I recently read this article, "The Minimalist Effect: Three Noticeable Results From Getting Rid of Stuff". It is a very quick, short read about some of the benefits of having less clutter. What is the best way to get rid of clutter? There are different schools of thought when it comes to this.
Colleen Madsen blogs about getting rid of one thing a day on her website 365 Less Things. Over several years, she had disposed of one thing a day until her home is very uncluttered and easy to live in. This method works well for people who are busy and for people who have a hard time getting rid of stuff. When you get rid of one thing a day, you can choose the easy stuff first, where there is no attachment, and the more you do this the more you are able to get rid of the harder stuff when you get to it. She has lots of good ideas for those who are interested in doing this slowly and without a lot of effort at one time. Here are pictures of her home now that it is decluttered. They moved to a smaller place, because she found that they just didn't need a large place now that there wasn't much clutter around. It also takes Colleen hardly any time to clean her home and she has more time to do things she wants to do.
On the other hand, sometimes people like to do a major purge. They can feel the peace of getting rid of all the junk at once. Later, they probably will get rid of more along the way, but instead of dragging it out day by day for years they do it all at once. If you like this method, take everything out of the room you are working on and put back only the things you want in the room. Get rid of the rest. One thing I like about this method is that you are focusing on what you really like and want instead of whether something is useful or you might need it some day.
For those who don't like extremes, try the one drawer a day or one shelf a day. This way you are getting more done than you would if you were getting rid of one thing each day, but it still doesn't take much time and you make faster progress.
My story started one day when I was cleaning the house and realized that I was spending a lot of unnecessary time cleaning. I had to move decorations to dust, stuff on the counters to clean, etc. I realized that if I had less stuff, it would take me less time. I just wish I had realized this much earlier in my life.
There isn't much left to get rid of in our home now, and soon we will switch to the one in, one out method. By doing this, it will help us to avoid having any clutter build up again. Every time we buy something new , something else we have has to go. Of course, I am not talking about groceries, but we do try to be more careful about what comes in. We are going to focus our efforts we used to use decluttering into finding and implementing ways to live a greener lifestyle. It is so much easier to find things, easier to clean and more peaceful without extra clutter around. I find I have more time to pursue other things I enjoy. If you haven't tried getting rid of your clutter already, I would encourage you to start. You may get hooked as well!
Find the way that works best for you. The most important thing is to DO IT. I have tried all three methods at different times. I like things about each one. Now that our clutter is down to a minimum level, we could easily downsize. But, we have spent years working on our garden and I do enjoy the empty space. For now, we will stay where we are, and will wait and see what the future holds.