When I finally made the move to live with my husband, I had a difficult time moving everything I owned. There was not enough space at his bachelor pad to hold both sets of our belongings.

Although I did not have a lot of things (he will disagree with me on this), I only brought over the things that I needed at the time. I left behind clothes that I did not wear often, documents because they took up too much space we did not have, and any knick-knacks/memorabilia that were not essential to my day-to-day life.

When we had to renovate our home in preparation for our son’s arrival, we packed up everything we had and lived temporarily with my family. We were living out of boxes. It was almost like living at a hotel. When I think back, I actually did not need a lot of things.

After the renovation, we moved all the boxes and stuff back, but had to stuff most of them in the spare room because the baby was due any day.

Then, the baby arrived and organizing our home became an afterthought.

As our son turned one, the clutter started to eat at me psychologically each and every day. All I could think about was how I needed to organize our home day in and day out. However, there was only so many hours in a day, especially with both of us holding full-time jobs..

I had heard about this amazing book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” for a while, so I finally purchased and started reading it. I was very much inspired to finally carve out time to declutter.

I already knew that a lot of the boxes contained stuff that we do not really need anymore, because, let’s be frank, they were still in the boxes after a couple years. Most of them have more sentimental value than real function. I went through box after box, looked at each of my things, and concluded that most of them are things I can donate. They did not “give me joy” anymore and they had served their purpose when I first acquired them.

These are a few take aways from the book that is helping me declutter:

1. Hotel-Living mentality
Imagine you are going on a trip and you only get to bring 2 suitcases. (Ok, I’ll give you 2 humongous suitcases…) What are you going to pack? If you think about it, you really do not need much more than that. Nowadays, fashion changes so quickly that most people buy new things in a few months. If you have staple items like basic tees, shirts or cardigans, you really only need a couple to mix and match. Shoes are another matter, soI’ll leave that for another day. Keep only what you really wear and donate the rest.

2. “One in, One out” shopping theory
This one may be difficult, but you only have a finite amount of space at home. If you are buying something new (provided that you are not just impulse shopping), there must be something old that you can get rid of. Donate it so that somebody else can have some fun with it.
Or, if you love to have new clothes, but do not mind not having them in the long run, try services like StitchFix or Le Tote!

3. It’s a Lifestyle change
Just like going on a diet, I think the mentality of decluttering and organizing is a lifestyle change. It is an ongoing process, where you examine what you truly value and need. You will most likely have to take baby-steps as you realize the amount of stuff you may be giving/throwing away, but just take a deep breath and go for it. Clearing up your home of unnecessary things will give you more breathing room, literally.

Decluttering and organizing the home is a long-term project. It is impossible not to buy things, because we need them, but I am starting to learn WHAT to buy and what I truly NEED (not want). I am still a long way from the ideal home I have in mind, but I am slowly but surely working towards it.

Do you have any decluttering / organization tips or stories? Share with me in the comments!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”