Do you know the 80-20 rule or ‘The Pareto Principle’ ? It is the law of the vital few where roughly 80% of the effects come from only 20%. This theory can has been applied to almost everything from mathematics to gardening to your home. Have you ever considered that you use 20% of your stuff for 80% of household tasks? If so, why are we holding on to so much stuff? What does it take to simplify your home and your life? Here is simple step-by-step guide to simplify your home by living with less. Remember, the best time to start is here and now.
Step 1 – Start Where you Are
The fist step to simplify your home and your life is to take a look around your house. Walk through each room and open drawers, look in closets and try to get an understanding of what you have and what you use. Go through each room of your house and mentally make a list of the things that you use daily and weekly. Try to see where clutter has accumulated and where living space has turned into storage space.
Step 2 – Take an Inventory
After you’ve gone through each room in your home. Start with one room, try your kitchen, put a little sticker on items that you use. Wait 30 days and do an inventory, you’ll be surprised how much stuff you don’t actually touch.
Step 3 – Make Space
The next step to simplify your home is to go through all of the unused items that haven’t been touched in the last 30 days and ask yourself the following questions for each item:
- Is it in working order?
- Does it serve a function?
- Does it work properly?
- Do I use it regularly?
- Is it a duplicate?
If the answer is yes, put it in a pile to sort through later, if the answer is no, find a proper way of donating, re-purposing or disposing of the items. Remember, decluttering only works if what is going out isn’t replaced with new stuff.
Step 4 – Let Go
If you don’t use it, lose it. Be unsparing when you go through your stuff and remember it’s better to donate than to accumulate. Make sure all of your working belonging go to a good home and not a landfill. Read the blog on Everyday Actions for a Sustainable Future. It mentions the R’s”… Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Refill, Repair, Re-gift, Recycle and most importantly repeat.
We all have our own reasons for holding on the stuff. Sometimes this process can be challenging because items are gifts, or symbolic and we feel guilty. Let go of the gilt. The problem with guilt is that instead of helping us change our behavior it keeps us in a holding pattern. Think about it analytically, if your clutter consists of other peoples stuff it could indicate you have problems with boundaries. If your holding on to unused items, it can indicate a fear or distrust in the future, so gracefully and gently let it go. If it is helpful, call a friend and ask for help, they can give you some perspective and generally make the process way more fun.
Less is the New More
Simplifying your home is a series of small actions that can transforms your life. I found there is much more beauty in letting things go. In the end, when you have less, you have less to worry about, less decision fatigue, less everyday choice. This frees up more time, more energy and more space to focus on what matters. So what matters most to you? Is it family, quality time at home with loved ones? Is it the ability to travel and explore new places?
Did you enjoy this step-by-step guide to simplify your home? Do you have some good tips and trips that have helped simplify your home and your life, please share in the comments below. If you looking for more inspiration, you can find my Pinterest board on Minimalism. Lastly, if you are interested in further reading check out the blog on Simplifying your Life.
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