Letting go of clutter~ probably your biggest nemesis in achieving your home organizing goals. Am I right? Those four little words can stop your progress right in its tracks.
Is it calming to walk into each space of your home? Or instead, do you sense a feeling of being overwhelmed, nervous, or anxious? If the latter is the case, clutter may be the root cause.
I love to travel- I love walking into a hotel room and feeling the calm wash over me. The room doesn't have extra material things that clutter the mind. As I move through life, I've tried to mirror that feeling in our home.
If you always feel settled, calm, and love everything about your home, no matter the amount of clutter, GREAT! Stop reading!
We're not talking about your prized coca-cola paraphernalia collection if it brings you joy- awesome! Here, we're discussing the things that are contributing to chaos in your life.
If you struggle with letting go of clutter, the first step is to change your thinking.
What exactly IS clutter? The dictionary defines it as a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter.
It all starts with a small pile of unopened mail here, children's broken toys there, dirty clothes in one corner, lost socks in the other one, outdated clothing in the closet, unread books on the shelf, and let's not forget the I'll get to it someday pile.
Before you know it, clutter is overtaking your home and stealing your joy.
Sound familiar? If you don't change your thoughts about clutter, you won't progress unless you have lots of moolah to upgrade into a larger home. Or rent an offsite storage unit.
But, here's a little secret- if the root problem remains, you'll end up with even more material possessions that WILL OWN you.
Not ready to make a change? Let's dig deeper~
Be honest- what is your issue with letting go of clutter genuinely costing you? How is it holding you back?
• Is your mind consumed thinking about storage solutions?
• Are your drawers and closets bursting at the seams?
• Are you wasting time finding things because of your chaotic lifestyle?
• Are you overwhelmed with incomplete projects?
• What about finances- how much money are you paying someone to sort your clutter? Are you often rebuying something you already own but can't find?
Take an in-depth look around the room or space you need to declutter. If you were on the most fantastic vacation for a year, what items would you TRULY miss or ABSOLUTELY need to bring with you?
Let's also explore this thought~ what items would you be willing to stand in line for half an hour to purchase? Anything?
Those are the items you want to place front and center.
As for the remaining items? It's simple, (or it can be when you change your thoughts). Consider finding a new home for them~
WHY are you having a hard time letting go of the things causing your disorder? It's all in our head. We attach SO many thoughts to the STUFF we own. Think through your excuses and ponder these new ways of viewing your unused stuff.
Letting go of clutter~ time to debunk the excuses!
You love that someone made you feel special- we all want to feel loved!
But if that thing is cluttering your lifestyle, if you can't use it, or don't love it; it's OK to let it go. I guarantee your loved one would NOT want their gift to cause you to stress or create subconscious guilt for feeling the need to hold onto it, or guilt for letting it go.
Don't live in the past. By letting go of clutter that no longer serves its purpose, you will have more loving moments in the future. Freeing your physical space and mind from unused items will allow more room in your life for more love and blessings to come in.
Lovingly think of the person and send the item on its way~ there may be another person out there that could use the item much more than you.
If that knitting project has been in a pile hidden away for a pretty long length of time, chances are you're not going to get to it. Ever.
Think about your extended vacation again- when you're away, do you think about this project? Do you feel a need to complete it? Does it excite you, and do you desire to work on it?
We all have great ideas. But, it's OK if a project that once excited you no longer holds your interest. Letting go of clutter in the form of unfinished projects will take a subconscious weight off your chest!
You are NOT a failure~ your life is merely evolving, and your interests are changing! Phases come and go, and maybe there is something else you'd rather give your time.
Remember, we either find time to do what we want- or else we make excuses. (I believe that may be a Marie Forleo quote, but not sure where I've seen it)
Letting go of unfinished project clutter is OK! It will allow room for more things that you'd instead like to tackle.
Yup, you did.
No amount of time will change that fact. It's in the past so stop dwelling. But there it is, sitting there unused and costing you professional organizing services to organize it. Are you recouping the money you put into it? Or, is it, in reality, costing you even more than the price you paid?
Food for thought...
What if, in the universe's mysterious ways, you unknowingly bought the item for someone else? Meaning that you had good intentions or thought you needed the item, but it doesn't serve you. Maybe it wasn't a mistake to buy it at all. Perhaps, in the scheme of things, it was meant for you to buy the item for someone else in the form of a donation.
You instead could pass it on. Feel good knowing how much it will help someone else~ maybe it would actually be life-changing for another person. Be a blessing to them, and don't give it another thought. You cannot outgive the universe! Letting go of clutter, no matter what you paid for it, is liberating!
Very few things in today's world are in high enough demand to be of much bank-breaking monetary value.
Do you have the time to list, sell, and ship on eBay, or the energy to find an antique store? IF this is your hobby, or you have a trusted selling source, go for it~ but I'll bet you could better devote your time elsewhere!
Complete a quick online auction search to see how much similar items are selling. If the value isn't there, it probably won't be down the road except for very few things (think original Apple products, original PlayStation, etc.).
You have two choices- either release the clutter or NEATLY wrap your top valued things into a STURDY, clearly labeled box to preserve.
If your children wanted it, they probably would already have it in their possession. Times and generations have changed. What is important to you, probably isn't to them. The younger generations are of a different mindset- they are digital, not material, and may not have storage space.
If you have 20 quilts from great-grandma, pick one or two of the favorites and GIVE IT TO YOUR CHILD if they are already on their own. If they are still young, store them in a box that will hold up over time.
Be cautious of living in the past and thinking that by giving up your children's favorite toys, you're erasing history. You aren't. You will always have the memories! It's time to live in the present and make new memories as they grow!
Don't be consumed with clutter using the my children or grandchildren will want this excuse, because YOU can't make the decision to let it go.
Again- save the best and neatly pack these items away if they are true family heirlooms. Used football mouth guards and bags of first haircuts are not heirlooms.
BE CAREFUL! Good intentions of saving items will quickly overrun your home.
ASK your grown children if they honestly would like to have the thing. If they do, give it to them and get it OUT of your house! Don't become a storage unit for your younger generations.
Letting go of clutter of past times opens your time to make new memories!
If it's been in your closet for a couple of years, it's more than likely outdated anyway.
You are causing MORE HARM to yourself by feeling the subconscious guilt of not fitting into it than you are doing good waiting for the day you arrive when you can.
Letting go of clutter from your closet it the best way to move on!
More on wardrobe clutter here. (coming soon)
But if you haven't needed it for years and you're out of space, again, it costs you more to keep it than it does to bless someone else with it.
If you're worried about throwing it away or being wasteful, don't be. Because you aren't. You're doing the opposite if you donate it to a charity or person. You're enabling someone else in the universe to acquire what they need.
I'm continually passing on items that have been sitting too long unused.
I can count on one hand the times I've regretted not having it down the road. And at that, it's usually an EASILY replaced spice or a container I've discarded. I can't ever remember regretting the donation a more prominent ticket item.
Letting go of clutter in the form of unused items will quickly get you on your way to achieving your home organization goals!
I won't sugarcoat this one.
The process IS time-consuming and it DOES drain your energy making decisions. Why do you think you're struggling?
But, if you do it NOW, it will SAVE you later!
We don't follow through because we don't want to invest the time. I'd like to encourage you to overcome- break up your spaces and items in little chunks and work through the clutter!
If you simply can't decide what to do with something, when in doubt, throw it out. (And throw it out doesn't always mean with the trash- it can mean find another use or charity to give to.)
Once you are enjoying the benefits of living a simplified lifestyle and the rewards that come with it, there are very, very few material things that you will regret passing on.
Does letting go of clutter still have you frazzled?
Try this technique as a last resort.
Pack the questionable items in a box. Seal it and put the box out of sight. If six months or a year has passed and you haven't missed anything from the box or can't remember what was in it, you didn't need it, and you're going to be OK without it. NOW let it go with the peace of mind knowing it won't affect your life~ You can do it!
I sure hope you've found comfort in these letting go of clutter mind re-directs. It's an evolution of sorts and something to work on daily.
Letting go of the clutter can be a long process, indeed. YOU CAN DO IT! Freeing yourself of the disorder in your life will reward you with amazing benefits in the long run! You'll feel a sense of accomplishment, save ample time, and gain peace of mind! Your newly organized family will thank you!
A dear friend gifted me a book with much more in-depth clutter discussions- maybe it would help you too~ Check out Gretchen Rubin's "Outer Order, Inner Calm."
If you are still stuck with the letting go of clutter phase, please contact me with any questions!
I'm also available to provide in-person professional organizing services in the Grapevine, TX, and Coppell areas!
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