I have too much STUFF. Papers on my table, old shoes in my mud room, decorative items that I tolerate but don’t love on my shelves… Clutter leads to stress and increased cortisol levels, so why not make the choice to become happier and less stressed by clearing those items you don’t love out of your life? Simplify in a few easy steps.
1. Set a decluttering goal. Start with something easy. 5 items, 10 items, 25 items, or whatever magical number suits your fancy. In keeping with my “40” theme, I set myself of goal of finding 40 items to delete from my environment.
2. Set a time limit. If you know you have a limited time to work with, you’ll usually be more efficient and just get ‘er done. I set a timer for 10 minutes and began. I basically went from room to room, looking for areas in my house where stuff piles up and stealing things from those hot spots. In about 7 minutes, I had found the 40 items I was looking for.
3. Decide what you’ll do with the items. If it’s broken or plainly garbage, then toss it. Clothing, shoes, or books can often be donated or given away to friends, while expired drugs can be taken to the pharmacy for proper disposal. If you’re into garage sales or eBay, consider selling your goods and making a little cash. In my case, a few items will be placed in the garbage or recycled, the clothing and household items will be donated, the expired meds will be taken to Shoppers Drug Mart, and I’ll check with my friends to see who wants my books.
Forty items are a start, but I know that over the next several months, I have a lot more to let go of. Decluttering is a habit that can be cultivated. It can be difficult to do, though, because the items tucked away in your junk drawer or in the basement storage room require that you make a decision about them, and that can be tough, especially if you’re sentimental and items serve a physical reminders of people, places, and events.
Does decluttering make you happy? Do you struggle with clutter or is everything in its place in your home?