Simplicity is the ultimate organizationLeonardo da Vinci
I recently had a conversation with a manager at The Container Store. It was interesting to learn that, despite various downturns in the economy, their stores were grossing more than ever before. Likely it had a lot to do with COVID-19. When it first hit, people had extra time on their hands, forced to be at home 24/7 like never before. And one of the first things many of us did after binging on Netflix was purge and get more organized.
Where does it all come from? I mean, when you open that hall closet and find it jammed full of everything but the kitchen sink, do you slam it shut and shake your head, feeling like you just cleaned it out last month? This happens to me all. the. time. No sooner do I clean out my desk drawers, purge unnecessary paperwork and stuff, that I find myself doing it all over again.
The more I think about it, maybe that’s the way to do it . . . tackle it all in baby steps one-at-a-time. I find myself ripping apart a closet from top-to-bottom, buying some plastic bins for see-through organization. Then I move on to the next area in need of revamping.
Whether it’s a new year, a new month, or a new day, there is always an opportunity to reset. And when it comes to living in a home you love and making room for the life you want to live, decluttering is the perfect remedy.
As Joshua Becker says, anything that doesn’t represent or push you towards the life you want to live is inherently setting you back. And so with new beginnings — as our goal this spring, let’s tackle all the unnecessary clutter with a strategic plan and all the motivation we can muster!
Before we get to work, it’s essential to get our mindset right and understand all the benefits we’ll get from decluttering. Here are seven powerful reasons why decluttering should be at the top of your priority list this spring:
First and foremost, decluttering is simply a task we must occasionally do to take care of our home itself. From papers to projects, books to baubles, the stuff-of-life builds up. The stuff that is no longer used or needed takes up space—often vital real estate on counters and in closets—creating hiding spaces for critters, gathering dust, and potentially wreaking havoc on the home’s integrity. Like a good whole-body detox, decluttering and enjoying fewer things can go a long way toward protecting your home in the long run.
How you feel inside is often reflected on the outside—and vice versa. Decluttering experts Molly Graves and Ashley Murphy of the NEAT method claim there are three main types of clutter-keepers:
1. those who are too busy and wind up with lots of extras to save time
2. those who are worriers and keep things for potential future needs
3. those who are overwhelmed in life and chaos overtakes the home
No matter what your clutter-keeper style is, the way you keep your space is a mirror of how you live inside your head. Working through environmental clutter not only gives you a beautiful space to relax or work in, but it helps you parse through the clutter of the mind, too.
Whether you enjoy the soothing, almost meditative act of going through things or prefer to savor the feeling of accomplishment as you bask in your bright and airy new space, decluttering can put you at peace. While we may not notice clutter’s effect on us, it’s there. Just as our state of mind can make an impact on our home, our home can impact our minds. Clear out the overwhelm, so you can simplify and relax.
In addition to giving yourself a clear head and space to breathe, the act of decluttering itself is often therapeutic. If you’re feeling stressed, buried, or stuck, sometimes the tangible clean-out of a drawer or bookshelf can help you burn off steam. Organizing and separating the useful from the no-longer-needed can help you find clarity on more significant issues you might be facing.
Another way decluttering can be incredibly therapeutic is by releasing memories you no longer want to hold on to or helping you move on from grief or anger. Going through these items is the most challenging part of decluttering. It can also be an essential step to moving on.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? So, what kind of treasure are you hiding in the back of your closets? Whether it’s clothes that never fit right or an old hobby that never took off, the things you’re holding on to could find fresh new life with someone else. Donate any unneeded (yet good quality) items to a charity of your choice or a friend who might love it. Not to mention, you’ve opened space for something new and fabulous to enter your life, too!
“We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move. We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.” This quote by Lao Tzu teaches us that sometimes that which is empty, blank, or open is just as important as what can be seen.
The same holds true for our homes. To genuinely enjoy the things we cherish, we have to have a bit of space to balance them. By decluttering, you’re not just getting rid of things; you’re gaining space and freedom—and all the possibility that lies within!
When we think about it, decluttering is as much of a process of self-love as your morning meditation, afternoon walk, or careful skincare routine. By decluttering, you show yourself that you deserve to feel free and calm in your surroundings. Your experience is valuable. You deserve a space to thrive.
With spring approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning your decluttering makeover. Whether you want to start small or go all out, we’ve got a challenge for you!
This is the decluttering challenge anyone can do! For one week, you’ll gather items to throw away or donate based on what number day it is in the challenge. On Monday, you’ll choose one item, on Tuesday two items, on Wednesday three items, and so forth. By Sunday, you’ll have parted with 28 items with low to no stress. And you probably won’t stop there…decluttering can get addictive!
Salt and Lavender share 50 Things to Declutter Now. The article offers a great start if you’re ready to get your hands dirty but not dedicate a whole month to decluttering just yet. Start ticking off a few of these items. Then see how much stuff you can clear out in just a few hours or a week!
Choose the month you’d like to dedicate to decluttering your entire home, then get ready for clarity! We love the Happy Organized Life 31 Days Decluttering Challenge. This process walks you through a different area of your home each day for a month. By the time you finish, you’ll have decluttered (and maybe even cleaned!) each area of your home. What a fresh way to start spring!
Decluttering can be a challenging and even triggering process for many people. But taking the time and energy to clear away what’s no longer serving us can be the first step to a more fulfilling life. Just like therapy helps us unwind old habits or a healthy detox gives our bodies the chance to recharge, decluttering allows us to shed our old skin and feel renewed.
Are you ready to take on our spring decluttering challenge? Tell us what room you’re most hoping to declutter this spring. How do you envision the new space will feel! Leave a comment.