Are you ready to get rid of clutter once and for all? Do you want to know what difference it will make, and how to make it easier for you? Yes? Then read on…
Decluttering – the challenges and opportunities.
Does decluttering help? Well yes, in my own experience, and those that have taken on decluttering, by tackling our clutter we can create a significant change in our worlds.
We can feel calmer, lighter, happier, and more resilient to life’s challenges. We can find ourselves naturally being nicer to those around us, and have more time to the the things we want.
Do you frequently find yourself stressed because you can’t find something, or constantly need to tidy up, or maybe you aren’t looking at your ‘skinny’ clothes, paperwork, or bulging drawers but it is a repeating niggle? Perhaps the stress makes you more snappy or unavailable? What difference could it make to let all of that go from your life?
Last week I ran a decluttering focus in my Facebook Group and today I am sharing my top three tips from that week.
However, before that, let’s talk a little bit about clutter and where it comes from.
After all, there are various reasons why clutter accumulates, and why it can be hard to declutter.
Clutter can often simply accumulate over time, we tend to get more things but very little leaves our homes or offices. Most of it will have come in looking good, with a purposeful intention. Even so, one day it has just built up without our noticing and some of it is looking a bit worse for wear or never seen the light of day.
Other times it can be a different story as to why more and more comes into our homes (and continues to do so). To one end we can have various levels of hoarding which often requires a different approach.
Either way, one day you start to notice it is there, either from the volume, or the impact it is having on you in other ways.
So why then can it be so hard to have a good clear out? To make an active choice and follow through with what you want to have in your own home? Well it can depend.
Decluttering can have its own challenges, however, once you realise what they are they can be readily turned around.
This can include feelings of overwhelm, or thoughts of having tried something before but it was unsuccessful, or a view that you would have to throw everything out and become a ‘minimalist’. Perhaps until now there hasn’t even been a realisation that the issue is ‘the stuff’, the focus has always been the storage or the size of your house (although effective storage solutions will help after the declutter).
Likewise, we are not always sure how to get rid of things, or why we worry about it. Why do we keep items even though they cause us stress?
We can keep items for various emotional reasons. Some of them include fear based clutter (what if I need it in the future, lose my job, can’t find the same thing), to hope based clutter (I might still lose weight, do that activity again, enjoy fixing it), to guilt based clutter (I paid a lot of money for this, battled to get it, it was a gift, I ought to do this).
Whatever your experience of clutter, the outcome is usually that it is draining and impacts on other areas of your life. Essentially you often have less emotional energy to deal with everything else as the impact of clutter is constantly or repeatedly on your mind (consciously or unconsciously). It can significantly bring you down at times.
The work I do focuses on all aspects, from the emotional and mindset journey, to finding that clarity to bring you extra joy. That great feeling of lightness, proud of having done it, and of choice. That feeling of walking into a home that feels spacious and light.
It also includes the physical process of decluttering and enjoying your journey to create that life, that freedom. What that process looks like differs from person to person, however, as mentioned last week I gave a range of some of the practical tips for decluttering. Here were my top three:
DECLUTTERING WRAP UP
(my top three tips from last week)
Are you looking to start the decluttering process? To create a space you want to work and live in? Here are my three top practical tips?
1. Choose ONE place.
Put everything of one type together in a place you actively choose. By doing this it means you can quickly see if you have too many of one thing, AND you know where everything is. Not sure if you will use it/them all? Put them in an open box, turn your hangers around. If you take them out the box because you used it, it goes into the place you have chosen, or you turn the hangar around. At the end of the allocated time, say three months, you can see what you have used and often let all of the rest go.
2. Choose what to KEEP
We often focus on what we need to throw out. When a better focus is to choose what you actively want to keep in your home. So for example, when going through your week you could notice everything you handle and the impact of those. Or likewise if you are doing a practical decluttering (ie a shelf or the full home) you can do the same as you handle everything you are moving, making decisions about. Switch your focus onto what you want actively want to KEEP (rather than deciding whether to throw away). Does it feel good to hold it/use it/own it? Does it get used a lot? Would you buy it again? Anything that is a meh, or a one day, then it could be a good time to let it go.
3. DO it or maybe Don’t
Do what you say you will. If you are going to declutter, be realistic about the time you will set aside to do it. Otherwise it can only add to the undercurrent of stress if you start it but don’t finish it, or delay the decision making. Hiding it in a drawer/putting it into storage/ the garage/a box does not declutter (unless you are using the box as part of the process above). Out of sight does not always mean out of mind. So take the time to do the task at hand. For example go through your paperwork, and decide what you definitely need to keep, and let go of the rest. Organise it into topics and even perhaps temp documents vs permanent documents. Concertina files are great for this. Ditto organising anything else. Make a plan and ask for help if you need it. Moving home is a great time to start choosing what you want to take with you when you leave, both when packing AND again when you are unpacking.
Have some fun with it, get the family involved if you can. And remember, when you ditch the clutter you create space, time, AND a new way of thinking for future purchases.
Isn’t it time you give yourself everything you deserve and create a way for more great things go to come in your life?
p.s. If you want to subscribe to my newsletter you can do so here. You can also join me on my Facebook Page and Group. You can find various declutter posts in the Group as we have run several declutter challenges in the Group.