Once you’ve started to work your de-cluttering plan in round 2, it’s important to start employing some of these “round 3” concepts to help eliminate a relapse of clutter. After all, you don’t want to eliminate the progress for which you’ve worked so hard!
Be Intentional About What You Buy
Before you go shopping — yes, even to the grocery store — remind yourself of how far you’ve come on your de-cluttering journey and your commitment to keep your “stuff” in check. This might include reminding yourself of the purpose behind this journey that you clarified during round 1. Maybe it’s part of a holistic journey toward simplicity or perhaps it’s just part of preparing for a move or home renovation. Whatever your main reason, you’re making your home a more functional and peaceful place. And you don’t want to ruin that. So before you buy, consider asking yourself a few questions, like these:
1. Is this item something I’ll truly find either useful or delightful?
2. Will it add or detract from my core values and progress in decluttering my space?
3. Does it make sense for me to do what it takes to set up, care for, and/or store this item?
4. Would I be willing to come back tomorrow, or is this an impulsive decision I’ll later regret?
Determine a Place for Everything
If something has no place to go, then it has no place in your home. Period. Make sure you and the others in your home know the designated “homes” for all the things, making sure those expectations are reasonable and clear. (For instance, if you use a certain pot in your first-floor kitchen every single day, it’s probably not reasonable to store it in the attic or basement.) If you say that all shoes should be placed on a rack in an entry way, be sure there’s enough space on the rack for all family members’ shoes.
Have a Put-Away Plan
When you come into the house, where do you put your personal items and any additional things you’ve purchased or brought home from the day? Do they just spill out over the kitchen counter or the couch for the remainder of the evening? That kind of visual clutter can keep you from being able to enjoy the fruits of your de-cluttering labors. Once you begin the habit of putting things away as soon as you get in the door, you may be surprised at how simple it becomes. In addition to your re-entry habits, you can include other members of the household by creating a daily ritual: set a timer for 15 minutes and de-clutter a room together. Like your round-2 de-cluttering, you may want to have certain receptacles labelled for various rooms or floors of your home; be sure to unload those bins regularly.
As you keep up with your initial de-cluttering on a daily basis, you’ll be able to maintain an orderly space without the need for future grand scale de-cluttering projects.
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