Rock Talk

Clearing the Clutter Out of Your Life

Last updated on November 12, 2019 at 01:12 pm

I’ve expressed my feelings about having a minimalist lifestyle before in Advantages of a Tiny House. Since then, I’ve been working to declutter my home, and I’m here to tell you that it can be done. You didn’t accumulate closets and drawers filled with junk overnight so don’t expect to be clearing the clutter of your life in one day.

I realize that some people are really attached to their stuff and I get it. We associate things with security or we attach emotions to objects. I’m guilty of this too. But it’s important to make sure that you aren’t hiding behind those items or relying on them to save you. Superman was able to protect Earth with a pair of tights and a cape. Surely we can survive without an overflowing closet and several junk drawers.

Here are some ways I’ve cut the clutter in my home:

Pick one area and have at it. Start out small with a drawer, linen closet, or dresser. Really think about why you have that item and why you need it. If you’re not sure, donate it or trash it. Once you’ve sorted and clean your selected area, just stop right there. Wait till the next day to start the next section to avoid getting overwhelmed or burned out.

Try the closet hanger experiment. I’m not sure where this originated, but it’s genius! Open your closet and change the direction of all hangers. As you wear an item of clothing, turn the hanger back around. You should start to notice a pattern. The items on hangers still in their original position? Say adios. You just proved that you don’t need them or use them.

Take the 365-day challenge. This might work well for those who are terrified at the thought of downsizing. Each day, give something away, just like Colleen Madsen, founder of 365 Less Things, a website that teaches how reduce clutter one day at a time. It’s that simple.

Use your imaginationYou’ve cut the clutter, congrats. But you’ve still got stuff that you can’t bear to part with. Use your imagination to come up with ways for storing items. I’ve made digital copies of photos and stored them on thumb drives instead of big albums. Bulky winter blankets? Try an ottoman with storage.

Change your perspective. Your stove has four burners, but you’ve got eight pots. You bought that shirt that almost fits on sale (and it’s still in the closet with the price tag on it). See where I’m going here?

Ask questions. “I might need this.” Yes, you might, but for what? MacGyver got by with rolls of duct tape and paper clips. I’m pretty sure you can survive without some things. If I am out shopping and find a great deal, I always ask myself, ”Do I really NEED this?”

Remember, the goal of decluttering is not to make room for new clutter. It’s the same if you were to lose weight. You don’t stop eating healthy and being active when you reach your fitness goal. You need to maintain it.

For me, cutting the clutter is to find more time to do meaningful things with my life. I’m spending less time cleaning the junk I used to collect and spending more time with friends and family, hiking, traveling, and experiencing life.

How have you decluttered your space? What were your biggest challenges? Have you got before and after photos (I love those)? Please share with Plymouth Rock Assurance below!

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