Minimalism has been all the rage lately. There’s no shortage of books, articles and entire companies built around the magic of tidying up your home, how to live on a set number of wardrobe pieces, downsizing to reduce stress and increase joy, tiny houses, and everything in between. While it might seem like the latest fad, there is definitely something to it. Here’s the thing about a cluttered home. It’s often the result of excessively busy, over-scheduled living and/or a lot of impulse buys.
We’re lucky enough to live in a time where, for most of us, our basic human needs are being met. As a result, we’re wired to shift our focus from food, water and shelter to meeting our next level needs of love, security and self-improvement. But because we live in an age of consumerism, we often use things to meet these needs instead of diving into the real work. Think of it like emotional eating. It’s emotional purchasing and collecting.
This collection of things provides instant gratification and make us feel like we’re making progress in life – often – in the name of efficiency. But the reality is all of this stuff, all of this clutter, actually creates mental and emotional stress. We can’t find what we need. The energy in our space is hectic, messy and distracting – which makes us feel the same. It also allows us to use things as a band-aid or distraction for the real work and real goals we intuitively want and need to work on.
A cluttered home creates mental and emotional clutter. Cleansing and decluttering our living space helps us:
- create clarity and focus
- reduce both physical and emotional stress
- strengthen our immune system
- improve sleep
- focus on our real life and goals
When we don’t have the distraction of all of our things and purchases, we can be more present in our relationships, our personal goals and even open up space for new possibilities to enter into our lives.
Here are my top 10 tips for decluttering your home:
- Start small. It’s easy to get overwhelmed so choose one room, then one drawer or shelf and start with only that small space. Don’t try to figure out how to tackle the entire house at once.
- Think about the last time you actually used each item. Is it worth it to allow it to keep taking up space in your life? Does the item bring you joy or truly make your life easier? Be honest.
- If it’s tied to a negative or painful experience it’s a no brainer. It’s time to cleanse your home of that item and that energy. Don’t hold on to painful memories just because they have some level of sentimental value.
- Items that hold sentimental value can be the most challenging. Things like cards or photos or art work from your kids are precious memories. But we can’t keep everything. We’d fill our homes and storage space over the years. Choose a few exceptional or stand out things to hold onto and let the rest go. Practice appreciating things like that in the moment and releasing any guilt or conviction to have to keep it long term.
- Are you only holding onto something for you or because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings by getting rid of it? That’s a definite sign it’s time for it to go.
- If you have a large space that needs attention try the 4 box method. Set four boxes in the room labeled trash, give away, keep or relocate. Give each item in that room to a box until you’ve addressed the entire space. For some spaces, this might be a task you complete over the course of a weekend or a week and others will only take an hour. Take your time and appreciate the process as you watch your space transform.
- Add a few living plants to your home. There are a wide variety of toxic chemicals lurking in our homes. One of the main things we can do to help cleanse them out of the air that will also improve your sleep is to add living plants to your house. Start with your main living spaces and bedrooms.
- If you’re still using toxic cleaning supplies start a list of supplies and slowly begin swapping them out for natural options. There are several non-toxic brands that are very affordable and available at every day stores. You can also find some really easy tips, tricks and natural cleaning recipes online. I use only organic, non-toxic cleaning supplies in my house and we often make our own with essential oils, vinegar, baking soda and water.
- Open your windows. We tend to keep our houses closed up and that makes our space dirty and stuffy. It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do for your home to help it feel open, airy, clean and light.
- Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the process. Commit to small steps. Give yourself 5 minutes a day to spend decluttering. Or commit to getting rid of 3 things a day that you don’t need. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your home starts to feel more open and organized and the energy of the space will become lighter.
Did you find this post helpful? Don’t forget to check in next week for our final post in the Fall Cleansing Series. I’ll be sharing my top 5 Tips to Cleanse Your Mind and Spirit.
If you’re just tuning into this series make sure you jump back to see why fall cleansing is so important for a healthy winter and check out my 15 Tips to Safely Cleanse and Reset Your Body.