First things first - what are you getting rid of, and why did you have it in the first place? This is a post with tips mainly aimed at those who have done some decluttering already, and are either not making headway, or are trying to maintain their decluttered state. If you are just starting out, you might want to read a couple of my earlier posts on the subject of getting starting with decluttering.
If you are constantly getting rid of stuff, but never seem to be any less cluttered, then it's probably worth taking a look at what it is you're throwing away. Keeping a box in the hall is a good way of collecting stuff to take to the charity shop, especially if it's in a really annoying place which keeps it at the top of your 'to do' list.
Once a week, or whatever works for you, take stock of all the things you've decided to lose and run through a little mental checklist:
- If you bought it, are any mistakes you made (e.g. it's a duplicate, you didn't like it when you got it home, or you realised that you bought it without thinking, and you actually just don't want it in the house) that you can avoid in the future?
- If it was a gift, could you gently let the giver know that you're decluttering? Perhaps by being clear about what kind of gifts you *actually* like to receive (sometimes this is a relief all round!).
- If it was broken or worn out, could you buy a different/better quality model next time? But before you replace it, consider whether you actually need to!
Also take into account:
- if you haven't had it long, how could you avoid buying things you don't actually want?
A tip - if you're an impulse buyer, go shopping without your credit cards, and only a little cash. If you see something you want, you have to go home and get the means of paying for it, which might make you think twice. For the more disciplined, put things you want on a list for at least a month. After that time, look at the list and assess whether you still want it.
- was it a duplicate - how could you make sure that doesn't happen again?
Another tip - inventory apps or spreadsheets are useful here - or even a list on the outside of a box or drawer of what's in there. Also, being organised (the spare batteries are always in a particular drawer) really helps.
- was it a replacement for something you've already got rid of in a previous declutter?
A warning signal that you're buying without thinking, perhaps to make yourself feel better. Is buying masking a deeper issue?
Once you understand more about the items leaving your home, you will probably find that you're more careful about what you bring in. And if you find any patterns (for example - you might find that you keep buying ridiculous and uncomfortable shoes and keep having to throw them away when you don't wear them...) then you can start to understand your buying behaviour in more depth. It can help to break cycles that you didn't know you were in.
Good luck with your decluttering efforts - and thanks to Jenny and Tammy for commenting!
thanks for reading,