It’s well known that clutter causes stress and anxiety. It can overwhelm you and even drain your energy.
The good news is, it’s easy to fix. Once you get on top of your clutter, you’ll soon feel your energy levels flood back and your general wellbeing lift.
Ready to tackle the clutter in your home? Here are five important things to do:
- Understand what kind of clutterer you are
If you’re going to declutter successfully, you’ve got to understand your own nature as a clutterer.
- ‘It’s All Too Much’ Clutterer? You don’t know where to start when you want to get rid of it.
- The ‘Boy Scout Clutter’ (i.e. Be prepared)? You think you might need certain items in the future.
- The ‘Über Busy Clutter’? You don’t have the time to implement a storage system and can’t find things fast when they need them, so you just buy them again (and throw away money by doing so!).
Identify which one of the above you are so you can remedy your clutter-oriented weak spot.
2. Ask yourself three questions when going through your belongings
Peace. Freedom. Space.
They all sound great, don’t they? Unfortunately, clutter stands between you and them, so when you’re decluttering, ask yourself three big decluttering questions:
- Do I really need it?
- Do I love it?
- Would I exchange my own inner peace for it?
When you ask yourself, you’ll soon counter all the objections you’d have otherwise raised for hanging on to items unnecessarily. They won’t stand a chance.
3. Consider the last time you used an item
Was it more than six months ago? Then get rid of it. Did you come across it while looking for something else and exclaim, ‘I’ve been wondering where this had got to!’?
Then it’s another item to wave goodbye. Of course, if an item surprises you because you’d forgotten you even had it, the item should definitely go.
In none of these cases have you missed the items enough to justify keeping them. It’s just a question of whether to sell, give away, recycle, donate or throw out.
Recycling is the preferable option because when items go to the tip, they begin to rot and the methane from them escapes into the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, methane absorbs heat from the sun and, as a result, contributes to global warming, so if possible, try to recycle items so that they continue to be usable.
Even if you can’t recycle the whole item, some recycling facilities will be able to take the wood, metal or other materials used to make certain parts and make them suitable for reuse.
4. Clear the memory clutter
Sometimes we keep items that relatives leave behind because dispensing with them (the items) would make us feel guilty.
Here’s the thing, though: you’ve got to live your life, not someone else’s, and it’s okay to part with things that never belonged to you in the first place.
We may feel that some of these items are financially valuable. Again, it’s okay. You can sell them. You can donate them, document the value and, depending on where you, deduct the value from your taxes. You can give them to a family member.
If you just can’t bear to part with an item, replace something else with it. For instance, if a relative leaves behind a desk, you could sell your own desk and keep your relative’s desk.
5. Hire a waste disposal service
You won’t realise just how much junk you have until you start going through it all. Note that not everything you decide to get rid of will be suitable for selling or donating.
Larger items, such as sofas, television sets or cookers, may be fit for nothing but the scrap heap. Fly tipping is illegal, so you should consider hiring a waste disposal service to take care of these items.
Remember that you can conquer clutter simply by storing things or by getting rid of them the moment you realise you’re not going to use them, rather than accumulating items to the point they trigger anxiety.
Whether you declutter as you go along or decide to go on a purge, though, you’ll feel instantly better when you free up the space.