Stronger, faster, better, bigger and more stuff. This has become the mantra for many of us and without even realising it, we have become stressed by an insane rat race to accumulate any kind of stuff. Because having stuff is what – apparently – should grant us the ultimate happiness.
The issue is not how many shiny things we own, it is how much things you actually need to have a comfortable and easy life and how much gets in the way of a happy life.
I discovered that declutter the house is for me the key to a more peaceful and organised life.
More and more stuff
As many women I looove shopping because it gives me a thrill that is only comparable to an addiction, and in fact it has almost become one.
Carlo has been trying to convince me for ages to declutter our house, but I did not get his zen approach until one day I suddenly saw his point. After more than 1 hour spent to tidying up the kitchen, it was still a mess. I could not understand why I had spent so much time to make it look all right and was still all messy. All the stuff around made me feel overwhelmed but I had not realised it until that very moment.
Now I know that a place free from clutter makes me feel peaceful. Chaos makes feel me agitated and overwhelmed like a headless chicken.
The kitchen was the end result of every time we have moved house. Incredibly the amount of objects and pieces of clothing we drag around multiplies and accumulates instead of reducing. There were never enough boxes to transport all the things that we accumulated in years of living in one place. And even if we committed to getting rid of all the unnecessary stuff before moving, we still found our place stuffed with even more things before we knew it.
And I find that the more spacious the house, the more the entropy.
Do you need to declutter?
Without checking, can you tell me exactly what there is in your wardrobe? And even more importantly, can you find anything you need in less than 2 minutes?
If the reply is no, maybe, like me, you are frustrated by all the time you spend looking for that particular pair of shoes, or by the discovery of a sweater you did not even remember you had.
I honestly find difficult to find things in my house. That is why I have 4 bags sitting in our room ready to be shipped to the first charity shop that wants it.
I am sure there are tons of people who would put those items to a better use than me, and decluttering makes me feel much better anyway, plus there is more living space available in my home, and therefore in my mind.
Advantages of a minimalistic approach
Minimalism and declutter should be our mantra.
When the things we own start owning us, that is the time to stop and reconsider the importance they have in our life. When we feel we cannot do without something and we make up excuses as to why we should keep them despite the rare use of that particular object, maybe we should ponder over the reason why we want to hold on to them.
The question to ask ourselves is “Why do I need this and what do I need it for?” “How often do I use this?”
Very often the very things we hold on to are those ones that weigh us down.
To obtain mental clarity and a good organisation in life and business having few things that are neatly stored in one set place is key. Every thing should have its place, so that we know where they are and are easily accessible when we need them.
Some people go as far as labelling which is a great idea.
The advantages of decluttering are more space, mental clarity, less time spent looking for things, and less spent cleaning.
Practicing letting go of stuff
Decluttering is a positive thing, but in order to make space in our home, we first need to eliminate items we do not use, and that can be overwhelming and scary, so very often we put it off until we reach the boil in g point.
One thing that helps me starting decluttering is keeping in mind the final result. The idea of having a house free of clutter where everything I look for is easily accessible is fantastic. It already gives me peace of mind, so it gets me excited and on the go.
The second step for me and Carlo is tackling one room at the time.
We started from our bedroom and our chest of drawers is almost ok. We gave other pieces of furniture in our bedroom away so that we are forced to keep it essential.
If the idea of decluttering one room is still too much, even making space in one cupboard is a good start. The important thing is starting, then everything becomes so much easier.
My third point for decluttering is making someone else happy.
When we gave things to the local charity shop it made me feel great because I know that someone will benefit from it, so there is a double advantage to declutter your home.
We are still in the process of decluttering, but Carlo and I are committed to live in a better, more healthy space that feels right and not cluttered with items we do not even know are there. The key is to keep it simple and easy, and slowly but surely your life will be easier and your feel lighter.
What is your personal experience with decluttering? Let us know by leaving a comment below.