The right mindset to declutter

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It may be the end of May, but it isn't too late to start your spring cleaning. In fact, I consider "Spring Cleaning" to be a dirty phrase. Any time of the year is the perfect time to declutter and reorganize.

My friends know that I'm the master at getting rid of things, and know to call me if they ever need to be coached through a purging session. Now it's time for me to share my tips with you!

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How to get into the right mindset to declutter | Hello Brio minimalism tips

Oh, and here's a photo from my latest beauty and makeup purge extravaganza at work.

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In order to get started, you need to get in the right mindset to be able to get rid of things.

While sentimentality is important, there really is no reason to get sentimental over certain items that are just taking up room and are visually busy, especially if you didn't even remember you owned said thing.

Here are some quick tips to get in the right frame of mind to declutter.

  • A good general rule is if you haven't used it in a year, you won't use it next year. Be honest with yourself here. When I'm cleaning out closets and drawers, I tend to go with the 6 month rule. If I haven't used it in the past 6 months and I don't plan on using it in the next 6 months, it's just taking up space. This is a good rule to use when cleaning out closets or for other seasonal items.
  • If you didn't remember you owned it, get rid of it. So you own Monopoly and play it once every year on vacation? Great! But in digging through things, you find that you also own Metallica Monopoly and Hello Kitty Monopoly, both of which you haven't touched since you got them for Christmas years ago. Get rid of it.
  • Your stuff may be putting you in a rut. This is a little more abstract, but basically it stems from the idea that less is more. Too many choices can actually be paralyzing and can put you in a rut. If you own 20 blushes, there's a good chance you only use 1 or 2 regularly. On the other hand, less stuff can feel liberating and may encourage you to rotate through your choices.
  • Less can make you more creative. The most fun fashion and style articles I love are the ones that give you 10 completely different outfits with 10 pieces. The less you have to work with, the more creative you'll end up being. Just ask artist Phil Hansen, who had his most creative moments when he limited himself. Also, you'll probably be more inclined to do fun DIY projects if you have a need for something, in lieu of just going out and buying something new.
  • You're making room for the best. With so many products and things to buy these days, so many of us are on the constant search for the perfect fill-in-the-blank. So whether you've found the perfect item or whether you're still looking, your ultimate goal may be to have a small collection of the absolute best. While you're at it, go for multitasking items, too!
  • Remember that you can digitize, sell, recycle, or donate. One of the things I know people have a hard time with is throwing things away, and I don't blame them. Contributing to a landfill doesn't give you a very warm and fuzzy feeling. Don't forget that you can digitize a lot of sentimental things, sell items that have worth to put some cash in your pocket, donate items to those in need or give them away to friends who will enjoy your stuff more, and recycle a good chunk of the rest.

I hope these tips helped you get pumped to clean and declutter. If you have today as a work holiday, get to it!

In upcoming posts, look for tips on how to digitize your life, selling/recycling/donating, and how to tackle overwhelming reorganization and decluttering projects.

What are hurdles you face when decluttering or purging?

Cover photo by Ashim D'Silva