As a mom living with chronic illness and the chronic pain that goes along with it, I’ve really been working on getting rid of clutter. It’s overwhelming, bogs me down and causes decision fatigue. Not to mention, having too many things to take care of taxes my already limited energy reserves (in spoonie speak, it costs too many spoons) Nothing is more relaxing that living in a space that’s been simplified and decluttered. But getting started with the decluttering process can be really overwhelming. How do you decide what to get rid of to declutter your life? Unfortunately many of us are really attached to stuff that we’ve been holding on to for years (or decades) and might even struggle to give things away that we haven’t even used.
How to Get Started Decluttering When You’re Overwhelmed
More and more people are discovering the joy and peace that minimalism brings. It’s incredibly appealing to consider downsizing and simplifying your life by getting rid of the junk and clutter and learning to live more intentionally. But for many of us the actual process of getting rid of the stuff can be daunting, especially if you’ve accumulated decades of clutter all in one place. Begin by making things more manageable and take a look at some specific ideas for how to handle decluttering overwhelms.
Know Your Why
In business life, the concept of “Know Your Why” is often used as a motivator to remind entrepreneurs of the reasons they went into business for themselves in the first place. This same concept is essential for keeping you focused when the decluttering process becomes difficult. Understanding your reasons for wanting to live a minimalist lifestyle is crucial to following through.
Make It a Priority
The first step to getting a handle on your feelings about decluttering is to understand that nothing needs to be accomplished overnight. Set aside a general amount of time for the project, knowing that your timeline can be extended slightly, if necessary. Having a time frame provides structure, but allowing wiggle room takes away the pressure.
Create a Plan
Having a concrete plan is essential to the smooth completion of any goal you hope to accomplish. It only makes sense that mapping out your steps to decluttering would also be beneficial. Write down things in your journal such as the order you wish to tackle your clutter, how many rooms or areas you would like to complete each week, the manner in which you want to sell valuable items and where you will donate the rest. This simple and proactive step can go a long way toward making it all seem more manageable.
Visualize Your Ideal Space
One more thing to do before actually getting down to the business of decluttering is to create a visual in your head of how you’d like your finished space to look. It may even help to jot down some drawings and notes. Doing so will help you decide what to keep and what to discard because you will have a better idea of whether a particular item will complement your vision or detract from it.
It’s true that the hardest part is often actually getting started. Now that you know some concrete ways to manage the overwhelm of decluttering, you’re feeling inspired to begin the process.
How to Declutter Your Home
Put that stress aside for right now. Just start with this list of 50 easy items to toss on your decluttering journey, and you’ll soon be decluttering like a pro.
1. Junk mail
2. Broken or ugly jewelry
3. Old Calendars
4. Duplicates of anything
5. Nearly empty perfume bottles
6. Old makeup
7. Outgrown toys or games
8. Socks with holes
9. Boxes from electronics or small appliances
10. Unused paint
11. Kidsclothes that no longer fit
12. Non-perishable food items you haven’t eaten
13. Excess shopping bags
14. Outdated holiday ornaments
15. Broken laptops or devices you’ve been meaning to fix
16. Unused blankets
17. Old trophies or memorabilia you no longer value
18. That collection of buttons you never sewed back on
19. Unnecessary receipts
20. Unused or old spices
21. Accessories for hobbies you’re no longer interested in
22. Frozen foods past their use by dates
23. Stretched-out undergarments
24. Vacation souvenirs you never look at
25. Purses long out of style
26. Instruction manuals for things you no longer own
27. Last year’s calendar or planner
28. Craft supplies for projects never begun or completed
29. Pens that don’t work
30. Beauty products that you don’t use.
31. Stuff that’s been in your junk drawer forever
32. The clutter at the bottom of your purse
33. Pantyhose or tights with runs
34. Gift you never liked in the first place
35. Anything you forgot you even had
36. Pet supplies from animals that have long passed
37. Chipped dishware or cookware
38. Home decor that no longer fits your personality
39. Earrings without a mate
40. Games with missing pieces
41. Old magazines
42. Books you’ve read once or will likely never read
43. Expired medicines
44. Electronics chargers without a device
45. Excess or mismatched glassware
46. Toys from fast-food children’s meals
47. Videos you no longer watch (anything VHS not a collector’s item!)
48. Kitchen gadgets you don’t use (sandwich press, ice cream maker, etc.)
49. Scraps of or faded wrapping paper
50. Swimwear with snags
Declutter Your Mind
Decluttering is a matter of mindset. What are you holding on to that’s causing you to feel overwhelmed and stressed? Here’s some ways to create more internal space.
- Start a journal.
- Get outside.
- Take a tech break.
- Know when to say no.
- Practice mindfulness
None of this stuff should stress you out to get rid of. Just get started and watch your motivation skyrocket! You’ll be making huge improvements in stress levels and and hopefully find some household peace!
Books About Intentional Living