Many of us have too much clutter laying around the house, the yard, the garage, the office, and quite possibly extra storage units that we had to rent because we ran out of room. Clutter has a negative effect on your life and can create stress, anxiety and depression. There’s no way around it – too much clutter is stressful.
The minimalism movement is gaining in popularity, and with good reason. There’s a lot of peace and tranquility to be found when you know where your stuff is! When you have too much clutter, you have to keep mental tabs on it all.
And the more clutter we pile up, the more heavily the responsibility of taking care of and keeping track of it all is stressful and exhausting.
Who needs that?
Just the simple act of cleaning one drawer or cluttered spot in your home and throwing away anything you no longer want or need is incredibly freeing, like a weight was lifted off your shoulder. Not only that, but you wind up with more space.
A Bigger House Often Equals More Clutter
Speaking of space, that’s a big part of the problem. Our houses and apartments are bigger than ever. Think about your childhood home by comparison or go even further back in history and look at the average house and room size 50 years ago.
These dwellings were absolutely tiny compared to what we’re used to today. And don’t forget to include the huge amounts of storage space built into modern homes.
We tend to fill our homes with stuff as long as we can find a place to cram it in. Then when we start to run out of space, we start looking for container and organizer solutions that allow us to shove even more stuff into the same amount of space.
That’s the main reason we have “container stores” now and professional organizers. The amount of worldly possessions we own in first world countries has grown out of control.
Clutter takes its toll on our physical and mental health.
How to Get Rid of Too Much Clutter
How can you reduce the stress your clutter causes you? Get started by tackling one drawer, one closet, one box, and one drawer at a time. Start with one spot, set the timer, and go through and declutter.
Keep the stuff that’s truly important to you and either toss or donate the rest. Then rinse and repeat.
Be patient with yourself. This process will take time. It can be emotional and exhausting.
Don’t be tempted to get rid of everything in one major session unless you’re the type of person for whom this is the only way it will get the job done.
Instead work on one room at a time. Then when you’re done, go through it all again. This time it will go much faster, but you’ll be surprised about how many more things you’ll find that you can easily live without.
The Mental Benefits of Decluttering
Once you get past the initial hurdle of getting started, you’ll be amazed how energized you start to feel, and that will help you to feel more competent in all areas of your life.
Cleaning and decluttering will help to reduce anxiety. You’ll no longer waste time looking for misplaced items and have more productive time to spend on the important parts of your life.
The fun part of decluttering is often when you find lost moments such as kids’ memorabilia or pictures you may have forgotten about.
50 Things to Declutter From Your Home
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 childrenís 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
So go ahead and start getting rid of your clutter. It’s a freeing feeling and even the act of decluttering itself is a great way to reduce stress.