How To Implement The 80/20 Decluttering Rule In Your Home

Finding new and innovative ways to organize your home helps keep your space neat, tidy, and accessible. Numerous tips and tricks are targeted towards every kind of personality, ranging from minimalists to no rulers, and each has benefits and drawbacks. Instead of looking for answers in the present, however, you might want to take a quick trip back into the past for the ultimate organization hack.

In 1906, an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto created the 80/20 principle. According to Investopedia, this idea comes down to understanding that 80% of the results or harvest come from 20% of the investment, input, or cause. An easy way to understand this principle is to look at it from a business standpoint. When a company finds something that works or produces most of the results, it is wise to invest and prioritize the 20% that yields the most gain. Although this idea stemmed from the economy, it can actually be applied to every facet of your life, including organizing your home. The main factor to keep in mind is that most of the items in your home will represent the 20%. Here's how to use this principle when it comes to decluttering.

Focus on the 20% regularly

Think of it like this: Your house will require a massive tidying a few times a year, but you can maintain daily clutter by tackling 20% of it regularly. This makes it easier to clean or declutter the other 80% of your home when it's time. You don't have to completely overhaul every room, nook, and cranny each time you set out to clean, but focusing on easier tasks that are noticeable will make your space feel less chaotic. Set a list of daily and weekly jobs, like making the beds, washing and putting away dishes, doing laundry, and sweeping or mopping. Make sure to tackle these every morning, afternoon, evening, or every other day (depending on the job).

By working to keep these areas organized, you'll feel like the house is more functional. You can also implement smaller decluttering sessions with items you interact with every day. Be More With Less recommends giving yourself a set amount of time, then using that to go through your bathroom or kitchen. By giving yourself a limited amount of time, you won't overthink throwing out old, unused, or expired items. You can also note which pieces of clothing might be destined for the giveaway pile by flipping around the hangers of things you don't regularly wear throughout the week. These efforts will set you up for success when it's time to deep clean.

Find more space without moving

Once you have the time to take on your whole home, you'll find you actually have so much space hidden under your surplus of items. When you think in terms of the 80/20 rule, you will begin to notice that you mainly use 20% of your items 80% of the time. As you train your mind to notice this, getting rid of pieces you don't use or need will be easier. Your closet is just one place this principle is relevant, but it is likely your kitchen, living spaces, closets, and even garage are housing a variety of items that you don't have to keep.

Focus on what you use regularly, and make a mental or actual note of these. They are your 80/20 rule and the tools and objects that benefit you throughout the day. You can get rid of things more easily when you pay attention to what you do and don't use. According to WebMD, the physical and mental perks of decluttering your home include better sleep, productivity, respiratory health, and less stress. The 80/20 principle is there to help you balance regular organization and tidying with deep cleans and overhauls and guides you in choosing what stays and what goes.