Tips for a Clutter Free Living Space

Circumstances change. We change. Opportunities arise. Whether you’re moving, transferring, downsizing, empty nesting, or have additions or subtractions to your family – life moves us forward. Sometimes the stuff we’ve accumulated becomes an albatross around our neck. Do we really need all that excess stuff around us? Do we really need to haul it around behind us? Do we even know what we have anymore? Do we keep misplacing and losing things in the chaos? Are we wracking up storage locker fees for items that we never even look at? Eventually, the stuff in the locker could cost us thousands of dollars just collecting dust. Way more than the merchandise is even worth. Sometimes the stuff is no longer relevant in our lives, no longer brings us joy or there’s just too darn much of it! Just thinking about it can be daunting and overwhelming, but if we don’t deal with it ourselves, one day somebody else will be forced do it for us. Not a fun job for anybody!

Take a deep breath. Maybe it’s time.

There are so many decisions to be made. Do we love it? Do we use it? If not, why do we have it? Do we have duplicates of items? Maybe you can give it away to someone you know who could use and would appreciate it. Or perhaps you can sell the item at a garage sale or online. Maybe you can donate it to a charitable organization. Hopefully your items will find a new home where they will be used, loved and cherished.

We all change and evolve. Do we need to keep every single item from our past? We would need a storage warehouse! Maybe just select a few really special items to keep as memories and lovingly let go of the rest. When we have too much we don’t even know what we have and it all gets lost. It just lays buried under a mountain of other stuff that has no meaning. It becomes just more stuff. Nothing is special anymore.

What are your interests now? Maybe your hobbies have changed and you no longer need the supplies for scrap booking, etc. And is it necessary to keep the croquet set if you live in a small apartment and don’t have a yard? Why not give it away to someone with a yard who could use it?

You might need it someday. That is another reason folks hold onto things. However, the reality is that you may never need it! Most of the time, you may never even miss the item once it is gone. Take a chance.

How much did it cost? When we see how much money we have spent we feel bad and regretful. We have all done it. Don’t beat yourself up. Just remember that the quality of your life and home environment now is worth more than any money you may have spent in the past. There is no sense feeling guilt every time you look at something. That’s not healthy for your wellbeing either. It’s better to have good, positive feelings when we look at the things around us in our homes that reflect who we are now.

Actually, you will probably save money in the long run. After all, you may have been unwittingly purchasing an item over and over again because you didn’t realize you already have several hiding under something else or stuffed in a cupboard. And some items will expire before they are used and will have to be discarded.

It can be stressful and overwhelming dealing with excess belongings whether they are yours or belong(ed) to somebody else. There are lots of big and small decisions to be made and sometimes many emotions involved especially with sentimental family items brought on by a transition or change of circumstances in your life. Maybe we feel guilty letting go of items that were given to us by a loved one. We may not even love the items or have a use for them, but we feel guilty even thinking about letting go of them. We feel a sense of guilt and obligation to hold onto them. Decide to choose which items mean the most to you. Keep, honour and cherish those items. Display them. Lovingly let go of the rest. Perhaps pass it on to another family member who may be interested. I held onto many of my parents’ photo albums of their various vacation trips. One day I realized that these were their memories. They were not mine. That was their life, not mine. I will make my own memories.

Like the tide, stuff comes in and out of our lives. Sometimes we acquire, collect and hold onto and sometimes we need to let go. Maybe the time is right to do the latter.

Take a deep breath. Maybe it’s time to let go.