Clutter is stressful and getting rid of unnecessary items gives you space to breath, allows for openness to think and move and lightens your life by taking away added baggage.
When you get rid of unwanted and unneeded items you are not opening your way up to collecting more. Instead you are opening up your space to a life free from unwanted things – just stuff that slows your life down.
I make this sound easy and it’s not. You need to take an organized and proactive approach to decluttering your life which involves making decisions and letting go. I have certain processes I go through to keep my home free of clutter but I have a long way to go. We still don’t park our cars in the garage which is something I am constantly working on. With an art studio and many bikes and sports equipment it doesn’t leave much room for cars, so making choices and clearing items is an on-going task. Even though my garage is a work in progress my home is not. My home is light, manageable, neat and uncluttered because we adhere to a way of living that keeps it this way. The following ideas are ones which I use to keep clutter from taking over. Try one of these or all of these and see how much your home opens to possibilities; and who knows – you may even find you have room to roll out your yoga mat to truly bring peace and tranquility to your home.
• Take three boxes and label as follows: Keep, Give away, Throw Away. I’m a big fan of reduce reuse , recycle so for the second box, Give Away, try really hard on this one and keep the third box to a minimum. Now start with one area of your home and divide the contents of that area into these three boxes. You may find that items in the Keep box get moved to the second or third boxonce you begin putting items back. This is a great way to take a second look at your personal things.
• For give away items use these tips: sell books on Amazon Marketplace and get some of your money back. Donate to charities or leave out on the sidewalk for the different charities that have monthly pickups. Remember – if you sell books on Amazon, always mail using Media Mail pricing. It’s a lot cheaper!
• Consign furniture and wall décor to consignments shops and enjoy that check once it comes in. Sell furniture and household items on Craigslist. Give away items on the Free section of Craigslist.
• Take a good long look at your kitchen. How many sets of dishes do you have? How many serving platters, casserole dishes and appliances do you have? Are you using that bread maker? What about the George Foreman Grill still in the box? If you aren’t using these items or you have more dishes then necessary then donate them to someone who could really use them.
• Another thing. Let’ say the holidays are coming around and you are looking forward to baking so you go to the store and buy flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and decorations. Before you went shopping did you look in your pantry first? Do you already have these items? Avoid clutter and save money by checking your current inventory before you head for the store.
• Mail: Sort then throw out extra catalogues and junk as soon as it arrives.
• Arrange for a green waste pickup.
• Arrange for a hazardous waste pickup such as paint cans and batteries. Many local disposal services will allow you to take them to their facilities free of charge.
• Use multi-use cleaners so you don’t have to buy three or four cleaners when one does it all. Look for non-toxic biodegradable cleaners.
• Keep a two-month maximum on magazines. After two months either recycle or donate to a county hospital or veterans home.
• Don’t buy DVD’s. Really – how many times will actually watch these? Use Netflix instead.
• Shred secure documents. If your home shredder can’t handle the volume then try your local Fed Ex/Kinkos or UPS store. They nearly always offer this service for a low fee.
• And lastly I live with this philosophy: If I don’t like it I don’t keep it. If I put on an item of clothing and it doesn’t make me feel good then it goes. If there is art on the wall that doesn’t make me happy every time I look at it than it goes. Don’t hold onto things that don’t bring you joy. Happiness and the amount of stuff you own are mutually exclusive. Don’t allow these lines to blur.