There's no denying it — I really love stuff. In between thrifted clothing, souvenirs from trips, and secondhand books, my apartment can get pretty full very fast. What I don't love so much? The clutter that can sometimes come along with it. I've always tried to be mindful of what I keep and what I toss, but more often times than not, it's hard to part with some items even if I know I really should (I'm looking at you, sequined dress from high school). Thankfully, there are some helpful tricks I've learned recently that have proven to be useful when it comes to clearing out my space. Here's how I finally got rid of clutter.
1. Scheduling Donation Pickups
Some organizations, such as Salvation Army (depending on location), have handy donation pickup services that come right to your home to take any unwanted items. The best part? The service is not just reserved for clothing and accessories and will also pick up large items, such as furniture. Something I do to motivate me to donate more items (bigger donation = less clutter) is that I coordinate a date and time for them to come by even before I start putting aside items to donate. I usually estimate how big of a pickup I think it will be (this is measured in garbage bags and cardboard boxes), hit submit, and then get to sorting. Having a confirmed date and time that I know the items will be leaving my home helps me cut back on procrastination and forces me to get serious on what I want to let go of and what I want to keep.
2. Not Buying More Storage
Maybe this has happened to you before — you buy more clothes only to realize you don't have enough room so you run out to buy more hangers, under-the-bed storage containers, or maybe even furniture (hello, Ikea drawers). Before you know it, your room has become the equivalent of a walk-in closet and is packed to the brim. A rule I have instilled in the past few months that helps me avoid this is that I am only allowed to hold onto what can fit comfortably in my already existing storage — my closet, my dresser, and my two under-the-bed storage containers. If I want another pair of shoes but don't have the room to store them, an old pair has to be donated. This helps me accumulate less and cut back on clutter.
3. Bringing Some Emotion Into It
Marie Kondo's hit Netflix show Tidying Up inspired people to organize their lives and find exactly what items sparked joy, and I was one of them. I realized that by bringing emotion into the art of decluttering — does this piece spark joy? Does this item fit into my vision of an ideal lifestyle? — helps me realize that the more I get rid of, the more calm I feel. Now I always ask myself these simple questions whether I'm organizing my kitchen drawers or taking on my bedroom closet.