How to Shed Clutter and Simplify Your Life
It is amazing how fast your home gets cluttered with unessential items, cast offs , and has beens. Here are some tips for keeping your home clutter free. The process is called “shedding” and it involves four steps for methodically letting go of objects and activities that bog us down so we can move forward with ease. It is an empowering feeling when you can de-clutter periodically.
1. The first thing is to be aware of the clutter. Look around and really “see” the clutter. You may have become oblivious to the clutter since you live with it every day. There is a disorder called “hoarding”, and if you suspect you have this disorder, you may need professional help to overcome and de-clutter. But if you have just let things get out of hand, you should be able to acknowledge the clutter.
2. Realize that most of the clutter is not junk. Each and every thing that you have in your home got there because at one point you felt it was a necessity. It may have been an impulse purchase that you later discovered was the wrong color or it didn’t meet your needs. Many items will also have passed their usefulness or expiration date. You may have a sentimental reason for keeping it, but probably will never use it again.
3. Get three large boxes, marking one for “sentimental value”, one for “give away” and one for “trash”. Purge by area, not just running from one thing to another. Decide if a particular item is still a necessity, if it is outdated, or if someone else would appreciate it more. Those items that have true sentimental value may be heirlooms including family silver or china, bibles, hand-embroidered linens or jewelry. You can store these in a special wooden chest or sealed plastic container that will keep them well preserved for the next generation.
Old photo albums and important documents are valuable and can be stored out of sight. In this digital age, there are many services offered where you can digitize all of your albums, and several pictures or documents can fit on a small CD, DVD or an external hard drive. If you are up to the challenge, you can get a scanner and do it yourself. But, it will go a long way in making your home feel less cluttered. You can store these precious items away rather than having them sitting out on every free surface in your living room or bedroom. It is always good to have an extra copy in case something happens such as a flood or fire. Keep digital copies stored in a safe place.
4. Decide where to store your boxes of sentimental value. Then you can find a creative way to find a new home for your items you put in the “give away” box. You could earn some extra money by having a garage sale, donate them to a second hand store and get credit for a tax deduction, or you could give them to a family that may be having a difficult time.
Perfect times for purging are when the seasons change, when you decorate for the holidays, or when you are about to relocate. You will find that you can actually breath more freely and that this purging process will have lifted some of your burdens.
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