Decluttering Your Life

Stuff. So much stuff.

I recently moved and when I was moving box after box, I could not believe how much stuff I had accumulated over the last six years. I began unpacking my boxes to set up my home and all I could see was STUFF. It wasn’t joyful or nostalgic to unpack these boxes. I was not finding long lost treasures or family heirlooms shuffled up in the mix of life. I was only finding stuff. Stuff like five variations of black high heels. How many variations of black high heels does a person really need?

But, I tried to reason with myself and my stuff, there’s nothing wrong with these heels. I continued, who knows when I will need a new pair or I might want to wear them with that cute skirt in the closet from 2015 that has never seen the light of day. I was under the impression that if it was still in good condition to keep it even if I didn’t need it. So I kept them, all five pairs.

Eventually, my house was unpacked and bursting at the seams with stuff, clutter, things that did not matter. My new home did not feel comfortable so I turned to a little book that was recommended to me by my coworkers, The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. My husband and I sat down over the course of the next few days and read it cover-to-cover.

I have since read several minimalist, decluttering, and organizational books and the message is always the same: be happy with less. Decluttering is about making room for things in your life that matter and removing the things that don’t bring value or create joy in your life. Decluttering is about finding joy in your space and in yourself on your own terms and at your own pace.

Eliminating clutter in your home will help you reduce stress and increase productivity. Clutter weighs you down and invites chaos into your life mentally and physically. Not to mention, if you don’t take care of the clutter in your home then you probably won’t take care of the clutter in your mind either.

My journey of simplification had been put off for months and years because I had no idea where to start. Staring at a mountain of day-to-day responsibilities made it seem difficult for me to tackle my growing piles of clutter. So how do you start?

You start simply. And keep it simple for the entirety of the process. The goal of decluttering is to de-stress and simplify your life not stress yourself out. Think about what you can manage every day and do that. Make small goals for yourself such as today I will sort through my pots and pans – not the entire kitchen just the pots and pans. Be gentle with yourself and realistic. It took you a long time to build up this clutter and it is not going to go away overnight.

My advice to you:

To begin your journey of decluttering your life visit Science and Technology at Central Library. There you can ask the staff for recommendations and read patron reviews of decluttering books on our website. I have also compiled a list of books to help you get started.

Don’t stop with your stuff – declutter your calendar, declutter your digital life, declutter your mind.

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