Is decluttering something that only the empty nesters need to think about? I used to think so. Decluttering never even crossed my mind until I started this terrible habit. Maybe this is something that you are guilty of as well because I’ve heard of my aunt doing this when I was a little girl.
And hearing it I was judging it thinking “WHY the heck would you take the time to make a mess for yourself.” And that mess that I’m talking about here is stacking anything that you can’t find a home for, or anything that you need to hide, or “Putting things away” in the master bedroom.
Like a dumping ground central. Or if you’re really good you stack it. Laundry baskets, Rubbermaids, and boxes stacked up along the wall of the master bedroom because as of the moment that they were in my arms I didn’t know where to put them.
Or worse, the company was coming over aka my mom and I needed somewhere to hide them.
This stacking and piling goes on and on … and I was in the stage of taking care of my newborn #5, so yeah we were busy and young. To the point where I had enough and one day just went crazy sorting and cleaned out the master bedroom in a day. Not even kidding.
I even made a video about it because I thought I could make a YouTube video about it … Like “How to Clear out your Master Bedroom” LOL.
This moment was key because I was struggling with postpartum anxiety and didn’t even know it until later I figured it out. I was a stay at home mom that felt like I had lost myself in motherhood and I was crying hard once a week, just because.
But when I started decluttering the master bedroom that day I was excited. I felt free and in some ways that marks the deeper start of my decluttering learning and journey.
I used to think decluttering was for empty nesters …
Then I had kids and WOW was I ever wrong.
And I now flip that. Living a clutter free life is something to start when you are young. Because you are going to be developing a lifelong habit and a life-long way that you are going to be living. You are not going to be waiting for a moment in time when your stuff has become so overwhelming you don’t know where to start.
Wherever you are in life, start today on your clutter free journey.
Develop a clutter free living habit
Small integral habits that we layer into our lives are so much easier to create a sustainable change in our lives for anything. And if we are talking about clutter and what we can do to declutter our homes I recommend making it a habit.
A small 15 min practice.
If you have 15 minutes and only 15 minutes you are not going to overthink your process of decluttering. You will have one drawer or shelf that you are looking at and you will only focus on that for the next 15 minutes. And that’s it. Doing this daily means that you will always be on the lookout for what you can work on next and what you can toss in your next 15 minute time tomorrow.
How your 15 minutes of decluttering works:
- Setting aside 15 minutes every day, you are going to pick one place to declutter: a drawer, a shelf, a box, etc. ONE
- Empty all the content of the drawer
- Put back the contents by handling things one by one and asking yourself these 3 questions:
- Do I love this?
- Do I use this?
- Would I buy this again?
- If the item got a “YES!” from one of the 3 questions put it back in the drawer
- Garbage in garbage
- Everything else that’s left in your pile is off to donations
Related Post: Why Your Clutter Might Be Keeping You Up At Night
Practice a conscious decision to bring less stuff into your home
A huge part of living a clutter free life is to not only to finagle the stuff in our home but to be the gatekeepers of what comes in our homes.
And while we can’t control the other members of our house we can educate our kids but even more importantly we can regulate ourselves.
If we bring less stuff into our house there is less stuff to deal with. It kinda reminds me of losing weight. Eating less carbs than you burn = weight loss. Same can we say about our stuff.
One day near the end of summer I worked it out with my hubby that he would stay home with the kids and I would take the morning off to the city to go “back to school” shopping for the kids.
We had prepared for the huge shopping trip by all 3 of my big kids going through their clothes and writing down for me what they were missing. I printed off the school supplies list and grocery shopping list.
3 lists, one city, and money saved up for the whole thing.
You guys, 4 hours later and 900 dollars less, I came home with bags and bags of supplies. We needed the supplies, we verified that. I saved up my money to get the supplies.
But bringing everything into the house Dan looked at me and said “Wow, this is more than Christmas.” And in our house he was right. It was! Each child had a pile of new school supplies and clothes ready to ace their “New” year with what they needed. I was proud.
But here’s the catch — two hours later, everyone had had supper and we detagged everything and put everything away.
The inside of our house looked like nothing happened. It looked the same as it did yesterday.
You couldn’t tell that I just spent $900 on stuff and brought all of it into our house. You couldn’t tell. It was like our house swallowed the stuff and you would think our house was tidy. But I knew there were more things in our house than before and in this case, I was okay with that.
But think about it for a minute. If you keep bringing in stuff unconsciously, not thinking if you need it or not but if you just keep bringing stuff into your house, you will have to battle the clutter again further down the road.
But if you make the effort to stop things from getting through the door you will have won the battles before it’s even started.
Bringing stuff into our homes is sneaky. We don’t really realize that everything is adding up.
Learn and grow right now where you are about clutter free living
The good news is that you’ve already started that one with being here and reading but there are so many amazing resources online that you can learn how to do anything that you want.
But think of it as you would if you are working on creating a debt free life for yourself.
- You are going to listen to podcasts about becoming debt free.
- You are going to read.
- You are going to watch youtube videos.
- You are going to borrow a book from the library.
Pouring the education in makes it so much easier to be motivated to propose a clutter free life … and the best part about it is that most is free!
Related Post: At The Start Of Your Clutter Free Journey
Reframe your thinking when moving things out of your house
It’s not about how much your stuff is worth — I’m going to be honest with you. That money is already spent and already gone. That item is not worth that amount. Sure maybe you could sell it but it’s not under the frame of mind that you are going to be “getting your money back” the money is gone, already spent. It’s not owed to you to get it back.
I recently discovered putting things on Facebook marketplace to sell and I came up with a second hand price that seems fair to me … like half price or less. And I just wait and see what will happen.
It’s like I’m detached and uninterested in the sale of that item. Because when I remove my emotional attachment to how much that item is worth my anxiety levels go down and I’m not invested in the selling outcome. If it sells for that price it sells. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.
It’s that simple.
Clutter free living is not for the young or the old
Clutter free living is for anyone to start today.
Start by little spurts of decluttering to make it a habit, watch what you are bringing back into your house, reframe your thinking about how “hard” it is to get rid of stuff, and never stop learning and growing about this idea that you have about how you want to live a clutter free life.
You’ve got this.