This one simple thing changed my decluttering journey

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Recently, I have been pursuing an ongoing decluttering journey. Many of us have heard about the benefits of minimalism or, at the very least, watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix special. We’ve learned that items should spark joy, not take up space. Our possessions should be intentional not disarranged dust gathering junk. It is freeing to get rid of possessions that no longer serve a purpose in our lives or stop bringing us happiness. Nevertheless, during my own decluttering process, I have struggled to find a way to manage daily clutter (especially during busy days).

Every morning, I found myself leaving files and knick-knacks on my desk. A novel I was reading, three black pens, a journal, miscellaneous papers, my checkbook. A t-shirt that needed to be donated, an old photograph I dug up for reference, dog toys. These are things that I would use once during the day but forget about after the items served their purpose. I have not been able to master the art of putting things away after you use them, yet. This pile of stuff would rotate between my work desk, dining table, floor, and bed. Every day I would grow irritated with my daily clutter, I would become frustrated by my things and how much time I spent moving the pile around. My joyous possessions were driving me insane.

Thankfully, I had a small bin lying around (another item that worked its way into my daily clutter rotation). This bin is 9 inches long and 9 inches wide. A perfect size for resting on my floor in a noticeable but out-of-the-way location. So began the tremendous clutter bin era and a way for me to allow clutter into my life. Now, I throw all my weekly clutter in this little bin and dedicate time to sort through my items during the weekend or free weeknight. If something in the bin does not have a place to go then it needs a new home, and things that have a home go back in their designated location.

Going through our items is not always easy and procrastinating on your bin is inevitable. However, it is crucial to remember these are your things! You have attached a meaning to them, you spent money on them, you held on to these items for memory and for reference. If these items are worth keeping, you should give them back to their original habitat in your space. If they’re not worth keeping, then get rid of them. Avoid storing garbage and junk, it will only give you a headache later on.

If procrastination does get to you and finding motivation to go through your clutter bin is impossible, try making 3 piles. Put Away. Donate. Trash. Throw on some music, a great TV show, or an audiobook. Go through half of your bin, and if you feel like you can do more then get it done. If half a bin is your limit, then just leave the stuff in there for another time!

This process should not be stressful, it it simply the process of tidying up. Attack your Trash and Put Away piles. These are the easiest since they already have a job to do. Donate items can linger, unless you have an ongoing donation space already. If you continuously leave things in the bin, get rid of them. Trust me, you probably do not need them if you can’t find a space for them.

Remember, decluttering is meant to encourage freedom and organization. Take it one day at a time.

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