Decluttering: How Does The Rest Of The World Do It?

Decluttering and minimalism are two words condo dwellers hear too often. Both terms are co-dependent on each other. Decluttering has to happen before you can live a minimalist life and minimalism is a constant decluttering of your life.

Decluttering is not limited to throwing away things you don’t need, it can also mean unfollowing toxic people in your newsfeed, cutting down on eating fast food, and so on. It means letting go of trash, things you don’t need, or even things that hold you back. You see, decluttering is a form of evolution in your space and within yourself.

Here’s how the rest of the world declutters:

SWEDEN: Swedish Death Cleaning

This is the most morbid yet thoughtful way to declutter. It is anchored on the Swedish practice of “death cleaning.” It’s that time you raid through your deceased loved one’s closet to know which shirts to keep as mementos or throw away. Instead of you family doing that, Death Cleaning tasks you to do it yourself. After all, it is you clutter and you don’t really take anything with you once you die. This method goes beyond materialistic organizing and downsizing. This reminds us: Beyond the materials we leave with our loved ones, how do we want to be remembered by?

condoliving decluttering methods

JAPANESE: The KonMari Method

How can we not mention Marie Kondo? Kondo has her own cult who consider her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” the decluttering bible. The iconic “Does this bring me joy?” question is what people consider to be the decluttering ultimatum. You keep things that give you joy and dispose and thank the items that don’t. Also, Kondo asks you to consider how your possessions feel: Does your fur coat enjoy spending the whole year in the closet? Maybe not.

USA: One Item A Day

If you’re having a hard time letting go or have no time to spring clean, Colleen Madsen’s method might be for you. She recommends giving up one item a day. It’s a “slow-but-steady wins the race” type of process. Meanwhile, Leo Babauta recommends allotting five minutes a day to minuscule decluttering tasks. These could be cleaning up a drawer, organizing your desk, or even filing your mail. Five minutes won’t make a huge dent in your schedule; this will help you build a habit of decluttering on a daily basis.

This story first appeared on CondoLiving Magazine’s March 2018 issue. Edits were made for

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