Sometimes it feels like we’re just in a never-ending cycle of crap piling up, doing a major decluttering of the house, and then the crap gradually piling up again.
Well, I don’t like it!
Moving from our house into an apartment has been a very eye-opening experience for me. Anyone who came to our house could see that it was never super cluttered or full. But when we moved, we got rid of SO much stuff. My in-laws came over and hauled away a few trailers full of stuff!
Now that we’re in an apartment with so little space, I’m noticing each tiny thing that makes its way in.
When we move again, I don’t want to do another major decluttering session, I want to keep things decluttered.
How to Never Declutter Again
The last time you decluttered, what did you get rid of? Was it clothing, toys, kitchen stuff, papers, or something else?
Where did all of that stuff come from? At some point you let it into your house.
To never declutter again, it’s important to analyze what you’re always getting rid of and how it got in your house.
- If your closet is bursting, are you buying clothes you don’t need or hanging onto clothes you never wear?
- If you’re overrun with papers, are they important and you just don’t have a good filing system, or are they not making it to the trash and so they start to pile up.
- Are you accepting hand-me-downs and then not sorting through them right away or accepting things you don’t need?
Follow the Rules
I really like the “one in, one out” rule. Every time you bring something home, something else needs to leave. You’ll never have to declutter again if you strictly follow this rule.
Over the weekend we went shopping for work clothes for Austin. I was a little worried about buying a bunch of clothes and filling up our closet, but then I realized that I just needed to follow the rule. He had some other clothes that were too big and some shoes he wasn’t wearing, so we brought a few new things home and the other stuff went out to car immediately so that we can get rid of it.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be “I bought a shirt so now I need to get rid of a shirt” because what if you really need more shirts? But if you bring something home, I’m sure there is something in the house not being used that can leave.
I think this rule would work really well to keep kids toys and clothing from getting out of hand as well.
Following the “one in, one out” rule will keep stuff from piling up which caused the need for decluttering in the first place.
Create a Plan
It’s good to have a plan to keep things from piling up.
I like to open mail by the trash so that I can toss what we don’t need. Every important piece of mail then gets put where it needs to go (like my home binder so I can pay bills or into the filing cabinet).
I also like to keep a crate either in the house or in the car of things to get rid of. If I stumble across something we’re not using or I have something to get rid of because of the “one in, one out” rule, I know right where to put it. Then once the crate fills up I can drop it off at a donation center, sell what’s in it, or give it to someone.
When there’s something we don’t need, I don’t want to leave it where it’s at, I want to get it out immediately. Putting it in the crate means that it’s gone.
You could also set “space limits” for yourself:
- Only keep 20 hangers in your closet. If you run out of hangers, you have to get rid of something.
- Get a small bookcase for books. If your books don’t all fit in the bookcase then some of them have to go.
- Have a toy cabinet. If the toys don’t all fit in the cabinet, then a few need to be donated.
You get the idea.
Having these kinds of plans and systems can keep things from piling up and causing you to get overwhelmed with clutter.
⇒ What kind of clutter builds up the most at your house? How do you try to deal with it?
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