I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “My house is always messy,” or “I just can’t seem to keep my house clean.” Maintaining order in our homes seems to be a very common problem. However, the problem might not be a mess problem or a cleaning problem.
The reality is you might have a stuff problem.
I write a blog called The Simply Organized Home so there is no doubt that I love organizing. Organizing saves my sanity every single day. However, organizing is never the first step when you want to get your home in order. You cannot organize clutter. You cannot organize excess. If your home is overflowing with stuff, there are no amount of organizers, bins, containers, baskets, dividers, or the like that will fix the problem.
Your problem is stuff. And you need to get rid of a lot of it.
Related: The True Cost of Our Stuff
It’s a hard truth that I think a lot of us don’t want to hear. So if you want to maintain order in your home, you need to first start by decluttering. And you need to be ruthless. And can I tell you a secret? I’m still in the process of decluttering my home. It’s been over a year that we’ve been ruthlessly purging different areas of our home and we still have more to go. Living a minimal lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication, consistency, and persistence.
The more I purge, the easier maintaining order in my home becomes. Because when we have less to maintain, we have less to do. And then all of a sudden we aren’t tied down to all of our stuff. We can spend our time doing the things we truly love instead of maintaining order in our homes.
If you want to maintain order in your home, I recommend starting the decluttering process today. Here are a few tips to use when purging through your house to simplify your life.
1. Start with the easy stuff first
If you are just beginning the decluttering process, don’t start with your favorite things. Maybe your an avid reader. If so, don’t start with your books. Or maybe you love interior design. If that’s the case, leave your home decor until the end. If you love fashion, don’t begin with your clothes. Start with something that’s easy for you to let go of.
Just let Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball is designed to give you a quick burst of momentum, starting with the easy stuff will give you a burst of energy to keep going to reach your decluttering goal!
2. Get rid of trash immediately
We all have trash in our house. Get it out immediately. It’s the easiest thing to let go of. Papers, broken toys, Tupperware that’s missing lids, clothes with holes in them…all of these things need to go.
3. If it doesn’t fit/work now, get rid of it
Whether it’s home decor, a book you might read, or clothing that you are holding on to thinking that you might use it one day if circumstances change, get rid of it. Every single time I’ve held on to things because they are a size smaller than I want to be, I’ve regretted it. Because every single day that item stars me in the face while I’m getting dressed and I’m reminded that I can no longer fit into that item. Free yourself from that stress and just let it go.
4. Don’t keep it “JUST IN CASE”
You don’t need to keep all those things just in case. Just in case you decide to pick up sewing. Just in case you decide to become a baker. Just in case you might want to snow ski one day. If that day arrives and you decide that it’s a good time to pick up one of these hobbies, then save up the money and treat yourself. But chances are, if they’ve been sitting there unused for a year or more, then you probably won’t ever use them. So get them out of your home and free up that space for things you will use.
5. If you haven’t used in the past 12 months, it’s probably time to go
This rule applies to items in your kitchen, desk drawers, closet, toys your child haven’t played with, and just about anything else in your home that serves a purpose. I even lump home decor into this. If you rotate your home decor and you haven’t pulled something out in the past 12 months then you probably won’t use it again. If you follow this rule, you will find yourself getting rid of piles of clothes, kitchen tools and gadgets, desk supplies, and toys.
6. Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Love
Maybe you like it, but don’t love it. If it’s not bringing you immense joy, let it go. Your home should be filled with only the things you love. I can almost guarantee you that an empty space would be a better use than filling a space with things that are just okay. When you let go of the things you don’t care for, the things you do love will start to stand out in a much more significant way.
Don’t let all of the stuff in your home keep you from maintaining order. Start by decluttering your entire home. It’s going to take time, but I promise you it will be worth it in the end!