If you're reading this, you probably already know you’ve got a clutter problem. And you probably know you need to get it under control.
But how? You’ve read loads of blogs on minimalism.
You’ve tried to focus on things that “spark joy.” You’ve had yard sales and sold your junk on Facebook. You do your annual spring cleaning.
But somehow, with a family, a job, a million things to do and places to go, no matter how many times you do a purge, you just wind up with more and more stuff.
How can you de-clutter and keep that clutter under control for good? How can you finally become a minimalist?
It's all about habits. Below are 5 tips to make de-cluttering and minimalism a habit.
1. Decide what your version of minimalism looks like.
Your version of minimalism doesn’t have to look like that YouTube expert that can fit everything he owns into a backpack. If it is - that’s amazing. But probably not realistic with a home and family.
Define what minimalism looks like to you. Remember it's about decluttering and living with less so that people and experiences shine through. Write it down so you know exactly what you are trying to achieve and maintain.
2. Declare it and share it!
Once you write it down, start sharing your goals with others and declare that you are embracing minimalism. Why? Well, social psychologists have identified what they call the principle of consistency. Once you take a stand or declare something to be true, it’s human nature to be stubbornly consistent with that stand.
So the more you declare and share your minimalist journey, the more you will feel compelled to de-clutter like a minimalist.
3. Practice positive habit stacking.
Let’s face it, it’s human nature to lose motivation when we’re developing new habits. So here’s another little psychological trick. Stack the minimalist habits you are trying to develop with something you look forward to doing.
For example, do you have a favorite podcast? Make it a rule, you will only listen to that podcast while you de-clutter. If you reserve that podcast (or a book on tape, or your favorite music) only for de-cluttering, you’ll start looking forward to it. And you’re much more likely to keep moving forward.
4. Use it or lose it.
The first rule of de-cluttering you must put into practice is “use it or lose it.” That goes for everything in your home.
Don’t hold onto something “just in case.” Don’t even keep it around because someone special gave it to you. Your relationship with people is not in objects, it's in experiences and the memories. So if you don’t use it, you must lose it. Period.
5. Slow down to go fast.
Don’t try to become a minimalist in a single day. When you go too fast and too hard, you’ll burn yourself out.
Start slow with small acts of daily de-cluttering. Those small acts will add up. And you will be surprised at how fast you get, and keep, your clutter under control.
Wishing you knew exactly how and where to start?
I’ve put together a free guide: “The Three C Method To Get Your Home De-cluttered Today.”
It’s a simple, step-by-step method to help you start making minimalism a habit. Download below and get started on your journey: