Decluttering is not just a trend and requires a lot more time and effort than you would think. Due to the health benefits (yes you heard that correctly) of decluttering, many are using this path towards living a more simple and meaningful life, with less!
What is the difference between people who declutter regularly and those who don’t? Those that have this practice embedded in their daily lives often feel less anxious, stressed, and tired.
How can this be? Your external environment (a messy home with overflowing laundry, mail, toys, clothes etc.) affects you on your physical, emotional, and mental levels. In fact, did you know that a messy home can make you more susceptible to colds and flus as well as stress and anxiety? When your home is dirty and cluttered, you may begin to feel overwhelmed, out of control, and even anxious. While keeping on top of this can be time-consuming, the health benefits make the time commitment well worth it.
Just like those pesky garden weeds you pull each year, clutter will also keep making an appearance. Remember that clutter is normal in every home and all you need is a little bit of persistence to keep it under control.
How To Get Started with Decluttering
This is where people get stuck in a loophole: I want to declutter but I’m too overwhelmed by my stuff and do not know where to start. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Oftentimes, the biggest hurdle is to just begin, and what can get you started can be the smallest, simplest thing. Start with something easy and go from there. Give away a pair of jeans you haven’t worn in ages to a friend. Then next week, donate some books to the library. Keep this up and see how liberating the feeling of new-found space can be. Giving back to the community through donation and seeing that your stuff gets a new life – rather than sitting on your shelf gathering dust year after year – feels good.
Decluttering is for everyone and anyone. Whether you’re a family of ten living in a large house or a single person living in a small condo, you can and will enjoy the benefits that come with decluttering. When you begin your decluttering journey, you’ll realize there is less stuff to clean, organize, repair, or replace.
Clutter is Not Just “Stuff"
The most profound aspect about decluttering is that it does not only relate to material things. Once you deal with physical stuff, you will see how effortlessly it spills over into other aspects of your life. Remember we mentioned that the outside environment reflects your internal one?
Clutter classifies more than just ‘things’, but also mental, emotional and spiritual clutter! Before we get too deep, let’s commit to starting somewhere – the physical things. Getting the chaos and mess in order in your physical world will have immense benefits for your well-being and trickle into other areas of your life. It seems too good to be true. Of course, no one said it was an easy path – but the key is to always keep it simple. When moving stuff feels like moving mountains, use these simple tips to banish clutter once and for all.
Steps to Manage Clutter in Your Home
Don’t be too hard on yourself when clutter makes an appearance in your home. It can and it will. Learning how to combat clutter is a skill, meaning it takes time and patience to improve at it. To get started, let’s highlight some steps and strategies you can try right now to begin your decluttering journey.
1. Locate Clutter Hotspots
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding how to start your decluttering journey. However, it makes sense to focus on a particularly messy area or a ‘clutter hotspot’. This can be any room, closet or drawer that seems to attract clutter – maybe it’s the dining table stacked with keys, mail, flyers, textbooks etc. Whatever the case, starting in a hotspot will have the most up-front rewards. Once you do a larger sweep, dedicate at least 5 minutes in each spot for daily clutter control. It’s often good to start in these areas because it inspires you to think of what storage or organizational solutions could be handy to keep the clutter at bay for good.
2. Focus on Different Areas One at a Time
Sectioning off areas and moving through them one at a time makes the task less daunting than tackling your entire house in one shot. When you’re working in a room or closet, think critically about whether you really use, or even find joy in the items. Don’t worry about the sunken costs of items, or the fact that some were gifted to you. When you have too much stuff, you need to start somewhere. It often it begins with coming to terms with your feelings and attachments to items. If you aren’t ready to donate right off the bat, store items in a box, and see whether you miss or crave those items after a few weeks. If you need an ‘easy’ place to start, some experts recommend starting with decluttering your bathroom. A bathroom is usually a smaller space, and you can easily toss items because there’s little or no sentimental value attached to them. You won’t second guess tossing out expired medications or toiletries. You’ll make space for the things you use, and results will be more obvious in a smaller area. If the bathroom is a clutter hotspot in your home, start here to see a big impact. It’ll give you a good boost to start tackling other areas.
3. Storage and Decluttering Go Hand-in-Hand
Having the right storage solutions can organize a space and make it more functional. Experts say that clutter disappears when every item has its own designated spot. It’s usually the clutter hotspots that require added storage. Once you declutter, the valuable items that you’ve decided to keep will require their own designated space. This could come in the form of personalized storage solutions for your space, or simply freeing up space in areas (drawers, cabinets) that you already have.
If you’re struggling to find a space for all your books or other trinkets, consider investing in a bookshelf or side tables that can help you designate spaces for these items while enhancing the overall appearance of your rooms. When small items are organized in an appealing – and official – way rather than being strewn about the floor or random tables, they suddenly don’t seem like clutter anymore. Now these items, which we can now refer to as décor, can be looked at with delight rather than stress or irritation.
Decluttering does not have to be overwhelming. There is no better time than right now to start decluttering. Slowly but surely, you’ll start welcoming more free space, and be more cautious of what you keep in your home, and life. Using these simple decluttering tips will get you started on this exciting journey.