We always talk about decluttering and living minimally but how exactly are we supposed to maintain that way of life? Below are some simple and effective ways to help maintain your decluttered home
–Go paperless! Drastically reduce the amount of paper that comes into your home by going paperless. Most bills can be sent electronically and even provide you with a small discount for doing so. Not only does it reduce the paper in your home, but it is much more environmentally friendly.
–Follow the “one thing in, one thing out” rule. If you’re looking to purchase a new pair of shoes or a new book, consider replacing it instead of adding to the collection. Keeping this train of thought will help prevent a massive collection from taking up space in your home.
-It’s not Free if you don’t need it. People often get caught up in the sales and promotions that stores advertise, making you feel the need to rush over and buy, buy, buy. “It’s on sale so its a great deal” so “we better stock up!” But if you don’t need it, then you shouldn’t buy it. 70% off of nothing is $0, you could choose to spend nothing instead.
-Have a permanent donation box. Keep a box in your home, perhaps in the garage or laundry room where you can easily place items that you no longer need. Think clothes that your kids have grown out of, kitchen items you notice you dont use or books that you have already read. Once this box becomes full, (put it in your front seat so that you don’t forget it) and drive over to your local donation centre.
–Just say NO. Are you on the receiving end of hand-me-downs you don’t want or need? Do you have friends that insist on “gifting” you with their kids old toys? Saying No can be polite and tactful but also impactful so that you aren’t constantly the dumping ground for others. “Thank you so much for thinking of us, but we have what we need and are looking to pair down a bit as we are running out of room” is one option…Received a gift you don’t want? To be polite, accept it graciously, and if you are like me it goes in the donate pile the same day. If you prefer to have it in your home a bit longer in fear that person will know you got rid of it, use it once in front of them AND THEN donate it. After all, it is YOUR home and you can decide what goes in it. Just because someone bought something for you, doesn’t mean you have to keep it. You’re under no obligation to hang onto an object that doesn’t serve you.
–Dont let the little things add up. This rule is meant for those items that tend to add up overtime without you even noticing. Some very miscellaneous examples include;
–The kids toys at McDonalds. They are crap toys made in China that end up getting thrown out anyway. Say no to the toys, tell your kids they ran out or there are none at this store or let them know that instead of a toy they are getting the treat of take out instead.
–Fundraising t-shirts... who wears these other than the day you are actually fundraising? Say no to the pink breast cancer T-shirt (that shouldn’t be handed out anyway, think of all the money that could go towards breast cancer if they weren’t purchasing shirts).
–Pens, Magnets, Calenders & Notepads from offices. Nope, Just because I got my teeth cleaned at your dental office doesn’t mean I need a magnet or pad of paper to take home. I get so many real estate pads of paper in the mail. If I had kept every one of them over the last year I would easily have 30 pads of paper I don’t need.
–Receipts- Ok, obviously keep the receipts you need but for the smaller purchases (that are not tax deductible) refrain from keeping receipts for items like milk or a pedicure you got last week. If there is no chance of you returning that item you dont need to waste the paper or the space in your home.
–Packaging- In general for most items the packaging can be recycled immediately. Toys, small kitchen appliances, home decor, etc. For some tech gadgets the packaging needs to be kept to mail back in case of any warranty work is needed. Double check with the store you’re purchasing your tech from to ensure this is accurate. For example, with apple products you do not need to keep your box to have your warranty covered. If you do decide to keep these boxes, flatten them and store them under a bed, or in a office closet.
I hope this list gives you some ideas on how you can maintain a clutter free home!