What I want us to do this week is to start the decluttering process for the objects that fill your home. This will not be accomplished in a week – there are other sites that spend 52 weeks just decluttering so consider this the starting point for you to work through depending on how much needs to be tackled in your home. The information I am sharing can be used over and over, room by room, drawer by drawer so you can keep moving forward at your own pace. The key is to keep moving forward!
Following along the same way we did our home audits, here are some approaches I want you to consider and questions for you to reflect on. I hope at least one of them will spur you on to let go of unneeded and unloved items so that your home life can truly be simplified.
What would I take with me if we moved tomorrow?
As I said last week I have moved house nine times in the last thirteen years which has allowed me to reflect a lot as we packed and unpacked our “stuff”.
When you are faced with moving house every item you pack in a box is going to cost you – time packing and unpacking it, and time it takes movers (or yourself) to transport it to the new place which translates into increased costs as the longer it takes to move it the higher the bill at the end.
Pretend you were using your own money to have movers come tomorrow (no fancy company relocation or friends spending their Saturday helping you out for pizza and beers).
Look at your things through that lens of: would you take it with you if you were paying to move it? If the answer is no, think about whether it is time to let it go.
Think about what items in your home you consider essential that you need and use.
What items do you absolutely love? It is okay (and some would say vital) to keep things simply for the pleasure they bring.
What things would you not miss nor feel the need to replace in your new home? These are your potential items to discard now – sell, donate or give away these things to simplify your life.
Are you living in the past instead of the present?
Sometimes things meant something to us once or were part of the life we used to lead. Maybe we got used to having these things in our lives, but now need to stop and consider what it is costing us. Is it more work to keep it in our lives that it would be to let it go? Are we sick of cleaning the items? Are they taking up space and preventing us from bringing in items that reflect who we are now? Do some items represent past interests and our tastes have changed (especially common with entertainment, books, sports equipment)?
“What if” clutter supports a “what if” life – are you living in the future?
Similar to living in the past we can get stuck living in the future.
What if I need to go back to work (when it has been years since you became a stay at home mom)? I will keep my entire corporate wardrobe.
What if I gain the weight back (or lose this weight finally)? I will keep these clothes that don’t fit this body.
What if I finally get around to regular crafting again? I will keep this stash of supplies that takes up an entire bedroom or closet.
What if I can fix all these things? I will not throw away this pile of slightly broken things and I will keep this assortment of “spare parts” just in case they come in handy for fixing other things.
What if Aunt Lucy visits us finally? I will just keep this lamp (she gave us) I hate so I can put it out if she comes.
What if we finally renovate this house? I will keep every home magazine I have bought so I can find ideas.
The bottom line is to simplify your “stuff” so that your home supports your vision of your life and reduces the roadblocks to achieving your priorities and life goals – whether that includes reducing your stress, making your home more welcoming, easier to maintain or a place for fun or calm (or both).
Challenge this week: Assess your things room by room and start to declutter those things you don’t use or love. Even one shelf or drawer each day will make a huge change over time and can see your whole house covered in less than a year. Move forward at your own pace – just remember to keep moving forward. Schedule in your decluttering sessions whether they will be daily or weekly, 15 minutes or half days…
Additional decluttering reading on the blog:
How to declutter, sort and organise in 5 simple steps - this is my step by step guide to declutter your home one space at a time. Do not miss one of my best tips which is in step 1 and involves a notebook for taking action as you declutter.
How to finally get organised - After you declutter you will want to get organised (and never before).
Find your simple,
Link up for week 21 – link up any posts for simplify your life and comment on a few other linked posts. Thank you for joining us.
Image credit: Stuff like that by flickr user debaird