Decluttering Schools of Thought

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Decluttering Methods

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by clutter. And there is a reason that we are covering decluttering as the first step in our overall organizing approach. Quite frankly, the less stuff you have–the less you have to corral and organize. I’m going to give a brief overview of some of the decluttering schools of thought.

Decluttering Schools of Thought

KonMari Method

Let’s start with one you’ve probably heard of. In some circles, I’ve even seen KonMari used as a verb–as in, “I KonMaried my closet this weekend”–or even taken to the extreme–“I KonMaried my boyfriend this weekend and now I’m single”. (not recommended!) The author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo, is considered by many to be a decluttering guru. With over four million books sold, it’s definitely worth considering her “magic.”Life Changing Magic of tidying Up

Kondo’s method involves focusing on what to keep, rather than what to toss. The core principles involve categorizing your items, and then taking time to sort through each category with the mindful intention of keeping only the ones that bring you joy.

How does the  KonMari method work?

If you’re a collector of glassware, place all of your pieces on the table or counter. Pick up and inspect each, carefully determining which ones you love for their unique characteristics or sentimentality. Then box up the rest to donate or sell.

You, like me, might realize that you own seven pizza cutters! We don’t even really eat that much pizza at home, so none of them really “sparked joy”–but I kept two, just in case!

365 Less Things

Colleen Madsen of, 365 Less Things, has a brilliant approach to paring down possessions. She decided at the beginning of 2010 to make minimalism her resolution by giving away or selling one item each day for the entire year. Madsen documents both the physical results of the project and the psychological aspects on her blog. She also offers up a mini-mission each day–sometimes breaking up a daunting task makes it easier!

Minimalist Game

If you want to take the daily giveaway approach a step further, consider playing the Minimalist Game.

The Minimalist Game stems from the popular blog, The Minimalists, this method requires you to on the first day of the month and choose to get rid of the number of items that correspond with each date. Giving away one thing on the first day is easy, but can you come up with 31 to part with at month’s end? Those who stick with it will have a home with 496 fewer pieces of clutter. Making it a challenging competition with friends or family ups the stakes.

A Slob Comes Clean

Dana White, AKA “Nony the Slob” has been one of my de-cluttering heroes for a long time. She is not a “naturally clean” person, and she has a busy family, and, quite simply, she gets it. She is the author of the Book, How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind and blogs and podcasts at A Slob Comes Clean. How To Manage Your Home Wihtout Losing Your Mind Book Review

How Does Dakotapam Declutter?

My own personal school of thought is a combination of all of these and is a work in progress.

Part of my need for decluttering stems from the fact that I live with a husband and 6 kids in a four-bedroom home. The boys are all young adults or teens (but I still have a pair of 7-year-old girls) so the toy clutter is totally not what it used to be–but will still be a part of my life for the near future.

My husband’s answer to clutter is to purchase more containers–ie, if the boys’ bedroom has a lot of clothing on the floor or sticking out of drawers–they need another dresser.

However, I see this same mess as an opportunity to downsize. If the boys leave their clothes scattered all over, it must mean that they have too many clothing items! It is time to sort through and donate or hand down some less-loved items.

The same goes with kitchen clutter. A bunch of containers fall out of my cabinet when I am putting away leftovers? It is time to sort through and toss mismatched sets. It does NOT mean that I need to move my containers to a larger space!

So, what is your school of thought with decluttering? We will discuss some strategies in future posts, but for now, think about that big trouble spot in your home, and how you may want to proceed. Then come share in the Facebook group!


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Written by Dakotapam
I'm a Lutheran pastor's wife and mom to six kids, including young adult sons down to 8-year old twin daughters. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!