Today I’m sharing another section of my action guide, Sustainable Change, with you. (Here’s the first part and the second). It’s short and to the point: get rid of the clutter. I think it’s particularly fitting because this weekend I’m helping a friend with a huge yard sale. She and her husband have recently gone through every room of their house and taken out the stuff they don’t need. And now they’re going to make a little extra cash from it. Very cool.
After our recent move, we’ve found even more stuff to purge, so I’m hoping to add a good chunk of change to our One Month to $1000 Challenge jar, which is filling up. So, here’s the very brief guide to simplifying your possessions.
Clutter is counter-productive. I can’t stress this enough. That’s why it needs to go away. Have you ever tackled a really messy room and then smiled triumphantly at the peaceful, organized space that you created? How do you feel the next day after the kids or your husband has gone through and left their mark? It’s a bit defeating and discouraging, isn’t it?
You can get rid of those feelings and the constant battle against the mess by minimizing your possessions. Get rid of the stuff that has taken over your life and say hello to a place that takes little time to clean, giving you the freedom to pursue your passion.
Start with one room. Go into it with a trashcan and two boxes, one labeled give and the other keep. If this is too daunting, start with your desk or a kitchen drawer. Begin sorting items into the boxes. If there are some things that you’re just not sure of, you could put them in a maybe box for 6 months and get rid of them if you haven’t used them. Though, I tend to go by the “if I don’t love it, I don’t need it,” rule.
Repeat the cycle with other rooms on other days – or devote a whole day to doing this. Then have a yard sale or make a trip to your local thrift store to donate it. The key is to get rid of items that you don’t need. What you’re left with is a clear, organized space that doesn’t need to be cleaned constantly.
If you need more help, or want to move on to other areas of your life, I highly suggest two books (these are affiliate links, by the way):
Leo Babauta’s book, The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life, covers clearing everything from your living room to your computer desktop.
If you want more in-depth help on conquering your clutter, I highly recommend Dusti Arab’s book, The Minimalist Mom. She approaches clearing the clutter from a mom’s perspective, something that I really appreciate after reading minimalism books that don’t really address the little kid aspect of things.
Now go just a little deeper
Now that you’re on the right track with getting rid of stuff you don’t need, I want you to just take some time and think about how it got there in the first place.
Do people give you things a lot? Are you constantly bringing home awesome deals? Are there special gnomes in your house that bring in more stuff instead of making it disappear? Just think about it. When I did this, I realized that I have a shopping problem. When I feel depressed or get bored, my first reaction is to want to shop. That’s definitely not good.
Why does stuff keep coming into your house? What could you do to change that?PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.