Reimagine Your Life With 10 Percent Less

Minimalism isn't going anywhere soon, and given her ongoing book sales, neither is the life-changingly magical Marie Kondo. Paring down your possessions doesn't have to be all that ~woo. If you love the idea of shedding what doesn't "spark joy" but can't quite get your head around it, try falling back on simple math.

Decluttering expert Ann Lightfoot spoke to Apartment Therapy last week about her "10 percent method." The process starts like KonMari, by dragging all your possessions out into the open to see them all at once. Lightfoot then asks you to pair like with like — all your sneakers go in one pile, while all your work pants go in another, and so on. Then you take in the whole and you ask yourself the question: If you were to reduce this by 10 percent, which ones would go?

The trick is to get break down your analysis into the smallest pieces possible. First, by seeing your items as a manageable mass and then in categories, you don't have to panic about towering piles of imagined, undifferentiated junk. You have one small job in front of you at a time, and reducing by 10 percent can take some of the emotion out decision-making. If you wind up tossing more, great. But all you really have to do to start is excise 10 percent.

Decluttering can score you some cash if you're savvy about selling what you're setting free. But mostly importantly, it can be hugely beneficial for your mental health, which can follow you out of the house too. Don't wait for the spark of inspiration — go by the numbers and see how you can boost your living space.