Decluttering 101 – 8 Steps To Creating A Minimalist Zen Lifestyle

Decluttering 101 - 8 Steps To Creating A Minimalist Zen Lifestyle

We, humans, are easily bound and get attached to material things. Some of us are able to deal with this attachment, while some of us don’t fare as well. The latter can be more or less be referred to as hoarders, keeping all sorts of items in their homes. Although such a lifestyle is not illegal by any means, having excess and clutter in homes can be stressful to take in visually. This may sound trivial, but it has the potential to affect people mentally when they are going through a rough patch in life. In this article, we have some decluttering tips to help you stay on top of your messes.

Decluttering your home

1. Set realistic goals

As they say, fail to plan and you plan to fail. It is important that you chart out a specific plan illustrating how much you plan to declutter and how you are planning to do so. Another keyword is ‘realistic’. You have to be candid to yourself and only set goals that are achievable within the set time frame. Otherwise, you may find yourself losing motivation to accomplish your decluttering goals as they are simply impossible to achieve. A way to kickstart your decluttering plan is to map out the layout of your home and key rooms and spot you wish to clean up. Whenever you start on a spot, stick to it until you are satisfied. You may also wish to be smart about decluttering more severe areas such as the basement or storage room and leave them for another session when you actually have the energy and time to work on them, such as a long weekend.

2. Establish a sorting system

A common sorting system used by many is the “Three-Box Method”, with each box labeled as “Keep”, “Toss” and “Store”. As the names suggest, you can put away your items into the respective boxes depending on what you wish to do to them. This system is extremely effective as it helps you to visualize how much you are keeping ultimately, which aids in your decluttering. 

3. Deep decluttering

After you categorize your items into the three boxes, your next step for a thorough decluttering is to look through the boxes again to see if there’s anything that can be recycled or donated. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself whether the items you are keeping see frequent use or is something you really cannot live without. We advise disposing of your belongings in socially responsible ways and give back to the less fortunate with the material belongings that you have outgrown. A tip for hoarders is to leave the undecided items into the “toss” box first and give yourself a day’s worth of time to think about it. If you are able to function properly and complete your day without needing the item, it may signal that the particular item is not as important and necessary as you think it to be.

4. Everything off the flat surfaces

Get yourself to clear unneeded items from the tabletops, desks, shelves, and counters. These surfaces are hotspots for clutter, and it can be disgruntling to take in the sight of a messy surface. Direct the essential items you need into storage spaces such as drawers, shelves and bins that are out of sight instead.

5. Group, categorize and label items

Cultivate a habit to keep similar items together. For instance, you might want to use your top desk drawer for small stationeries, such as paper clips, staple bullets, paper pins. To further keep things organized, store these items separately in different containers or storage boxes in the drawers itself. Finally, label each of these storage containers if possible. Extend this practice to all the rooms and storage spaces in your home, from the bathroom to the kitchen. This will help you save time when you are finding a specific item in the future.

6. There’s a proper place for every item.

Another way to declutter your home space is to get yourself to examine every room and question yourself if a particular item belongs to the room. For instance, your bedroom should ideally be free of items that you do not use in the room, and not vie for your sleeping time. Yes, that means that objects of entertainment such as the laptop or storybooks should be relocated to the study or recreation room instead. By relocating these misplaced items into their proper rooms, you will realize that perhaps you may have an unusually large collection of books and should consider giving some of them away. 

7. Consider Renting or borrowing instead. 

Whenever you find yourself wanting to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. If you do not see yourself using the item frequently years down the road, you may want to consider more sustainable options such as renting from rental stores or borrowing from your neighbors or pals. This applies to all sorts of items like books, clothing, and tools. Opt for digital versions of consumption whenever possible as well, like ebooks over physical books. If ever do buy something new, donate or throw away the older item. The new item should replace the old one, and this prevents clutter from forming.

8. Keep things simple

Go easy on the decorations at home – simplicity is the new trend nowadays. To start out, perhaps lay no more than three decors on flat surfaces and keep paintings and portraits to one per room. Once you feel comfortable with this, you can be more ambitious and keep to one decor per room. Instead of using decor pieces to bring life into your home surroundings, consider playing around with the essentials such as the curtains, lighting, and sofa. Decorations should not bring stress and clutter. Incorporate the concepts of minimalist aesthetics into your home and your home can be well-decorated without the excess clutter.


Decluttering is not a one-off event, but a lifestyle that needs to be imbibed in the way you consume items and your mindset. You can declutter all you want, but if you continuously purchase more new items than you can sort out back at your home, your decluttering journey will be perpetually difficult and frustrating. Last but not least, if you happen to throw away a ton of furniture, it might be wise to call a disposal service to make clearing them easier; simply search for cheap rubbish removals Sydney to explore your options. Now that you know all these tips, all that’s left to your decluttering journey is to start on it. Best of luck!


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