Saturday, July 8, 2017

How to Declutter Like a Pro in just 5 simple steps

how to declutter in 5 steps

Firstly, meme:
clutter vs declutter meme

Secondly, this is my guide on how to declutter like a pro. Now maybe the meme above may be a bit exaggerated (oops), decluttering isn't absolutely necessary to be happy. You can still have a complete mess of a room and get shiz done if that's your thing. However, there are scientific articles out there that say decluttering can benefit you and your emotional health. An article by Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., in Psychology Today, says that clutter can have quite the psychological effect:

              "The emotional impact of the clutter further
                                  reinforces distress."

You can find hundreds of articles on the internet about benefits of decluttering (I don't want to be making a post about that because I'll just end up saying what the other blogs say). So hence I'll share how I declutter like a pro - tricks and trips and all that jazz.

Step 1: 

Evaluate what you want to declutter. 

Your entire bedroom/dorm? Living room? Kitchen? Wardrobe only? Desk/Bookshelf only? You can choose to declutter a little part of your living/work space or the entire place - it's up to you how intense you want to get. What also helps is to find a purpose. The purpose could be as simple as not wanting clutter in general, or it could be because you are trying to shift into a minimal lifestyle, it could be if you want to reconsider and renovate your room's appearance (i.e. change in aesthetic or forming of an aesthetic style), you could want to declutter your wardrobe to make space for more clothes that you actually wear, or it could even be because you are soon moving to a new location/into a dorm/etc. and can't or don't need everything you have currently. Whatever the reason, evaluate it and it'll help you decide what areas you want to declutter. 

Step 2: 

Set goals.

How intensely do you want to declutter? Do you want the clothes in your wardrobe to be reduced to half the original number or do you want to just remove a few clothes that you haven't worn for a year? My reason for decluttering was that I'm moving into University in Fall of this year (2017) and cannot take (and also don't need) most of what I own. I have/had stuff from when I was a little child (total hoarder, I know right) so I cleared away/donated whatever was of no use to me or my younger brother. Hence, my case of decluttering was extreme. You don't need to force yourself into it unless you have a deadline (e,g. If your apartment lease is ending and you want to get rid of things before you move). You can do it at your own pace, but, don't avoid it for too long because then you'll just end up neglecting it and convincing yourself that it is okay to have all those unnecessary items.

Step 3: 

Divide and conquer. 

Divide your total intended declutter area into sections - either just by area or by category (e.g. first tees, then pants and jeans and then undergarments, and so on). Depending on your space, you can choose how much to declutter every day (or you could finish in a single day if you like). If you are anything like me, you will first make a mess from the section you are trying to declutter before it looks better and less chaotic. In this case, dividing and conquering is a good method to prevent a total mess from your entire room/area because you may not want to deal with all of that on the same day and you will just put back everything and end up ignoring it or getting bored of wanting to declutter. You want to avoid that or you will never get to your "declutter goal(s)". So do one section and then do the next section when you feel like it.

Step 4: 

Ask yourself twice if you really need the item when you decide to keep it. 

Here are some questions you should ask yourself: 
  1. Is the item reaallyy thaat sentimental? 
  2. When have I used this item last and will a situation really ever arise to use it again? 
  3. Yes I've or someone else has spent money on this item, but am I going to use it?
If you end up keeping a few items that are truly sentimental, or you are convinced you will find a situation to use it/them, but they are miscellaneous items/don't fit into anywhere, get a storage box (size depending on the size and number of miscellaneous items) and try to neatly store those items. The box shouldn't add to the clutter so maybe try keeping the box simple (one color, or a simple design that goes with the rest of the room). However, try to keep the number of storage boxes minimal, or you'll end up adding to the clutter instead of removing it.
And don't get lazy! If you do, you'll just end up keeping stuff you don't need because you are too lazy to separate it and throw it away. 

Step 5: 


If you think you haven't decluttered enough, you can always come back to it when you feel like it and further declutter. Usually in my case, when I go back to the area after a few weeks or usually months, I do end up throwing away a few more items - it's kind of like getting a second opinion. Decluttering in sessions like that works best for me because each time I realize I don't need something that I kept before (because I haven't used it since the last session when I told myself I'd use it).


+ It's easier to declutter when you are trying to revamp your room to achieve a particular aesthetic as you'll end up giving away/throwing stuff that doesn't fit with the particular aesthetic (I understand everyone's not the same so this may only work for a few people).

+ At the end, if you can organize everything without it falling out of your drawers every time you open them, you have decluttered enough (unless you want to do more then gurlll do yo thang)

+ Don't forget storage boxes/storage spaces in your room! Usually, those are the places with the things you don't need (because it's likely that you haven't even looked in the storage for a long time)

+ If you can't get motivated to declutter but know you have to, one word: Pinterest.

+ If you are going to University/moving and you are decluttering your closet but feel guilty about giving away/throwing away a lot of clothes (if you are budget-conscious like me) then I would suggest you to divide your closet into three sections: clothes that you will wear once you move only, clothes that you will only wear now and later, and clothes you want to throw/give away before moving. Wear the heck out of the clothes that you will throw away before moving and you won't feel like you wasted money. If you want, also wear the second category of clothes mentioned above frequently as it might change your mind about if you want to keep the item or not.


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