In the past few years, decluttering your home has become very popular. With TV shows like Hoarders that point out the potential dangers of too much consumerism, combined with the rise of minimalism, people are hopping on board with the lifestyle that favors owning less in order to reduce stress and live a more meaningful life.
There is a rise in younger generations going to extremes by getting rid of most of their possessions and putting all they own into one backpack or one van and traveling the world. Other folks are simply downsizing and choosing to save money, time, and energy.
No matter where you may fall on the spectrum, there’s no doubt that decluttering your home is very rewarding. Decluttering can help you feel emotionally lighter. Owning less allows you to focus on what really matters. Lowering the tendency for consumerism can also have significant positive impacts on the environment.
But there are different approaches to owning less.
Here, I’d like to highlight 9 modern voices in the decluttering movement. Each of these techniques has unique approaches how to decluttering your home. Try them and see what works best for you.
1. Marie Kondo: What Sparks Joy
Professional organizer Marie Kondo, introduced to the world with her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, was made a sensation by the popular Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Marie focuses on moving through your home by category (rather than room-by-room). These 5 categories include clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items.
When decluttering, Marie focuses on getting rid of items that no longer have value to her. She asks you to physically hold possession and ask yourself if it “sparks joy,” and discard it if it doesn’t (after thanking it for its service). Her KonMari method will bring you a clutter-free home that will bring more joy and prosperity to your life.
2. The Becker Method: Room-By-Room Decluttering
My rigorous decluttering method focuses on room-by-room decluttering, starting with the easiest, most lived-in areas first. When you begin this way, you’ll immediately notice the benefits of your decluttered spaces, which will motivate you to work on more difficult areas.
There are 5 main steps to my method, which is heavily goal-oriented and makes sure to include your entire family:
- Set and define your goals so you know what you’re working towards.
- Make sure to include your family in the process and let them know why you’re decluttering. Getting everyone on board is important.
- Start with the easiest, high-traffic room, and then continue to work room-by-room
- Make sure to have fun and notice the benefits. Decluttering can be fun and will affect you in a positive way!
- Finally, revisit and revise your goals; the process is ongoing and evolving.
3. Peter Walsh Method: Declutter Any Room in 5 Easy Steps
There are just 5 easy steps you need to take to declutter any room with the Peter Walsh Method. The main difference here? Remove every single thing from the room you’re working on. When doing so, make sure to arrange similar items together so it will be easier to sort through them later.
Step 1: Empty the space. Remove everything from the room! Next, declare your intention for the room and create a vision. Ask yourself, “What do I want from this room?” This will help you decide what to keep and what to get rid of in step 3. Next, take the items you’re decluttering and donate or trash them immediately. Last, return the items to your room to complete your vision. Peter Walsh uses these simple steps in every episode of his show, Enough Already! to help families get rid of overwhelming clutter.
4. Fly Lady: Do a Little Every Day
With the Fly Lady method, you declutter in short bursts and use a timer. The goal is to avoid burning yourself out since decluttering can be a mind-boggling task.
Sort your items into three categories: “Give Away,” “Throw Away,” and “Put Away.” When considering individual items, ask yourself if you love the item and if you’ve used it recently. Remove duplicate items and keep the better ones. Also, think about whether an item has sentimental value, or if it gives you guilt and causes sadness when you see it.
Fly Lady recommends moving fast when you’re in a decluttering sprint. By doing a little every day, your whole house will be decluttered in just a couple of months.
5. Colleen Madsen: Remove 1 Item a Day
Colleen Madsen’s site, 365 Less Things, debuted when she made the decision to remove one item from her home every single day. She committed to giving away, selling, or throwing away one thing each day for 1 solid year as a promise to herself via a New Years’ resolution. This journey continued for Colleen for 4 years!
Colleen urges you to start a little purging of your own. Whether you choose 1 item per day with her philosophy, or more than one to increase the speed of your decluttering, the goal is to declutter every single day—don’t overwhelm yourself.
6. The Clutterfree App: A Roadmap in the Palm of Your Hand
If you’re looking for a decluttering philosophy and roadmap in the palm of your hand, I recommend the Clutterfree App. The app is the first decluttering app to create a personalized, room-by-room to-do list for your home. It will even track your progress, unlock achievements, document donations, and allow you to compare before and after photos.
The Clutterfree App also includes motivational articles and even bonus plans (how to organize paper documents, etc) from some of the world’s top organizing experts. This robust app combines the power of technology with your desire to declutter to help you succeed in your efforts to minimize.
7. Hire Decluttering Help with NAPO
Don’t want to declutter by yourself? Enlist the help of NAPO: the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals. The organization has over 3,500 members worldwide who are dedicated to helping individuals and organizations bring order and efficiency to their lives.
NAPO guides you on how to hire the right professional for your needs, whether you need a professional organizer, a productivity consultant, or both. As you might expect, fees depend on the professional’s experience, your location, and the services you request.
If you’ve got a knack for decluttering and want to help others, you can also attend NAPO University to get training or become a Certified Professional Organizer®
8. The Minimalists Packing Party
If “Party” is in the name, it must be fun, right? Why not make your decluttering journey enjoyable? With this decluttering philosophy created by The Minimalists, the packing party invites you to put all of your possessions into boxes as if you were moving. Invite friends over to help and order pizza.
After the party, remove items from your boxes only as you actually need them. These are the things that add value to your life.
After 3 weeks, you’ll find most of your belongings are still packed away in boxes. At this point, you can donate, sell, or trash these items, and because they’re already packed, you’ll find it much easier to part with it!
9. Leo Babauta: A Comprehensive Guide for a Minimalist Home
Leo Babauta, the longtime writer at Zen Habits, offers a comprehensive guide to creating a minimalist home. There are 3 compelling benefits Leo mentions about having a more minimalist home: it’s less stressful and more calming, it’s more appealing, and it’s easier to clean.
A minimalist home will have only essential furniture, clear surfaces will prioritize quality over quantity, and will still have personal touches with accent decorations. Leo invites you to change your philosophy on possessions and aim for the ideals of a minimalist home. In his guide, he provides 16 simple tips to declutter, some of which include plain visuals, having a place for everything, and focusing on displaying only the essentials.
No matter which approach you take, you’ll quickly discover the benefits of decluttering your home. You’ll love owning less.
Need help with decluttering, contact the Blume Group here.