Clear the Clutter
8 Tips to Help Solve the “Stuff” Crisis
Do you feel like “stuff” has taken over your life? Too much paperwork? Too many piles of things to go through? Do you walk into a room and feel overwhelmed rather than relaxed? Perhaps, it’s time to simplify your life by clearing out the clutter. While it may seem daunting at first, once you begin and experience the liberation that comes from clearing out, you will feel energized and excited to continue.
The reasons for holding onto belongings are as individual as each person. Some items may remind you of enjoyable times from the past, or remind you of specific people. Maybe you have things that were given as gifts over the years from friends and loved ones, and you feel it would be a betrayal to get rid of them. Perhaps, you have some belongings from someone who has died, and it feels too hard to part with them. Rest assured, it is okay to simplify. Nobody holds on to everything they have ever received or gotten. This may be the time to begin letting go of the hold that some of your possessions may have on you.
As you begin to clear the clutter from your home, here are some tips to help:
- Make a list. Before you begin, write down the areas in your home that feel cluttered. Choose one area to focus on at the beginning. The rest can come later.
- Start small. Instead of deciding it’s time to overhaul your entire living room, pick one area. Maybe it’s just the drawers in your end tables or a set of bookshelves to start. It’s a good beginning.
- Imagine what you want your environment to look like. Do you have a picture from a magazine you can hang up for inspiration? Picture whatever it is you want your space to look like, and imagine how you will feel when you get there.
- Set a timer for a specific amount of time to work. If it’s been a while since you cleared out, start with 10 or 15 minutes. Taking on an entire room at once may be overwhelming and lead to feelings of failure if you don’t finish. It’s better to work in small, manageable bursts, rather than burn out and lose interest in de-cluttering all together.
- As you go through your belongings, sort into three piles- toss/recycle, donate, and keep. Pack up your donate bag as soon as you are done and put it in your car so it’s ready to drop off next time you go out. Throw out or recycle items that are not fit to donate.
- Take a good look at your keep pile. Do you really need everything in it? Is there even one thing you can part with? If so, do it.
- Once you have narrowed it down to what you absolutely must keep, put everything away before you move on to another task.
- When you have finished an area, spend time admiring it. Realize you have made a good step in the right direction to de-clutter your space. Each time you do this, you will begin to see and feel the difference.
Studies have shown that trying to work or relax in a cluttered environment is frustrating and distracting. When your mind is aware of all the “stuff” around you, and when you are more aware of the things that need to be done, you end up losing energy and focus for the things you really want to do. You deserve to have a simple, beautiful home. Start small and work consistently, and before you know it, you will have the place of your dreams.
To keep you focused on clearing the clutter, next time we will talk about how the brain works better in an organized environment.
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