How to declutter your home and clean your mind? Three years ago, I understood the importance of less, some form of minimalism. In my world and mind, the intention is to have fewer things. And also to maintain this way of living. My goal isn’t a complete version of minimalist. That’s not me, at least yet!
Retain only the things that add value to your life.
As I live between two countries, Poland and India, it might be a bit more challenging to declutter. Yet, it is possible! Decluttering is so healing. It gives a lot of freedom and can also be fun! Check the below ideas on how to declutter and limit the number of items at your home.
MY DECLUTTERING STORY
How it all started for me? Living alone in a pretty big apartment didn’t help me. Somehow, on an automatic basis, I started to fill in all my wardrobes and cupboards. Unnecessarily. Luckily, I was aware of it, and I knew that I do not feel good about it.
I have always thought that people relocating between apartments get a great chance to declutter a lot and pretty fast. So I used my chance: my relocation to India and the need to build a new “nest” as I was pregnant. I started with our home in Poland. I was there alone, so I could maximize any of my free time to revise and remove things that aren’t necessary. At least the first round!
Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things, so we can make room for life’s most important things, which actually aren’t things at all.
That’s when I invented my own rule: 3 in 1. In Q1 of 2019, I removed from home 3 things in 1 day, each day. I have started it in Poland and continued in India, where I shifted on 8th March. I wrote about it in one of my first blog posts, New Year Resolution or Christmas Preparation: The Art of Removing What is Unnecessary.
MY SHIFT TO INDIA
Was our house in Poland pretty empty when I was leaving for India? Of course not. It was just the beginning, of decluttering and also changing my mindset. Across the past three years, I managed to remove the excess in our houses. Now I am focused on cutting it further down and limiting to what is useful or adds value.
Like most of us, I am in constant need of new motivation. Recently, I found two. The first one was my sister’s lifestyle. I visited her recently, 1.5 months ago. The second one was the Netflix documentary The Minimalists, Less is Now. Watch it if you haven’t yet. Most of the quotes in this article are from this movie. One last reflection before we move on. Did you know that, on average, an American household stores 300 000 items? Scary, right?
HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME AND CLEAN YOUR MIND
the SHOPPING CART
Let’s start with “adding more” first. It is one of the recent suggestions I read. If you are doing any online shopping and it is nothing urgent (I mean, really urgent :-)), keep it in your shopping cart for a week. After a week, return to your shopping cart and revise what is needed. Giving yourself a bit of time might help with impulsive shopping needs.
Stuff is contributing to our discontent in so many different ways because it is taking the place of the things that actually do give us more happiness.
When I was younger, I used to say with my best friends one funny thing during shopping. If we decided not to buy something and it was on our mind overnight, then that “calling” meant = “buy me”! 😀 Let’s change it now to another rule. All it means is “let it go”. Full stop.
1 IN – 2 OUT
I have been practicing this rule for a while now. And I think it is pretty easy to apply. It helps in dealing with your new shopping needs and decluttering at the same time. The approach says: whenever you plan to buy something, first remove two other things at home. Make space for it and remove excess. It doesn’t need to be the same thing; it can be a similar category or a different one.
There is no need to have it all, just make the best of what you have.
It was great to read recently that also Anna Lewandowska is following the same rule. The more inspirations to declutter, the more free minds!
1 ITEM – 1 DAY (MONTHLY CHALLENGE)
Similar to what I followed back in 2019, the protagonists of The Minimalists documentary suggest 1 item a day challenge. They encourage a monthly challenge, resulting in at least 30 items away from your home. However, as you can imagine, as soon as you will start to declutter 1 thing per day, your overall result will be much bigger!
What if you removed one material possession from your life each day for a month? Just one. What would happen?
If you feel this is too little or maybe the frequency would not work for you, you could adjust this approach to match your lifestyle and actual needs. Maybe 5 or 10 things during each weekend if your weekdays are too busy with work. I loved my 3 in 1 rule, and I managed to follow it for more than a quarter!
FIRST DAY: 1, SECOND DAY: 2 (MONTHLY CHALLENGE)
Another idea coming from The Minimalists movie, I would say “one step further” approach. At the end of the documentary, they suggest finding a friend to do a monthly challenge together. This time a bit different, maybe a bit more demanding. That’s why it would be great to do it together with someone else, an extra motivation. On the first day, remove one thing. On the second day, remove two things. What happens on the 30th day? (unless it is February!) You would need to remove 30 items only that day.
As a minimalist, every possession serves a purpose or it brings me joy, and everything else is out of the way.
Just imagine. If you take this challenge on a 31 days month, you will free up your home from 496 items! Nearly 500, wow! And not only you, your friend too! Is anyone ready to do it with me?
one space at a time
Have you wondered what is my decluttering method now? It is one space at a time. In the last year, I traveled multiple times between India and Poland. Therefore, I had to find an approach that would work for me. I can’t do only 1 item a day. That would be inefficient during, for example, my shorter visit to Poland. So what I do is that I try each day to revise at least one space. Which space? It all depends on the available time that day. If I have more time, I review an entire wardrobe, else I revise a smaller box. And that’s fine too.
And we never really stop to question, “What is essential? What is necessary?” Then, “How much of the stuff is actually adding any value to my life at all?”
What is important? To be consistent and to believe in the approach you set up for yourself. For me, it works the magic now. And it is great to see my journey in decluttering to date. I know there is still plenty of work ahead of me. But I will get there, one space a time! 🙂
THE PACKING PARTY
Do you have less time, or do you like more crazy ideas? Try the third suggestion from The Minimalists documentary. The packing party! How does it sound? It is a party so it should be a lot of fun?
So, we came up with a wild idea called a packing party.
One of the two protagonists from the movie wanted to reach the minimalist stage faster, freeing up his mind. So he invited his friend home and packed all his belongings in the boxes. Just as if he was about to relocate. Each box was well described so that he was able to find the things he needed. He gave himself three weeks timeframe. Each item that wasn’t used within these three weeks was not needed by him anymore. After three weeks, he got rid of 80% of the things that remained untouched in the boxes. Wow, that’s a party to remember!
let it go
Imagine a life with more. More time, more meaningful relationships, more growth, and contribution, more contentment. A life of passion, unencumbered by the trappings of the chaotic world around you. What you are imagining is an intentional life. Not even an easy life, not a perfect one, but a simple one. And to get there, you might have to let go of some stuff that’s in the way.
What is your best decluttering tip? Share below! Sharing is caring.
Moments that matter, no matter the things.