Are you fighting a never-ending battle with clutter? If you think you are alone, you’re not!
According to the National Association of Professional Organizers:
Americans are “dueling” with too much stuff, and they know that it is impacting their health, wealth, and relationships. It is costing them time, money, energy – and focus.
The other day, I received a call from a new client, who was responding to an article I had written, “Breaking Up with Your Stuff Is Hard to Do.”
She said, “I really need your help. I can’t seem to get rid of all of the clutter in my home. It is everywhere and it is literally making me sick! I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.” She continued, “No matter how many new storage containers and organizers I buy, my problem just seems to get worse.”
STOP! Buying more pretty baskets, storage containers or organizing bins is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.
Americans are drowning in their stuff, and we are making desperate attempts (like buying more files, shelves, and plastic bins) to try to take back control of our lives. Our overabundance of “stuff” is making us miserable, causing stress, anxiety, frustration, overwhelm, and embarrassment.
The impact that it has on the quality of our lives is great. Our cluttered lives prevent us from living a simpler life with less, so we have more time, money, freedom, and energy to pursue what matters most to us.
In my TEDx Talk, “Downsize Your Life: Why Less is More,” I confess to once owning 11 closets and 9 rolling racks of clothes. My ultimate realization during my downsizing and decluttering journey was that buying more “stuff” didn’t make me happier.
In fact, the more I bought, the emptier and less fulfilled I became. Once I disrupted the downward spiral of thinking I needed more, and once I changed my relationship to “stuff,” I won the battle! Stuff no longer owned or consumed my life. I got my life back and never looked back!
Many people complain that they do not have enough room for all their stuff, while at the same time saying they know they need to get rid of stuff they no longer want, need, or use. They are afraid to let go, and yet, they continue to accumulate and add more.
Americans are drowning in “stuff,” yet we continue to buy more. Let me offer a few scary clutter statistics:
Every day, people ask me to help them solve their own clutter crisis. But, before dealing with the physical clutter, it’s even more important to honestly address these difficult and confronting questions:
We often attach meaning to our stuff and are afraid, resist, or procrastinate in letting go.
Here is a handy 10-step plan that can help you win your space for yourself and effectively get rid of clutter.
Create a vision for what your life will look like without clutter. Then, focus on what matters most in your life.
Commit to making changes – getting rid of clutter and not allowing it back into your home and your life.
Develop the mindset of having enough and being enough. You don’t really need more.
Strategize. Set Goals. Create a Timeline. Track progress. Have accountability partners.
If you think you need help, ask for it. From family, friends, professionals who are not emotionally attached to your stuff.
Pick a favorite decluttering method and a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Start small or start big. Just start today!
If you don’t want it, need it, or use it, let it go. Sell it, donate it, repurpose it.
Make decluttering a game. Laugh at yourself and why you accumulated so much in the first place.
You will get stuck, you will want to quit, you will question why you are doing this. Recall your reasons for wanting to live with less. This will serve as a reminder and motivate you to continue on your journey.
Along the way, you might actually realize how much less you need, but even better, how much less you want.
Decluttering is a process that takes time, effort, and commitment. It takes real courage to “duel” with your clutter. But, I assure you, it is a fight worth winning!
What decluttering challenges are you having? How long do you think it would take you to get rid of the stuff you don’t need? I would love to hear from you so let’s have a conversation!
Tags Downsizing Your Life