Three decluttering methods: which works for you?

When it comes to lightening your space of clutter knowing which of the many decluttering methods suits you best can help you make progress.

You might think that all decluttering methods are the same. But the truth is when decluttering, just like getting organized, you should consider your preferences. You should think about what feels good for you. And then get started in doing it. I have my preference for how I like to attack decluttering for myself. And I have a few recommendations I share with clients, who are decluttering on their own and don’t want to spin wheels in the process.

Three decluttering methods: which works for you?

1. Marie Kondo’s “spark joy”

By now you have probably heard of how Marie Kondo lets go of clutter. Simply put, she asks if each item sparks joy. Most organizers and minimalists tend to agree with the premise of this method. But they might use a different phraseology. For instance, when clients are struggling to let go I suggest thinking about whether the item adds a positive or negative impact in their life. It’s another way to ask how that item makes them feel.

You reach the same conclusion whether you use the word joy, meaning, necessity, or impact. And that is to get to the truth of why you have something in the first place. If something doesn’t have enough meaning to spark some happiness or create a positive impact in some way, why are you keeping it?

2. The Move-Out Method

I adore this method and incorporate small parts of it when I help others to minimize. The premise is simple: you choose a space that desperately needs to be lightened and act as if you are moving. In doing this, you light a fire and prioritize the need to get it sorted …and ASAP.

The first thing you do is set a “move” date, even though you aren’t moving. Setting a date is the same as setting a goal and putting it somewhere you can see it. And move towards it. Once set, you can do all the necessary steps to declutter. Pick an area of the room you wish to declutter. I call this not eating the elephant whole and highly recommend you do this to avoid being overwhelmed. Then, empty it – a closet, a drawer, a bin. And do what I call a sort and discard – where you sort through every item and discard what has no meaning, purpose, or necessity.

When you get stuck you are not only asking if you like, need, or use the item. But to go along with this method you are asking, “If I were moving would I want to bring this?” Whenever you are stuck asking that question can put things into perspective.

{You can read more about all aspects of this Method here}

3. The “Quick” Declutter

Of all the decluttering methods, this is the one I suggest most. It is what I recommend to people when they are doing the decluttering on their own and need to get back on track. Or need to get motivated to start.  Instead of scheduling multiple hour-long sessions to declutter, to start, you schedule 20-minute microbursts. And in that time gather anything that is clutter – things that are broken, worn, or are easily identified as unnecessary or meaningless. You can even turn it into a game. See if you can declutter more than 20 items in 20 minutes.

I recommend you schedule 2-5 microbursts a week. Then select a space that needs purging like a bathroom, a linen closet, your office closet, a junk drawer, or your car. Grab a trash bag and a box for donations. And when you start your declutter look for things that you know go in one of those two categories.

The goal of this minimizing microburst session is to rid your space of the obvious clutter. Do not focus on the things that give you pause – yet. When you lighten your space of that obvious clutter a few things happen. You instantly feel lighter, which can be contagious and leave you feeling you want to do more. And what is left is more manageable. And that can make it more appealing to continue the work.

Additional resources:

Here are a few resources, including books I have read and recommend, to give you additional support and motivation. {Note: these are affiliate links}

Throw out Fifty Things: Clear the clutter, find your life. by Gail Blanke

Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

You can also sign up for the Life Life Lite Newsletter for weekly tips and inspiration on living life light and simple. Or contact me if you want help minimizing and streamlining your home and life.

decluttering methods

Decluttering can sound very scary. And feel too overwhelming to do. The reality is, when you choose a method (or two) and give it a try you will find that while unappealing, it is possible.

And the lightness you experience on the other end of your clutter is yours for the taking.


Watch and learn more!👇🏼



Leave a Comment

Get In Touch

Send me an email and I will get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

fall 6 tasks