Living an organized, minimalist lifestyle that's not centered around stuff is a goal for many people. After all, being organized comes with a whole host of benefits, including less stress, improved health,
The technique and principle behind this method is pretty straightforward. Essentially, when you start de-cluttering a room, you have four boxes on hand at all times: trash, donate, keep, and relocate. Every item in the room must be placed in one of the boxes, and nothing gets passed over. As soon as your donate and trash boxes are full, take them to the garbage bin or to your car so you aren't tempted to pick anything out.
Box and Banish
This method is a variation on the Four Box method, except a bit more drastic; simply gather all the clutter in a room – including items on countertops, desk surfaces and drawers – until the space is clutter free. Next, you have the option of sorting through each item and organizing the clutter into piles, as the Four Box method calls for, or simply getting rid of it all. The downside to this method is that it doesn't treat the underlying problem, while other de-cluttering methods force you to re-think your habits and routines and mindfully process each item you've accumulated. However, the benefit is that it creates instant results and may energize you to take on more de-cluttering projects, jumpstarting your efforts.
Wildly popular, the KonMari method was created by Japanese organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo. This organizing method forces you to address the root cause of your clutter through seven main steps or principles. These include:
• Organizing all at once, before things have a chance to get messy again
• Visualizing your end result in concrete terms, such as “I want to create a feeling of peace in my home.”
• Identifying why you want to live in a clutter-free way. So if you want to be able to invite friends over more often, ask yourself why that is. At the root of this questioning is the motivation you need to get organized.
• Finding out if items spark joy. This requires sorting through each item, like the Four Box method. If something doesn't spark joy when you touch it, you must throw it away or donate it.
• Organizing by category, not space. So if your shoes are located in multiple areas, for instance, you must gather them together and sort through them all at once.
• Organizing in a specific order. According to Kondo, that order is “Clothes, books, papers, and then miscellaneous items.
• Discarding everything you want to get rid of before putting any items back.
Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment
If you need to pair down your closet, try this method popularized by Oprah. Hang all your clothes with hangars in reverse order. After you wear an item, hang it up in the correct direction. After six months to a year, you'll have a clear indication of which clothes you no longer need. You can also apply this method to other areas in your home.
If you don't enjoy methodical approaches but love challenging yourself for a cause or campaign, you may want to try out some of these ideas instead:
This super simple challenge can easily be turned into a fun, friendly household competition. All you need to do is find 12 things to donate, 12 things to throw away, and 12 things that need to be returned to their proper spot. This challenge is a quick way to de-clutter and simplify your home.
Invented by minimalist Courtney Carver, Project 333 challenges people to wear only 33 items of clothing for 3 months. This challenge is a great way to learn how to live with less. Get your friends and family to participate so you can share your challenges and triumphs.
365 Less Things
Blogger Colleen Madsen came up with this easy strategy to get rid of clutter – All you have to do is give one item away every day. You'll simplify your life and enjoy the gift of giving on a daily basis. Check out Colleen's blog for more information.
Which of these approaches do you identify with the most? Do you have any other methods, strategies, or challenges that aren't on this list? We'd love to hear your thoughts – Reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know!