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How to start decluttering your home – 2 actionable tips

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One of the top questions I get from readers is… How do I start decluttering my home? 

I get it, decluttering can feel overwhelming. There’s so much stuff, so many rooms, other people’s feelings, and ugh, the attic… dear God, has anyone even looked up there since ‘02??

But fear not, friends. Because today I’m sharing with you my top 2 actionable steps to get you out of stuff paralysis and into decluttering action. 

With no further ado, let’s go…

TIP 1: Start With Your Own Stuff

This is my biggest tip, especially for those of you who live with other people and their beautiful collections of Star Wars toys in tubs in the attic. (Or maybe that’s just me? Please tell me I’m not alone!) 

Here’s the thing… We often want to start decluttering by trying to convince OTHERS to get on board. We secretly blame them for the mess and believe that if we could just convince THEM to change their ways, our homes would be neat, tidy, and clutter-free forever. 

I hate to break it to ya… but that’s not how change works. 

Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” 

I say, “Be the change you wish to see in your house.” 

In other words, if you want a neat, tidy, and clutter-free home, you need to start with your own stuff. 

I know, I know… I hear you… “But Rose, unless I get my partner/kids/dog/mailman on board it will never make a difference!” 

Let me tell you a secret…. starting with your own stuff does two magical things:

  1. It sets an example for others to naturally follow. 
  2. It eliminates any trace of hypocrisy when you eventually approach others to ask for their involvement

So there you go, Step 1. Start with your own stuff, whatever you have jurisdiction over: your personal care products, your clothing, your tools in the garage, the kitchen (if you’re the cook), etc. You’d be amazed at how much stuff in the home is probably yours and what a difference it will make if you just take care of that stuff. 

Which brings us to…

TIP 2: Start Somewhere Easy

This is my second big tip, because often, when we want to start decluttering, our minds immediately go to the HARDEST possible thing for us to declutter: the photographs, the half-finished baby books for our kids who are now in their 30s, all those gifts we’ve never used, Grandma’s china. 

These items are laden with emotions, and not the good kind of emotions. They’re minefields of guilt, regret, and fear. 

Which is why I don’t recommend you start there. 

I often say…

When we’re dealing with our stuff, we’re not actually dealing with our stuff. We’re dealing with our feelings about our stuff. 

As such, don’t start where the feelings are high. 

Start somewhere easy, where you don’t feel a lot of emotional attachment. For example, when I started decluttering, I began with my towels. 

Why? Because I don’t have a lot of sentimental attachment to my towels. I don’t lovingly recall when I registered for them or have fond memories of that time in ‘09 when they oh-so-perfectly dried my hands with their plush softness. 

In other words, my towels aren’t filled with emotions, so they’re an easy place to start. 

Where would be easy for you? Some possibilities…

  • Your medicine cabinet
  • The junk drawer (or drawers, let’s be real, folks)
  • All those old mismatched paper plates and napkins 
  • The gift wrap
  • The unused paint in the garage
  • Your old makeup

The list could be endless. The only caveat is that you need to start somewhere that feels easy, meaning you aren’t emotionally attached. 

So there you go! Two simple tips to get you started on your decluttering journey today!

To getting started,

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Want to declutter your home BEFORE Thanksgiving? My LESS Method LIVE course is starting again soon! Click below to learn more and get on waiting list!

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