Have you stopped to look recently at all there is to find about decluttering? Have you asked yourself what’s it all about? You might be like a number of people that think, “Well, that’s fine, but I don’t need it. It’s for those hoarder-type people.” I get it. I used to think the same thing. And then I decided to find out just what decluttering really is, and what it isn’t. I asked the question – What is the big deal about decluttering?
What is Decluttering?
Decluttering is simply the act of removing items from your space – your home, your office, or even your car – that don’t need to be there. Sometimes it means just getting rid of garbage (in the past, my car has become a dumping ground, and before long, I couldn’t see the floor of the back seat), and other times, it means putting items in their proper home, because they never made it back. How often have you gone to bed, and told yourself that you’d tidy up in the morning? But then morning came, and you found that you had other things to do that were more pressing, so tidying got pushed back until after work, or after dinner, or tomorrow morning … You see where I’m going with this.
Most often, however, decluttering means getting rid of some stuff. It might only be a little bit, or it might be a lot. For me, it’s been both. Different rooms can hide clutter in a number of ways. In the kitchen, it might be the ever-present “junk drawer”, or the pantry that doesn’t quite close, because it’s got a few too many things piled in it. The bathroom holds the bottomless abyss known as the medicine cabinet. And the bedroom? The walk-in closet? I’d often heard it said that when it comes to clothes, we wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. I scoffed. Surely that might be true for some people, but definitely NOT me. I LOVE having options when it comes to clothes. The funny thing is that even with all those options, I still pretty much stick to my “uniform” of regular clothes.
Decluttering means determining what you actually need, and what you love, and removing the rest.
What Decluttering ISN’T
Many people fear decluttering, for a myriad of reasons. We don’t want to let go of sentimental items. When we feel we’ve invested a lot of money into our belongings, we can’t simply give the items away. AND we just really like our stuff. Been there, done that, on all counts. But the truth is, decluttering isn’t about going without. It’s about making room for what’s important. And the truth is, we all have an attachment to something. Or several somethings. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with being sentimental. I have a few items that I keep for no other reason than I love them. I can’t explain it, I just do. But by removing other items that I only liked, or was keeping out of some sense of obligation, I’ve made room for those special belongings, so I can enjoy and cherish them.
Trust me when I say that I get wanting to keep things because they were expensive once upon a time. But here’s the plain and simple truth – the money is gone. You’re not getting it back unless you happen to be within the return period at the store, and you still have the receipt, and you can return said item. However, if you’re like most of us, about a year or two after an impulsive purchase, you start to consider that it wasn’t your best choice. We all do it. Believe me. My husband will often utter the phrase, “What were you thinking?”, shake his head and go into the other room to allow me to make my decision about whether to keep whatever object I “needed” to have. Unless it’s a particularly big-ticket item, and it would be worth it to sell, let it go.
REMEMBER – decluttering is NOT about going without. It’s simply about making room for what’s important.
The Benefits of Decluttering
There are so many reasons to consider decluttering your home. These are the upsides that I have found:
Less Time for Cleaning
When you have less stuff to put away, you spend less time cleaning and tidying. It’s just simple math. Putting away five things takes less time than putting away twenty things. Plain and simple. When you can tidy as you go, it’s easy to keep on top of housework. When dusting and vacuuming day comes along, the house is already neat, you can just get right to it! Awesome!
Decluttering your closet (gasp!) means less laundry. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but go with me on this. If you have only three pairs of pants, you will need to wash three pairs of pants per week. Perhaps on a weekend, when you don’t need to be wearing your work clothes. You do one load of laundry, and voila, laundry is done.
I don’t know about you, but when I had an overflowing walk-in closet, stuffed to the brim with clothes, I would simple heap my clothes onto a pile, and not worry about laundry, because I had more to wear. Suddenly, I was faced with at least a month’s worth of clothes in a heap, not totally sure if I’d even worn some of them but all needing to be washed because they all landed in the pile. I would easily spend an entire weekend just making a dent in the mountain of fabric on my bedroom floor. No thank you, NEVER AGAIN!
To learn more about how I stay on top of clean clothes, check out my post on How to Keep Up with Laundry!
More Time for Hobbies
When was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a hobby? Like maybe a jigsaw puzzle, or sewing, or knitting, or whatever it is you love to do? If you are anything like I was, it started to happen less and less. I could never fully relax when I could see a pile of “stuff” out of the corner of my eye that needed sorting, or organizing, or tidying. Having fewer items often means everything has a place, and it’s easy to make sure the items get back to where they belong, which opens up more time for you and your family.
Time to Think
This sounds a little odd, I agree. But the biggest benefit I found in decluttering our home was the quiet it brought. Not in terms of noise, but in calmness. I love going to bed when there are no stacks of junk on my nightstand or dresser. Much like tidiness and order allows for the enjoyment of hobbies, it also allows your mind to slow down a bit. It is far easier to feel calm and serene in a clean room without piles of papers, books, knick-knacks or junk all around you. For me, having a clear space to think allowed me to really explore my thoughts, and helped me to realize that my true passions – blogging and becoming an entrepreneur – were buried under a mound of clothes I didn’t wear, gadgets I didn’t use, and books I didn’t read.
This is really only a high-level look at the benefits of decluttering your space. But believe me when I tell you that it’s one of the best things I’ve done for our home and our family.
So the question to you is this – are you ready to start decluttering? Are you ready to uncover extra time, energy and space by removing a few items that you don’t even realize you own? Are you ready to take the next step and start living a simpler life? Join me as we work together through our homes, decluttering our way into a better life!
Be sure to check out some of my other posts on decluttering:
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