“Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.” – Peter Walsh
Raise your hand if you are an emotional hoarder. Keep your hand raised if you keep things for three years, that you haven’t used for all three of those years, but hold onto the items in case you may one day need them.
Yup, me too.
I find myself feeling a ton of guilt when someone bought me something, even if I have never used it, and I want to donate or sell the item. The past few months, this is something I have really been working on.
I am learning to let go of the “stuff” in my house and embracing the open space. I am decluttering everything and being intentional with the things that I choose to keep.
Honestly, the joy and peace that has come with living with less has been simply beautiful and freeing.
At first, I’ll be honest, I had a really hard time with getting rid of things. I kept wanting to put everything back in that closet and close the door. I was saying “yes” to keeping things that have never even been opened.
Eventually however, I started to truly enjoy the process. It felt so wonderful to see bags of things to donate, things that I may not need or use but that someone else will be able to. I didn’t want to stop at the toy room. Nope, I was excited to move onto the bedrooms, bathrooms, linen closet and kitchen.
I became a decluttering machine. (My poor husband didn’t know what he was getting himself into!)
If you are like me, and have been feeling the urge to simplify your life and begin to declutter your home, I want to share a few things with you that has helped me on this journey and also helped me decide what to keep and what to give away.
Let’s start with three tips that have made a huge difference, for me, while decluttering!
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. Start small. Go through one closet and be done for the day. When I first started decluttering, it was very overwhelming. If you go room by room and piece by piece, you will find this to be a much easier and less stressful process.
Don’t feel pressure to give things away.
Not ready to part with that movie from your collection that is still in its plastic? That’s okay. Keep it. Decluttering doesn’t mean you have to give away everything or that you can’t keep things. Don’t feel bad or put pressure on yourself if you are finding it difficult to part with some items. Keep at it and one day, maybe, you will decide to let go of more.
Involve all the members of your family.
I am not the only one going through and getting rid of things at my house. My husband has also been helping me out and we have involved my daughter too! When she saw us start to evaluate our possessions, she wanted to do the same.
Of course, she hasn’t given away nearly as much as we have but I am so proud of her for donating a lot of toys that she doesn’t play with anymore. We have also given her a say when we have gone through our DVDs and board games, which made her feel good. It has been so rewarding to do this with every member of my little family!
Now let’s talk about how to decide what stays and what goes. There are four questions I ask myself when I am decluttering and cleaning out that I want to share with you! These little thoughts have truly helped me in this process.
1. When was the last time I used this?
2. Will I use this anytime soon?
3. Why do I want to keep this?
4. Will I miss this if I let it go?
When I was having a difficult time saying goodbye to some things, I asked myself these questions. Haven’t used it in the past six months? Let it go. Don’t realistically think it will be used in the next six months? Get rid of it.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the concept of decluttering, it’s okay and normal emotions to feel. Don’t let it stop you. Keep moving forward and I promise you, when you start to see a difference in your home, you will feel 1,000 times better.
I am not done decluttering my living space, I will keep working on this process, but I can tell you that I look around and love what I see. There isn’t something in every corner or crevice of my house anymore. Things aren’t falling out of the cabinets or busting out of my closet. Toys aren’t scattered all across the floor.
My home is beginning to feel peaceful and yours will too!
Have you ever gone through and decluttered your home??