5 fun methods for efficient decluttering

clothes on hangers
CC BY 2.0 m01229

Turn it into a game to make a daunting task more manageable. You can even get your friends involved!

Figuring out where to start can be a big challenge when decluttering. Maybe you know it needs to be done, but the task appears so daunting that you never really get started. James Wallman, author of Stuffocation: Why We’ve Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever, offers some practical solutions that make the task easier to manage. Here are his top five favourite methods for getting rid of material possessions, all of which are best to play with friends for better accountability and support.

1. The ‘Did You Miss It?’ Game

This game is best played with your partner or someone who lives in your space. One person hides something, and if the other person doesn’t find it within a specific amount of time, i.e. a week or a month, it means you don’t really need it and you can get rid of it.

2. The ‘Everything in a Box’ Method

This is the method originally used by Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists blog. It takes a lot of upfront effort, but can help greatly to determine what’s necessary and what’s superfluous. Pack up all your belongings into boxes, as if you were going to move. Take out anything you need, whenever you need it. At the end of a month, keep what you’ve taken out but get rid of the rest because it’s not necessary. Wallman suggests hanging on to the boxes for another month, just to make sure there isn’t anything that’s been overlooked.

3. The Pick-a-Number Challenge

Choose a number. It could be Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge, or Courtney Carver’s method for reducing a wardrobe to 33 items. You could choose to limit all your belongings, or just a closet, a garage, or kitchen cupboard. Whatever it is, work toward reducing the number of items down to the number you’ve chosen.

4. The Reverse-Hanger Method

This one is fun. Make sure all the clothes in your closet are hung with the hangers facing the same direction. Whenever you wear something, put it back with the hanger turned around. At the end of a month, see which items are still facing the original direction; that will reveal how much of your wardrobe you use. Purge those items, since they’re clearly not an integral part of your wardrobe.

5. The Month of Minimalism Game

Get rid of as many things as the corresponding number on the calendar – one item on the 1st, two on the 2nd, etc. It gets tougher as the numbers grow larger, which is why it’s helpful to have a friend doing the same challenge.

Have you tried any of these methods? Please share your ideas about efficient decluttering in the comments below.

Tags: Cleaning | Clothing | Less Is More | Living With Less

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