The easiest way to simplify your life, is to get rid of clutter.
Clutter can be everywhere. In your closets, on your counter top, in your office, in the children’s rooms, in your garage, in you car…the list goes on.
Too much clutter can overwhelm you. It can make you tense and irritable. It can be embarrassing. And, clutter can also stifle your creativity.
I once heard a story of a women who wanted to simplify her life. She first got rid of her husband, then proceeded to get rid of most of the furniture in her home (he picked it out…she hated it), and then moved onto her closets and cabinets. Even though her home was nearly empty of “stuff” , she was happier than she had been in many years. She felt lighter, and her creativity, which had been dormant for many years, began to resurface.
Now, I’m not suggesting that simplifying your life, means getting rid of a spouse, but, getting rid of clutter can result in a feeling of “a ton of bricks being lifted”
But…where do you start?
It doesn’t matter what room you start in, just start.
If you are feeling too overwhelmed, start with a small area. …maybe a drawer, cabinet, or bathroom.
Remove all items from your selected area. Find another area where you can sort through these items. This can become a time consuming process, so allow sufficient time.
Take items you haven’t used, or don’t like, and get rid of them.
Create three boxes or bags. Label them as:
One thing that I do, since we have an annual neighborhood garage sale, is to create a fourth box, for “garage sale” stuff. I keep this box in the garage, and throughout the year, add stuff to it, when I am doing “mini” decluttering projects. Read my previous article How To Have A Successful Garage Sale, for great garage sale tips.
If you change your decorating scheme, and have a mixture of different motifs, throughout your home, this is a great time to pack away (if you still like them), items that aren’t matching your current decor.
For example, I love the Victorian era, but am currently not using that theme in any of my rooms, so I have packed away all of my Victorian decorations. I know I will revive that theme at a later date, so instead of getting rid of my fine Victorian pieces, I have them stored away.
Hint: When deciding whether to keep or get rid of makeup and/or lotions, remember, they do have a shelf life. Lotions can start smelling rancid, and mascara, only has a shelf life of 3 to 4 months. For a complete list of shelf life for beauty products, see this article at Real Simple.
Once you have removed all items from the area your are decluttering, proceed with cleaning that area. Scrub the counter tops, wipe out the cabinets, sweep the floor. Do whatever it takes to get that area clean.
After your area is clean, start putting things back, one by one. As an added bonus, when you begin to put things back, you may end up tossing or donating, even more.
Proceed to throw the trash in the garbage can. As soon as possible, take the “donate” box/bag to your favorite charity drop off. Get it out of your house.
Decluttering can be contagious. Just about the time you finish one area, you will be motivated to declutter even more.
Before you know it, your whole house will be decluttered.
As an added benefit, you will feel “lighter”.
Don’t be surprised if your creativity kicks in, too.