20/20 rule de-cluttering

The 20/20 Rule of De-Cluttering: Does it Work?

January 2, 2024
rules for de-cluttering
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The holidays are done and hopefully they’ve been done well. You feasted. You prayed. Your house is a hot mess. And now that 2024 has dawned, perhaps you are giving some thoughts to being more organized in the New Year? I know I am. And I’ve been reading a bunch about a new concept: The 20/20 Rule. Created by Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (link below for more about them), the 20/20 Rule of De-cluttering is, “When struggling to make de-cluttering decisions, the 20/20 rule says you should consider letting go of an item if: You can replace it for less than $20. And you can replace it in less than 20 minutes.” This is what I think about it…

20/20 de-cluttering rule
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The 20/20 Rule of De-Cluttering: The Useful Categories

If we’re going to talk about organization, the first step for me is definitely getting my thoughts organized. My ideal way to do this is to categorize the things I think that this de-cluttering rule applies to and then give you my thoughts on why. So here goes:

  • Kitchen Items: I’m talking about stuff in your junk drawer (C’mon I know you have one and I know it’s chock full). And I’m also referring to the 25 coffee cups stashed in your cupboard. Duplicate kitchen tools? Yup, they’re on the block too. Do you really need 4 vegetable peelers?
  • Personal Care Items: Three hairbrushes? And 17 mini bottles of shampoo swiped from hotels hither and yon? These definitely fit in with the rule.
  • Accessories: Socks. Even when you have back-ups for your back-ups, do you really need 15 pairs of low-cuts? You always wear one of your three favorites anyway. And what about all those costume necklaces and bracelets that you NEVER wear? The 20/20 Rule of De-Cluttering can definitely help with those.

Insider Tip: This de-cluttering of small, under $20 items is a perfect opportunity to gather items to either donate or consign at places like Consignments Ltd. But make sure you check the “rules” and policies of these places regarding appointments and seasonality. For more on consigning, check out my previous blog: How Consignment Works: A Beginners Guide.

Minimalists rule decluttering
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What The Rule Doesn’t Help With

I don’t EVER think this rule is going to apply to memorabilia. Unlike Marie Kondo’s method that helps you go through everything, down to the most “precious” tidbits (see my blog: Secrets of De-Dluttering: The Marie Kondo Method). This rule will NOT help when it comes to all those ticket stubs, play bills and those old photos that you have squirreled away. It also won’t help with most of the items in your closet, or the good jewelry in your jewelry box, as they almost exclusively cost more than $20.

The 20/20 Rule of De-Cluttering is what I would call a “good start.” It won’t get you over the goal line of a clutter-free house, but it will be like a really solid kickoff. Click the link for more on the The Minimalists and to access their website.

And Now For A Little Music Before We Go…

Have a lovely day, my friends. Marianne

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