I’m a big believer in decluttering.
I believe that a clear, uncluttered house frees your mind and makes you more productive. You know where everything is and see things clearer. It will be easier to dress as your cupboards are full of things you love and you know where to find it all.
As I think a decluttering process may be useful for many of you too, I thought I share my experience with you.
My house has always been quite minimalist and I like to keep things in their place and my desk clean.
However, as I got too busy, things started to clutter. As a result even less stuff got done and I constantly felt overwhelmed.
As I needed to move house and found a smaller house, decluttering action was in order. Rather than let the movers pack everything, my family decided to do it ourselves instead. This was a great opportunity to go through everything that was in the house and to decide if it needed to move with me or exit my life.
Decluttering is not just about getting rid of stuff though, it’s also about getting all aspects of your life organised. One major online free tool I have been using to do that is Evernote. It’s a simple programme that has a lot more tools than you initially think. This book will get you started using it like a pro: Master Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Organizing Your Life with Evernote (Plus 75 Ideas for Getting Started)
Here is what I have been doing:
Decluttering my work
- Got all to-do tasks out of my mail client and either done or into Evernote. I reach inbox 0 every week.
- Organised the more than 200 drafts that were sitting in my website’s backend and getting them organised in schedules within Evernote.
- Made sure that my site has a clear navigation and that everything is stored in its correct category.
- Updated lists like my 40+bloggers community and adding an extra list from all top bloggers featured on my site (now more than 500 bloggers! Go check them out)
- Built my new computer from scratch (and not automatically copying my old computer) so I only get into my computer what I need and use.
- Stored lots of stuff in the cloud.
Decluttering my house
- Got rid of all my magazines. I flipped through each of them and everything that I felt was inspirational or useful I clipped into Evernote. (hardly anything really).
- Got rid of lots of books.
- Only kept documents that I need tangible copies off. Everything else was photographed and stored into Evernote.
- Only kept the best of the best of sentimental keepsakes.
- Got rid of lots of old archives, collages, receipts etc. Everything that I thought I may need was scanned with Evernote.
- Went through my closets and asked myself if the clothes and accessories that are in it bring me joy? Do they fit and do they make me happy or are extremely useful? If the the answer was no, the clothes were donated.
- My son is now a teenager so we got rid of lots of toys from his childhood.
- Looked at furniture, utensils etc and asked these same questions as above. Kept only the things that add joy or provide lots of value based on the KonMari method from the popular book by Marie Kondo. I got rid of quite a few storage solutions like drawer sets. Even though they could be useful for the new house as we may need the extra storage, they were ugly so no good to hang on to. If I really needed that extra storage, I could always buy something new that I would love.
The decluttering journey and how the world has changed
Decluttering is quite a journey. It’s like going back in time. As you start browsing through all your old things, it takes you back to all the schools you have been to, all courses you have taken and the assignments you did, all the countries and places you have lived in. It’s tempting to hold on to a lot of it, but it’s better to let go. Just limit yourself to a few key pieces.
I also realised that so much has changed in the world. I used to keep large folders of everything that inspired me. From fashion to interior design, to color patterns and prints. I also had lots of dictionaries and encyclopaedias on all kinds of topics. The Internet has replaced all of these.
So many of my things have left the house and only the objects that make me happy or add value were kept.
I feel light and fresh now and everything fitted into the new house with room to spare!
I will show you more about the creative storage solutions I used in my new house next week.
For now, I love to hear about your uncluttering journeys. Are you well organised or could you do with some decluttering action too?