After we had our house fire we had to drastically decrease our stuff. After living outside of our home for months, I couldn’t handle living with it. I found that if the house was cluttered it stayed messier and I couldn’t find my peace. Are you living in a house with too much? Check out these 5 ways to declutter and reclaim your joy.
5 Ways to Declutter
It can be very overwhelming to see a great deal of clutter in your home. I am not saying that it will be easy. However, it may very well be worth it to slowly remove some of what you don’t need to get what you do. Decluttering the house can help you regain your joy and your peace in your home. I know I have more peace when my house has less clutter.
Process the emotional attachment
My house became incredibly cluttered because of my deep emotional attachment to certain things and certain concepts. I had to say goodbye to things I kept just to keep and some the emotional connections I had to stuff. As a child we never kept anything and we moved all the time. When I was 16 we lost everything in what we like to call “the fire.” In all reality, it was that my mom had a storage unit that she couldn’t afford the payment on due to being a single mom and working hard.
Because of losing so much and never really settling I became emotionally attached to stuff. I got it in my head that I had to preserve every moment and memory ever. This meant that I was on a highway to hoarder town.
I can offer a few tips for this to help you process the emotional attachment.
- Acknowledge the emotional connection. – When you have an emotional tie to something, ignoring it won’t help. Figure out the why behind it. Do you keep things because it reminds you of someone you can’t bear to have lost? Does it offer you a memory of a moment that changed your life? Did someone give it to you that is now gone? Taking the time to really understand your why can help so much.
- Decide if it’s time to let go. – There are some things we are ready to let go. Wounds and baggage from our past that needs to be left in the past where it can’t hurt us anymore. There are also some things we aren’t emotionally ready to say goodbye to. Take the time to work through some of this when getting ready to declutter. If you are not ready to let go of something because of the emotional connection, honor your heart on that. It’s ok to not be ready.
- Talk it thru with a friend. – Sometimes a good friend can help you get some perspective on the emotional connections you have to stuff in your home. Sometimes talking it thru with a good friend can help you to move on and be honest with yourself about the items you choose to keep.
“I’ll save it for XYZ project later.”
I was a supply hoarder. I had boxes with 100’s of buttons, spools or ribbon, random craft supplies and so much more. Guess what. I used some of it but not very often. The stress of keeping it was costing me more in the long run than the cost of replacing those craft items. Sometimes we have to forget about the save it for laters and keep only what we will use. Here are a few tips for you.
- Will I really ever use it? – Be completely honest with yourself. Will you use those items? Will they help you with a future project or are they just clutter?
- Is it causing me more stress to keep it? – Sometimes having too much of something can be so stressful. If an item is cluttering your home and bringing you stress, does it really have long-term value?
- Do I have a place to put it? – Is there a place in your home where you could put that item so that it is out of the way and doesn’t cause you stress? If the answer is no, tell it goodbye.
Is it sentimental?
We all have things we like to keep to help us remember people that matter to us. Some of these items are things we can’t begin to let go of. I have a few of these things in my home. Here are the questions I would ask.
- Is there a different way to preserve that memory? – Some items can be saved as they are without over-cluttering your home. Others, well… they take over. Is there a way to switch up how you keep that item or memory? Could you shadowbox it, seal it and box it away in the attic, or have it made into something else?
Could it help someone else?
So often we hold onto things with the intention of using them someday while there are people in need now. Could you keep less of a certain item and donate to a shelter or program in your area to help someone else? Do you have 20 blankets that won’t fit in your cabinet? Could you give 10 to a homeless shelter? Here are a few questions to ask.
- Do I need this many? – Prepping for a rainy day is smart. Having too much can be overwhelming. Could your excess change someone else’s situation?
- Could I change someone’s life? – There are people on the brink of a breakdown because of very real needs. Does the clutter in your life have the potential to change someone’s life? I know after our house fire someone’s old twin mattress and bed frame changed everything for us. It got my son off the floor and gave him the ability to finally rest comfortably. It also gave me peace knowing my child was off of the floor.
Does it belong in the garbage?
Sometimes we hold onto things we don’t need to. There are items in every household that don’t need to be donated, fixed or kept. They need to be in the trash. Let go of trash that is not needed in your home. It will give you so much peace to have a home that is less cluttered. Don’t be afraid to let go of the trash that has you trapped and steals your peace.