As I type up this month’s blog on clutter, I want to share how hanging onto things we no longer need can paralyze us from moving forward, and also keep us from relaxing and enjoying being present - for ourselves and for our families.
CLUTTERED OFFICE - hard to think here, right?
I realize that sometimes it’s hard to let go of things that we don’t really need anymore. I get it. Emotional connections, guilt, you name it.
My mom was a very neat and tidy person. But she hid the extra stuff -- papers, junk, , you name it. But just after we had put her in assisted living (she had Alzheimer’s), although she was a very clean and neat person, we quickly discovered she was a secret hoarder. Under the bed, in the Master closet, etc. It was like “WOW.”
And then... had to decide what to get rid of, or split up between us siblings. IT WAS HARD. It felt like a funeral before anyone had died. We four knew we didn’t need to keep it all. It was really more about the memories. But I also knew I never wanted to put my own kids through sorting through so much when our own time came.
Freedom comes from giving away.
Before selling and moving forward we had to #1. Make the decision. And #2. Do it (Get Started).
Organized and decluttered office - everything has a place.
As for my own home, we downsized once, and although it took some time to work through YEARS worth of stuff, it was a good thing. I knew we didn’t need all that stuff. We didn’t need 50 coffee mugs, and tons of things from the kid’s growing up, too many coats, extra holiday stuff and boxes of stuff that we just never used anymore.
Once I moved forward with packing up, giving away, and throwing away, it was SO FREEING.
I worked on ONE ROOM AT A TIME. Sometimes you need to call in a friend or pro for help. You know, having someone less attached to the items can help you move it on out. Bite sized pieces -an area at a time for say, 20 minutes at a time, make it so much more amenable.
I have since become a big proponent of LESS. Less consumerism, less laundry, less going into the landfill, and really mostly purchasing what we truly need.
A less cluttered home can often bring more value - for potential buyers, for what home inspectors may see (or not :), Tidy, organized areas can keep kids on track in the mornings, and make the rest of your week go smoother.
I know this isn’t a typical decorating blog post, but I wanted to tell you that making these decisions are life changing. Most of what we own, our own children will not want if we die. It makes it easier to start giving things away. I’m still working on other areas of what we currently have. But let me tell you, you have less to clean. Less to store, less to maintain. I believe it was Dr. James Dobson who said “The more things you own, the more they own you.” And an amen to that.
Decluttering gives you more time for what you LOVE
But what I wanted to share was how we could use so much of that wasted energy and resources instead in giving back, helping others, putting back into the environment, etc.
Here are some of the BENEFITS of decluttering:
Saves you time
Saves you resources and MONEY! This AARP article is older but the cost is staggering regarding the cost of “stuff” in your home and in storage
De-stresses you so you can think more clearly.
Helps you FEEL more organized and less overwhelmed
Gives you time to do the things you LOVE.
As an Intentional Living Designer, I believe that you should have a beautiful home, but it should be a lovely haven for you. Save some of those very precious things. And in time, maybe the time will come to sell or give even a little more away. I’m finally ready to let go of a family piece - the grandfather clock. It isn’t something I need, and my kids won’t want. It’s time. What are you willing to let go of? Let’s talk about creating your own peaceful haven.
I recently read a book called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson. It was very easy to read, and I believe there’s even a workbook available. It provides insight into “letting go.”
I love to hear from my readers; please leave a comment below, or email me! If you need help with decluttering or creating a great space, reach out to me. My rates vary depending on the need and task.
Click the image below:
Stay Tuned - Part 2 - How to downsize yet upscale your space. You’ll love this upcoming post!