De-cluttering is good for you in all sorts of ways. Not only will it enable you to think more clearly, you will be able to appreciate and enjoy the special possessions you decide to keep. As well as making some money from selling your unwanted items you can also help the environment by recycling or support your favourite charity.
De-cluttering is such a popular idea that there is even a “De-Cluttering Week” every year. But often it is just that – an idea – and the thought of getting round to sorting out our possessions and clearing out anything that we don’t need or want any longer is often too daunting a task for us to know where to begin. We want to get more decluttering done but don’t know how to do it productively.
But why do we all have so much clutter in the first place? Well, part of the reason is that we are a nation of shoppers. Shopping, which used to be a necessity for items we needed, is now one of the nation’s favourite pastimes. And stores are so good at tempting us to buy that we often return home with things we haven’t really got room for. Add to that the instinctive human desire to hoard and very soon our houses start to fill up. Lofts and garages become extended storage space that we fill with items we often forget we even own.
What is de-cluttering?
It is simply getting rid of anything that we no longer need. Apart from seasonal clothes and seasonal items such as Christmas decorations or gardening equipment, anything that is not regularly used or on display is potential clutter. Other exceptions are photographs, CDs/DVDs and books, all of which may not be used or viewed frequently but which form a collection of memories and cultural enjoyments. De-cluttering is not about throwing out our memories but about throwing out everyday items that are no longer useful. So if we know what our clutter is, why is it so hard to de-clutter?
The benefits of de-cluttering
It is often only when people are moving house that they are forced into sorting out everything they own. But why wait until you are moving? Clearing space in your home can help create a peaceful environment that will calm your mind after a busy day. And if your home is organised and clutter-free then that will lead to an organised, clutter-free mind that will view daily troubles in a clearer, more serene way.
Your home is after all a place of sanctuary from the world outside and having control over your private space can be the first step to having control over your life. But in order to embark on the arduous task of de-cluttering we need to feel motivated that a clutter-free home will be worth all the effort. If you cannot appreciate the advantages of de-cluttering then you will never do it. We also need to understand that de-cluttering is absolutely not about throwing away items with any sentimental value, however small, but it is about knowing the difference between clutter and things with sentimental value. Many people never embark on de-cluttering because they don’t understand this difference but there are options such as self storage units if you really can’t bear to part with some possessions but no longer have room in your home for them.
The 4 main advantages are:
- A calm, organised living space will lead to a calm, organised life.
- The satisfaction of supporting a charity close to your heart
- Making money from selling your unwanted goods
- Recycling and doing your bit for the environment
Once you have convinced yourself of the benefits of de-cluttering and motivated yourself to embark on the task, watch out for the typical excuses we all make to ourselves for not assigning an item to the clutter pile:
- You might need it at a later date– in a cluttered home, you are unlikely to find the item at the point when you need it so just get rid of it now or put it into a self storage unit.
- It was a present from someone you are fond of – they will probably never notice it has gone so don’t hang on to it to avoid hurting their feelings.
- You hope an item will appreciate in value – if you genuinely think it might then keep it in a secure place.
- It reminds you of a particular person or place – whilst de-cluttering is not about throwing away precious memories, it is about clearing out items with little significance in your life now. Keep photos of the person or place if you wish to relive the moment.
- I will still have too much stuff even once I have cleared out the things I no longer want – You won’t know until you have done it but if you have then you will simply need to think up some clever storage ideas.