Stuff we all have to have some stuff. We need clothes, we need shoes, we need lots of things. But what happens when you have too much stuff? What does it do to you and how you feel? I thought it really didn’t matter. So I had stuffed closets, I had too many clothes, and I had stacks of books in corners or magazines in a pile on the end table. Who was it really hurting? I thought no one until I decided to declutter.
I set out of overhaul my home. To clear out all the stuff that was sitting around unused and unloved. I decided to take on this project over a full year. One room a month to get my home whipped into clutter free shape.
I didn’t want to do a blitz style de-clutter. I knew if I went about de-cluttering the whole house in a week, it wouldn’t last. I would just get burnt out and not want to throw away or sort anything else for a long time. Soon I’d be back to a cluttered home. I took my time and realized that time was what I needed to change my attitude about this stuff that was sucking up my time and energy and I didn’t even know it.
How could I have missed this knowledge for so long that all seemed very clear to me now? What didn’t I notice the clutter stealing from me? I can’t get back that time but I want you to break free from your stuff and the time suck it can be to care for stuff that you don’t need or love.
Stuff Building Up
When my grandparents were raising kids they lived in a much smaller home. They had a lot less stuff and they never had to buy storage. My grandparents had two kids, a girl and boy. They lived in a small home about 800 square feet and never ran out of space. There was always a car parked in the garage, and they didn’t need extra storage.
But today’s average family not only has a much bigger house, but many people rent storage space to keep their stuff. They have more space than families of early generations but still not enough space to hold everything they own. It’s something that slowly happened to most of them.
Why So Much Stuff?
There is probably lots of reasons for people to have more stuff than earlier generations. We live in a society of consumers. There is always something we need to buy. Commercials encourage us to buy, show us the next best item coming out soon, so we start to want it before we can even buy it, even if our current model works just fine. Enticing us to be dissatisfied with what was once something we cherished.
We are constantly feeling a void that needs to be filled. It’s easy to think that void can be filled with stuff since that is how the products are promoted in the advertisements. All of this leads to a need and want to buy or consume more.
That Stuff Clutters Your Life
For a long time, I didn’t think the clutter was hurting me. But once it was gone and out of my house, I felt different. It was like a weight was lifted. I could look around and feel relaxed. There was no longer clutter, visual clutter sitting here and there. It was filling space that I needed for things I loved and it was filling up areas that could be just open and clean.
Things I discovered that Clutter Was Affecting
Clutter was making it hard to clean. Having to move so much stuff to clean around and under it wasn’t feasible to do each and every week, so the dust would build up here and there. My house always looked clean. It didn’t look like a hoarders house, everything was tidy, there was just so much stuff to keep tidy.
It was hard to see or know what we owned. With things being piled in corners or in nice neat stacks or stuck in a closet, it was easy to forget the items were even there. If you don’t know you have it how can it be useful to you?
Many of the items that were cluttering up my home weren’t items I even wanted or needed anymore. Things like paper receipts from years ago. Other papers that had gotten stuck into a drawer to be forgotten about.
The things I loved were not able to be enjoyed. The items I truly loved were in the mess of other items that weren’t that important or needed. So nothing could really be enjoyed.
I couldn’t truly relax. I always saw something that needed to be done. Or things I needed to tend to. Just the visual clutter that was present was something I didn’t realize affected me until it was finally gone and there was clean clear space.
When you start a journey to live more simply clearing out items you don’t need or don’t love is a good first step. You might be surprised at how you feel as you go through the process. I know it really changed my attitude about clutter.
What do you think? Do you have clutter that is stealing the spotlight from things you truly love? Is there clutter stealing your ability to relax? Is there something within your sight right now that is unused and unloved? If there is why not get rid of those items that are cluttering up your life?
All of those questions above are something to think about as we progress through these next few days and start talking and working on clearing out the clutter. It doesn’t all have to be cleared out in a week or a month, or even a year. When you clear out clutter slowly you can also clear out the attitudes that made it build up too. Little by little realizing you don’t need stuff to fill a void you can fill it with more important lasting things in life like relationships with those you love.
Assignment for today…
I know this is the first day I’ve given an assignment in this series but I truly believe clearing out the clutter will help so much. It did for me. Today, take a few minutes to look through a pile that is sitting somewhere in your home. Keep only the things that are useful to you and things you love. Throw away the garbage, recycle what you can, and donate things that can be useful to others. Keep only the things you truly need or love from that pile. Then sit back and relax knowing you are one step closer to a clutter free home.
Just in case you’ve missed any of the other articles in this series, you can see all the other articles in this Frugal Simple Living series by clicking here.
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