When it comes to decluttering, there’s the before and after. The before is all about the work: sifting through piles of clothes, books, papers, and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.
But what about the after? What happens once you’ve sorted everything out and created a minimalist oasis in your home? What is life after decluttering?
After getting rid of so much stuff, you may feel a sense of relief or even liberation. But you also might be feeling sadness and overwhelm at all the possessions you let go of. You might wonder what to do next.
When I started my minimalism journey, I got rid of over 80% of my belongings. It was such a freeing process. But I made the mistake of not having a plan for what to do next. I thought decluttering would be the end-all-be-all solution to my problems. But it wasn’t.
Decluttering is only the first step in creating a more minimalist lifestyle. After decluttering, you need to maintain your new, decluttered space and prevent future clutter from creeping in.
If you’re not sure how to do that, here are some tips on how to keep your home from becoming cluttered in the future. Follow these simple steps to make sure you are able to stick with your decluttering goals long-term.
You might also like:
- How to Declutter Craft Supplies: 6 Simple Tips For Your Creative Space
- 16 Frequent Causes Of Clutter & What We Can Do About It
- The Real Cost of Clutter: 27 Shocking Clutter Statistics
- 120 Easy Things to Declutter Right Now (Free Checklist)
PIN FOR LATER
- What to do after decluttering
- How to prevent the clutter coming into your home
- Final thoughts about life after decluttering
What to do after decluttering
Donate what you’re getting rid of
If you’re like most people, decluttering feels good because it gets rid of the physical and emotional clutter in your life. But what about all the stuff you no longer want or need?
Before you start to throw things away, think about donating them to local charities or thrift stores. This way, your unwanted items can go to someone who needs them and you can declutter your home guilt-free.
After decluttering, this is the first thing you should do. Why? Because the longer you leave things sitting around the home, the more chance they have of making their way back into your life.
Sell some items
While selling certain things after decluttering isn’t my preferred method of getting rid of them (you can read all about why here), I know some people do it and it works well for them.
If you think you can get a decent amount of money for an item, then go ahead and sell it. Just be sure it doesn’t take up a lot of your time to sell them. Often, we spend hours taking pictures, posting an item online, going back and forth with prospective buyers, only to make just $10.
If you are selling something, give yourself a timeframe. If it hasn’t been sold within a week, then commit to donating it. Your time is precious too!
Recycle what you can
There are some items that you just can’t donate or sell. But that doesn’t mean they have to go straight into the garbage.
Recycle whatever you can. This includes items like electronics, batteries, and light bulbs. Most of these items contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the ground and end up in our water supply. So it’s important to recycle them properly.
Check with your local recycling center to see what items they accept.
Same goes for your paper clutter. You can recycle most paper products, like newspapers, magazines, and junk mail. Anything with your personal information on it can be shredded before recycling.
Repurpose what you can
Think about repurposing some of the items you want to keep. This is a great way to declutter your home and get creative at the same time.
For example, you can turn an old dresser into a TV stand or coffee table. You can use mason jars as vases or storage containers. You can even turn an old door into a headboard.
The possibilities are endless! So get creative and see what you can come up with.
Dispose of carefully
There are many things in your home that could be detrimental if they’re not disposed of in the right manner.
After decluttering, bring any old or expired medication back to the pharmacy or hospital for proper disposal. They have the right facilities to ensure these items are disposed of properly and won’t end up in the wrong hands or in our water supply.
The same goes for things like paint, motor oil, cleaning products, and pesticides. These items should never be thrown in the garbage. Instead, bring them to your local hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.
Embrace the space
Often after decluttering, people feel a little overwhelmed by all the open space in their home. If this is you, don’t worry! It’s normal to feel this way at first. Just give yourself some time to adjust.
Embrace the empty space in your home and use it to your advantage. You can finally have that home office you’ve always wanted or turn that spare bedroom into a calm oasis instead of a storage space.
Just be sure to use this extra space wisely and don’t let it become cluttered again.
How to prevent the clutter coming into your home
Find a home for everything
As you bring new stuff into your home, be sure to find a place for them right away. This will help prevent clutter from building up in the first place.
Every time you buy something, ask yourself where it will go. If you can’t think of a place for it, then maybe you don’t need it
Think before you buy
Before making a purchase, ask yourself a few questions.
- Do I really need this?
- Will I use it often?
- How long will it last?
- Do I love it?
- Do I have space for this?
Answering these questions before you buy something will help prevent you from making impulse purchases that you’ll regret later.
Keep a declutter box
Once you’ve decluttered your home, you might be tempted to never bring anything new into the house ever again. But that’s not realistic.
Even if you’re not buying new things, other people might gift you things or a family member might bring something you don’t need into your home.
Instead of letting these items clutter up your home, keep a declutter box. This can be a box, bin, or basket where you put everything that makes its way into your home which you don’t intend to keep.
As soon as I receive a gift, I know whether or not I love it and whether I’m going to keep it. I don’t feel pressured to keep each and every gift I receive – that’s not the point of gifts! If I don’t wish to keep a gift, I pop it in the declutter box.
Every month or so, I go through the declutter box and decide what to do with the items. Donate them, sell them, or even re-gift. This system has helped me keep my home decluttered and prevent new items from coming into the house that I don’t need or want.
Create a system for dealing with incoming items
One of the best ways to keep your home from becoming cluttered is to have a system in place for dealing with new items.
Every time you bring something new into your home, take something else out. This is called the ‘one-in-one-out rule’. This could mean donating an item or giving something to a friend.
This rule helps prevent you from accumulating too many things and keeps your home from becoming cluttered.
Create a maintenance plan
The best way to keep your home decluttered is to create a maintenance plan. This means setting aside time each week to tidy up and put things away. It might sound like hard work, but if you make it a part of your routine it will become second nature.
I like to set aside 15 minutes each day to tidy up my home. This might mean doing a quick pick-up, wiping down surfaces, or taking out the trash. I usually do this just before I go to bed. That way, I wake up to a calm space.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of work, but taking some time each day to keep your home clean and clutter free will make a big difference.
Don’t lose sight of the goal
The goal is to have a home that brings you joy, not stress. Right?
It’s important to remember how you want your home to look and feel. When you’re feeling tempted to hold on to something or bring something new into your home, ask yourself if it’s going to help you achieve your goal.
If the answer is no, then let it go.
The longer you keep your home decluttered, the easier it gets to not fill it back up again with things you don’t need.
But it’s important to be patient and gentle with yourself. If your home starts to fill up again with clutter, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just start decluttering again and get back on track.
Final thoughts about life after decluttering
It can be daunting to think about what comes next after the decluttering process but with a plan and some organisation, you can easily maintain the space you worked so hard to create.
Remember, the goal is to have a home that brings you joy. So, don’t fill it up with things that don’t serve a purpose or make you happy. Be mindful of what comes into your home and take action to declutter regularly. Soon enough, it will become second nature.
If you need some inspiration or motivation, check out these posts about my decluttering journey: