4 Steps to a Calm your Clutter

We all have been there at one time or another in our lives. Life gets busy, the job gets demanding, the social life gets full, and before you know it there’s a pile of clothes here, a paper laden countertop there. When you live in your house, it’s easy to allow clutter to build up and then sink into the background where it just becomes part of the scenery. If you ever look at model homes, or homes on pinterest or in magazines, it seems so clean and organized, in a way that is almost unattainable for those of us normal folk who don’t have professional organizers, interior designers or housekeepers dropping by any time soon. Even though we are just one person who is likely knee deep in everything else that is going on in our lives, there are still a few things we can do to create a beautiful, peaceful and organized home for ourselves. After all, what is the point of being at home if we cannot relax and feel tranquil while there?

1. Find ONE place for everything.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the old motto “A place for everything and everything in its place” likely spoken in your mind by a sixties housewife with a blonde bob and freshly pressed white cotton sundress. But one way to make that more attainable in reality is to have all items of the same type in one place together, instead of spread out around the house. For instance, keep all linens in the hall closet, all towels in the main bathroom (except the one for your child or guests in the extra bathroom), All baking stuff on one shelf in the kitchen, all mail in one designated spot. This makes it so much easier to find things and also encourages you to go put it back.

2. No Duplicates

I’m going to throw myself under the bus here and admit that at one time we had three different board games of Monopoly. No, they were not different themed monopoly boards, just good ol’ classic monopoly. Why? There is no real reason and they were just taking up mores space. Of course there are exceptions such as coffee mugs and other eatery, pens and other dispensables. But don’t go too crazy with stockpiling those either!

3. Keep Only What is Practical

There is no set list for this, as what’s practical to one person may be completely unnecessary or useless to another. The other day I read a blog that insisted one doesn’t need a rice cooker or a bread machine in their kitchen. Well, maybe some people. But I believe no matter what items you have, as long as you use them regularly then that’s what matters. For seasonal items, they should be stowed away. For items that you haven’t used in over a year… you know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

“But what about my great grandmas antique silk paintaquiltdoily from the 30s?” you ask. That brings me to…

4. Keep Only What You LOVE

This one is probably the hardest of all. When we get gifts, especially from people we care about, it is hard to let go of those things when we really just don’t want or need them. Sometimes we might spend a lot of money on an item that we absolutely were obsessed with at the time. Other things we may have used a lot or identified with in the past, but just don’t serve us any more. It’s important to constantly reevaluate what you have in your home as it’s definitely affecting your energy and the vibes you are surrounding yourself with. Now is the time to let go of anything that is slightly less than what you are happy about.

There you have 4 simple ways to declutter your space. Really about 90% of it is donating or throwing away everything that’s keeping you from a beautiful, organized and happy environment. For a great read that elaborates on this idea, check out The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

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Wishing for Less

Sometimes all we need is a little less. There is a huge and profound connection between owning less, having less stress, spending less money and having less health problems. When we let go of the things in our life that don’t serve us by either being of practical use or pleasing to our senses, we actually begin to highlight the things in our life that really do serve us by making us more happy and productive.

The more we let go of, the more gratifying it is to live our lives amongst the treasured and trusted objects that we have carefully selected to be a part of our day to day routines. We begin to notice the way we feel more, we have space for quiet contemplation and tranquility in our day. When we own less it also forces us to think creatively. Instead of going to the store so we can buy all the latest technology, we can spend our time exploring the potential of the nifty things we already own- such as all the settings of our digital camera or rediscovering our collection of CDs from college (Radiohead, anyone?). When we own less there is less to worry about, manage and maintain. Even if it is as simple as a big assortment of totes with random bits and bobs taking up space in the attic, it still causes us mental clutter when we are reminded of these items and we expend mental energy trying to remember what is stored there and if those things are still useful to us, and even thinking about decisions of what to do with the items. When we surround ourselves with only the things that we truly love and care for, we feel less compelled to purchase new items on a whim or because everyone else has it. This saves us loads of money over time- money that we can use to pay off debt, invest, or donate to a great cause. When we become less stressed, we have the mental energy to pursue our interests instead of parking it on the couch for a night of TV watching. Even better- when we cut out TV all together, we automatically will find other exciting activities to pursue that don’t involve sitting in front of a screen. Naturally this will help to burn calories as we spend our time having fun and being active.

These are just some of the many ways that owning less opens up doors to exuberant happiness in our lives. There are no rules or time limits to how one should go about minimizing, and the journey to owning less will be as unique as the person taking it.