The First Step to Effective Decluttering

As I’ve talked about in a previous post, I’m a recovering hoarder. Okay, perhaps recovering is too strong a word. Let’s say that I’ve finally realized what’s wrong with me, and I’m trying to work through it. Being a hoarder is not easy, and breaking the habit of hoarding is the hardest thing to do, even more difficult than getting rid of what you already have.

To me, the first step to effective decluttering is to staunch the inbound flow of clutter, so that you can start thinking clearly about the stuff you already own and that is creating all that pressure and stress..

First things first: stop accumulating stuff!

Try the one One Month Challenge! Simply don’t buy anything except food for a month. It’s a lot harder than it looks, because there will be times when you think that you absolutely need something, and you MUST buy it! Unless it relates to your health or employability, simply put it off. Tell yourself you’ll buy it next month, when the challenge is over. Think of it as a firearms waiting period, except for stuff; chances are, you’ll realize you didn’t need it in the first place or just forget about it. In any case, it stays in the store and not in your home.

Even reducing the inward flow of things in your living space, rather than stopping it completely, can make a huge difference on your health and well-being. Being conscious of what you’re doing, of every single item that comes in your living space, will provoke thoughts. You’ll start visualizing new items after they’ve been in your house for years, untouched, useless and gathering dust. You’ll think twice and consider each purchase more carefully.

This first step to effective decluttering is simply to stop accumulating; once you’ve mastered this, you can move on to eliminating the overflow that’s already around!

Are you a hoarder, or have hoarding tendencies? What are the techniques you use to keep yourself in check? Share in the comments below!

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