The term “decluttering” has been a catch phrase for a number of years. Some think it is simply cleaning a house, but if you have seen television shows about hoarding or cleaning, you know it can be much more than that. So, why is decluttering important and what does it entail?
What does declutter mean
- Whether tossing out ornaments from your living room or clearing your mind of pointless thoughts, to declutter is to remove messes—or clutter—from a space.
- Physically, decluttering involves getting rid of unnecessary things, such as unused clothes crowding a closet, to tidy up a room or area. Figuratively, decluttering involves organizing and making priorities to streamline one’s life.
You may have heard the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” For those struggling with clutter, this often becomes a mantra or battle cry.
Why is Decluttering Important?
Does it matter? Is it that important really?
Yes, is the simple answer. It can make quite a big difference to your stress levels, your wellbeing and your happiness. Too much clutter can effect your mental and physical health, causing anxiety, affecting your sleep and reduce your focus.
When you remove clutter it can make a big difference to how you feel, for some the difference is quite startling.
The trouble is ‘stuff’ creeps in gradually, ornaments that crowd into a space, books and magazines left because you have finished them yet. Papers that need to be looked at but are still untouched months later. Bags and shoes that remain where they were removed, clothing that you mean to put away ….. and the list just goes on.
Make a start!
Start small when you begin decluttering. If your home has become very cluttered, it will seem like a mammoth task. It is easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed by the amount to be cleared.
By starting small, even with one single dresser drawer, you see how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Quite often, with a small area, you can declutter and clean it in less than 15 minutes. Anyone can do this if is important to them. Once one area has been decluttered, leaving it clean, tidy and more spacious, it is easier and you feel more inspired to continue.
Enlist the help of someone you trust, though sometimes that is easier said than done.
If your family have a tendency to hoard and are happy with clutter then they may not want to help. If that is the case you could ask a friend to help instead. Not only will your friend be there to give encouragement and assistance, they may also help you with the tough decisions of what to keep and what to get rid of. Someone who prefers clear tidy spaces is a good choice, especially if they know you well.
Get some boxes to start.
One box will be for things no longer needed. These items can either be thrown away or donated to charity.
Box 2 can be for things you really want to keep but need to be stored elsewhere.
Box 3 can be those items that need to stay in the room you are clearing.
Decide which box each item needs to go in. Anything you find hard to decide upon needs some thought. How long is it since you used it, touched it, thought of it?
When you have one drawer, stack, corner or box cleaned out, take a break. If your friend is still there, have a cup of coffee or tea. Then, after your drink is finished, tackle another. Before you know it, you will have a cleaned out drawer, cabinet or one less pile to look at. Then, do your best to keep that renewed area clean and clear from that point forward. Congratulations on a job well done!
It is important to be honest with yourself over each item. If it hasn’t been used in the last year, then it is no longer needed. If it is in good condition it can go to someone else who will use it.
Each item needs to go in one of the boxes, the longer you linger over individual things the harder it will be. If there are some items you really cannot decide upon put them in a separate box to be stored. Add the date on the outside of the box so that when you go back to it, you will know that if you haven’t thought about anything in it for the last 6 months, it’s time to get rid of it.
If your home has been gathering clutter gradually over many months or years it will not be an easy task.
Cut it down into manageable areas and reward yourself for a job well done as you complete each one. Do set yourself a timetable for completing each area, otherwise you might find yourself lapsing back into old habits. Something we all have to watch at times.
In the immediate aftermath of decluttering it is easy to decide you won’t allow it to happen again. You are on a high, loving your living space and feeling good about your achievements.
But it’s very easy to slip back!
Start to be more aware of the things you bring into your home.
Go through your mail when you receive it, not later, the next day or the next week, straight away. File anything important and put junk mail straight in the bin.
Try to adopt the one in/one out rule. If you purchase a new item, with this rule, you would also get rid of one item. This item could be something related to what you purchased or something non-related. The point is to get into the habit of removing one item each time a new item comes into the home. Easier said than done I must admit.
Whatever you bring into your home though, do get into the habit of putting it away, where it belongs immediately.
Once an area gains one or two items, it becomes easier to turn it into a dumping ground for other things that you will ‘find a place for later’.
What you gain!
Well the obvious of course, which is a clean and uncluttered home.
It can also help you have a clearer mind, reduce stress and lessen anxiety. That then has a knock on effect of helping you to sleep better.
It can also help increase productivity and encourage creativity.
Wellbeing is very important for physical and mental health. Reducing clutter can really help with this, which then makes you happier.
It can also make you feel calmer and more relaxed which again makes you happier. Happiness raises your vibration which draws even more good things and people towards you
It really is a win win situation all round. Give it a try!
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