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One of the things that gives me most peace is have a clean, simple home. When I wake up in the morning and walk through my studio apartment that has been decluttered, and has that minimalist look, and there isn’t stuff lying around, there is a calm and joy that enters my heart.

When, on the other hand, I walk out into a living room cluttered with clothes and books and extra things all over the place, it’s commotion and my mind is frenetic.

I’ve been a simplifier and a declutterer for years now (probably 7-8 years), and now that I’ve moved into my own apartment things have moved up a notch or two. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but I’ve found that you have to keep coming back to revisit your clutter every once in awhile.

Here are my top decluttering tips:

Do It in Small Bits. Set aside just 15 minutes to declutter just one section in the house, and when that section or that 15 minutes is up, celebrate your victory. Then tackle another area for 15 minutes the next day. Completing an entire closet or room can be overwhelming, and you might put it off forever. If that’s the case, just do it in baby steps.

Set Aside a Few Hours To Do It. This may seem contradictory to the above tip … and it is. It’s simply a different approach, and I always say to people, do whatever works for you. Sometimes, for me, it’s good to set aside part of a morning, or an entire Saturday morning, to clean and declutter my apartment. I do it all at once, and when I’m done, it feels amazing.

If You Are The Kind of Person With a Lot of Things, Create a “maybe” box. If you can’t bear to toss something because you might need it later, put it in the box, then close the box, label it, and put it in storage (garage, attic, closet), out of sight. Most likely, you’ll never open that box again. If that’s the case, pull it out after six months or a year, and toss it or give it away.

Papers? Toss Them, Unless It’s Important. Magazines, newspapers, bills more than a year old, notes to yourself, notes from others, old work stuff … toss them! The only exception is with tax-related stuff, which should be kept for three years, and other important documents like warranties, birth and death and marriage certificates, insurance, wills, and other important documents like that. I guess you’ll know those when you see ‘em. Otherwise, toss!!!

Celebrate When You’re Done! This is actually a universal rule in life: always celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Even if you just decluttered one drawer, that’s great. Treat yourself to something delicious. Open that drawer (or closet, or whatever), and admire its simplicity. Breathe deeply and know that you have done a good thing. Relax in your peacefulness.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Diane Corriette Subscribed to comments via email
2008-04-11 12:38:59

I actually don’t mind clutter too much. Maybe having 3 kids raises my tolerant levels a little bit! But on a Friday evening I do like to completely clear the house and have it wonderfully neat and tidy for at least that day and possibly one other.

Sometimes I find when I clear up the clutter and throw things a week or so later I need it!

If that makes me sound messy I’m really not…. I think my focus is on other things

Diane Corriette
Dominican Diaspora
http://www.dominican-diaspora.com

P.S. Please consider donating to the Dominican place of safety http://www.justgiving.com/dominicaplaceofsafety

 
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