Most of us have experienced one of those days when in the midst of moving or redecorating, we realize that we own way too much junk.
You discover 37 scarves when packing up your closet and you’ve only worn two this year. You scan the room, questioning whether or not you've become a compulsive hoarder.
Rooms packed with items we rarely use or wear, books, candles, magazines, everything. You know, those old t-shirts we cling to, as if keeping them in the bottom drawer of an old dresser allows us to relive memories while wearing them.
Even when downsizing or spring-cleaning, we're still guilty of holding onto objects we don't need. We have a tendency to overlook items or piles that haven’t been touched in months, unconsciously becoming accustomed to the clutter that’s inevitably affecting our moods and productivity.
Of course, there is some strange beauty that lives in a little localized chaos. Clutter is human. It's natural to accumulate and develop sentimental attachments to specific items.
In some ways, the things we own represent how far we’ve come and what’s happening in our lives. However, material possessions do not define you, and holding onto objects often precipitates a false sense of security.
That being said, it’s time to de-clutter your life to make room for clarity. Release the superfluous and let go of the need to be validated by excess material objects. Tossing unused items is extremely liberating, and once you’ve become aware of the unnecessary chaos in your life, the next step is unavoidable: purging.
A healthy purge is an outstanding psychological cleanse and a great exercise in gratitude.
You have more than enough and you will survive with much less. Here are three tips to assist you in organizing your sh*t so that you can focus less on collecting the material and more on substantial experiences that will inevitably create lasting memories.
1. The Purge: Keep, Donate Or Toss
Acknowledge everything you already own. The items in your home should reflect your vision for the life you want. Create a welcoming environment that inspires productivity.
Try to look at your house through the eyes of a stranger when sorting through those 15 bottles of unused body spray. If you have multiple unopened items that fulfill the same role, it’s time to give a few to charity.
Remember, filling each room with junk will never fulfill the emotional void you may be experiencing internally because the more you have, the more you want. It will never be enough.
Also, the ugly sweater in the back of your closet that your sister gifted you is not your sister. You can still love and appreciate her without holding onto an object you will never wear. Donate it.
Don’t overcomplicate simple tasks. If you haven’t used something in three months, it’s time to toss it. When cleaning a room, make a point to get rid of at least four items.
Recycle that pile of magazines and donate that bag of clothes. I’m not suggesting that you throw everything out or that we shouldn’t buy new things. However, material objects should never own you.
Sixty pairs of shoes, five cars and a house full of items do not equal happiness, success or respect. Some may praise or envy you for what you own, but perhaps try to surround yourself with people who will respect and adore you without excessive luxuries.
2. De-Clutter Your Digital World
Clean out your digital devices; your desktop, photos, emails and passwords are also in desperate need of a purge. The clutter on your tablet, computer and smartphone are just as distracting as the mess in your bedroom or garage.
It’s time for a clean slate. Why do you have 967 pictures saved in your phone? Print old pictures and emails for safe keeping so you can allow space for new memories. Make the time to sort through the clutter and then delete, delete, delete.
3. Do Your Best To Never Give Into Passing Trends Or Materialism
Do you find yourself buying stuff because you noticed a celebrity wearing it, driving it or endorsing it? Or perhaps, 20 other people around town are rocking a particular style, so you give into this trend to appear fashionable.
Take a moment before you purchase anything to consider the items currently in your home. Do you really need that extra pair of black ankle strap heels? Would you actually wear it them and if so, how many times?
Why do we continuously invest time into caring about shallow judgments based off of our appearance?
Never give in to passing trends. There is immense power in being selective and refusing to conform. Many people never realize that each purchase has an impact on the global marketplace.
Do you know where your clothing is made? Is your clothing, chocolate or coffee Fair Trade? Are you familiar with the term Fair Trade? Do you care? Why not?
Since when did it become cool not to care about how our behavior affects the planet and other people? Again, simplify.
Be confident in your unique style and jeans from last year. There’s no need to run out and buy that snapback or tacky diamond white watch; you know you’ll never want to wear it.
You don’t need external validation. Sure, it’s great to treat yourself every once in a while, but pause before you purchase.
If it’s something you absolutely can’t live without, buy it or be adventurous, instead, and use your hard-earned cash to take a trip and experience something new.
Never be afraid to start over with a clean slate. Be accountable. Recognize the chaos around you and take the necessary steps to de-clutter your life. Embrace simplicity and be more with less.
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