Decluttering: How? 15 Tips To Make It Super Easy! [Checklist]
‘I find decluttering difficult. How can I do that and get rid of my unnecessary stuff?’ In this blog article, you are going to learn how to effectively declutter. Read on for all the tips on how to decommission your home!
Why would you declutter?
Decluttering gives you incredible joy. You literally feel a weight lift off your shoulders. The power of this is in detachment: sooner or later you have to say goodbye to all your things, so why not now? Detachment from stuff is one of the most liberating things you can do.
Moreover: if you want to grab something new, you have to let go of what is already in your hands. There is simply no room for the new, fresh, beautiful things in life if you stick to the old. This has an effect literally and figuratively. Now let’s take a look at how to declutter!
The things you own, end up owning you.
– Tyler Durden
Tip 1 – Declutter a little every day via this checklist
You don’t have to do it all at once. Use the power of ‘baby steps’, also called ‘Kaizen’ , to take a step towards a minimalist life every day. Declutter one category every day via the checklist below:
- Day 1: Bags, handbags and wallets. Grab that gym bag and wallet, flip it upside down and see the unusable items, passes and trash in between. That can all go away.
- Day 2: Clothing. If you have any doubts about certain items of clothing, put them in a ‘maybe pile’ and put that pile out of your sight. If you don’t use the clothes in the next six months, they can be removed permanently.
- Day 3: Underwear. A good day to get rid of underwear that is uncomfortable or worn out.
- Day 4: Shoes. Various reasons can cause you to dispose of your shoes immediately: uncomfortable, worn out, hardly worn or just not your style.
- Day 5: Care products. You can undoubtedly get rid of an entire box of care products because you no longer use them, because they are running low or because they are years old and no longer work
- Day 6: Accessories. Everything that is broken and damaged and all pairs of which one is missing.
- Day 7: Magazines and manuals . All kinds of papers, books and newspapers scattered around the house. Most of this kind of information can also be found online nowadays.
- Day 8: Notebooks and textbooks. For notebooks, you can have them all organized ‘in the cloud’. Throw all your notebooks in a pile next to your laptop and retype them in Google Docs or Word. If you’re using Evernote, you can also take and upload photos of your notebooks. For study books applies: all information is on the internet.
- Day 9: CDs, DVDs and books. Most everyone has a gigantic closet full of CDs, DVDs and books, while most of them no longer bring you pleasure. Again, most of it is online.
- Day 10: Old or unused electronics and cables. This also applies to camcorders, microphones, webcams and photo cameras that you no longer use.
- Day 11: Receipts, bills and documents. Put them all in large folders.
- Day 12: Office supplies. If there’s one thing that makes a space look non-minimalist and uncluttered, it’s an office item. Staplers, pens, sticky notes, hole punches, paper clips … Find a solution that suits you! It often means that you get rid of a lot of things.
- Day 13: Textiles such as bedding. Get rid of what has worn out. Replace them with colorful bedding if necessary. Dull colors can easily look less tidy than colorful bedding.
- Day 14: Cleaning products. The cupboard with cleaning supplies can often also use a minimalism check.
- Day 15: The junk drawer. Everyone has at least one: a drawer with all kinds of different things. Today these drawers can be cleaned up. That often means throwing away its contents.
- Day 16: On shelves and cupboards. There are many strange things roaming around in these places that you soon get used to. Insidious!
- Day 17: Furniture. You use a lot of furniture exactly zero times, but you have gotten used to it being where it is. However, are they useless, take up space and / or are they not joyful? Then they can leave.
- Day 18: The freezer and the refrigerator. Anything that you don’t enjoy, that is unused or that is spoiling.
- Day 19: The food cupboard. Tip: Store things like nuts, seeds, rice and pasta in glass jars.
- Day 20: Kitchen cabinets. You never use a lot of crockery and sometimes tupperware can wear out. That can go.
- Day 21: Apps. Delete the apps you are not using.
- Day 22: Your computer files. Archive everything neatly by putting them in folders. And this is immediately a suitable day to make a big backup.
- Day 23: Email subscriptions. Unsubscribe from plans that no longer add value to you.
- Day 24: The car. Dashboard, trunk, vacuuming, sweeping …
- Day 25: Your mind. This is an amazing tool that deserves some rest. Read more about peace of mind here.
By the way, don’t make it a one-off activity. Use this checklist to clean up regularly.
And now let’s get to even more tips for diving in depth about decluttering …
Tip 2 – Is it increasing or decreasing my energy?
Decide for each thing: does this energy bring me down or up? If it brings you down, throw it away immediately. Use your intuition for this . How does it feel ? You would never ignore some things that don’t feel right – but put them away immediately.
With every trip to the thrift store or recycling center you will feel lighter and better!
Have zero tolerance for anything that doesn’t resonate with your soul. The more you kick out of your life that doesn’t resonate with your life, the more you will simultaneously attract things that do resonate.
Ask yourself: What little things annoy me every day? Eliminate them by finding a solution for them. Are you bothered by all the computer cables under your desk? Check with a tape measure how much you have to cover with a shelf or gutter, go to the hardware store and fix it.
Watch your gut feeling: does this bring me joy? Yes? Then put it on the ‘keep pile’. No? Put it on the ‘may away stack’.
Tip 3 – Do I use this?
Is this something I’m using … or is it taking up the proper space I need to put on something new?
Is the vibration of this object serving you? Does it make you feel real or block you?
Did you stop using it for a year? Move it on! To be precise: to use means …
- You use it literally: you do something with it.
- It gives you energy.
- It feeds you.
- It inspires you.
- It brings a positive vibration.
Tip 4 – Take the Salvation Army bag and take it around your house
- Grab your Salvation Army bag.
- Go through your …
Car glove compartment …
Your life …
- Put in everything that is in your energetic space and what takes your energy.
Don’t feel like doing everything in one go? Then do it a little bit every day: Take something out of your house every day – your soul will tell you what – and give it to someone you meet that day. And if it isn’t stuff for a day, give someone lunch.
Tip 5 – Does it serve you?
Does this stuff just keep my old story alive? Or do they actually feed my soul? If it doesn’t serve you, see if it can serve someone else.
Give away all your shoes. Except the one that is your favorite. Nothing will change.
Determine what is essential to you in your life and cut the rest out of your life. Which things really make your life better and more fun? The rest can leave the house.
What would happen if you only found your favorite clothes in your wardrobe? Imagine only surrounding yourself with your favorite things!
– From ‘Getting more fun’
Tip 6 – Is it old? Is it dead? Is it dormant energy? Grieve, let go and move on
Is something old, dead or dormant energy? All reasons not to stick with it anymore. Make room for new, awake energy!
Letting go of things is also an emotional journey. A process of mourning, letting go, liberation and inner growth.
Tip 7 – Does it take up space without adding any value to your life?
Make room for things that actually add value to your life. Clean up that stuff and make someone else happy with it. Now you have energetic space to be happy about new things and experiences that the universe can and will give you now.
The time from collecting to collecting is over. It doesn’t make your life more enjoyable, it doesn’t make the world a better place, and it doesn’t help you enrich your environment.
– Jelle Hermus
Tip 8 – Is it in your energetic space and does it take energy?
Do you feel certain objects drain your energy? Get rid of it!
Tip 9 – Also declutter your computer and smartphone
Get rid of all unnecessary apps and clean up how you organize your files. Archive them!
Tip 10 – Take pictures of what you throw away
That way you can still reminisce.
Tip 11 – Don’t let sentiments, thoughts and fear stop you: see that beautiful life!
Many people find it difficult to delete and therefore do not delete. Scrapping is also a bit scary, but only if you don’t know what life you want to achieve. So that is a pitfall, and by falling into that pitfall and holding onto your ballast, the quality of your life will decrease.
That ballast is in itself very good or beautiful, but they are superfluous in the life you are trying to shape. Jelle Hermus van Sochicken cites the example of the bread baking machine. It is a beautiful device that half of the Netherlands has in its shed. For some it is a blessing and an addition to their lives because they use it . They become happy with it. For many, the barn only takes up valuable space because it is not being used.
Don’t hold on, don’t be sentimental, and don’t reason with reason. “But it took time / money …” Sooner or later have to go anyway, and if it’s just energy increases, you can make the best now say goodbye to and now of detachment .
Disneyland is not a museum.
– Walt Disney, in favor of demolishing old attractions
Tip 12 – Stuff takes time: how much does it cost you to hold on to stuff?
It’s no exaggeration: Everything you own has an impact on your freedom . Holding unnecessary things costs you a lot. In the book ‘Steeds Leuker’ Jelle Hermus talks about the costs of sticking to his Nintendo.
That description from ‘Steeds Leuker’ was very recognizable to me because I stick to my Playstation. It brought me a lot of joy as a child, but now …
- It takes up space. A dearly paid house in the form of rent, mortgage and insurance.
- It takes time. Whenever I look for something, my redundant PlayStation gets in the way. The search therefore takes longer than necessary.
- Requires extra work. Unnecessary items should be dusted.
- It takes up mental space. Memories, feelings of impermanence, guilt and responsibility. I get them every time I see him again.
And that Playstation of mine is just one object. Many attics, closets and sheds are full of these things!
With less stuff … cleaning up is almost automatic!
Tip 13 – This is how you declutter your activities
We have already deleted stuff and now it is time to delete activities that consume unnecessary energy. You can do that as follows:
- Say no.
- Guard your limits.
- Take a good look at your activities and believe in ‘the rule of one thing’ that Jelle Hermus describes in ‘Ever Funer’: collecting Instagram followers, building robots, planting a vegetable garden, learning Japanese … Nice and nice if you want everything, but it means a lot of work with minimal results per activity. It’s just fine to see them all as hobbies , but if you really want to become ‘Instafamous’ or speak Japanese fluently, you have to choose one thing where your most hours and energy will go. Relegating everything else to a hobby and scrapping what can be deleted helps enormously. Choose 1 thing in which you want to be a superhero and send the released energy there.
- Delete things strategically and purposefully:
– Two or three friendships make you happiest. One ‘friendship’ gives you the most stress out of all your relationships.
Most of your frustration comes from one or two problems. If you let those problems disappear from your life, you are very strategic.
– In terms of work, there are only one or two activities that yield the most results. For example, leave those Facebook likes and blog articles and focus only on telephone acquisition and Instagram.
– Which activity provides the bulk of my freedom, happiness and meaning? Scrap the other activities, outsource them or see them as a simple hobby.
Tip 14 – Don’t stop at things and activities … Declutter your whole life!
Go through your house and tidy up everything you don’t need and look beyond stuff.
See everything that gets in the way of your dream life, as a clutter. Cut out the trouble and misery – make everything more fun. Ask yourself: what’s getting in the way of my happiness? Delete that.
- The stacks of stuff in your home, office or car … that’s just the start! Just look at the rest of the list …
- Attitudes, negative self-image and limiting beliefs
- Unfinished business
- Files and folders on your computer
- Energy-sucking relationships
- Critical inner dialogue
- Excess weight on your body
All that ballast is not free. It keeps you grounded. Throw it overboard to ascend to the stars. With a clean slate.
Assess everything in your life at length. Everything you come into contact with or what you own. Does the vibration serve you? Does it make you feel real or block you? Doesn’t it serve you? If you are a true ‘six-sense’ , you fully understand: it has to go!
Your messy life is like a piece of stone, from which you add pieces until what remains is a beautiful work of art.
– From the book ‘Steeds Leuker’
Anyway, while you’re getting rid of that clutter, you also have to make sure it doesn’t come back. You do that by reframing it, so that you put something in its place. You do this by asking the following questions:
- What does it do for you?
- What does it want for you?
- How does it serve you?
- What does it mean to you?
Tip 15 – Declutter your responsibilities: which ones can you cut out of your life?
Read the quote below by Igor van Kaam and be inspired to cut responsibilities out of your life where possible.
I haven’t felt stress for a few days now. That’s because I don’t have to be responsible for anything right now .
For me, responsibility means that you keep agreements and promises that you have made to people.
- A payment to a supplier.
- Answering a question.
- Respond to correspondence.
- Approaching a deadline or scheduling a consultation.
- Be on time for a workout and make sure there is coffee and tea, fruit and something to nibble.
Those responsibilities haven’t been there for a month and the effect on my body is starting to become noticeable.
I do my best to be a man of his word. In fact, I want to do more than is expected of me. When it becomes ‘compromising’ with the space I have to keep appointments, the stress comes.
Not enough days in the week. Just short of cash. Two conflicting interests, which could disappoint one of the parties in an agreement. An appointment with someone else who does not know what keeping appointments means.
At the moment I have not made any promises to anyone . And nobody is waiting for an answer from me. I’m not going over the budget for a moment. And I don’t have to please anyone. I feel liberated and I only have myself, all day in front of me and the sun, my guy and my dog to feel satisfied with. My body responds accordingly, appropriately.
I laugh more. Do crazy things again. My face relaxes. I eat when I’m hungry. And I listen to my body more easily. I sleep deeper and longer. The knot in my stomach has disappeared. New ideas are emerging in my head. And I receive one insight after another about what I would like to do and how I would like to continue to be myself. I also gain insight into what is really important to feel responsible about and what is not.
– Igor van Kaam, From Down2 to HappyU
Good luck with decluttering and finally read my article about minimalism!