Over the past year or two, I have decreased my belongings tremendously. There’s nothing better than looking at what I have and knowing that it’s in my possession intentionally. I love to declutter and I find such joy in it, but not everyone feels this way and I want to help those people out. I understand decluttering can be scary and an obstacle to many, but I also know how great it feels to be clutter-free; therefore, stress-free in my home! Physical clutter is 100% mental clutter. Why do you think so many people feel so great after cleaning and straightening up their house? Why not achieve that mindset and feeling all of the time? It’s very possible when you minimize the stuff you own. I am telling you, keep it simple (in all areas of your home) and watch how your life changes.
I read a quote by William Morris that says, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” WHAT INSPIRATION. I use this quote to fuel my fire when it comes to building and maintaining a simple life. It suggests a place to start and a way to look at minimalism in general. To live a minimalistic life does not mean you can’t have decor on the walls or a TV in the bedroom. It means that you don’t flood your living space with nonsense junk!
You have to start small. You can’t just wake up one day and declutter everything you own. Baby steps, my friend. First, follow the steps I took and get some inspiration – read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up by Marie Kondo. THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Or if you really can’t make it through a book, watch her show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. Seriously, play it while you’re going through your stuff. I’m telling you, watching that show will jumpstart your journey without a doubt. As I said, this little angel sent to earth has changed my life and I know she will change yours if you welcome her and her style of decluttering. She breaks it down step by step while keeping you inspired.
Next, categorize everything and deal with one thing at a time: Clothing, Books, Papers, Miscellaneous (technology, cleaning supplies, kitchen, garage, bathroom, kids, office, decor…etc) and lastly, Mementos. **Very important tip from Marie: always leave the mementos for last that way you won’t be discouraged to continue. Tackling these categories will take time. You need to sort through EVERYTHING you own in each category at once.
Finally, ask yourself while holding each item, “Does this bring me joy?” “Do I find it beautiful or useful?”
I think the biggest hurdle with decluttering (besides getting starting) is the guilt and feelings that come up when wanting to get rid of something. I have faced this and it is hard, but once you overcome that; you will be unstoppable. Remind yourself that you do not need to hold onto ANYTHING. You get to decide what to keep and what matters. Cherish the memories associated with something, but remind yourself that they are still there even if the object is not. You can get rid of something that was a gift. You can let go of something that no longer serves you. If you don’t use it, toss it. Don’t keep stuff just in case. Borrow when you have to! You do not need to keep something that has no purpose in your life. Read that again.
My biggest suggestion is to truly keep it simple; what I mean by that is, when you come across something decide right then and there whether it is worth keeping or not. Too many of us have drawers and closets filled with stuff that we forget we have. We really just don’t know what we own and that is not okay and and also very crazy.
Decluttering can be overwhelming and I do get that, but I am telling you living with less = less stress and more simplicity. It is sooooo worth it. With less stress you can focus on what matters. You don’t have to spend as much time tidying up your house, wondering where things are, or worrying about where things go because there is a place for everything. Put things back where they go and know that certain places are only to hold certain things. You do not need a “junk” drawer in every room or a “catch all” closet. This is a lifestyle change people. Your home is your safe place; it should not overwhelm you. Declutter your stuff and take pride in simplicity.