Minimalism The Minimalists
Self Improvement

How the 90/90 Rule helped me to declutter

Decluttering Round #1 of my humoungous book pile. The towering book pile I hid in my closet and that teetered like it was the drunk leaning tower of Pisa.

It consisted of books bought a few years back that I hadn’t read , that pile was stacked ominously waiting for that some day.

Some day I was going to read them.  I never did get the time to read any of them since I had been bogged down with work.

Besides, they were a stark reminder of that book buying binge I got into and told myself I would eventually read those books. Some day and Eventually were my best excuses not to deal with my book pile.

So to soothe my guilty conscience I had stashed them in my closet where they say out of sight out of mind right?

Except one day I opened my closet door and my teetering leaning tower of books came crashing down on me and enough was enough when I wondered if I would make headline news as the girl who was buried by the pile of books she had been hoarding .I mean collecting.

So I decided to begin the decluttering process, but I was torn into two. Which book did I want to keep or discard?

I needed a method to solve this madness and I ended up using the 90/90 Rule recommended by the Minimalists.The Minimalists Minimalism

Now 90/90 Rule, What about it?

Ask yourself have you used this item in the last 90 days, and if no, ask yourself will you use this item in the next 90 days.

This question is a pretty good judge of whether you should keep or discard an item. Then again this rule is a template and you can modify it as you like.It can be 60/60 or 120/120, do you.

Why should you use 90/90 to declutter ?

It’s a simple rule to get you to objectively think whether you are going to continue keeping or discarding an item . When you first start decluttering it may seem like a bit of a huge task to decide what do you keep.

Now, in the decluttering world some people may argue that they follow Marie Kondo’s principle of keeping things that spark joy.

However what happens when everything that you own once spark joy for you but no longer does the same and you are weighed down by guilt and fear from discarding it simply because you are worried what if you will need the item later.

Plus you rationalize that if you end up using it eventually, it could still potentially spark joy for you in the future.

So 90/90 Rule exists as an objective way for you to decide what to keep or discard because it bypasses the emotional reason of why you keep or discard an object and asks you this question.

How does this object serve you in your daily life and whether you would use it in the future ? Making decisions on a rational basis enables people to declutter more effectively.

So What’s the impact of the 90/90 Rule?

Besides a clutter free environment, I found the strongest impact of adopting the 90/90 Rule is that I learnt to deal with issues head on instead of burying and pretending that they don’t exist.

The reason why sometimes people hold on to objects they  no longer use or love is because their fear of the sunk cost that has gone into acquiring it and they can’t bear to deal with the consequences of their decision of buying that object in the first place.

So instead of tackling it head on  whether to keep or discard or donate it to someone else, they end up hoarding it in places they wouldn’t bump into that item usually.

Sometimes we cant face the consequences of our decision to binge buy something, so closets, cupboards and garages are the graveyard to our binge buys so we can reduce the guilt we feel. Well that works in the short term but wouldn’t it be better if we tackle with dealing with our binge buys head on. No matter how we bury binge buys sooner or later we end up having to unearth them and still deal with them.

Hence this is why I love the 90/90 Rule, it’s an objective way to look at whether to keep or discard an item that isn’t about guilt tripping you why you bought the item in the first place.

Ok , guys. Whats your experience with decluttering tips ? Do share them with me .

love//skye
Check out the Minimalists work at the link below

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43 Comments

  • Diyana

    I find that I’m the kind of person who can’t follow the decluttering rules like the 30 days minimalism challenge. It’s a brilliant guide but I think I’m a binge declutterer haha if one day I decide to declutter an area of my room, I’d do so until I’m satisfied. So I keep this 90/90 rule in my head to help me decide what to keep or discard. I’d just set a day or half a day just for decluttering and do that about once every few months 🙂

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