Do you spend a lot of time thinking and planning, with little action?
Lisa recently asked this question:
We moved into our new house over a year ago now and I’m frustrated with the amount of stuff we have that clutters my home. I want to purge. I want to throw every un-useful thing out and start fresh. However every time I try to make a start, I find some crazy reason to keep these things. I’ve read books, done e-courses, written list after list about what I need to do but I just can’t seem to do it when it comes to the crunch. What am I doing wrong? Help Me!
Here’s my simple answer: Let It Go!
Let It Go
Can it really be that simple?
I think it can, as long as you have a good foundation of belief behind you.
For every item you wish to throw or donate ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? What is holding you back from living in a clutter-free space?
Let’s consider three major scenarios that hold us back from taking action:
1. I might need this one day.
For items like:
- Bulky jackets (because you live in warmer climate now).
- Extra saucepans (they came in a set and you only ever use two or three of them, but have six).
- A complete tool shed (where you really only use screwdrivers for opening the kids toys & replacing batteries).
- Magazines (you could tear out the recipe/article/item that you want and throw the rest).
- Extra sets of kitchen gadgets (How many measuring cups do you need? Is one can opener and one potato masher enough?)
Your new mindset: I’m going to throw this out because I don’t use it and it takes up space. If I do need it again one day, I’ll have to buy a new one. Yay! I I’ll get something new and improved.
2. Awww, <insert special someone> gave that to me!
For items like:
- Handwritten letters
Your new mindset: I’m going to keep the things that truly mean a lot to me, and bin the rest of the items. Reality is that these other items take up space. It could be that they no longer work, or you don’t wear it because it is not to your taste. Let go of the guilt for keeping these items. Be thankful you received them in the first place and move on.
3. I need photos to help me remember.
For items like:
- Boxes and boxes of old albums.
- Packets and packets of developed photos, unsorted, mixed up or randomly piled together.
- Photos of you as a baby, toddler, pre-teen, teenager, young adult, up until now.
- Lots of photos of relatives who have passed.
- Lots of photos of relationships that have soured, ended or fizzled out.
- Negatives. Discs. Old frames.
Your new mindset: I’m going to throw this stuff out because I no longer need it*. I will allocate a box/container/drawer/plastic tub as my allocated space. I will sort and throw the majority of the photos and only keep special ones.
*If you have the time you may want to scan these old photos and store them electronically. It’s a nice idea, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is an easy option. Scanning photos takes a lot of time. During this process, be ruthless in choosing photos that deserve the time for scanning. This will help you avoid scanning the past instead of living in the present.
Letting go of clutter becomes easier with practice.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if on day #1 of your declutter project you find that you weren’t as successful as you hoped. Treat each day as a new challenge. You might revisit a room over a period of time before it is exactly as you wish. You’ll find that by decluttering it doesn’t hurt as much as you think it will. You move on and it frees up your space so you can enjoy a more simple life.
Remember: Clutter-bugs get caught up with feelings of guilt and obligation. Fill your home with things you love and use.
Here are more related blogs on this topic:
7 Ways To Clutter-Proof Your Life
Didn’t Expect That! 6 Surprising Consequences of Getting Rid Of Clutter
7 Myths That Keep You Stuck In Clutter
Is Clutter Stopping You From Achieving Your Goals?
How To Run Your Own Declutter Project