I’m in the midst of decluttering our home (again), so I’ve been donating boxloads to local thrift stores, and bagsful to lovely people in my community who distribute items to those in need. Though I declutter all year long, I tend to do it more when ultra-busy or stressed. Which describes this entire year so far. Which explains why my family can’t fit in my car right now.
Perhaps you find it counterproductive to take time away from really important things to spend time cleaning and organizing. I don’t. Since clutter is so distracting and stressful for me, spending time getting rid of it actually frees up space in my heart and head. I can focus much more clearly on other things once all the extra stuff is gone. Just like I can’t work at a messy desk, I can’t function in a cluttered environment, either.
Too much “stuff”actually works against me. You might say (as I do), clutter just drives me nuts.
This isn’t just me. Walk by any book store or search for minimalist bloggers. Many are now recognizing the benefits of having less. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend spending a few hours in the nearest closet or junk drawer.
People have their own rules about decluttering. Mine include asking my children before giving anything away, asking myself whether anyone has used it in the last 2 years, and trying to predict if I might feel compelled to replace it after I give it away.
But the most important question I ask myself is this one:
Does it bring me joy?
Whether I’m thinking of acquiring something new or getting rid of something old, the joy question is usually the deciding factor. Because if it doesn’t bring joy, nothing else really matters. Joy is the only reason I’d ever want to move something, clean something, find a home for something, or otherwise keep track of something I own. When I boil it down, joy is pretty much the only reason I ever want to spend money, either.
To me, the joy question undercuts everything else. No joy means less value. Less value means weighing how much inconvenience it causes to me or someone in my home. Or how much inconvenience I’m willing to put up with, if there’s a least some amount of joy in having the item to begin with.
What each one of us finds beautiful is different. But, how beauty affects us is the same. Gazing on something beautiful creates positive emotions, and with time, positive associations. Otherwise, in my mind, it’s just clutter. Practical, necessary clutter, maybe. But without beauty, since clutter has the potential for adverse effect, weighing that is crucial before bringing it into our lives.
Keep in mind, other beings can be beautiful, too. Unless they’re not. Now there’s something big to think about.
Identify 3-5 objects or beings in your home environment. These can be items on a kitchen counter, small artifacts displayed on shelves, or any items found in drawers or closets. These can also be people or other beings you associate with on a regular basis.
One at a time, think how it makes you feel.
Is it beautiful? By what definition?
Does it have a purpose (what is it)? Is its purpose honorable or meaningful in a way that justifies it being in your home?
Does it make you think of something? Is that something pleasant?
How would you feel if it were no longer there?
Use these results to aid in decluttering. If decluttering isn’t possible at this time, use the results to limit contact with certain objects or beings that don’t bring joy.
Still struggling with the concept of reducing clutter and surrounding yourself with beauty? Grab my PRINTABLE REMINDER to aid in the process of eliminating that which doesn’t serve your highest self:
Standing with you as you move toward greater beauty,
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!