KonMari was fun in 2019, but it’s 2020 — time for new and better decluttering tactics. If all your past attempts at eradicating clutter from your home haven’t worked, you might need to approach the task with better organization and more intensive strategies for keeping your home clean and controlled in the long term. Here are some decluttering methods worth trying this year, especially as winter turns to spring.
Decluttering strategies of the past would have you start your decluttering adventure with extreme haste, picking up objects and determining whether or not you should keep them. Though diving head-first into decluttering might give you the jumpstart you need to finally eradicate clutter from your home, it isn’t always a healthy or effective method for determining what you truly need and want to keep.
Instead, you should start by making lists of your belongings. First, you should list out each area of your home that you want to tackle during this decluttering project. Most likely, these will include places where you stash stuff you don’t often look at, like your garage, your attic and your basement, but your list might also include closets and cabinets that are overflowing with items. You should order your areas in terms of difficulty, from the easiest area to declutter to the hardest.
for each area, you should give yourself a goal. You are decluttering for a reason, and you should write that reason down to give yourself extra incentive to finish the project. Do you want the area to look or function a certain way? Are you clearing space for other storage? Are you trying to organize your belongings to transfer them to cheap storage units outside your home? Regardless of your reasons, you should jot them down.
Contrary to what Marie Kondo says, you don’t need to declutter your entire home all at once. Eradicating clutter in your home isn’t a one-time event; it takes a lifetime of effort to thwart the buildup of clutter. You should allow yourself time and space to think about your decluttering project, to avoid making rash decisions that you regret at a later date.
Looking at your list of areas to declutter, you should estimate how much time each section will take to complete. A garage jam-packed with possessions could take 40 hours to declutter, and an overflowing closet could take anywhere from two hours to 10. It depends entirely on your unique pacing and how much stuff you are trying to purge.
Once you know roughly how long you will take to tackle each area, you should set a deadline for each area. You should devote some time each week to the project. If you can, you might work on decluttering for an hour every day. Otherwise, you should try to devote at least a quarter of your weekends to decluttering. You should make decluttering a regular chore, so it doesn’t feel like a huge inconvenience and so you can get closer to your goal every week.
If you aren’t the only member of your household, you should try to rope roommates or family members into your aggressive decluttering project. Then, you can have expectations and remain accountable to one another.
However, if you are decluttering on your own, you can keep yourself accountable by setting rewards and consequences for your behavior. For instance, you might give yourself a small prize for each decluttering session, like a bowl of ice cream, and a large incentive for finishing an area completely, like a shopping trip to a favorite store. On the other hand, if you fail to participate in decluttering, you might restrict your TV usage or cut your entertainment budget for the month. You can use whatever tactics work to keep you moving forward on your project.
Finally, once you have completely decluttered each area on your list, you need to put a system in place to prevent clutter from building up once again. You might consider hiring a professional organizer, who will come into your space, give you advice and help you enact an organizational system to suit your needs. Typically, professional organizers don’t cost as much as you expect, and they can work wonders in your space in relatively little time. Even so, if you tend to be an organized person, you might be able to build your own system by visiting an organization tools store, like the Container Store.
It’s 2020, and you need to see your clutter clearly if you want any chance of getting rid of it. By honestly evaluating your cluttered spaces and devoting yourself to consistent, systematic change, you can accomplish your decluttering goals fast and enjoy a clutter-free home for the next decade — and more.