According to professional organizer Regina Lark, the average American owns 300,000 items — so much stuff that it’s spilling out of our homes entirely.
Whether you have a lot or a little, most organizers agree that there’s no “right” number of items to own.
“We all have different standards for what is too much,” writes interior designer and life coach Tisha Morris in her book Clutter Intervention. “What may seem cluttered to me may feel like a cozy haven to you. What may seem cold and stark to one person may feel liberating to another.”
The important thing is to make sure your belongings meet your needs and make you happy — and that you’re not saving space for those that don’t.
If you’re ready to embrace a bit of minimalism, here are a few tips to help you get started on auditing your belongings.
See Your Home Like a Guest
We can get so accustomed to our homes and belongings that we stop truly seeing them. Next time you return home, scan your space as if you’re seeing it for the first time. What do you notice? Are certain areas more crowded or cluttered than others? Are there things you could put away or remove entirely?
Designate a Place for Everything
You wouldn’t put a spatula in the bathroom. Apply the same philosophy to shoes, clothes, mail, loose change, and anything else that tends to pile up where it doesn’t belong.
Follow the “30-Second” Rule
According to Sandra Felton, the founder of Messies Anonymous, “if it takes 30 seconds or less to do a job, do it immediately.” This includes things like hanging up clothes, putting away shoes, or loading dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Making a habit of putting things away immediately will save you lots of time in the long run.
Store Items Temporarily
This technique allows you to see what you actually use, and it works especially well for decluttering kitchens and closets. Stow kitchen supplies and closet items in a closed box. Remove each item from the box when you need it and return it to its original home after use. After a few months, you know that what’s left in the box, you don’t use.
Practice One In, One Out
For each new item you bring into your home, select one item you already own to give away or recycle. If the thought of getting rid of something gives you pause, consider whether you really need that new item after all.
Need more minimalism? Book your nature break today.