The Best Decluttering Exercise

feb 012 008This past week my wife and I checked out smaller homes in our town to potentially move into.  Although we ultimately decided to stay in our current home (for now), we pretended we were moving anyway and decluttered accordingly.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, we are always looking to purge unneccessary items and free up space in our home.  That said, we still found a ton of stuff to purge.

For this exercise, we pretended that we were moving to one of the homes we looked at; all of which had much less storage, which meant we had to cut things down to the essentials.  So went at a few rooms all at one, instead of just a closet or two.

Here’s how we decluttered each room, one at a time, and how you can do the same:

1. Clear a working space in the middle of the room.  Use a bed, table, or the floor.

2. Start on one side of the room and work to the other.

3. Go whole hog at one spot at a time.

4. Pull everything out of the drawer, shelf or section you chose, and pile it in the working space. Clean out the space.

5. Sort the pile into two piles: 1) what you use regularly (do you touch it at least once every 6 months? Or 2) what you’re going to get rid of. Make a pretty quick decision as soon as you touch each item.

6. When you’ve sorted through the pile, put back the stuff you love and use, neatly. Put the other pile into a box to be sold, donated, recycled or given away.

7.Move on to the next section and repeat the process until you’ve worked your way across the entire room. Do the same thing with closets: one section at a time.

It took a few hours each day to do most of the house.  It felt pretty amazing when we were done.

Any simplicity tips that you want to share?  Write a comment!

For more decluttering inspiration, check out these sites:

Miss Minimalist : You must buy her book, “The Joy Of Less”!

Be More With Less : Courtney writes an incredible blog.

365 Less Things : Great daily “mini-missions” found here.

Unclutterer : Amazing tips here.

Finally, here are some carnivals I was featured in last week:

Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at Debt Roundup
Carnival of Retirement at Master the Art of Saving
Yakezie Carnival at Debt Black Hole

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