You know that for many years I struggled with controlling the clutter in my house, and there came I time when I began asking myself some very important questions. WHY did I need to declutter?
All the checklists on Pinterest, as inspiring as they may be, would never really have the long term staying power I was searching for if I neglected to address the “Why” of my decluttering.
It has to be worth the work…
Decluttering for reals is a serious business. It’s a game changer, one that could modulate the trajectory of your life. It’s hard work, for body and mind.
If you are considering a big declutter, I suggest you take a bit of time to think about why you want to do this in the first place. Having important reasons helped me though many moments of overwhelm and they have helped me to maintain my decluttered lifestyle, even with 5 little kids and lots and lots of projects!
1). Clutter steals your time, every single day.
When my home was cluttered, I found that I was constantly shifting the stuff. And not a quick “whipping things into shape.” Just to have somewhere to eat dinner required moving piles of stuff around. Things had to be moved out of chairs before I could sit, and I was always tripping over toys or laundry.
Making a safe place for the curling iron to rest was a challenge, and how many times did I have to find a new place to put something because a drawer had become to full.
My clutter was stealing my time, little by little. But it added up to hours per week that I was just dealing with it all.
2.) Clutter steals mental energy
I don’t know about you, but I have found that being in a cluttered space greatly effects my ability to organize my thoughts. It’s really hard for me to make a plan and feel like I can tackle it and succeed if my surroundings are full of stuff.
I need mental space to think well, and I felt I just couldn’t get that in my own home. Other areas of my life suffered because I just couldn’t give them the mental attention they needed.
3.) Clutter consumes emotional energy.
Guilt. Shame. Overwhelm. Hopelessness. When I used to look around at my messy, clutter home I would feel all these things.
Even after I had spent hours putting things away, I always knew that a fresh mess would be back to greet me soon. Even if everything looked under control, I always knew that it was just a facade that could easily crumble.
My clutter was causing a steady undercurrent of anxiety, and that certainly spilled over into other areas of my life.
4.) Clutter costs money
I’ve always thought of myself as thrifty and frugal, but somehow I managed to fill my home with things that I didn’t need or use, and almost all of them were purchased by me at some point.
I don’t know how much it would all add up to if I tallied everything I bought that I didn’t need or didn’t bring me lasting joy. I’m sure it would be in the thousands, probably tens of thousands of dollars. That slow trickle ads up.
Plus, buying duplicates of things was common when we couldn’t find something. And I had to buy bins or storage baskets for all my things, too. More money gone.
5.) Clutter stifles dreams
This reason may be a combination of some of the others, but it’s the one that is the biggest for me.
For years I was filled with ideas about what I wanted to do and accomplish, and simple fact that I was weighed down by clutter kept me from doing all theses things.
Sometimes I would begin a project, then never finish it because I was just to tired. Or sometimes I would have a wonderful idea and never even start.
Or sometimes it was just to much to think about how I could make a major change in my life because it all just felt to hard and heavy.
Clutter kept me down for so long. It kept me from spreading my wings and blossoming into the person and mother and wife that I wanted to be.
A good “why” will keep you on track.
Clarifying exactly why I was decluttering helped me to stay the course and not to backslide into my old ways. I sometimes still have something in my cart and when I look at it I can say to myself “This will cost me money and add to my mental stress” and then I can take it out of my cart with ease.
It’s a wonderfully light feeling to know exactly why I won’t bring something into my home. It’s so helpful to remember that my reasons for staying the course are really important ones.
If you too have moved towards a more simple life, what are the “whys” of your decluttering? If you are still thinking about making a shift towards a more simple life, are you feeling some of these same things that I was?
Dealing with clutter is so much more than following someone else’s checklist (though those can certainly be helpful!)
I know that reading how other women had made it though the process gave me encouragement when I felt like giving up.
I’m all about the practical tips and tricks part of decluttering too, but I know that for me, addressing the “why” was the thing that made this notion really sink in and stick, forever.