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Can you get rid of 5 things today?

I’ve been working on decluttering and heading towards a more minimalist lifestyle. No, my apartment is not stark white and empty (yet) but I am looking forward to the day were my piles of items/paper are a thing of the past. *models like Vanna White the empty glass desk in front me* Just kidding, I don’t have a glass desk. I would probably run into it.

For now, I’ve made it a mission to get rid of 1 to 5 things on a weekly basis, with the goal of turning it into a daily habit. Whatever doesn’t have a place, isn’t useful, and I don’t love, it’s gone. Why? Because for me, I’m just come to a point where if it’s just going to collect dust, it doesn’t need to be in my life. I’m just tired of “Someday I’ll…” and “Maybe I can use it later for…” excuses. I just want to move on and be content with what I own at the moment.

I’ve also made it a point to limit the different “bins” that these items will go into. For example, if I had a scarf or older shirt that was still in good condition, I would hold on it so that I could:

  • offer it to a friend,
  • sell it online,
  • pile it with the other potential garage sale items,
  • donate it,
  • use it as a rag?

After a while, I would forget what I choose to do with it after all because the bins started to look the same. *shakes fist to the green blouse that I’m thinking of right now.* I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. It’s probably a reason why so many people get stressed when someone offers to “help them clean out their __.”

So how can you get started? Here’s how I did it.

  1. I made the decision to start small. I’m not going for “I own nothing!” overnight.  This is a small change. Remember, my hashtag is #moveuponestepatatime. It’s about just getting comfortable with the idea of just getting rid of one thing today. So just clean out something small like your purse, car, coffee table. At some point, we’ve all been tempted to just throw everything away. *crickets chirp* Oh, just me? Ok.
  2. Take a picture of your before and after. I’m a big fan of this. In fact, I take pictures of every process I begin. I want to see the progress and three or seven days from now, when I think this is stupid, I’m gonna see the little progress I made and tell myself, “Ok, I can do one more.”
  3. Decide what you will do with anything before hand. For me, after I had spent a little bit of time trying to sell secondary items online, I decided it wasn’t my forte and I would leave it to the pros. I’m happier with the decision to donate everything to Goodwill and let them handle the items from there. I know the items will go to better homes and the items that are too damaged will be recycled or thrown away.
  4. Make one bin or bag for the items you are getting rid off. For me, it’s just a plain bag near the door. It’s not glamorous, it’s actually ugly. But it’s motivating me to fill it up so that I can go donate it. I may just big a cute large bin to put near the door so it’s not such an eyesore.
  5. Add you task to your daily list. At first, I put it on a paper checklist. It worked. Now, it’s in my Nozbe, but you can put it on whatever task manager you have.
  6. Reward yourself! There’s nothing better than knowing there’s a small reward at the end of it all. It could be something small like, getting a donut or spending some time relaxing.

Question: What’s that one item that you’re thinking of right now? Can you get rid of five?

Writer and creator of a character called Subbie. I'm host of the Move Up Podcast, dedicated to all things that help improve your life, one step at a time. I enjoy reviewing blog tools and apps. I send a weekly newsletter with updates and tips.