The essential principles of decluttering

At some point our lives become cluttered and need a clean out.

But before you think about decluttering, you should probably go back to basics and think about the essential principles of decluttering.

Ask yourself, why am I doing this? And how do I want to this?

Decluttering experts agree on a range of what they call the essential principles of decluttering.

Here are a few of those principles.

Ad. Article continues below.


Read more: How I decluttered my life and my belongings


  1. Decide what you want your space to be

Instead of cleaning little but little, author Marie Kondo writes that to tidy up with success, you should do it in one massive purge. But before you do, spend some time thinking about what you want to do with your space and why. Once you get down to the bottom of why you want to clean up your space, you’ll be more focused and ready to get in and direct the way you want your space to look.

Ad. Article continues below.


Read more: Decluttering your house can change your life


2. If it doesn’t make you ‘spark with joy’, don’t keep it

One of Marie Kondo’s principles is to only keep things that give you a “spark of joy”. Start with your clothes. Kondo suggests sorting clothes by laying them on the ground and ask yourself “does this give me a spark of joy?” If the answer is no, then donate it. If the answer is yes, well you should keep it.  This simple trick will help you select an outfit you love quicker, and you’ll relish opening your closet every day!  What about the rest of your home? While Kondo has specific processes for dealing with each area of your home, the ultimate question still remains whether something sparks joy.

Ad. Article continues below.



3. Everything needs to have a place

In her book Tidying Up, Kondo’s wisdom isn’t so much about organising. It focuses more on making a place for each of the items you are left with and love. Using your purse as an example, Kondo suggests emptying it at the end of each day and putting every item in a designated place. While it seems counterproductive to do this, the author points out that many of us forget what’s in our purses and destroy them by stuffing them full.

Ad. Article continues below.


Read more: 10 handy hints to help you declutter your home


4. Don’t fear the 12 month rule

Fellow author Maria Jackson tells us not to fear the 12-month rule of decluttering. She says if you haven’t used something in the last 12 months, you’re not likely to need it in the near future.  “I know there are a few of you who will whine that the moment you throw it away you will need it,” she says. “But chances are slim to none. So toss it.”


What do you believe are the essential principles of decluttering?