Have you ever been on a crash diet or know someone who has? At first a bunch of weight is lost, and things are looking good, but eventually the weight creeps back.
In order to lose weight and keep it off, you have to know the reason for the extra weight, make daily lifestyle habits, and learn how to prevent future weight gain.
Clutter is the same way.
There are lots of crash courses that promise to “Get Rid of Clutter in a Weekend” or “Become Clutter Free in 30 Days”, but after time the clutter starts creeping back.
Clearing clutter takes time and in order to keep it away you have to …
- Know the reasons behind your clutter
- Develop habits for overcoming clutter
- Learn strategies for preventing future clutter
Today I’m introducing a new series that I’m calling
“Clear the Clutter”.
I don’t think we will ever live in completely clutter free homes because we have lives to live which means we need more stuff. But you can achieve a less cluttered home that doesn’t feel overwhelming by being more intentional with your time and your belongings.
Let’s talk about the reasons behind our clutter.
The Reasons Behind Clutter
1. You have a fear of “what if”.
When we moved into our home, I went through all of our kitchen gadgets and realized that I had several items I was only holding on to in case I needed them one day.
For example, I had 3 rolling pins and 2 vegetable peelers even though I never used more than one at a time. So I got rid of the duplicates.
2. You shop without a list.
I used to go shopping for fun every weekend. When I did that, I often shopped without a purpose and picked up random junk that just added to the clutter.
Now, I think about what I really want or need and make a point to look for those items when shopping.
3. You don’t make a habit of purging.
New things are brought into our homes every single day. If we don’t make a regular habit of getting rid of items, then our homes start to get overrun.
4. You don’t have habits and routines in place to deal with daily clutter.
If shoes, paperwork, clothes, dishes, toys and other miscellaneous items are taking over your home, than it is time to start implementing routines to deal with it all.
We are going to talk about that next week. I’m going to walk you through creating those habits.
5. You are a people pleaser.
I used to be really bad at keeping every single gift and card that I was ever given simply because I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings if I ever let the gift go. I’ve gotten much better at this, but let me tell ya, it’s a struggle!
If your home is anything like mine then you probably have 2 forms of clutter.
- Daily clutter that fills up surfaces like counter tops, tables, dressers, bedroom floors, and desks. It’s papers and clothes and shoes and toys and receipts and … I could keep going, but you get the idea!
- Years worth of clutter is often tucked away in closets, under beds, and in attics. This is the stuff that we have a hard time figuring out what to do with. A lot of times it is the sentimental things that hold lots of memories. At our house it looks like family heirlooms, pictures, books, electronics, old collections, and cards.
When we think about decluttering we immediately think about #2 the years worth of clutter. It becomes overwhelming and we just don’t know what to do with it all, let alone where to start.
So what do we do?
We give up before we even begin and allow the clutter to keep taking over our homes and lives.
Been there. Done that.
The first 6 years of our marriage, we lived in a 900 square foot mobile home that was FULL. After moving 3 years ago, I was determined to cut back on our junk.
In the time since, I discovered the reason behind all of our stuff. We weren’t living with intention.
That’s when I began developing habits, routines, and boundaries to deal with the every day clutter that had become such a burden.
After a couple of years making intentional decisions about the easy, every day clutter, I was finally able to tackle sentimental items that I had been holding off for years.
Dealing with the easy clutter helped me deal with the difficult clutter. And that’s what I want to help you with in this series.
Here is your challenge for the week:
- Define the reasons behind your clutter. (See my examples above for help.)
- Start shopping with a list this week. Don’t purchase anything unless you know you need it!
Next week I’m sharing how to “Overcome the Daily Clutter Zones” and the final week, I’ll be sharing “How to Prevent Clutter”.