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3 Simple Ways to Declutter Your Home

By Cyn Meyer September 29, 2020 Lifestyle

If you look around your home, and don’t feel like a minimalist, you’re not alone. In fact, 54% of people are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have, and, sadly, a staggering 78% have no idea how to declutter.

To help you part with and par down your extraneous possessions, here are three ways to declutter your home.

Draw Start and Stop Boundaries

A powerful way to declutter your home is to turn the project into small micro-commitments. First, set boundaries for starting and stopping your decluttering project. Then make a commitment to tackle a micro-step every single day until it’s finished.

If you’re familiar with my content, I’m a preacher of this amazing formula: Micro-steps + mini-goals. It does wonders for combatting procrastination, and it’s relevant to paring down your possessions.

How It Works

Just break down your decluttering project into mini-goals made up of even smaller micro-steps and tackle them one at a time consistently. The key is to start and stop within boundaries that you set, based on either time or space.

For instance, let’s say you start with your bathroom. To set boundaries, either:

  • Set a time-based boundary (i.e., 10 am to 12 noon) or
  • Set a space-based boundary (i.e., three drawers)

Once you complete your micro-step for the day, don’t go beyond it until the next day. This will save you from overwhelming yourself with yet another unfinished project.

The Main Takeaway

Be as consistent as possible with taking your daily micro-step, and don’t stop your regular cadence until your decluttering project is all wrapped up.

Organize Using the Four-Box Method

The Four-Box Method is another straightforward way to declutter your home. You just categorize your items into, as the name suggests, four boxes. Then simply label them:

  • Trash
  • Recycle
  • Donate
  • Keep or relocate

Just like the first method, it’s important to avoid overwhelm by starting off in one area of one room.

Then go through your possessions one by one and put everything you touch into one of the four boxes. And while it may be tempting to do something with some of your belongings as you go through them, try to save that for later.

For example, if you’re working on your bedroom and find a coffee mug that’s crept onto your nightstand, don’t put it away in the kitchen just yet and, instead, place it in the “keep or relocate” box.

This keeps you on task and away from any distractions that might derail you from decluttering.

Learn How to Make Keen Keep-Or-Toss Decisions

A third effective way to declutter your home is to master your skill of making decisions on what to keep and what to toss. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but there are tried-and-true ways to hone this skill. The first is to tap into your emotional attachment to your possessions.

Joy Method

Author of the popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo, is known for her “KonMari Method” of decluttering.

Marie recommends “keeping only items that spark joy,” where you basically hold up an item and see if it sparks joy inside of you.

If it doesn’t, then thank the item for serving you and get rid of it – or give it on to someone else who can use it.


Another option to hone your keep-or-toss decision making is to base your decision on usage. Ask yourself if you’ve used something in the last 12 months. If the answer is no, it’s time to par down.

You can also ask questions to help clarify your decision:

  • Will I use it again?
  • Is it worth the space it takes up in my home to keep it?

And if you still resist letting go of items, try using a temporary holding space before making a commitment to part with them.

After a set period of time, your choice will be swayed in one of two paths:

  • If something sits in the holding box for another four (or so) months without getting used, you don’t need it.
  • If you find yourself digging into the holding box to use it, it’s probably worth keeping.

But, chances are you have tons of unused excess possessions in your home. After all, an astounding 80% of items that people keep are never used.

Clear Out Space for More Purposeful Activity in Your Life

Decluttering your home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process that you dread – if you break it down into simplified methods.

Once you’ve cleared out the much-needed space in your life, you can fill it with more intentional and purposeful activity.

Speaking of purpose, for a more purposeful life, check out this free workshop on How to Live a Purposeful Retirement Lifestyle.

Do you think there’s too much clutter in your home? Where is this most evident? Which decluttering method resonates the most with you? How will you declutter your home? Please share any tips you have, any funny story, or unfortunate advice that simply didn’t work for you.

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The Author

Founder of Second Wind Movement, Cyn Meyer offers education + coaching to help seniors transition into amazing next chapters and age successfully in place. She helps them live out active, healthy, happy "retirement" years, so they can better evade depression, loneliness, Alzheimer's and nursing home occupancy.

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