When it comes to decluttering our homes, many of us feel paralyzed. It’s not uncommon, even for people whose homes are fairly neat and tidy.
The idea of purging items sounds overwhelming for a number of reasons:
- We like our stuff! Our economy runs off us wanting more stuff. Getting rid of it feels counter to our consumer culture.
- Where do we even begin? Stacks of old paperwork, textbooks from college — it’s too intimidating to even get started.
- Memories are attached to our mess. From knick-knacks that were gifts from loved ones to souvenirs from beloved vacations, tossing out these items is like betraying a memory.
These are all good reasons to think carefully and intentionally about decluttering, but they aren’t reasons to hold us back.
Clutter can affect the mind in a multitude of ways, and this article helps you see why.
It’s time to make some positive associations with decluttering — the freedom of not being burdened by guilt or responsibility, less stress from avoiding tasks and chores, and saved time knowing where everything is because it has a place.
Want to start decluttering but are unsure how to begin? Here are four tips to help you decode decluttering:
Before you start decluttering, give your home a deep clean.
A deep clean is a blank slate that inspires you to stay organized, feel more at-ease, both physically and emotionally. Decluttering is a process, so consider hiring cleaning professionals to get your home to really shine. That way, you can focus on items that help create a happy and inspiring environment.
If you’re looking for something that is a little more time savvy, take a look at this amazing guide that shows you how to clean your home in under an hour!
Give a Gift!
Go room by room and take items that remind you of someone you love. Maybe it is a vase your cousin always admired or a figurine that reflects a life situation a friend is going through. Consider giving these items away.
If you think someone in your life could find more joy in a book or piece of art than you do, it might be time to find it a new home.
Part of decluttering means freeing your surfaces from stuff. Solve the issue of a table covered with endless picture frames, magazines, or books by putting these items in a basket with a lid under the table. Also, don’t forget your floors.
Toys, clothes, pet accessories, and workout equipment can act as clutter even if they are part of your daily life. A professional floor cleaner can give you a start by injecting new life to your old hardwood, tile, and carpet flooring.
Take Your Time
It’s important to understand that you don’t have to make decisions right away.
Fill boxes labeled “maybe” so you can give yourself time to think before you eliminate. Set an alarm to open the box and reevaluate in a few months.
If you still feel attached to the items, keep them. If you didn’t miss them, then it might be okay to let them go. The same goes for your closet. Turn all your hangers so the hook is facing you. When you wear something and hang it back up, face the hanger hook toward the wall. At the end of a year, donate everything you never turned.
Decluttering is an emotional process.
It’s not just about the stuff in your space — it’s about how that stuff makes you feel. If you lack the energy to keep it all clean, then decluttering might be energizing. On the other hand, if you have strong emotional ties to items, decluttering might be more bittersweet. In order to decode decluttering you have to get to the bottom of why things pile up in the first place. Once you understand that, the rest comes more naturally.