay ourselves from cleaning other areas of our habitat.
When to Clean Wardrobe/Closets
I have found if I keep wardrobe cleaning schedule somewhere in the middle, of cleaning my cabinets and dressing table I work with more energy.
I usually toss away anything I haven’t worn in at least 2 years. I can’t tell you how many clothes I kept around for years together hoping those would fit me when I lose weight. Ha! We all have been there.
I won’t lie my wardrobe is not always super organised but yes I make an effort now to keep it fairly organised by buying less stuff and arranging it once in six or seven months or specifically before summer and winter.
I had mentioned the batching technique in my time-strategies post. Read it here.
For arranging my wardrobe I use this technique, where you complete similar activities from start to finish, I find it ideal when I am in a cleaning spree of my personal space. Just cleaning bedroom, my work-desk, personal desk, all storage areas, everything at one go! Simply glorious!
Do try it and do let me know if you felt as light as a feather?
The Konmari Method
When talking about decluttering, how can I not talk about the Konmari Method?
This effective method of decluttering has been invented by Marie Kondo, a professional tidying expert. Her bestselling book ‘”The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has inspired people to completely declutter their lives.
Marie Kondo claims if you once use the Konmari Method you will be sorted for life. She talks about a minimalistic organisation system which is so effective that you will never face the issue of clutter again.
As per this system you should keep things that spark joy, if not toss it aside. She also suggests you visualise your ideal life and tidy up your space category wise and not location wise. So you start with clothes and move on to books and tehn to sentimental items and so on.
I have followed this method, but not to a ‘T’, for example I start with small areas first then move on to my wardrobe. But yes the number of items I have discarded is astounding, especially my stationery items.
Organise your work-desk
An organised work space is a sign of an organised mind.
A clear desk cleaned of all bits of paper, used note books and other stationery items makes you feel more motivated, focused and productive.
I have a bad habit of keeping, stationery items like sticky notes or pretty colouring pens, as a sort of memento. Weird much?
But this year I convinced myself to throw all and every item that has served its purpose. Needless to say I was hugely inspired by ‘Konmari Method’
Sort out your mail
Do you regularly check and clean your personal and professional email inbox.
I am not very sorted in this area. I do make an effort from time to time to organise my mails but this spring I finally did it!
I cancelled over 30 blog subscriptions, I had signed up when I started blogging.
I don’t check nor read those mails anymore. It makes no sense to have a cluttered inbox.
I remember as a newbie blogger, I was so eager to soak all information that I went on a serious signing up spree.
Free-email courses, e-books, and worksheets you name it and I had all of that in my inbox. When I reflect now most of those things don’t really provide any value anymore.
Similarly there are countless of saved mails and drafts which again I don’t need any longer.
If you identify with this, simply delete all stuff needlessly piling up your inbox.
Declutter phone and computer
Our phone has so much junk in form of long–forgotten images, rarely-used apps and messages, most of which we don’t even read.
Clear your phones at least one a month to save some storage space and pump up that battery power.
Similarly use labeling system for your computer. Clear all that junk from your desktop and move your stuff to designated folders. Create a system that works for you.
Clean your handbag
This is one area where I think most of us lag behind.
Handbag cleaning is annoying and I understand if you have been pushing this task.
A lady’s handbag is like the best companion, holder of secrets and all that but it still needs cleaning. So just do it.
Think of it as an insignificant chore that needs to done asap.
The Konmari Method suggests we clean our handbags every single day.
I understand if that’s not possible always but cleaning it once a month is doable.
Sort your accessories
There are items in your make-up and accessories like shoes, junk jewellery, handbags you don’t use anymore probably these are old and you have outgrown these.
Discard all such items because in your heart you know you have outgrown those things and will never use them.
If these are in a good state you can think about reselling these. E-bay and Amazon are good options. After all everyone could use some few extra bucks.
Discard expired cosmetic products
This is also a general observation, but I have seen people not throwing away expired cosmetics products even after those are well beyond the expiry date.
I understand this sentiment with stuff like shoes or scarves but using expired cosmetic products can harm the skin.
Once a friend of mine told me apparently you can use cosmetic product beyond the expiry date too since it’s a sale strategy to mark the self-life of a product for maximum two-three years.
While I cannot verify these claims, and sales strategy or no, if there is a specific expiry date given I will not use the product beyond that date.
Equally important is cleaning your make-up and hair-brushes regularly.
Declutter your Kitchen
If you kitchen hasn’t been sorted for a while perhaps it’s time to get on with it.
Remove all bottles, jars and cans you don’t use.
Even spices and condiments you haven’t used for a considerable time shouldn’t be in your kitchen for two reasons.
One, those items are not as fresh when you bought them and secondly, if you haven’t used these till now you’ll never ever use them.
This is one place which needs frequent cleaning, but again sometimes procrastination is our best friend.
I will be the first to admit I find cleaning my refrigerator annoying and difficult. I do everything to wriggle out of it.
But in the end, I do end up cleaning it since I cannot stand the mess.
You know what’s an awesome time to sort out your refrigerator? Now.
I am not honey-coating this one to make the task more appealing so you might as well just declutter it.
Although many people prefer to read online now most of us do have collection of old magazines and newspapers.
If you have no nostalgic attachment to these things then it’s good idea to discard these items.
Although I have to confess here I have too many old books and I don’t ever want to part with those. So I understand if you don’t want to declutter these items.
Old cassettes and CDs
We all love our CDs and cassettes remember cassettes by the way? It honestly makes me nostalgic and it’s a shame nobody uses them anymore.
Discard your CDs and cassettes if you have no sentimental value attached.
A lot of us dump unwanted stuff in the garage or store room, but slowly those spaces get overstuffed too.
Make a commitment to yourself to get rid of things you don’t need.
I mean these things already been discarded once that’s why those are in your storage area and attic. So dump all the junk permanently.
Organise important papers
Organise, label and keep a designated spot for your and important papers and documents like home deeds, tax receipts, insurance papers, bank papers etc.
The best thing you can do is to keep a digital copy of all your important documents and keep them in an external drive.
Keeping expired medicines is really dangerous. But it is also an area we overlook easily. Check your medicine cabinet and throw out all expired meds.
You can probably start to declutter from this area.
Remove those toxic people too
Toxic relationships do more harm to your self-esteem than you realise. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate or accepts you for what you are is not worth having in your life. Your mental health and peace of mind matters the most.
I know it’s not easy to cut off ties with someone just like that. You may feel it’s impossible to live without someone. Yes, it’s hard and I am no relationship expert, but you have to think about your happiness in the long-run.
Ask yourself why you need such people in your life how are they contributing to your well-being? If the answer is a resounding ‘NO’ then you should move away from such toxic people.
Can you completely declutter your life?
I think it always depends on consistency and effort. I mean you have to make an effort to keep your home and life tidy and it is a continuous process.
It’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole once you declutter your homes or office spaces. But if you don’t pay attention from time to time things will start to pile up.
Even if you can’t clean often you can clear up your work and personal space annually during spring cleaning.
I am not a minimalist, maybe I am somewhere in the middle, but even then I don’t think buying things on an impulse is a good idea. A rare splurge or two is fine but when impulsive buying increases it’s a problem.
I would say the key to maintaining the balance between space and clutter lies with us. If we stop buying random stuff, we will save money as well as the scope for clutter.
What do you think?