I’m nearing the end of what has been over 2 years’ decluttering. It started in a low-key way at first. I’d empty a cupboard and maybe sell some stuff on eBay. Next, I’d have a jolly good sort out, followed by a trip to the charity shop. I’d then pass on some unworn or unwanted clothes to my best friend or do a trip to the tip. I had always relished a good sort-out.
That was just the start.
Since the early days of lightening my material load, I’ve also been reducing my metaphorical load, re-evaluating commitments and obligations to re-emphasise what’s important in my life. You can read about some of this here.
Now, this previously ‘tidy’ person has become much less cluttered in both a physical and mental way.
So, as I am now refining and reducing the final few items that no longer add value to my life, I have experienced the dawning realisation that the root cause of the excess was down to me. That clutter, in fact, was probably 80% mine. I’d like to blame the dog, but he only likes shopping for treats. My husband is a bibliophile, but the books he acquires are usually related to his business. My daughter has (mercifully) gone beyond the trinkets and toiletries stage and any excess resides only in her room.
So, that clutter… well, it was virtually all mine.
What this shows me is just how much we bring into our homes or workplaces that we really don’t need. So, let’s consider ways to put a stop to the clutter once and for all.
Here are 10 ways to avoid ‘re-cluttering’ our lives:
1. When you get the urge to splurge, write down what you were thinking of buying. Review your list in a month’s time. Do you still crave that item? Chances are you don’t.
2. Spend your leisure time in places where you don’t need your wallet. The mall (be it actual or virtual) isn’t one of those places.
3. Let loved ones know your gifting preferences. Would you rather have an experience than a material gift? Let them know. Remember, flowers, food or fun can be your mantra.
4. Say no to opportunities if they’re not going to add value to your life. Thanks, but no thanks.
5. Switch off, delete, unplug, swipe away, breathe….
6. Treat yourself kindly, but not with something that comes in a pretty gift bag with toning ribbon.
7. Get outside. Move your body. Smile.
8. Re-gift, donate, pass it on, let it go.
9. Unclutter it if you haven’t used it within 12 months.
10. Relish the space and sense of freedom your uncluttered life brings. Now, you wouldn’t want to go back on that, would you?