Minimalism: Tips to declutter your home

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I've come to realise I'm a hoarder. I find it really difficult to part with things – because, to me these things remind me of fond memories and are therefore of sentimental value to me. And after moving every single year for the past 5 years, I've come to realise it's started to get a little out of hand.

I have boxes that I never unpack because they're full of those little trinkets. And the funniest thing about these boxes is the only time I ever open them to reminisce about what's inside is when I'm packing up my life to move somewhere new.

Well, it's that time of year again and despite my best efforts to keep a house for more than a year, we've been asked to vacate because our little apartment is being sold. So again, I'm packing my life into boxes to move around the corner. Last night I found myself sifting through those boxes of memories again where I stumbled upon my dad's birth certificate. Strange as it is that I of all people have my dad's birth certificate, I texted a picture to my mum for a giggle. Her response was, 'you're such a hoarder'.

That's where I've realised I've not only become my nana with her unbelievable way of being easily startled, I've also become my papa who struggles to part with anything – well you've certainly got strong genes mum. So I'm making an effort to use this move as a way to declutter my home and start living with less.

Moving house: Tips to declutter your home

Useless furniture

The point of living with less is knowing when something has no use to you. I know I've got a few items of furniture I don't really need – a coffee table that currently sits in the corner of a room, an old desk that I upgraded a year ago. Use this time to get rid of them – put them on Gumtree, eBay or the side of the road and let them be used by someone who actually needs them.

Clothes you haven't worn in a year

I love to clean out my wardrobe but I only ever get half the job done. Often I'll just throw the clothes in a garbage bag that then lives under the bed. It's fantastic because I find I always change my mind about an item every now-and-then, but it's a habit I'd like to break. So here's to a new rule – if it hasn't been worn in a year or if I don't feel good wearing it, send it to the local op-shop.

Out-of-date and unused beauty products

We've all got them! Use this time to cull what you don't use. Try to keep only one opened bottle of each type of product – if you stopped using a shampoo, there's probably a good reason for it.

Old paperwork

I still have all of my high school achievement awards, tax returns and business receipts. Although this could come in handy one day, it's better to get rid of anything that's older than 3 years (or less if you're game!). If that makes you feel sick to your stomach, get organised and scan the documents. Digital copies will never deteriorate anyway!

Redundant items

Things like CDs, DVDs or cassette tapes sadly don't have use in our lives anymore. I don't know anyone who has a CD player – it's better to throw them away and again, get digital. I found all these old mix tapes from my early teen years, they're hilarious to listen to, but I've decided to just take a picture of the song list and keep that as a memory instead of the physical copy.

Old magazines

I hate throwing away magazines. I have a real appreciation for them – they're like a piece of art. But when you have piles and piles of Elle, it's time to say goodbye. Rip out your favourite articles or anything you find inspiring and create a rotating inspiration pin board instead. That said, there are some magazine issues I absolutely adore and continue to go back to – they'll always be safe from the garbage truck and dentist waiting rooms.

In researching this article I came to realise how lucky we are to digitalise everything. It feels good to declutter, to me, it feels even better knowing I've got a backup on my 1TB hard-drive.


What are your thoughts on living with less? Would you like to live a minimal lifestyle?