This Is The Best Decluttering Advice We've Heard All Year

mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."
This Is The Best Decluttering Advice We Heard All Year & It's So Doable

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Last year, the ball dropped and we immediately started cleaning. Once Marie Kondo's reality show hit Netflix in the wee hours of January 1, Instagram feeds became cluttered with feats of decluttering and secondhand stores received more inventory than they knew what to do with. By The Ringer and Chartbeat's estimate, collectively we spent an average of 704,514 minutes reading about the KonMari methods in the early days of 2019.

The Kondo mania has died down considerably since then, but our lust for simplicity hasn't. As mbg explored in our most recent wellness trends report, burnout and stress-induced illnesses are encouraging us to prioritize downtime for the sake of our health like never before. Silence, as author Erling Kagge says, is the new luxury in today's overstimulated age. As we simplify our schedules on the hunt for more joy, it makes sense that we're doing the same for our homes.

Don't organize for a snapshot in time.

The golden nugget of mbg's decluttering coverage this year speaks to this idea of the health benefits of clearing space, mental and physical. It came when Kyle Quilici, the co-founder of New Minimalism, was speaking about how she organizes her own studio apartment. "Keeping clutter at bay requires some regular maintenance, but it shouldn't be overwhelming," she said. "The entire point of decluttering in the first place is to spend less time managing your stuff!"

This isn't a groundbreaking idea, but it's something that's easy to forget when you're knee-deep in keep and giveaway piles. When you pare down your possessions, you shouldn't just be after that short-term feeling of accomplishment. You should be focused on putting systems in place that make your life easier and more spacious for the long run. It's really about the destination as much as the journey.

"Don't organize for a snapshot in time," Joanna Teplin, one half of The Home Edit, said in an article earlier this year. "Create systems that make sense for your day-to-day, and be realistic about your lifestyle."

So as annoying as decluttering can be, next time you're doing it, be sure to zoom out and remind yourself of the quieter, less chaotic life you're investing time in. Suddenly, that drawer of random cords and papers may not seem so menacing.

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