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I’ve mentioned on my blog before that I hate clutter and I’ve also provided a room-by-room guide to de-cluttering in the past. Thinking about it now though, I’m surprised I haven’t spoken about de-cluttering (and related topics) more because it really is an important part of my life. I love delving in minimalism and I’d love to live a more minimal lifestyle in the near future. I’m always striving to de-clutter my space and throw items away (or get rid of them in a sustainable manner) that I no longer need or want.
For me, when I know I have too much clutter, my mind feels cluttered as well. I can physically feel it building up and building up and my vision gets blurry (not my literal vision, my inner vision), my mind is racing and I definitely feel an energetic block in the way of my flow and creativity.
I just hate stuff.
Of course not everyone has quite the deep connection with clutter that I have and some people just like to de-clutter to make more room in their house, which is a very valid reason to de-clutter. But whatever the reason is a good one. Because clutter takes up room in your house and in your mind and it has absolutely no need to be there.
Whilst I might love chucking everything away, I understand that it’s not quite as easy for some people. My boyfriend is very much a “I’ll keep that just in case” kind of person whereas I’m more of a “I haven’t thought about that item in 2 months, it’s going” kinda gal. But naturally, we can’t allow clutter to build up forever. We HAVE to throw things away eventually.
Whilst we’ve been in lockdown, my Mum and I have tackled our loft, which has been FULL to the brim of rubbish for years and years. Boxes on boxes of old crap from my childhood, old books, games, toys, artwork – thousands and thousands of things that not only had we not thought about in years… but also forgotten were up there entirely.
So now, after sorting out the loft, I could very easily fit all of my belongings in a shed (apart from furniture). And that makes me really happy to know that I don’t rely on so much “stuff” to make me happy and that I can be very selective about the items in which I find sentimental value or worth.
So enough with my personal life story, if you’re the kind of person that struggles de-cluttering, this is the post for you. A simple guide to getting started with de-cluttering your life:
Challenge your mindset towards clutter
Let’s face it, most of our clutter builds up because we put some sort of sentimental value towards an item. And I’m not saying bin everything because there are items which are special and hold a lot of value that naturally we won’t want to get rid of any time soon. But challenging your mindset towards the clutter you have is a great way to start disassociating sentiment with every item you own. Ask yourself:
- Can I remember where I got this and why I bought it?
- Was this a gift from someone special?
- Have I thought about this item in the last 3 months?
- What would change in my life if I threw this item out?
Start small and start somewhere
If you’ve accumulated a lot of clutter, it can be really hard to know where to start because it just seems so overwhelming. And I get that. That’s how we felt when we started on our loft. So start SMALL and start SOMEWHERE. The hardest part, is starting. So start with one box. One cupboard. One room.
Don’t throw everything out at once
If you are a sentimental person and you do struggle throwing things away then this point is for you. Elaborating on the above of starting small, it’s also helpful to not throw everything away at once if you like to hold on to things. So start by throwing out one bag, then two bags, then three – and go from there.
Consider storage as an option
If you do own items that you kinda wanna get rid of but kinda don’t. Items that you’re not ready to part with yet but also stuff that’s taking up valuable room in your house, then storage could be an option for you. It gets it out of your sight and hopefully out of your mind and by the time you’ve thought of it again, you’ll realise you actually don’t need it in your life after all! You can find storage in Ross on Wye here or wherever is closest to you.
Don’t forget the non-physical things
This point ties in with the messy space = messy mind point I made. So don’t forget that not all clutter is physical. De-clutter for the purpose of having a clearer mind and more space for the positive energy to flow extends into your online and digital footprint too. Here are 6 non-physical things to de-clutter from your life for a clearer mind.
Use the one in, one out method
A method which is really good for not allowing the clutter to build up is the one in, one out. Which is basically what it says on the tin. If you want to buy a new top, then remove one old top from your wardrobe and sell it or donate it to make room for the new item that you’ve bought.
Are you a de-clutterer like me? Or do you struggle throwing things away? Will you be using any of these tips next time you have to de-clutter?