4 Ways To Declutter Without Marie Kondo

  • All Ages

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will be well aware of the decluttering craze that has hit the nation thanks to Netflix’s recent offering Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Kondo is the author of the best selling title The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and preaches her unique KonMari approach to decluttering. Now, I don’t know about you, but decluttering items based on whether or not they bring me joy is a little too airy fairy for me. I’m also not about to start talking to the clothes that no longer fit and thanking them for their service. Those pre-pregnancy jeans can go straight to hell as far as I’m concerned.

We thought there should surely be better (dare I say more rational) ways to get rid of your excess stuff so we rounded up four other decluttering methods you can try: 

The Minimalists

Now an international phenomenon, The Minimalists are all about… well, being minimalists. Their main focus is on helping people find happiness without the burden of stuff, based on the theory that getting rid of material clutter also helps us get rid of emotional and mental clutter. The Minimalists see life with less possessions as a “life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.”

You don't have time to overhaul your entire house maybe the minimalist 30 day challenge game might better suit. The game is to throw out 1 item on the first day, 2 on the second etc...

The Minimalists have a truckload of information available in the form of podcasts, books, interviews, films and blogs. They also have some great challenges to get you started, including this 21-day challenge
Learn more: The Minimalists website


Project 333

A minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333 invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. Women spend almost a year standing in front of their wardrobe deciding on what to wear. Project 333 is about minimising the options. The brainchild of writer Courtney Carver, author of Soulful Simplicity, the challenge steps you through culling your closet, building a capsule wardrobe and enjoying the freedom of more space. The ultimate goal - to discover your own style and to “be more with less”. However, Project 333 is not just about fashion, the website offers lots of useful tips about decluttering and finding happiness with more space in your life. 
Learn more: Project 333 website


Four Container Method

Now this method is as straightforward as it sounds. No complete lifestyle overhaul necessary, and definitely no deep soul searching or looking for joy. It is as simple as getting four containers (we suggest fairly large ones if your clutter is anything like ours) and labelling them as follows:

  • Trash
  • Give Away/Sell
  • Storage
  • Put Away

You then work through each room, including cupboards, and divide stuff into the containers as you go. Hot tip - when you stop, store containers (1) & (2) somewhere out of sight until you can dispose of them so you aren’t tempted to fish things back out!
Learn more: The Spruce 4 Container Method website 

Swedish Death Cleaning 

Sorry to end on a morbid note, but this is actually a really sensible concept. Swedish Death Cleaning, or ‘dostadning’ came to the world’s attention thanks to a book called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by artist Margareta Magnusson. Basically the premise is, you can’t take stuff with you when you go, so it is a part of Swedish culture to start decluttering in your golden years so that your family isn’t burdened with the task after you pass on.  

This makes a heck of a lot of sense and I’m sure adult children everywhere would be grateful they don’t have to sift through a lifetime of accumulated crap after their parents are gone. Rather than getting rid of things that don’t spark joy for you, you are getting rid of things that aren’t going to spark joy for anyone else. 

But why wait til your on the downhill trek? Living a life less cluttered is ideal at any age.

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Hero Image Credit: The Spruce 4 Container Method website