Thinking You Need to Clear the Clutter?
So, you’re thinking about clearing the clutter from your life but are not sure where to start? You are NOT alone! You can read all the motivational de-clutter quotes you want but in the end – it can be hard to get started!
If you want to simplify your life by minimizing the stuff that you have, de-cluttering is a great idea. The challenge – again – comes down to setting an actionable plan to get it done. You might be looking for a book on clearing the clutter and there are many out there to guide you on your journey.
We know a thing or two about “clutter”. Bruce is very sentimental for items with meaning and memories but has gotten better over the years. Lisa is more conservative in her clutter and is actively trying to get rid of the clothes she has accumulated over the years! That said, in an effort to help you out as much as we can right now, we wanted to share a few tips that we’re using to clear the clutter from our lives. Ready to get started? Let’s go!
Ask For Help
This one is a given – but often a difficult step. De-cluttering takes time. It takes energy. It can be difficult for many, many reasons. So, naturally, difficult tasks can sometimes be best done with help from others. Asking someone close to you who knows and understands your personality might be something to consider. They might be aware of what the items mean to you and can help you rationalize your choices of what to keep and ditch.
Having said that, someone with zero knowledge of the stuff in your room, house, or garage might be a great partner because they can push you to part from things sort of “cold turkey” since they have no idea what it means to you! In the end, both might work – but choose a person that supports you and is willing to put in the time to help you along in your de-clutter journey.
Get Rid of Items Properly
One of the barriers to clearing the clutter is not knowing what do to do with things. Realistically, you could just throw everything away – but that would be super wasteful and we’re kind of conscious about the planet and all.
So, consider the other options available to you. You will likely have things that can be recycled. In fact, MOST things CAN be recycled if you research it. If so, recycle them properly!
You might have clothing, furniture, etc. that can be reused. In that case, donate them to a charity shop or local bin in your town/city that collects donated items. If you truly have no other options, then disposing of items in the garbage is doable – but think about your environmental impact and try to reduce it in another area of your life.
Try to Let Go
Bruce knows all too well about this one… easier says that done, right?! Being sentimental and feeling a sense of nostalgia for things from the past definitely makes clearing the clutter difficult. But, you’ve got to try your best.
Over time – even just a few weeks – things can lose their value to you. If this is the case, you might be ready to get rid of them… you just have to let time pass. Remember that memories are in your mind. If you value them enough, they will always be there in you and not reflected in stuff. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of ALL the meaningful trinkets or items in your life – but you likely don’t need them all.
Reduce The Clutter You Bring In
This one is very important – because it can help you stop the clutter in its tracks! Just be more on top of where you are accumulating the clutter from and take action to reduce that. For example, do you always buy a used book at the shop on the way home from work? Change your route a few days a week!
Perhaps you’re just really bad at throwing away waste like used paper from the office? Maybe consider changing up your workstation to include more digital organization programs? Maybe just move the recycling bin close to your desk? These are all small but powerful ways to make sure that you stop the growth of stuff in the first place. It’ll be far less you have to do later!
Go Room by Room
If you are de-cluttering a whole house – good on you! That can be a huge task but it certainly is doable. A good way to go about that is to go “room by room”. So, start in the easiest room to clean up and make progress. Is the office just full of old papers whereas the bedroom has clothes you need to try on? Start in the office, finish it, and move on to the bedroom then.
Use the momentum of completing a room (or even sections of a room, like just the closet) to fuel your de-cluttering of the next room. Setting goals for completion can help you with this big time. This is a great example where you can set SMART goals to help you along!
Scrap the “No-Brainer” Items First
You are going to have different attachments to different things. So, one way to get the momentum going is to get rid of the things that are the easiest to get rid of first. What we mean is – what means the least to you? What can you live without right this second? What is garbage? Ask yourself these questions about a pile of junk and guaranteed you will be able to make quick decisions on some items and feel torn by other items. Use those “easy items” as a first step and get rid of them!
Accept That It Will Take Time
Clearing the clutter is not a process that happens instantly. Task depending, okay, it might be. But usually it’s not. You might not be able to clear off that desk full of papers or completely gut that closet in the basement – but if you get started, that’s all that matters!
Think of clearing the clutter as a larger process where there are lots of challenges and victories – not just one massive project that will take forever. You will also change as a person over time – and your mindset towards the items will shift, too. This shift will help you decide on items, too. Don’t get stressed – just keep moving forward.
And there you have it – a few tips for getting you started with the process of clearing the clutter from your life. What do you think? Have you tried any of these before? Are you finding success in your de-clutter goals? Get in touch on Twitter @boardandlife and let us know – we’re always down to share experiences and support one another!
As always, Stay Curious,
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