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Clearing the clutter

“Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor; it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.” Peter Walsh

Clearing the clutter, all the “stuff” in our lives that prevents us from living our best life, is becoming a global trend. In an age of overconsumption, people are starting to realise that “having it all” and feeling happy and fulfilled don’t always go hand-in-hand and that getting rid of unnecessary items can bring people a sense of personal relief and pride. As we prepare for transitions, which often entail downscaling, clearing the clutter becomes necessary.

Decluttering is freeing in so many ways. Letting go of the excess “stuff” that fills your home often feels like a weight being lifted from your life. Sometimes you don’t even realise how heavy and burdened your belongings makes you feel until you start letting them go!

One good reason to declutter sooner rather than later is that it allows you to make your own decisions about your belongings and what you want to do with them. This way, you won’t leave your family with the burden of clearing out your home, guessing what you might want to do with items or what items were special to you.

If you’d like to start decluttering your home, but it feels daunting, begin decluttering in waves. Don’t feel you have to tackle every room in great detail. Take a look at each room, slowly and objectively. Immediately remove the things you can see that you don’t want to keep. Put them in a box to donate or recycle. Re-visit that room when you’re feeling fresh and take another look. Remove anything that you notice the second time around. Decluttering in waves means that with each successive sweep, you’ll notice a little bit more each time you do it—nothing scary and nothing too daunting.

It’s also important to start somewhere easy. Don’t head straight into the storeroom or garage. Test and hone your decluttering skills before you approach a big project. Start with the bathroom and sift through the cupboards. Remove items you don’t or won’t use. Clear the surfaces, organise what’s left and practice keeping just what you need and use, no excess.

Decluttering your home is an obvious place to start, but there are many other aspects of life that you can declutter too. You can declutter your time and your digital life, to name a few.

When decluttering, remember to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need this?
  • Do I use this?
  • Does this add value to my life
  • Do I appreciate having this in my life?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to let it go. Often this is where the process stops as people are not sure what to do with goods that no longer serve them. We recently wrote an article detailing options for charity shops, online selling platforms and community organisations where you could donate or sell your goods. There are also numerous books available on the subject. We highly recommend one that Kate Emmerson wrote called Clear your Clutter, a practical, no-nonsense book that teaches you the why and the how of ridding yourself of emotional, physical and body clutter. If you still don’t know where to start, there are people out there to help. A quick Google search will link you to reputable people in your area.

Don’t let all the excess and unwanted things in your life take away from what’s really important to you.

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