Did you know procrastination and a cluttered home are linked? Not only are they connected, but they also have a negative impact on your mental health and overall well-being. If you feel weighed down by excess things and thoughts, it’s time to learn how to declutter your life.

Keep reading to learn 8 expert-backed tips.

1. Start Out Small

Decluttering your life is an intimidating process, but you don’t have to clear out your whole home in one day. Start out small by organizing or decluttering for 5 to 10 minutes per day. You can dedicate this time to a specific room or area. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you have to undertake everything at once.

Another way to start out small is to visit seldomly used parts of your home like the attic or basement. If you don’t pay a terrible amount of attention to what’s in your closet, spend some time sorting through your clothes—sort by seasonal and put away clothes that you won’t be wearing for the next few months.

2. Gamify It

Gamification is a great way to start decluttering your home and stay motivated in your task. You can download an app like Chore Wars and battle with your friends by finishing jobs related to housekeeping. It’s a fun way to trick yourself (and your friends) into doing chores.

You could come up with your own game for yourself or the people in your house. Track your progress on your phone or in a notebook to see how well you’re doing.

3. Recruit the Help Of a Friend or Loved One

Recruiting the help of a friend or a loved one is a good idea as they will view your home with fresh eyes and can provide unbiased feedback and advice for getting rid of items. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain why you haven’t thrown out that old magazine from 2013.

An objective viewer is more likely to be able to convince you that you don’t need to hang onto clutter. It’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgic feelings when sorting through personal belongings. Another person can help you stay focused on the task at hand.

4. Do the 12-12-12 Challenge

The 12-12-12 challenge was popularized by social media this year to encourage people to start adopting minimalist lifestyles. To do this, survey your home and find 12 items you can donate, 12 items that can be thrown away, and 12 items to be put away or returned to their original place. Repeat this every day until you are comfortable with how much you’ve decluttered.

5. Pretend You Are a Visitor in Your Home

Similar to having a friend or loved one help you declutter, pretending to be a visitor in your own home will help to give you a fresh, objective view. Removing your feelings of attachment from your items and simply viewing them as “Is this something that I need in my life?” or “Does this benefit me?” will help you get through the organization process easier.

6. Use the KonMariMethod

The KonMari Method was invented by Marie Kondo in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” This method of decluttering involves committing time and energy to tidy your space, picturing the lifestyle you want, discarding unneeded items, organizing by category, and asking yourself if the thing brings you joy. Kondo believes that a home free of clutter is able to bring happiness and invite prosperity.

7. Use Multiple Boxes

Label 4 boxes with the words keep, toss, donate (or sell), and store. You will sort your possessions into these boxes to help you decide what you want to happen to your stuff. This exercise also works well with The KonMari Method.

If you’re uncertain if you truly want to get rid of some sentimental items, clothes, or other knick-knicks. Put them in one box and label it with the date and store it somewhere out of sight, such as at a container storage site. Check back on that box in 21 days after you stored it and sort through the items.

If you forgot about the items inside or simply didn’t feel as connected to them, this is a sign you can get rid of the contents of the box. Fight the urge to open the box prematurely. If after three weeks you still feel drawn to the items, now you can consider keeping them.

8. Go Digital

If you’re still filing your receipts, bills, paycheck stubs, etc., in a filing cabinet or holding onto a bunch of paper, it’s time to bring your storage methods to the 21st century. Digitizing your documents is environmentally friendly, will take up less clutter, and makes it easier to find specific papers when you need them.

There are many programs like Google Drive that are intuitive and can help you scan and save your paperwork and access it from multiple devices. If you do decide to go digital, make sure you back your data up on an external drive. Cloud storage is good, but it’s always good to have a backup.

You can also take this opportunity to throw out anything outdated, expired, or unnecessary to hang onto. You likely have no reason to hang onto paycheck stubs, tax forms, bills, bank or credit card statements for years.

Learning How To Declutter Your Life Made Simple

Learning how to declutter your life doesn’t have to be overwhelming; using our expert-backed methods, you can begin the process today. By starting out small, turning it into a game, or recruiting help, you put your plan in motion. Following guides like The KonMari Method or the 12-12-12 Challenge are also fantastic ways to begin.

If you liked this article on decluttering your life, check out the rest of our site for more lifestyle advice.