Firstly, let me be clear. I am not notoriously neat. I do not clean for fun and I am certainly not considered a perfectionist, by any means. I do, however, excel at ridding my home of items we don't use or need. In fact, some would say (my husband) that I do this to a fault. It wouldn't be uncommon to hear him say: "Hey, where is that new doodad I just bought?" To which I would reply: "We already had two doodads just like that so I got rid of it." It doesn't always go over well. I think I find clutter to be rather chaotic and therefore to reduce stress I remove it. However, if you're not like me, and you tend to hold on to things for far longer than you should, I have a few tips for you to de-clutter your life.
First, Call Me
Seriously, if you're close enough, I'll come over. I get a total buzz from getting rid of stuff. I'll get your house sorted if you give me free reign. If there are going to be rules like 'I need to keep my child's baby teeth even though he's twenty-three' than forget about it. You're not ready for me.
Bring a Friend
With a friend you're less likely to give up. A friend will help you make decisions about things that have you stumped. Sometimes we think we see the value in something until a friend kindly reminds us that we don't need that old VCR.
Work in Small Bursts
Tackle a closet, or a small room, but never expect to rid your house of all the excess in just one day. Just like cleaning, it is best to spread the work out.
If you're hanging on to something because you'd just 'hate to throw away a perfectly good...' than donate it. There are many people who would benefit from your perfectly good stuff.
One in Two-Out
This might be the most important rule of all, and it happens all year long. Whenever you buy something and bring it into the house; two things must go out. For example, if you get a new shirt, dig through that closet and find two shirts that you never wear to donate.
The One Year Rule
If you haven't touched it in the course of the full year, you probably don't need it. Get rid of it.
Reward Yourself (But Not With Stuff)
It can be hard to get rid of things, or so I'm told. Allow yourself a special dinner or a movie out for all your hard work. And then come home to a nice clutter-free house.
One might consider me a little less sentimental than most because I have no problem sending my child's artwork to the recycle bin or my husband's wedding suit to the donate pile, but that's okay; I'll take solace in my uncluttered house.