Ace of Space: How to Shed Your Stuff

declutterHow can you live lightly in a small space? You can start by eliminating the stuff you don't use from your daily life. Shedding excess stuff can be challenging. However with a little bit of time and patience, your home will be less cluttered and you'll be much happier.

Here are a ways to simplify your life and get rid of excess stuff.

1. Reduce, Reduce, Reduce.

Excess stuff is a burden. So it's essential to evaluate what makes your happy and what your really need. For instance, do you really need 30 coffee mugs, 20 pursues, or 100 books?

2. Donate or recycle your stuff.

Shed your excess stuff responsibly. Don't throw it out! Consider donating your stuff to your local thrift store, give it away or sell your stuff on craigslist or use freecycle.

3. Share your stuff.

Rather than running out and buying the latest gadget, power tool, lawnmower, or hammer, consider borrowing the item to share the cost and interact with your neighbors. A variety of sharing cooperatives have popped up around the county. There are tool sharing programs, computer co-ops, bike sharing and cool car sharing programs like, Zipcar.

You don't have to be part of cooperative to share stuff. Consider helping your friends and family with childcare, petsitting or taking care of their garden. The examples are endless.

Sharing is stuff is an awesome way to connect with others. First, you don't have to buy something new or used. Second, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful connection with another human.

4. Create a 3 to 6 month rule.

Stick with quality items. Keep stuff that you use everyday and love. For instance, if you haven't used an item in 3 to 6 months you probably don't need it. Consider donating your excess stuff to goodwill.

5. Only keep and buy items you love.

Stick with quality items. And only keep stuff that you use everyday and love. If you need purchase a item, consider waiting 30 days. Ask yourself if you really need x, y or z. Will it contribute value to your life?

6. Make sure everything has a home.

Do you come home and throw all your work stuff onto a chair or a table? One way to avoid clutter piles is by making sure everything has a home. For instance, hang up your coat and put your work bag in the closet. You can stop clutter in it's track by putting your stuff away.

7. 100 Thing Challenge

If you want to try extreme decluttering, you can read more about The 100 Thing Challenge. I stumbled across Dave's blog a months ago and learned that he is living with 100 personal possessions. Essentially, Dave is trying to remove himself from consumerism.

Reading about this project inspired me to do the same! I've found that scaling down to under 100 personal things has enabled me to question what I truly need and has removed a tremendous amount of clutter from my life.

8. Celebrate when you're done!

No matter how small your accomplishments are, start celebrating them. Take a deep breath and admire the simplicity of your clutter free home. Living in a small space with less stuff is one path to happiness.

The Ace of Space is a bi-weekly column that will provide you with the tips and tools to live lightly and creatively in a small space.

Tammy Strobel blogs at
RowdyKittens about simple living and is the author of Simply Car-free: How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life.
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