When you look around your home, does it seem like the amount of ‘stuff’ you own has piled up exponentially this past winter – or over the past several years? Many people find it very difficult to let go of their stuff, attaching sentimental value to everything. However, making the choice to let some of it go can do wonders for your peace of mind, and your health.
According to psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter, clutter can cause significant stress by drawing our focus to it, and therefore away from the task at hand, can overstimulate the mind, creates feelings of anxiety and guilt (stemming from unfinished work or unresolved messes), makes it hard to find the things that we readily need, inhibits the creative process by ‘closing off’ open spaces in your environment, and provides a nagging reminder that work is never done.
Luckily, eliminating clutter is relatively simple, although for some, not easy. If you’ve accumulated a great deal of clutter in your home, schedule a weekend, or several evenings during the week, solely for addressing the pile-up. Get a few large boxes, put on your favorite music, and get started. Begin with open areas in your home.
Besides just recycling papers and old magazines you don’t need, take a look at your knickknacks. Do you have some that don’t really work with the room, or that you don’t really even like looking at? In the box they go. Strive to keep only the things that really resonate with you, that have a distinct use, or that bring beauty to your home.
Next, tackle the bedrooms. Remove anything from the nightstands that does not bring a sense of harmony to your sleeping space. Same goes for dresser-tops. Go through the drawers and closets. If you find clothes you never wear, or objects that you never use or look at, put them in the box. While it may seem like a huge hassle, clearing out your closets can be very freeing, because then there won’t be a nagging feeling in the back of your mind that all your ‘stuff’ is still there in disarray.
Once you have finished going through your home, and have collected anything unnecessary into the boxes, you have to decide what to do with it. Maybe some items are really beautiful, but are just not ‘you,’ or do not work in your home. Consider giving these items away to friends, they may really appreciate them.
Having a yard sale is another great idea, especially in the springtime. You will be free of the extra stuff, and may make a bit of money in return. If you have certain items, or clothes, that you know you don’t need but are having a hard time letting go of, consider donating them.
It might make you feel better to know that people who really need them will be enjoying the clothes and other items that you once enjoyed – appreciating them and giving them new life.
For the things that remain after the clear-out, consider investing in some space-saving shelves and organizers. That way, you can keep the things you need and use functionally organized, so that they are not just piled up in a closet or stuffed in a drawer.
Once you have cleared the clutter from your home, you may be amazed at how rejuvenated, creative and productive you feel, and how much of your stress has melted away.
-The Alternative Daily