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Top Ten De-clutter Tips - February

 
 

A Word from Regina...

I've been meeting with many people lately who tell me that they want to live the minimalist life. They're familiar with, and follow with interest, Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, and others, who speak and write on "minimalism." The question that's asked is "What do you have that brings you value right now?"

We heap emotional value on a wide variety of "stuff" in our lives. But does everything we own have equal value? What is an item's relative value to our life today? Do we fear not having it? And those things we may need "someday"... if we don't have them today, will something bad happen? Do we fear not having them because we face an uncertain future?

Minimalism requires asking and answering these questions about most, if not all, of your "stuff." To be minimalist, you've got to love open spaces more than filled spaces.

So if you're thinking about getting started on your minimalist life, here are a few tips to begin enjoy falling in love with your un-cluttered spaces.

 
   
Top 10 Tips: Fall in Love with Your Clear Space  
table  

1. Take time (even just 5 minutes!) at the end of the day to put away items and to make your to-do list for tomorrow. Once you have a clear countertop, keep it that way by routinely maintaining your clear area. Tomorrow will be easier to manage without having to take time to de-clutter and figure out what needs to be done.

 
man  
2. If you don't have time to deal with the mail, don't start what you can't finish. Oftentimes, we start to go through the mail then stop to prepare dinner, pick up the kids, answer the phone, etc. You can't chop tomatoes and sort the mail. Period. Before your kitchen becomes the mail center, set aside uninterrupted time to go through the mail. When dealing with your mail, open/pay your bills first as these are the most important items. Consider setting up an auto-pay online so you can skip this step completely. If you receive invitations, RSVP and write down the details on your calendar.  
notebook  
3. Pick a day this month to be "someday" or "later." We all have those tasks that we'll get to "later" and "someday," but not picking a day to do it means it will not get done. Mark your calendar and don't overbook for this day so you can take care of those tasks.  
camera  
4. Pictures. We often recommend transferring your pictures to a digital picture frame and deleting the unflattering/dark pictures that didn't come out well. For people who are not tech savvy, get some small clear bins to store your pictures. Use a timer so you don't spend five hours reminiscing.  
hangers  
5. Try the hanger experiment to help you pick what wardrobe pieces to clear out and donate. All of your clothes that require hangers should be in the reverse direction from how you normally hang them. After you wear something, put it back in the your closet facing the correct direction. After several months, you'll be able to visually identify how much of your wardrobe you wear. This could also be applied to other items in your home.  
wireless  
6. Go wireless with what you can. For those items where it is impossible to go wireless, organize the cords so they are out of the way.  
keyboard  
7. Clean up your inbox and virtually de-clutter yourself. Are you one of those people with 200+ e-mails in your inbox and don't know where to start? Immediately discard junk e-mails and set up folders for other e-mails to be stored. Delete routinely. There are several sources to help corral your virtual clutter: unroll.me, Google Inbox, and Mailstrom are great tools to help simplify your computer life.  
apples  
8. Keep like with like. Whether it is in your closet, cabinets, kitchen, drawers, etc., keeping scissors with scissors and jackets with jackets is your best bet for easily locating items in the future. Make sure items are easily visible and accessible. If they are not, invest in a storage system that allows them to be, or donate/get rid of what you do not need.  
car  
9. Teach your children or significant other how to put back items where they belong and encourage them to take five minutes a day to clean up. The process will go much faster with more hands, and this also ensures that everyone knows where to put items so they are easier to locate in the future.  
living room  
10. Physically make a clear path! De-clutter your mind by de-cluttering the floors of walkways in hallways and rooms. In addition, you will be better able to focus in your office with less stuff and "noise" going on. Less is more when it comes to de-cluttering.  

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