Have you ever walked into someone’s house and thought, “What is all this crap?” They have piles of stuff everywhere. Maybe you have more things laying around your own home than you’d like. Cluttered spaces create anxiety. Uncluttered spaces help us to feel more at ease. It’s my goal to help you create more uncluttered spaces in your home.
What Causes Clutter In Our Lives?
Before we start uncluttering, it’s important to understand why and how clutter gathers in the first place. Clutter is a natural byproduct of an unnatural, consumption-based lifestyle. We buy things regularly. We buy food to survive. Some food comes in packages.
We buy clothes, computers, cars, gadgets, accessories, and dozens of other things. Most stuff is actually crap we don’t need.
Many things we buy are rarely used. In time, the unused items simply take up space. Many things we buy are only kept for a season. Think kids. Some things we buy get worn out and old. An item may need to be replaced, but the old one is not discarded. If we don’t evaluate our belongings from time to time, we wind up living with clutter. Getting rid of the excess crap and creating uncluttered spaces is easier than you might think. Check out this post:
Creating Uncluttered Spaces
- Make a definitive plan: Think of your uncluttering time as an important date. Make a plan. Include what space you’ll be uncluttering and a specific time to get started.
- Get started at the scheduled time: Here’s where many people fall short. They don’t show up to the date. I was once late for a date because I hadn’t written the girl’s address down. By the time I figured out where she lived, it was too late. We never wound up going out. What if she was “the one.” I’ll never know. Getting started on time makes all the difference.
- Create four piles: You’ve probably heard that you should create three piles. One pile to keep. One pile to give away. One pile to throw away. My uncluttered spaces system adds a fourth pile: undecided. This pile includes the crap that you’re more likely to keep but might consider throwing away because you don’t really need it. It’s a maybe pile.
- Make a pros and cons list: I get ruthless at this stage. The majority of my maybe pile goes into the box for charity. If you struggle at getting rid of the maybe crap, you might want to make a list of pros and cons for each item. You could do this in your head or on paper. Ask yourself if the item is useful, meaningful, or beautiful. If it doesn’t get high marks, let it go.
- Give reusable stuff away: I give the majority of my unwanted, reusable items to charity. Consider giving to a locally-owned, Christian-based thrift store instead of one of those big chains like Goodwill. You might give some things away to specific people: friends, family, or neighbors. A little girl about two years younger than my daughter lives next door to us. She gets a lot of Annie’s outgrown clothes.
- Throw worthless crap away: If the worthless crap is recyclable, please recycle it. Try to make your actual trash pile as small as possible. An old artist friend of mine, used to turn trash into art.
- Don’t buy more crap: This is the most important step of the program if you want to keep uncluttered spaces in your home. Learn restraint. Don’t buy crap that you don’t really need. If you do, the cycle starts all over again. If you stop buying things you don’t need, you’ll have uncluttered spaces, once and for all.
Check out this post at Lifehacker: How To Program Your Mind To Stop Buying Crap You Don’t Need.
It’s That Simple
Make this year the year that you choose to unclutter. Remember, if it’s not useful, meaningful, or beautiful, let it go. Don’t think twice. Just do it. You’ll feel a weight lifted from your shoulders when you do. Start uncluttering and create more uncluttered spaces today.