10 Best Tips for Decluttering to Eliminate Your Stress

Are you a bit of a clutter bug and are searching for the best tips for eliminating the stress and anxiety associated with clutter? Then, we got you covered. After someone asked Reddit for the best decluttering tips, these are the top-voted responses.  

1.  Gifts and Sentimental Items Have Served Their Purpose

minimalist gifts
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One Redditor noted that Marie Kondo gave some great advice about gifts and sentimental items. If you have enjoyed them, gifts and sentimental things have served their purpose so let them go. The following person shared that they were severe pack rats and struggled to create this new habit. However, this was very helpful for them. 

2.  Space Is Money, and Donating Costs Nothing

woman decluttering items.
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Another informed the thread that space is money, and the longer you hold on to things, the more room they take up and the more expensive it becomes to occupy that space. A second user added peace of mind is worth a lot as well. They continued that if it isn’t bringing you immediate joy or usefulness, toss it or donate it.

3.  Have a Friend Help You

friends helping each other declutter.
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One individual explained how they have a friend come over and begin decluttering for them. This practice makes you prioritize what is important to you and what is not. 

Another admitted that they do the same thing for their friend and are ruthless with cleaning. Hence, the friend has to evaluate what they need to keep versus what they want to keep.

4.  Take a Picture It Will Last Longer

woman taking pictures
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Someone suggested taking pictures of things with sentimental value that are being used or taking up space. The photo will help eliminate the item and still hold onto the memory. Another person commented they have issues with “I might need it later” but admitted that clutter causes them stress, and this tip has helped tremendously.

5.  If It Cost Less Than $20 to Replace, Replace It

woman shopping.
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Many in the thread agreed that if an item costs less than $20 to replace or hasn’t been used in a long time, they get rid of it. They continued to consider how probable you are to use the item in the near future. If the probability is low, the unused item gets tossed. They confessed how rarely they return to use those “just in case” items.

6.  Take It One Step at a Time

Positive Affirmations
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Several others agreed to focus on decluttering one area at a time. However, taking on too much at once can be overwhelming and defeat the purpose of what you are trying to accomplish. 

Some said they used Marie Kondo as an example. The way she lays everything out on a bed and then organizes your items into piles; “must have” and “can go.”

7.  Only Touch Things Once

How To Make Minimalism Work For You.
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A few others determined a great rule of thumb is only to touch an item once. Meaning don’t just move items from one pile to another. Instead, pick up the item and assess its usefulness or lack thereof, then decide what is to be done with it (trash, donation, back where it belongs, etc.). 

They gave an example when going through your mail, don’t move a pile from one surface to another to attend to later; sort it and discard it right then and there.

8. You Must First Declutter Your Mind

minimalism woman relaxing.
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Someone noted how they first declutter their mind by asking themselves a few short questions. For example, what was life like before this item? If someone gifted it to me, would I keep it? The last question was, does this suit the real or the fantasy me? 

9.  You Can’t Always Get What You Want

forgetful frustrated woman.
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Another stated they whisper to themselves, “You can’t always get what you want” because even though it may be pretty or fit the aesthetics of your space so well, you don’t have room or time for everything you see. However, they continued how much fun they have while virtual shopping, although none of it ever enters their home physically.

10.  Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit

View Clutter Differently.
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Finally, someone volunteered to pick the low-hanging fruit first. Take a task like downsizing your wardrobe or book collection and select the items you can part with without hesitation. 

You will learn there are more items you are willing to depart with than you know. They continued you most likely feel a sense of relief, much easier than a giant clearout mission.

We hope you enjoyed these decluttering tips for people needing to eliminate stress.

Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer. Her work has been seen on the Associated Press Wire, Blox Digital, and MSN. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.