Read Time: 4-5 Minutes
We all have stuff in different shapes, different sizes and various quantities. However, there is a huge chance that your stuff is actually keeping you from the life you truly desire. Have you ever needed to manage or organize your stuff (er, clutter) to the point where you:
- took the day off of work
- put off preparing a meal you planned
- cancelled plans with friends or family
- skipped the gym or modified your workout
- read less of a book you found completely mesmerizing
- didn’t invite someone over (or in) due to the piles of things “to do”, or
- other (fill in the blank)
When you choose (unknowingly) to take time from something that you want to do for the purpose of managing your stuff, you actually need to break-up with your stuff so you can have a better relationship with yourself and ultimately, all that you envision for your life. Now, before you start feeling bad, please don’t.
When you choose (unknowingly) to take time from something that you want to do for the purpose of managing your stuff, you actually need to break-up with your stuff so you can have a better relationship with yourself and ultimately, all that you envision for your life.
Most of us are not taught to manage our stuff as children. We are taught to put things away, but not to curate (or purge for lack of a better word) things that don’t work, don’t fit, are broken, or are no longer useful. Someone older and wiser (who probably purchased these things for us) did that. And, if this person was not guided in ways to deal with their clutter, it manifests throughout their life in perpetuity until it is necessary to address this clutter. One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to teach them how to manage their things in an organized, efficient, and positive way so they can effectively manage a minimalist life as a well-adjusted and emotionally strong adult.
I’ve spending hundreds of hours researching the reason one has a cluttered life. There are a few common themes and main reasons that minimalism eludeds many, in some instances for years:
- having numerous things reminds the person of happier times; they want to feel that way again, even if it’s in their memories and not in their actual life
- having numerous things makes the person feel safe and less emotionally exposed and hugs them like a warm blanket
- having numerous things reminds them they have spent money and throwing things away that they hate still makes them feel like they are wasting money
So, how does one approach decluttering for lasting results and not just a simple clean up? Before you start tossing everything that reminds you of anything, have a long heart-to-heart talk with yourself about why you are keeping these things. Or, on a simpler level, what parts of your life are you not being honest about (with yourself).
Ask yourself out loud why you are keeping these things and what value there is to keeping them. Ask yourself why your home somehow continues to attract clutter? How does the clutter make you feel? What do you expect to gain from a clutter free home? You should do this in every room where there is clutter. It may get emotional so make sure you have a friend or family member who knows you are about to break-up up with your stuff.
Next, create a plan starting in order of which room needs to function optimally on a day to day basis. Think about how you function in each room, how you want to function in that room and what purpose you want the room to have. Before you run out and purchase a bunch or organizational items know that chances are, you have all that you need. You may just need to start small to find the big answers to your organizational needs.
For example, you enter from the front door. What do you do next?
- Do you take off your shoes and coat and toss them on the floor? If you could, would you place them in the coat closet (but it’s jam packed)?
- Do you need a simple coat rack to help? How many coats do you own? Do you wear all of them? Do you need more storage?
If the way by which you enter your home is jumbled, start decluttering your coat closet first. Keep what works. Sort what doesn’t. Toss what is broken. Sell or donate what is past it’s useful life. Items that do not belong in the coat closet that are not part of it’s function should be placed in a bin off to the side. Decide where they belong that make sense in regards to their function.
Questions about getting your clutter under control? Message me in the comments. I’m happy to help 🙂