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Many of us look at our hoard and sigh, there's no way I'll stop being a hoarder, let alone a minimalist. Decluttering can be exhausting just to even think about, but there's an easy way to get started. But there's an easy way to get started on your journey to a clutter-free life, that's by decluttering one thing a day.

Two days ago, I made a resolution. I would get rid of one item a day, for an entire year. As I write all these articles about minimalism, I found myself slacking off, often putting off getting rid of the belongings that I no longer need. It's time to be stricter on myself and get to work!

The rules are simple; you make your own!

To start decluttering one thing a day, the rules are simple.

  1. Get rid of one item each day. The size or value doesn't matter. It could be a piece of receipt or a car. The point is that you become conscious of your belongings and what you don't need.
  2. You can get rid of two items in a day, and none the next. This is not meant to limit you or tire you out.
  3. Items you put up for sale, in the trash or in the donation box count, even though they are technically still in your possession.
  4. It's okay to get rid of something you get a replacement for.

These are the specific rules for me, but you should customize them to what you are comfortable with.

Decluttering one thing a day: how to make it stick

Here are a few ways you can keep up with decluttering one thing a day. Most of these work pretty well for me and I highly recommend that you give them a go.

Decide on a timeframe

For me, it's a year. 365 days. I'm not sure if it can be done, but you shouldn't let it deter you. You should set a timeframe as a goal and get motivated to complete it. It should be long enough that it's a challenge and relative to the size of clutter, but not too long that you'll likely give up halfway.

Focus on a category

For me, it's easier to focus on a certain area or category. For example, I decided I would get rid of all but one of my mobile battery (I had six!). It was easy because I knew that I really needed one. Going through a certain category in a go lets you reflect on your preferences.

Don't limit yourself

This is why I have the rule to allow me to get rid of more than one item a day and “rest” for the next few days. If you are on a roll and just want to get rid of more things, you can! It's often necessary to have the momentum to keep this up.

Keep a journal

Find a way to remember the things you get rid of. This lets you appreciate your belongings and the value they gave you. This will help you be more conscious the next time you consume. For me, I started an Instagram account documenting each time with a small reflection about how I got it and why I'm letting it go. This really helps shapes the way you think about stuff.

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Tagged declutter minimalism