Even though you make an effort to rid your home of clutter, you may still feel overwhelmed with stuff. If you are bringing in as much (or more) stuff as you are sending out of your home, you are not conquering the clutter in your home.
When we lived in our 900 sq. ft. mobile home, I regularly sent bags to the thrift store which should have created more space and breathing room in our home, but it didn’t.
You see, for every bag of items that I sent out of my home, I brought 2-3 bags worth back into my home. I wasn’t shopping with a purpose. Instead I was simply picking up random things that only added to the clutter and discontentment in my home. I love this quote from Melissa Michael’s book Make Room for What You Love*.
“Clutter is a stealer of joy and contentment. Your home should breathe happiness into your family’s story, not slowly suck the life out of you.”
Clutter doesn’t just appear in our homes. It gets there by choices that we make.
I believe there are three main areas that we bring clutter into our homes: Clothes, Decor, and Hobbies. Notice I said main areas! Of course there are other areas too like paperwork, things from our past, and kid’s stuff, but making purposeful choices in these 3 areas is a great start.
1. Decide Your Fashion Style
Do you ever look in your closet and think, ” I have nothing to wear!” yet your closet and dresser drawers are full of clothes. This scenario is quite common for most of us!
Could it be that we are filling our closets and dressers with clothes that aren’t really our style and in turn creating clutter?
If you are like me, you probably tend to wear a handful of your clothes on a regular basis and the rest are just sitting in your closet for occasional use.
When I was pregnant, I had a small maternity wardrobe made up of mostly clothes that I could mix and match. I loved the ease of getting dressed every day even though I had a giant stomach that I was carrying around. 🙂
After pregnancy, I decided that I wanted to have a similar wardrobe that consisted of simple mix and match pieces. So before I went out and bought new clothes, I figured out my style. I now know what to look for at the store and am able to save time only looking at specific colors, fabric, and style that I know I will like.
I have about half as many clothes as I used to, but I love the clothes that I own and wear them on a regular basis.
2. Define Your Home Decor Style
Now think about your home. Do you have little knick knacks that you picked up because they were cute or on sale, but now are cluttering up your storage closets since they didn’t seem to be the right fit once you got them home?
I used to be guilty of this. In fact, I can think of several pieces that I brought home but never found just the right place to display them, and they ended up as clutter in a closet until I donated them.
Chances are you have little signs or birds or vases that have the same story. Could it be that we haven’t pinpointed our decor style? So instead of purchasing the things we know we will use and love, we end up purchasing things we think we like, but after a week or month with them, we realize it isn’t really our style at all.
I have always loved the coastal look, but in the past I thought I couldn’t pull it off. So instead of purchasing decor pieces that I really liked, I would pick up random items that ended up becoming clutter.
However, I’m changing that and am now embracing my decor style. I shared this picture of a blue whale on Instagram. Knowing my decor style helps me focus when I am shopping. Instead of buying a bunch of little things that become clutter, I make purchases that I love and reflect my style.
3. Narrow Down Your Hobbies
Several years ago, I heard a preacher say, ” Don’t fill you life with so many GOOD things that you aren’t able to do the BEST things.”
Do you have a closet full of sports equipment that you never use? Or a bin of craft supplies that you just never got around to using? You may have books and music that just sit on shelves, techie products that were all the rage for a short time but now sit untouched. You are not alone! Many of us have this clutter too, but it is time to let them go and free up our homes.
I was given a pair of roller blades several years ago that have literally sat in storage for years. But then one day I got honest with myself. I wasn’t going to use those roller blades. They were just creating clutter. So I got rid of them.
And guess what?
I haven’t missed them!
I used to scrapbook a little before I became a mom, and I would regularly purchase pretty scrapbook paper. But I still have a lot of that pretty paper still sitting in my scrap booking box. I got honest with myself and stopped purchasing paper that I was never going to use. Instead I made a commitment to use up the paper that I already have before purchasing anymore. And believe me, that will be a while!
Get honest with yourself. Are there hobbies, activities, or projects that you had great intentions of starting, but now those things are clutter?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to give up everything and not have any hobbies. But what I am saying is focus on the things that you do love doing. Put effort and attention into those things before you go out and purchase more things that will only lead to clutter.
I have actually found much freedom in doing less. I don’t feel pressured to do all things. Instead I free myself up to do the few things that I enjoy which in turn means I’m bringing less into my home and keeping my home free of clutter.
I made a free printable that will help you narrow down each of these three areas. Feel free to print it and let me now how it helped!
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