Tips for Decluttering Your Life

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein

It has been both a relaxing and busy few weeks and I’m feeling a bit out of kilter. That tends to happen to me when I get out of my daily routine for a prolonged period. It’s been wonderful to spend some time with my kids, but I think I’m ready for them to go back to school tomorrow!

I knew they were all gut-buckets, but I have literally spent half my time cooking and preparing meals…

In between feeding my brood I had a strong urge to have a good clear-out. At first it was from a practical standpoint, I needed to make more space in my daughters’ bedroom so that we didn’t have any unnecessary delays in the morning getting ready for school.

I swopped furniture, went through a lot of old books and gave away masses of stuff that they’ve outgrown. As a result I’ve been able to give them more room to play and fit in a small desk/dressing table for Emily.

Clutter-infographic

That was exhausting but it needed doing. I then decided to re-organise my sons’ room, which hadn’t been properly tackled for years, and certainly not since my eldest son left home a year ago. I’m halfway through that alongside my home office.

As I went about my business something unexpected happened. I started to relish how much I could get rid of. Apart from having sore muscles from quite a bit of heavy lifting and lugging around of furniture, I actually felt lighter and happier. It has given me an inner harmony and felt akin to having a deep spiritual cleanse.

I am determined to empty the house of junk, detritus and general “stuff” that seems to have accumulated over time. I used to be a bit of a hoarder, but I’ve become much stricter with myself over the years. When you have a large family clutter can get out of control, which has a definite negative psychological effect on everyone, but mainly the parents!

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. ~ William Morris

I’m not finished by a long shot, but already I can feel there is a greater flow of energy, it has given me a huge ‘mental’ spring clean. Decluttering your physical space frees up the space in your mind that keeping too many possessions can take up.

With limited space I figured if there were less toys to play with, then my youngest (and by far the messiest), would find it easier to tidy up after herself, thereby freeing up my time and teaching her a valuable life lesson in the process. We’re still working on that one!

clutter quote - Eleanor Brownn

Decluttering my home has been a lesson in organising my life. The same goes for online, digital “stuff”. I don’t need to read every single Facebook post with someone having a rant about something in their life. It gets to the point where it’s information overload. I only read emails at certain times during the day, otherwise it’s a constant distraction.

I used to think that Feng Shui was baloney, but now I can see its intrinsic value.  I may even dedicate a separate post to it in the future.

Feng Shui Bagua (energy map of any space).

Feng Shui Bagua (energy map of any space).

Luckily my desk is west facing, which is meant to stimulate one’s muse!

If you feel happy and relaxed in your environment and aren’t anxious about where your stuff is and how you are going to keep, protect and sort it all, it means you are free to spend more time doing the things that make you happy.

You have to be in the right frame of mind to do it, but once you get on a roll it’s surprising how satisfying it is to bag up old clothes and items for those less fortunate or for recycling. It can also be helpful to have a friend on hand who isn’t attached to your stuff like you are!

It’s so easy for clutter to build up unless you keep on top of it. I think I’m going to keep this motto near my monitor:

A bag a day keeps the clutter away…

In our consumer driven, materialistic society having lots of possessions is seen as a status symbol, but the truth is it just creates more to think about! I think Gandhi had the right idea; he lived a simple but fulfilling life full of meaning.

10 Tips for decluttering:

It’s a lesson I could have done with learning sooner in life: what clutters your mind clutters your soul.

I want my soul to breathe and expand, not constrict and contract.

If you have a decluttering project you’ve been thinking about starting I’d urge you to get stuck in, you’ll feel so pleased with yourself!

Happiness is a place between too little and too much. ~ Finnish Proverb

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