Do you like the feeling of everything being in its place, clear surfaces, and a tidy home?
Does it bug you when you spend money or waste time you didn’t need to?
If the answer to these questions is yes, I might have your ULTIMATE life hack/pro-tip coming right up in
Hang on, what? I can hear you now…
How the heck is decluttering going to save me money or give me more time? I can’t even find the time to declutter my bedside table, let alone the whole house.
Don’t worry. I’m going to explain everything…
Decluttering is the act of removing unnecessary or unwanted things. That’s the dictionary definition version. My version is more like… getting your s#!t sorted. ‘Cause you’ve got enough things to do without wiping dust off your fifth grade swimming trophy every month.
A lot of people struggle with decluttering because they worry that if they get rid of the thing(s), they’ll regret it in the future and either:
- Need to buy the thing again (and waste money), or
- Want to get the thing back for sentimental reasons but it’s not possible
In my experience, though, decluttering doesn’t bring regret… unless it’s regret that you hadn’t started sooner. Here are 10 reasons why…
10 Reasons to Declutter
- You’ll find hidden treasuresYour clutter is probably stopping you from seeing what you actually own (and love). I find that when I help my clients declutter, we usually find one or two things they’d forgotten about or thought had been thrown out. The beauty of this is, they can reconnect with stuff they actually care about or use, without having to buy them all over again. Sometimes it feels a bit like a treasure hunt!
- It helps you to stop wasting moneyDecluttering helps you realise that you have made a lot of useless purchases in the past. It’s not a great feeling, but the positive side of it is that you’ll become more careful with future purchases. This could mean only buying things that are higher quality, using what you already have, choosing multi-purpose items, choosing ethical brands/products, or just owning less over all. Which brings me to the next point…
- You need less than you think80% of what we have isn’t necessary. It’s the classic 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, we use 20% of our stuff. Decluttering can really make you realise how little you actually need. This is an eye opener for if you plan to downsize your home, pursue a different lifestyle, or go travelling for long periods of time. Realising you have more than enough stuff in your life is also a really abundant feeling, which can help you fight the urge to buy more things.
- When you have less, there’s less cleaning and maintainingThe more stuff you have, the more cleaning you’ll need to do, and the less time you’ll have to spend enjoying the stuff. Picture your table, benchtops, desk, and sideboard, empty and tidy at all times. All your possessions fit into your existing storage space so that they’re not out on display, collecting dust. It will be much easier to do a quick wipe/dust and get your whole house clean when the surfaces are clear.
- Less stuff means more space and time to create what you loveTo create a better life, you need to make space and get rid of anything that isn’t right for you anymore. This means intentionally creating space in your schedule (saying no to things) and decluttering your physical space. Decluttering will create space for things that bring you joy and serve a purpose. And maintaining less stuff will give you back more time.
- It might not be a lack of storage that’s the problemI love storage solution as much as anyone, but quite often, someone’s lack of storage isn’t the problem… it’s that they have too much stuff. Reducing your stuff means that what you have left over will fit in your existing storage space, get put away when it’s not being used, and will always be easy to find.
- Stuff isn’t as important as the people and relationships in your home.
Stuff can distract us from the important bits of life, like spending time with people we love, and growing relationships that matter. Instead of bugging your partner to put away their collection of PS2 games for the hundredth time, you could ask them to list them for sale instead… either way, you might find your problem is solved fairly quickly.
- You realise you can do things more efficiently.While I don’t advocate swapping physical clutter for digital clutter, there’s no denying that a great many physical possessions can be stored more efficiently in digital form. There are loads of apps and programs you can use to help with or replace your filing (do you even need a filing cabinet and all its contents now?), your media, and your books. Use Dropbox for scanned files/photos, subscribe to Spotify for your music, and consider using a Kindle or ebook reader app instead of buying and storing more physical books.
- Your treasures can shine!A table covered in piles of mail, stationary, an assortment of containers, and trinkets can be an eyesore. The same table, once decluttered, can be a beautiful feature to be proud of. You could choose a statement pieces that you love, and let it shine, like a vase from your grandmother, filled with flowers from your garden.
- You can feel good about having people over to visit.Last but not least, you won’t need to rush about the house, shoving things into cupboards (or the junk room) whenever you plan to have guests over (or if they come over unexpectedly). After decluttering, all you’ll have to worry about is making sure you have a spare packet of bikkies in the cupboard to share.
How to get started
Clearly, decluttering is awesome and has HEAPS more benefits than what I’ve listed here. So, why aren’t more people doing it? It’s because they’re so overwhelmed they don’t know where to start. So, here’s what you can do…
- Start now.
- Don’t wait. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, your holidays, the weekend, someday. It’s best if you just make a start now without thinking about it too much.
- Do a little each day.Start small and let that build momentum. This works great with decluttering because once you start, you’ll immediately notice the benefits, which will keep you motivated to do more. Plus, doing a little at a time really takes the pressure off when our days are already so full of work, family, and other commitments.
- Remove unwanted stuff from your home.I’ve seen many decent attempts at decluttering get stalled or go backwards when people let their stuff linger in donation/selling piles. Once you’ve identified your clutter, get that stuff out of your house. Don’t get caught in the trap of trying to make your money back on everything. Accept that the thing you bought/kept for years has served its purpose and brought you joy. It’s time to let it go. If you have high value items, go ahead and list them for sale, but make sure that your price is realistic (or even a bargain) to ensure they sell quickly. Feel good about it – you’ll be making the next owner super happy about their purchase!
- Get help.Getting someone else on board to help sort through, discard, and organise your stuff can help you achieve your goals and get the job done much more quickly. With their additional experience, nothing is going to be missed, and you’ll get the kind of support you need. An extra set of hands means that you can focus on deciding what to keep and what to discard, while leaving the heavy lifting (literally) up to someone else.
So… what are you going to declutter today?
It’s your time now…
P.S. One of the services I offer to my lovely clients is help with decluttering. I love getting in and helping them get their time and space back… the results are always so rewarding for everybody (myself included). Give me a call or send me a message to see if we could work together and start reclaiming your space from the clutter.