5 Beginner Steps to a Decluttered Life | For almost a year, I’ve been addicted to reading articles, blogs, and books about minimalist living. I’m obsessed. The thought of living with only the bare essentials and nothing else is so appealing that I think about it almost every single day. I’m constantly looking at the items I own and thinking, “Why do I have this?” “Do I really need this?” All of these things that I have are heavy. Almost too heavy. Not literally, but mentally. The stuff clouds my mind, distracts me from living, and fills me with a lot of stress and anxiety. All of it makes me rather unhappy.
I haven’t always felt this way.
Stop Impulse Shopping
I had 4 sets of measuring cups. Who needs 4 sets?! I noticed my duplicate problem in the kitchen the most. I don’t know how many times I’d stand in my kitchen wondering why and how just my husband and I could have so many dirty dishes all of time. It just didn’t make sense. But when I started looking at how many of each item I had, it quickly became a whole lot clearer as to why I was washing a mountain of dishes every other day. We had too many of each thing! Because we had enough plates, glasses, and cutlery to properly dine 20 guests we got into the habit of grabbing clean dish after clean dish throughout the day instead of maintaining a few. Instead of rinsing off a plate after breakfast, we’d just throw it into the sink and grab a new plate for lunch. Once we pared down all of our kitchen items to just what we really needed, I found that we spent a lot less time cleaning and more time cuddling on the couch. This situation can apply to almost any room.
When I clean my living room, I always hate when I get to the DVD rack. It is always covered in dust. I have to pull them all off and clean underneath and behind every single one. Out of everything in the living room, this area takes the longest to clean. Ever since Netflix and Amazon Prime entered our lives, we’ve stopped watching the majority of our DVDs entirely considering we can stream them for no additional cost. That meant our DVD stash was nothing more than a dust factory. We decided that it would be best cut back most of our collection along with our CDs, which we uploaded onto our cloud storage, and our huge collection of books that we didn’t read anyway. We have now decided to utilize our cloud storage for any new movies, music, or books that we may want. This works great since this cloud will follow us wherever we go as long as we have wifi.
Part with Unitaskers
We’ve all seen the awful infomercials that try to sell us the wonder gadget to solve every one of our life’s inconveniences. They quickly pile up and clutter our homes until that one day in the whole year we actually decide to use it for its intended purpose. In reality these gadgets are pointless. We already have the necessary tools to get the job done with out spending 19.99 plus shipping and handling for that breakfast sandwich maker. Save yourself the money and time wasted dealing with these cheaply made gadgets and make do with what you have.
If it Doesn’t Make You Happy, Let it Go
It’s easy to just say “Go through every nook and cranny and get rid of what you don’t need.” But how do you decipher what you need and what should be sold or donated? I’ve recently read “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo and she said something that stuck with me that I use every time I try and decide whether or not I need to part with something. She challenges us to ask ourselves if those hard-to-part-with items “spark joy.” Things shouldn’t be just things. They should have some important role or meaning in our lives.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be something that we dread. With a few baby steps it can be very liberating and pretty easy. Shedding the weight that our stuff causes leaves more focus and energy for living – which to me is pretty important. Give these a try and let me know if they work well for you. What other easy ways to you use to declutter your life?