Decluttering | Living Simply | Mindfulness
14 Ways To Declutter Your House [and Mind]
It is important to take a holistic approach to declutter your house because the clutter in our homes and in our minds are often bound together, and one directly affects the other.
When you declutter your house, you declutter your mind. As a result, you will have more energy for pursuing the things that are important to you.
Your home should be your sanctuary
It should be a peaceful, welcoming place to retreat to at the end of each day. It should NOT be a place of chaos and frustration. When my house is cluttered, I feel out of control and my mind feels chaotic and foggy. It likely is the same for you.
There are lots of reasons why decluttering your house is good for you.
WebMD states that “For most people, decluttering can promote productivity and improvements in overall mental and physical health. Benefits of decluttering include, better focus, improved relationships, decrease in allergies and asthma, higher self-esteem, and improved lifestyle and well-being”. For these reasons it is important to make decluttering your home a priority.
The problem with visual clutter
Every item of clothing on the floor is a tiny taskmaster reminding you of everything you still need to accomplish. Seeing clutter around you can be mentally draining. If you have ADHD. visual clutter can be even more distracting. That is because it is commom for those with ADHD have a lower threshold for dealing with clutter in the first place.
When you declutter your house, it gives you a sense of control.
Having our environment organized helps us to feel more in control. The more control you have at home, the more satisfied and less stressed you feel. We all know that feeling of finally accomplishing an organizing or decluttering task that we have been putting off for months. Taking time to complete these projects, can give you some much-needed mental peace and a sense of control.
If you can’t find something when you need it, it causes frustration and anxiety.
We have all experienced the frustration of frantically looking for a lost item. Time is wasted looking for things and if we give up and decide to purchase what we were looking for instead. Then money is wasted too.
The following is a list of tips to declutter your house and your mind and create a more intentional environment for yourself:
1. Establish a donation box.
Keep a donation box in an out-of-the-way but assessable location in your home year-round. This will allow your family to toss no longer used items in the box as they come across them. This is a simple trick that encourages automatic decluttering. You will be surprized at how fast these donate boxes fill up automatically. Then all you have to do is drop it off at a charity.
2. Take a critical eye to everything in your home.
Evaluate everything you have in your home and only keep the things you truly love or that are useful to you. Do you have duplicate items in your home that are used for the same task? If so ask yourself how many you really need to keep. Do you really need 4 can openers, 15 koozies and 6 rubber spatulas?
3. The empty spaces in your home are important too.
Having some empty space allows energy into your home and creates a peaceful, Zen-like environment. Like everything else in life, your home needs to maintain a balance of both empty space and stuff. Look around your home for some empty spaces, examine your walls, shelves, corners and surfaces. If every nook and cranny is filled to the brim, consider making some space.
4. Look around your home and consider how it makes you feel.
Do you feel comfortable and at peace when you look around your home? Is it possible that having less in your home will make it look larger and feel more welcoming and spacious? If your home feels suffocating, maybe its time to subract a few things by decluttering your home.
5. Establish daily 10-minute family tidy sessions.
Make this a fun task by setting a timer or playing music. You will be surprised at how much your family can get done in just 10 minutes if everyone tidies up together. Helpful family organizing routines go a long way in keeping your home clutter free as the busy weeks roll by.
6. A place fore everything and everything in its place.
Everything in your home should have a place to call home. Assign a designated location for every single thing you own, from your purse to your fingernail clippers. Then talk with your family about getting into the habit of returning items to their assigned homes once they are finished using them.
7. Tackle one small space at a time to avoid overwhelm and to clearly see your progress.
You want to be able to see the tangible results of your efforts because this will motivate you to keep going. If feels so good at the end of the day to be able to open your hall closet and see an organized space looking back at you. If you have a large room to declutter, break it down into small chunks. In a kitchen, tackle the surfaces first, then the pantry, then the upper cabinets etc.
8. Every house has a clutter threshold.
Once your home has exceeded its clutter threshold and its storage spaces are overfilled, things start to go awry. Clutter starts to accumulate in visual places and clutter and disorganization follow. Take a look at your home’s closets and storage spaces if they are all filled to the brim, it might be time to do a deep home edit and declutter your whole house.
9. The more stuff you have in your home, the harder it is to keep it all organized.
Less is more, comes into play here. Keep in mind that it is harder to organize and maintain a large inventory than a smaller one. If you have a surplus of items that you have not used and/or they no longer inspire you, consider letting them go for the sake of simplicity. The less stuff you have in your home, the easier it will be to keep it organized long term.
10. Put it away now.
Practice the 2-minute rule, if it will take less than 2 minutes to put something away, do it immediately. Don’t set it down on the dining room table and leave it there for later. It will be easier to do now than to wait until you have an overwhelming pile of clutter to tackle. As a bonus, your home will always be ready for company if someone should show up unexpectedly.
11. Clutter attracts clutter.
It is helpful to keep in mind the mysterious phenomena that clutter tends to attract more clutter. Once you leave a few items sitting around in a given spot, clutter has a sneaky way of accumulating quickly. Much like a weed in the garden, clutter grows rapidly once it gets started. So don’t let it take root in the first place. Resiste the urge to set something down, thinking you will put it away later.
“Simplify your material world to create space not just around you but inside you”
12. Do not wait, donate.
Do you have things you are holding onto because you want to have a garage sale or sell them? Evaluate whether or not the money you will make selling these items is really worth the time and effort. A garage sale takes a lot of time and planning. By choosing to donate, you immediately free up precious space in your home and save yourself the headache of selling the items. You also come away knowing that you made a difference by helping those in need.
13. Avoid shuffling instead of decluttering your house.
If you catch yourself filling up a different room each time you declutter the one you are working in, you may be caught in the shuffling trap. Be careful not to make the mistake of moving things from room to room instead of letting go of them or finding a home for them. If you do this, you will never finish decluttering your home!
14. Focus on your successes, not your failures if you need to declutter your whole house.
If you are facing a big decluttering job, focus on what you have completed as you go, rather than on the sometimes-overwhelming amount of work that lies ahead. By staying focused on your progress, you will give yourself the motivation and determination to keep going one step at a time.
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