The More Stuff You Get Rid Of The More Free You Will Feel
How much stuff do you have? If you are like most people in North America you have about 300000 items floating around your place. That is a lot of stuff to look after, find a place for and clean.
Why do we have so much stuff? Well marketers do a very good job of convincing us that we always need something. Just bought the latest phone? Too bad. There is a new version that you should really check out. And so on. Plus we have this thing where we seem to feel the need to keep up with our neighbors. Competition maybe?
Clutter is Procrastination
The thought of having to deal with all that clutter was overwhelming, and I had too much to do, or I was too tired, so I procrastinated.
Clutter, it turns out, is procrastination.
So you have considered the benefits of owning fewer possessions: less to clean, less to organize, less stress, less debt, more money and energy for your greatest passions. You are ready to declutter but you get tripped up by the very next question… where in the world do I begin?
Also Read– Tips To Declutter and Clean Out Your Closet
The point is you have a lot of stuff and chances are it is getting to you. No one likes a messy, cluttered space. It weighs you down and stresses you out. some estimates have people spending 30 hours a week cleaning and trying to organize their possessions. Almost a full time job.
Get Decluttered Tips
- Start small. Clutter can be overwhelming, and so we put it off. The best thing I did was to just focus one one small space to start with. A kitchen counter (just part of it) is a good example. Or a dining table, or a shelf. Clear everything off that space, and only put back what you really need. Put it back neatly. Get rid of the rest — give it away, sell it on Craigslist, donate it, recycle it. The clearing and sorting will take 10 minutes, while you can give stuff away later when you have the time.
- Work in chunks. If you start small, you’ll feel good about it, but there’s still a whole home full of stuff to deal with. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So just like you did one small area to start with, keep doing that, just 10 minutes a day, maybe more if you feel really enthusiastic. If you have a free day on the weekend, spend an afternoon doing a huge chunk. Spend the whole weekend if you feel like it. Or just do one small piece at a time — there’s no need to rush, but keep the progress going.
- Follow a simple method. For each small chunk you do, clear out the area in question and put everything in one pile. Pick up the first thing off the pile (no putting it aside to decide later) and force yourself to make a decision. Ask yourself: do I love and use this? If not, get rid of it. If the answer is yes, find a place for it — I call it a “home”. If you really love and use something, it deserves a home that you designate and where you put it back each time you’re done with it. Then go to the next thing and make the same decision. Working quickly and making quick decisions, you can sort through a pile in about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the pile).
- Put stuff in your trunk. Once you’ve collected stuff to donate or give away, put them in boxes or grocery bags and put them in the trunk of your car (if you don’t have a car, somewhere near the door). Choose a time to deliver them. Enjoy getting them out of your life.
- Talk to anyone involved. If you have a significant other, kids, or other people living with you, they’ll be affected if you start decluttering the home. You should talk to them now, before you get started, so they’ll understand why you want to do this, and get them involved in the decision-making process. Ask them what they think of this. Send them this article to consider. Ask if they can support you wanting to declutter, at least your own stuff or some of the kitchen or living room, to see what it’s like. Don’t be pushy, don’t try to force, but have the conversation. Be OK if they resist. Try to change the things that you can control (your personal possessions, for example) and see if that example doesn’t inspire them to consider further change.
- Notice your resistance. There will be a lot of items that you either don’t want to get rid of (even if you don’t really use them), or you don’t feel like tackling. This resistance is important to watch — it’s your mind wanting to run from discomfort or rationalize things. You can give in to the resistance, but at least pay attention to it. See it happening. The truth is, we put a lot of emotional attachment into objects. A photo of a loved one, a gift from a family member, a memento from a wedding or travel, a treasured item from a dead grandfather. These items don’t actually contain the memories or love that we think are in them, and practicing letting go of the items while holding onto the love is a good practice. And practicing tackling clutter that you dread tackling is also an amazing practice.
- Enjoy the process. The danger is to start seeing decluttering as yet another chore on your to-do list. Once you start doing that, it becomes something you’ll put off. Instead, reframe it to a liberating practice of mindfulness. Smile as you do it. Focus on your breathe, on your body, on the motions of moving items around, on your feelings about the objects. This is a beautiful practice, and I recommend it.
Why not take some time this weekend to get rid of your possessions and actually get organized?
How To Get Your House Decluttered This Weekend
There is no real sense in trying to organize all of your stuff. It is a myth to think it can be done. Decrapifying is the only way to go. You need a plan to purge all of the stuff you do not need.
Start in one room and go through every single item. If you have not used it in the last year it needs to go. If it does not bring you joy it needs to go. In order to be kept, a material possession has to satisfy one question: is it a necessity for your well being and happiness?
Also see– The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
This is going to take time and yes it can be exhausting but you must go through this process if you are going to ever have a clutter free home. I bet at least 50% of the stuff you have could be gotten rid of. Hell, probably more.
You may find that you end up having a serious exploration of your relationship with the stuff you own. Why are you keeping certain things? Why are there empty boxes cluttering up your closets? Why on earth are there so many articles of clothing?
Psychology Today recommends using your imagination to help declutter objects that may seem difficult to remove. Try asking yourself unique questions like, “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?” These creative techniques may prove to be very helpful for some with difficulties removing unneeded clutter. Also be sure to check out the post 4 Ways Decluttering Makes You a Better Person for more insight.
Must read– 18 Different Five Minute Decluttering Tips
One of the best things I did a few years ago was I literally took everything out of my apartment and put it all out on the back lawn. Jesus it was a lot of stuff for a small one bedroom apartment!
I went through it all. I sold a lot and I gave a lot away. Only the stuff that I really needed came back in. I find that trying to go through things when in a space to be frustrating. It just gets moved around from one place to another and nothing really gets purged.
Organize the stuff that is left
So hopefully you have made a dent in the items that were taking up space in your house or apartment. Now what? Well you need to find a place for everything. The point is to be able to find something when you need it.
- Car keys go on a hook by the door.
- Jackets get placed on a hook or in a closet.
- Clothes are actually put away after they are washed.
If you cannot find a place for something then maybe it should have been purged. Put it aside for now and deal with it tomorrow.
Do you have places where clutter seems to creep in? For me it is the top of the fridge and the kitchen counter when I first walk into my apartment. A few papers and some bills. So I need a better plan to deal with this area. It is about creating better habits for not even placing stuff in these areas in the first place.
How To Keep Your Space Decluttered
So you have made progress in purging your unwanted and no longer needed items. Yay! You have found a place for what is left and are feeling pretty damn good about it all. Now comes the fun part: keeping it this way.
No new stuff comes through the door. You need to avoid the temptation to go shopping. You have everything you need. Tell yourself this everyday if necessary. You are not going to succumb to the marketing hype!
Come up with a cleaning and organizing routine. Maybe 15 minutes a day spent on tidying is the way to go. After 15 minutes you stop. You will be amazed at how efficient you become during that short time frame! You will also love these 18 different 5-minute decluttering tips.
Every time you leave a room take one item that does not belong there with you and deal with it. Dishes, papers, etc. Don’t let clutter creep back into your life. A few minutes a day will do wonders for keeping your space organized and clutter free.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.
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