Decluttering your home has become a major theme in the past decade.
In turn, many methods have emerged for paring down the material possessions that once comprised your life and now consume it. Some, naturally, are far more effective than others. The approach that suggests talking to an item, asking if it would like to stay, may not get you very far. But if you tend to avoid confrontation, it’s about as gentle as breakups get.
By contrast, one of the best solutions to declutter your home is to clean an area by the square foot, or even the square inch. Doing so not only makes the task feel more manageable, it forces a closer examination of the area in question.
Whether it’s a desktop or a countertop, looking at a certain area by removing everything that sits upon it compels us to assess the value of each item. How you rate them will depend upon your own private value system, but we’d like to make a recommendation: Only keep the things that are valued in one of the following ways:
- It’s beautiful and/or it gives you pleasure
- It’s useful in some practical way
- It’s necessary for record-keeping
If an item doesn’t meet these criteria, either give it away or throw it away. You’re basically decluttering your house as if you were decluttering it for a move. In fact, a move is one of the rare occasions when we find ourselves motivated enough to strip down to the bare essentials. A move’s a fresh start. And who wants to lug even one more box than necessary?
If you can approach each surface, each drawer and each cupboard with this same mindset, you’ll find yourself with a lot more breathing room in no time. You’ll be surprised, once you get there, just how much all that stuff was weighing you down, figuratively and literally.