Organized bathroom shelves

The 20/20 Rule of Decluttering: Game Changing Decluttering Hack!

Imagine walking into your home, and it feels like a serene sanctuary, free from the chaos of clutter. Your belongings are carefully curated, your space is open and inviting, and you can easily find what you need when you need it. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s not as far-fetched as you might think, especially when you apply the 20/20 rule of decluttering.

The 20/20 rule is the ultimate decluttering hack. The simple system isn’t about perfect vision (despite the name); it’s about gaining calmness in your life by simplifying your surroundings. In this blog post, I’ll share what the 20/20 rule of decluttering is, how it works, and why it can be a game-changer for achieving a clutter-free and more organized life. So, grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and let’s dive in!

A neatly folded stack of towels

What is the 20/20 Rule of Decluttering?

The 20/20 rule of decluttering is a straightforward and effective approach to reduce the excess stuff in your life. It’s based on the idea that you should only keep items that you can replace in 20 minutes or less for $20 or less. In other words, if an item you’re considering decluttering can be easily and affordably replaced within a short amount of time, it’s a strong candidate for removal from your life.

How Does the 20/20 Rule Work?

Let’s break down the 20/20 rule into actionable steps:

1. Identify the Item: Begin by identifying the item you’re considering decluttering. It could be anything from clothing and kitchen gadgets to books and home decor.

2. Assess Replacement Time: Ask yourself if you could replace this item within 20 minutes. If it’s something readily available at a nearby store, online, or in your own home (perhaps you have duplicates), then it passes this part of the rule.

3. Evaluate Replacement Cost: Next, consider whether you could replace the item for $20 or less. This doesn’t mean you have to spend $20; it’s just a cap to ensure you’re not holding onto items that are easily replaceable at a reasonable cost.

4. Reflect on Its Importance: Finally, take a moment to reflect on the item’s importance in your life. Is it something you use regularly, or has it been gathering dust for months? Does it bring you joy and serve a purpose, or is it just taking up space?

If the item passes all these criteria, it’s likely a keeper. If not, it might be time to bid it farewell.

Why the 20/20 Rule of Decluttering Works

  • Simplicity: The 20/20 rule simplifies the decision-making process by providing clear and practical guidelines. It eliminates the need for overthinking and makes it easier to decide what stays and what goes.
  • Focus on Essentials: By emphasizing the ease and affordability of replacement, the rule encourages you to focus on essentials. You’re less likely to hold onto redundant or rarely used items.
  • Prevents Future Clutter: Implementing the rule helps prevent future clutter from accumulating because you become more mindful of what you bring into your home. You’ll think twice before acquiring items that don’t meet the 20/20 criteria.
  • Clearer Living Space: As you declutter using the 20/20 rule, your living space becomes clearer and more organized. You’ll have more room to breathe, and your home will feel more spacious and inviting.
Organized bathroom shelves

Applying the 20/20 Rule to Different Areas of Your Life

Now that you understand the 20/20 rule, let’s explore how it can be applied to various areas of your life:

1. Wardrobe

  • Clothing: Consider whether you could replace a piece of clothing within 20 minutes for $20 or less. This rule is particularly effective for items that you rarely wear or that no longer fit your style.
  • Shoes: Apply the rule to shoes that are gathering dust in your closet. Keep the ones you love and wear, and let go of those you can easily replace. This is an area I’m especially bad with and I know I have a lot of shoes to declutter!

2. Kitchen

  • Cookware and Gadgets: Declutter your kitchen by evaluating pots, pans, and gadgets. Keep the essentials and get rid of the ones you rarely use.
  • Pantry Items: Apply the rule to pantry items like spices, condiments, and canned goods. Keep what you use regularly and dispose of expired or rarely used items.

3. Home Office

  • Stationery and Supplies: Sort through your office supplies and stationery. Keep what you need for work or creative projects and let go of excess items.
  • Paperwork: Apply the rule to paperwork and documents. Keep important records and discard unnecessary paperwork.

4. Living Room

  • Decor Items: Evaluate decor items in your living room. Keep the ones that enhance your space and let go of those that no longer spark joy or fit your style.
  • Books and Magazines: Declutter your bookshelves by applying the rule to books and magazines. Keep the ones you’ll read or reference and donate the rest.

5. Bathroom

  • Toiletries: Apply the rule to toiletries and skincare products to declutter your bathroom. Keep what you use regularly and dispose of expired or seldom-used items.
  • Towels and Linens: Sort through towels and linens. Keep the ones in good condition and donate or repurpose old or excess ones.

6. Garage/Storage

  • Tools and Equipment: Declutter your garage or storage area by applying the rule to tools and equipment. Keep what you need for DIY projects and let go of duplicates or items you can replace easily.
  • Holiday Decorations: Apply the rule to holiday decorations. Keep what you use each year and donate or recycle items that are worn or no longer needed.

The 20/20 rule of decluttering is a practical and effective approach to simplify your life and create a clutter-free living space. By focusing on ease of replacement and cost, you’ll find it easier to let go of items that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy. So, take a deep breath, start with one area of your life, and apply the 20/20 rule to bring clarity, organization, and simplicity into your home. As you declutter, you’ll discover that less truly is more, and your living spaces will reflect the peace and serenity you’ve been seeking.

If you’re struggling with the motivation to declutter your home, you might like: How to Get Motivated to Declutter, and when you’ve decluttered your home here are 7 Ways to Keep Your Home Clutter-Free.

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