3 basic rules to get rid of clutter |Keeping it Real

Thursday, September 24, 2015

3 basic rules to get rid of clutter

This week I decided to take a break for my usual decluttering updates to share the some of the rules I have been implementing this year to get rid of clutter. 


3 basic rules to get rid of clutter, no clutter, decluttering

The idea for this post actually came to me last Saturday, after a day-long argument with my husband about some things he wanted to bring home and that I, in the sake of not adding more clutter to the one I'm trying to let go, plainly refused. They were good quality items that he got on sale for a fraction of their real value, and I still did not want them. Because I do not need them, and probably never will. Because they overlap with other things I use on a daily basis but do not see the need to replace. Because cheap and good does automatically translates into essential and I've been seriously trying to let go of all non essential items. And while I'm not perfect and my house is not by any means clutter free, I really don't want to fall back into my old pack rat habits. 

These three rules are fairly easy to implement and after a while they will come naturally to you. Following them on a daily basis will seriously reduce your clutter and make your life a lot easier. 

3 basic rules to get rid of clutter, no clutter, decluttering

Nº1 -  The Get One - Toss One Rule

Whenever you buy something new for you or your house, get rid of an older similar item. For example, if you buy a new pair of pants, you will need to let go of a pair you already own. This works well with gifts too. If someone gives you a new set of house linens, just go through your closet, select a few of the older linens and donate them. 

This way you'll be replacing items instead of adding them to the pile. It will ensure what you have at home is always in perfect condition and avoid accumulation. 

3 basic rules to get rid of clutter, no clutter, decluttering
Nº 2 - The 24 Months Test

Go through your closet, your garage, your storage room, etc and select all those items that have been in storage, untouched, for more than 24 months. If you haven't used them in that period of time, ask yourself what are the odds of ever using them again. Or even remembering that you actually have them. A span of two years encompasses several changes of seasons, enough for you to know that that you're probably never going to wear that sweater, or that that old garden hose is going to disintegrate before it sees the light of day again. 

With the exception of heirlooms, collections or mementos, all common household objects unused for over two years are potential clutter and you should evaluate your need to keep them. When in doubt, you can always try the 15 Days Experiment below and see how it goes.
 
3 basic rules to get rid of clutter, no clutter, decluttering
 Nº 3 - The 15 Days Experiment

This rule works wonders in connection with Nº 2 above. While going through your closets, take out all those items that you saved because you thought they could come to be useful some day - craft supplies, old clothes than you planned to upcycle at some point, projects that you started but never finished, etc. 

Leave each object out in the open - on top of your dresser, your craft table, your living room couch, your guest room bed...somewhere visible (do this with one object at a time, otherwise you'll just be creating a huge mess). Try to find the time to use or work with those objects. If after 15 days they sit untouched, chances are you'll never going to have the time, the motivation or the inspiration to actually use them and you should just let them go. 


These rules have been helping me all year long and hopefully will allow me to have not only a clutter free 2015 but keep clutter at bay for the rest of my life, so I'm sticking by them!

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24 comments:

  1. I like these rules a lot! I need to be better at the get one-toss one. I usually just get fed up about once a year and go on a purge of all the stuff we have accumulated over the year. But I could save myself the stress of that if I used your rules better :)

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    1. yes, I agree that it's hard. I tended to buy new things but then avoid throwing away the old ones and kept thinking "maybe I'll just use it one more time", but I'm really trying to implement these rules now!

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  2. I like your 15 day rule. I think I might have to give it a try. And the one in one out rule, I'm trying to make a one in two out rule when I can.

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    1. I like that a lot, I may need to implement it too!

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  3. Followed you from Social Media Weekly on Pinterest and decided to come on over for a visit! Love your decluttering post and look forward to many more. Following you on facebook too!

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    1. Thank you Nannette, for stopping by and for following! I'm following you too, at least on G+!

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  4. These are some great tips. Thank you for suggesting them and linking up with small victories sunday link up.

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  5. Hi! I'm making 2015 the year I declutter as well! I know it will take longer than that but so far the progress we've made has been really encouraging. We're doing a huge decluttering project in our basement together - hubby and I. My motto has been "progress, not perfection" in order to not get discouraged while we're in the middle of it! Visiting from #smallvictoriessunday.

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    1. I totally agree with you! I believe that while I'll never have a 100% clutter free house, progress is important and the first step is always the hardest!

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  6. Great tips! I've been on a decluttering mission lately and I have some things that really need to 15 day rule! Thanks for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

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    1. I love the 15 days rule, it has helped me to get rid of a lot of things I had saved to upcycle some day.

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing these awesome tips on decluttering the house.
    Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J.
    We love having you each week share with us.
    Julie

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    1. Thank you Julie, I love linking up to your party!

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  8. What great tips!! Another tip to go along with #1 is to turn all your hangers backwards (the opposite way) and then in 1 year ( or 2) anything that is still hung opposite needs to be gotten rid of!! Thanks for Sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Pinned! Hope you come back tomorrow!!

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    1. I love that one Elaine! Though my problem is not so much what hands in the hangers and more what piles up below...

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  9. Wow, love that "15 day" tip! I just finished the "Magic Art of Tidying Up" & your post definitely adds to my decluttering journey. Thank you for joining our Small Victories Sunday Linkup! :)

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    1. Did you like that book? I'll have to check it out...Thank you for stopping by!

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  10. These are such great tips!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  11. Great post Pinned and tweeted. We truly appreciate you taking the time to be a part of our party. Please stop by and party with us again. The party starts Monday at 7 pm and ends on Friday at 7 pm. Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls

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  12. I am so bad about this! I have no closet space in my tiny apartment so it tends to all pile up in the gutst bedroom! I need to go through and donate or throw away! Thank you for the inspiration and linking up with us at the Tips and Tricks Link Party! I hope to see you back tonight at this week's party!

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    1. I'm getting to the conclusion that small houses are better for decluttering than big houses. With big houses you tend to accumulate more because you always think you have enough room to store everything...anywany, thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

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