Mindee Neatnik here, and I'm here this week to talk about decluttering rules.

There are a lot of people in my line of work that love "rules," or guidelines to help people accomplish the job of decluttering things.

I have a friend who lives by the 12-12-12 rule. She says it's the key to a clean house and a clean life. Her concept is: locate 12 things in your life that need to be thrown away, 12 things that you need to donate to charity and 12 things that need to be saved, but put away in their proper locations.

Another of my contemporaries goes by the 20-20 rule, which states that if you can replace 20 things for less than $20 each, then do it.

There are other rules, like one online site that touts the 90 rule -- if you haven't used it in the last 90 days, then you should chuck it.

Yet another one is the one-touch rule, which declares that you should put something -- anything -- away with one touch right after using the item, and avoid touching the item a second time until needed.

The problem with these and most other decluttering rules is just that -- they are rules. We have WAY too many rules in our lives.

Even a rule I kind of like, the five-year rule, is restrictive. This one says that if you haven't used something in the last five years, it needs to go.

On the surface, this one is solid, but leaves no room for exception. What about my high school yearbook? Or the baby book of my 9-year-old? How about the dried flowers from our wedding day, or maybe our third child's blessing dress?

So for me, rules are for the birds!

Instead, all decluttering really takes is an attitude -- a mindset that will get the ball rolling.

I'm not going to throw out my yearbook or my wedding flowers. But I am going to get rid of that silly vase that I thought was cool and bought at a yard sale in the 2010s.

And I'm going to go through my closet and weed out the never--to-be-worn-again leggings and ill-fitting dresses.

See, no rules needed. Like I said last week, start small and clean up a little area that will show you immediate positive results.

No rules necessary.

I've got so many more ideas to help you declutter your life, so look for them in future editions of "Decluttering your life with Mindee Neatnik."

Mindee Neatnik
Mindee Neatnik

* Mindee Neatnik is a St. George resident who takes pride in her married life, her neat-to-a-tee home and her thriving business (Neatnik's DC) of helping Washington County residents clean up their lives. Mindee is married (Brent) and has three perfect children. Well, at least she thinks they are. Reach her on Truth Social at @Mindeeneatnik.

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