Tips to be Clutter Free

Education, Home & Family
on November 19, 2000

The place we call home should be a refuge, a personal sanctuary in which our families and ourselves are nurtured. But do you ever feel overwhelmed in your own home? Is clutter taking up your precious space?

If the thought of paring down and sorting out seems like too much work, simply take the first step to a clutter-free life: make a conscious decision to loosen your grip on clutter, and get your power back.

Here are some ways to do that:

Take a walk through your home. Look at the items taking up space and ask yourself: Do these items make me genuinely happy? Are they useful? Be honest, and start making a list of what needs to go. Look at books, clothes, furniture, knick knacks, all of it.

Get rid of stuff with the least sentiment attached. Sometimes it is hard to admit which items are meaningful and which aren’t. Hence, don’t start with family heirlooms and keepsakes. Start with other items, and ask what would happen if each were gone from your life. Instead of tying emotions to “stuff,” shift your focus to what really mattersthe ones you love.

Put items on probation. If you resist letting certain items go, then box them up, label, and store them away. Let a year pass. You may be surprised to find the box right where you left it, untouched. If so, then send it on its way to a favorite charity.

Limit your keepsakes. Must you keep all of Susie’s baby clothes? Why not keep two or three special items, and send the rest to charity?

Employ the “what comes in must go out” rule. Suppose you love books but your bookcase is full. If you buy a new book, one of the old books must go. This method will keep your “stuff” from multiplying. Apply this rule to your children’s belongings, also.

Sell it, throw it, or give it away. Enough said.

Don’t become overwhelmed. Take baby steps. Start with just one room, or one closet. You will be amazed at how much lighter you will feel, and how this sense of freedom will improve other areas of your life, as well as give you new energy to tackle your next clutter-buster project.

It is so liberating to come home to a place where there is space and warmtha place where you can breathe and relax. Releasing your hold on clutter, both literally and emotionally, is the first step.