Decluttering is a lifetime journey. I know we all want to hear that once it is done, thats it – you are a minimalist (or you have a tidy home that works for you) and it will stay that way for the rest of your life.
Now while that simply isn’t the case, there are a few things that you can to, to ensure your decluttering lasts long term.
Restricting your ongoing purchases.
We all have different wants and needs, and we need to work out a balance that works for us when it comes to new items coming into our home. For me personally, I live by a 30-day rule, inspired by Katharine from Going Zero Waste. Essentially, if I want to buy an item (aside from food), I must wait 30 days to purchase it. During those 30 days, I spend time deciding if I really want and need the item, and I try to use items that I already own, to see if I can use those instead. This has saved me from so many purchases.
Thinking about your “2 years from now” self.
Sometimes, simply deciding if you want or need the item isn’t enough. For me, sometimes, I imagine myself, decluttering my home in 2 years time. Will I be disappointed with this purchase? Will I declutter it from my home regretting wasting my money, for something I used once or twice? Sometimes, it takes me back to my original declutter, and I am able to stop myself from making that purchase.
Have a “1 in, 2 out” rule.
I would suggest something like this for clothing, books, movies, etc. It allows us to compare the new item, with something that may, or may not have already given us value. It puts a potential value on the new item that is often more tangible and allows us to make better decisions.
Have a no buy challenge.
I know I have talked about a No buy, or a no spend challenge in recent blogs, but more specifically, in this situation, it allows us to prevent decision fatigue. Think of self-control as a muscle; it needs to be used, but it also needs rest and recovery time. A no buy challenge allows the blanket decision to be “NO”, allowing your self-control to breath for a moment.
These are things that have stopped me from making so many purchases, I would love to hear in the comments below what helps you keep your home decluttered! And check out my other blogs on minimalism for more tips. Check out my 30 day minimalism challenge, my learns from the challenge and some of my recent declutters.