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Golden Rules for Decluttering

Welcome to the first week of Tidy 21.


Sometimes in a world that seems out of control, it is good to remember that there are always things that we can control. Going through your belongings and making positive choices about what to keep is an excellent example of something that you can control. Before you start, it’s important that you look at your Visionand how you want your life to look. If you haven’t already done this, you can find a link to my post about it here.


decluttered and organised folded t-shirts in drawer
Vertical folding in drawers.

My Golden Rulesfor decluttering are:


Make Positive Choices– chose what to keep based on whether you love it and it supports the life that you want to lead.


Go for the Easy Wins First– stuff that you know that you definitely want to keep or discard. Don’t worry about the harder decisions, especially not the sentimental ones. The more practised you become at letting things go, the easier it is. By the time you get to the harder decisions, they won’t feel so hard any more.


Work in Categories– it really is the only way to see what you really have and to prevent churning. Keep Moving Forwards, even a Micro category is better than nothing. You might be going slowly, but you are going faster than you will if you don’t do anything.


Handle Everything– Often my clients look at me somewhat askance as I dive into yet another cupboard and pull the items out into the light, but I am doing nothing that I haven’t already done in my own home. The number of times someone cries, “Oh I’ve been looking for that!” is incredible.


Let Go with Gratitude- Learn your lessons; Everything you have will have taught you a lesson, so be thankful for those lessons. Perhaps the lesson is that you don’t wear short skirts any more, or that you are simply not the person who does tapestry. Thanking an item will help you to let go of it.



decluttered and organised wardrobe with shirts and folded sweaters
A Joy Sparking wardrobe.

Getting Started.

Using these rules, let’s get started with clothes. Find your very favourite items of clothing to begin with. Pick it up and give it a really good look. How does it make you feel? Pay attention to your body - I often find that clients smile when they are holding their favourite pieces.


Using this as a reference point, start to go through your clothes. Any that make you smile are definite keepers. Any that weigh you down, for whatever reason, should be released. The exception to the releasing is if you need a particular item for something that you do. For example, a uniform for work. In this second situation, you need to keep it because it supports you in something that you need or want to do. When I first started decluttering in a positive fashion, I had a few things, like my horse riding gear, that didn’t Spark Joy, but horse riding itself most definitely did. So I hung on to those clothes. Over time, I have replaced them with items that absolutely do Spark Joy.


Questions that you can ask yourself during this declutter are things such as;


Does this support the life I am trying to lead?

In my ideal life, when will I wear this?

If this was in a shop, would I buy it again?