Decluttering. This is a topic I like to touch on every now and again – especially when I get to a point in my own life where it needs to be done! (Things will always accumulate – especially when you have kids. The only way it’s going to go the other way is if you consciously clear things out. And it’s time to start purging the kid’s toys – they are taking over my house!)
Many people think of the physical benefits of decluttering – such as a simplified cleaning routine, which reduces the levels of allergens and asthma triggers and literally allows you to breathe easier. But I have found that there is a huge mental benefit to decluttering your home (or any space that you spend a lot of time in). A clean home has actually been proven to make you happier as well!
The first step to a clean home is getting rid of the excess stuff you no longer need. As you spend time decluttering, you will start to see a trend in what you choose to keep and what you choose to get rid of. Paying attention to this trend will help give you an idea of what is truly important in your life and what you really should be working towards and spending your time on. Are you keeping a lot of family mementos? Then make sure to display them in a place where you can see them regularly and be reminded of the good memories they represent. Are you keeping a lot of craft supplies? Then make sure that you regularly use those items and make it a habit to gift away the completed projects so they don’t accumulate in your home. Do you love to be surrounded by books and magazines? Make sure to actually read them! And if you honestly don’t think you will re-read it once you are done, donate it to a local library or school so someone else can enjoy it.
The more you declutter and the more things you get rid of, the easier it will be to go back through those initial items you weren’t sure about and make a solid yes or no decision on whether to keep them. Are they fitting into the pattern you see emerging for your home and for your life? Is there an old project you were working on that you thought was important, but learned really wasn’t as you continued decluttering?
You will find it so much easier to let go of things as you keep letting go of things.
By cleaning the clutter from your home, you end up cleaning the clutter from your mind. With fewer items around, you will be able to focus on what really matters to you and spend your time on those things that are most important. You will feel less stressed and more able to handle the tasks you have decided are worth keeping. You’ll also have more time to spend doing the things you love and more time to spend with the people you love – particularly since you won’t be spending it maintaining all the excess stuff around you!
Always remember, items in your home should either be useful (and used regularly!) or bring you happiness. If it doesn’t fit either of those requirements, then it is time to let it go.
What items did you find that you were able to let go of after initially thinking it was something you needed? Leave your comments below and let me know!
All the best,