I wrote this many years ago for a Studio 5 segment. It was on the air but I can’t find the segment now, so I’ll just share the info in this post. I’m actually going to share the information in 2 posts because I think dealing with clutter can be a little overwhelming for some people. Letting go of clutter is a process, which means the time frame is different for everyone. If you struggle with clutter I hope this post will help you be able to find the meaning behind it and be able to let it go.
Letting Go of Clutter
1- Start with realizing you are not what you have. Things don’t define you.
It’s the world we live in. See how much stuff you can get. Keep up with the neighbors. Have the newest gadgets. Stay up on all the latest trends and fashions. Then what do you do with all the stuff you once thought you needed and loved? Some of it is so far back in a closet that you haven’t seen it for years. Somewhere along the way a lot of us learned that the more stuff we have makes us better, or makes us feel happy. But does it really? As you’re learning to let go of things remember that things don’t define who you are.
2- Holding onto things can keep you in the past and keep you from moving forward.
It’s so weird how we can sometimes hold onto things so long, even when they no longer have any use or meaning to us. They are taking up space in our home and our mind. Do you need all those books from college? Hubby held onto his books for years until he finally realized he hadn’t looked at them for over 7 years. They were just in the way and actually preventing him from researching new things in his field. He thought everything he needed was right there, when really it was just holding him back.
3- It’s all about the memory or the person, not the thing.
I know letting go of certain things can be hard, I’ve struggled with this in the past. Some people take everything they can from a loved ones home and bring it into theirs. They are trying to hold onto that person through their things when really all it’s doing is adding more clutter to their home. If you really want something from that person choose something that has a special memory and keep just that one thing. I have a locket and quilt from my grandmother, a coin from my grandfather, and my husband has a table from his grandfather. These things have special meaning but don’t clutter up our home. Personally my favorite memories come from photos and they take up very little space.
4- If you are seeking more time you need less things.
Really, this is so logical but so hard for most people to understand. There is something so freeing about decluttering. You get so much time back from having to clean less things, having to do less laundry, having to store less, and having to organize and find space for less. I personally know people who have bought larger homes to accommodate their stuff. I’m not putting you down if you have done this, but it is probably time for you to evaluate what is really meaningful to you. The old saying “you can’t take it with you” is true.
5- How does your home make you feel? How does it look in your head?
Your home should be your refuge. Is it? Do you feel calm and relaxed when you enter your home or do you feel exhausted and frazzled? When you enter the rooms in your home do they make you happy? Do they make your family happy? Your home should reflect you and your family, what you love, where you’ve been, things that make you happy. If you can picture your home the way you want it, take the steps to get it there.
Steps to Letting Go
1- Make a list of things you want to do but haven’t been able to because of clutter.
2- Envision your home the way you want it to look.
3- Go through your home room by room, space by space, and ask yourself if things are adding value to your life.
4- Enlist the help of a friend or family member.
5- Give the items to someone who will use and enjoy it.
I hope these steps will help you on your way to a beautiful, clutter free home. If you have any questions or need any encouragement on the way, let me know. I would be happy to help you love your clutter free home.
Letting Go of Clutter part 2 will be later this week.
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