Living a simplified, clutter-free life in your Bonadelle Neighborhoods’ home sounds attractive, doesn’t it? The benefits of owning fewer possessions sound appealing: less stress, less debt, less to clean and organize, more money and energy to devote towards hobbies/activities. It all sounds idyllic and heavenly until you get to the looming question… how do I even start?!

Let us help, with Declutter 101: Seven Steps to Simplicity!

  1. Start with just 5 minutes! Zen Habits recommends 18 different 5-minute decluttering tips as a perfect starting point for decluttering your life. Pick one. Start there, commit 5-minutes to it and continue on!
  2. Give away one thing each day. We all have a lot of stuff… too much stuff. Instead of tossing it in the trash, give it away. How about that pair of shoes that you’ve worn twice? Those skis that haven’t seen the slopes since ‘84? Or the case of vinyl records that are collecting dust in the attic? Slowly, but surely, giving one thing away each day will make this daunting task fly by with ease.
  3. Fill one trash bag. Turn it into a game: “how quickly can I fill this trash bag with donations?” Make it a family event and get everyone involved! This will turn the chore of decluttering into a fun exercise that gets everyone smiling.
  4. Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. Starting today, take all of the clothes in your closet and turn the hanger in the reverse direction, facing out. When hanging up a garment, put it back the correct way. After 6 months, see which pieces of clothing are on hangers facing the opposite direction. This is a great way to tell you which clothes you wear and which ones just fill your closet.
  5. The 12-12-12 Challenge. This challenge is another great way to turn a boring task into a fun family activity. The simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house.
  6. Change your perspective. You may think you’re home is clutter free, but is it really? Change things up and try to see your home through another lens. Snap a photo and see what stands out. Invite a friend with a toddler and see what they get their hands on. Invite your boss over for dinner and see what areas you clean up first.
  7. The Four-Box Method. Grab four boxes and label them like so: trash, give away, keep and relocate. Go through your room and start delegating items to each box. Place items from every room into one of the four categories. Do not pass over any item. Some projects may take an hour, while others may take days or weeks, but the technique and principles will remain the same.

It doesn’t matter how you get started – whether it’s one of these seven steps, or a variety of others – the end goal is to take your first step. Behind all of that clutter is a world of freedom and fresh air – how you remove the clutter is up to you!