Karen Schravemade shared her go-to tips with FEMAIL:
1. Start small so it’s not overwhelming. For example, clear out a single drawer. Once you’ve done that you’ll feel proud of your accomplishment, which will give you momentum for the next area. By breaking the task down into small individual steps, you’re more likely to keep going.
2. Do a little every day. Some people find it helpful to set a daily recurring alarm on their phone to remind them to do a little bit of decluttering. Ten minutes is enough to do one drawer, one cupboard, or one storage shelf. It’s amazing how a little bit every day adds up by the end of the week.
3. Have three bags or baskets beside you as you declutter. One is for things to throw out, the second is for things to donate, and the third is for things that don’t belong in that zone and need to be re-homed.
4. Instead of thinking in terms of what to get rid of (which many people find difficult) think in terms of what you want to keep. Take everything out and only put back the things you know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule – we use 20% of our belongings 80% of the time. If it hasn’t been used or worn in more than six months, it’s time to let it go.
5. Decluttering is largely a mental game. We make many excuses to ourselves to hang onto what we own, even if we know objectively that we don’t want clutter. When culling clothes, it may help to think in terms of a ‘wardrobe average’. Some items of clothing are 10s, while others are 5s or only 2s. Get rid of the low-scoring clothes, because they lower your average. Challenge yourself to cull down to a capsule wardrobe that averages a strong 8 or 9 – items that you truly love and that fit beautifully.
6. The next step after decluttering is maintenance. Keep a ‘donate’ basket in your storage cupboard with a garbage bag inside it. Throughout the week as you find items that are outgrown or no longer used, but are still in good condition, place them in the basket. When it’s full, take the bag out and put it in the car to drop at the nearest charity bin.
7. Follow the ‘one in, one out’ rule. When you make a new purchase, choose one thing in that same category to get rid of. That way your possessions won’t balloon out of control.