Here’s the secret- It’s NOT how much stuff you get rid of… it’s your mindset. I thought I had been decluttering for the last five years. It was a vicious cycle of realizing our house was overflowing, flying in to a rage, throwing random shit into a bag and taking it to the thrift store. And guess what? I’d go out and buy more shit and fill it right back up again. Fill, rage, repeat. Sing it with me! Decluttering from a place of love and a sense of peace has helped it to stick because I am taking control of my life in a positive way.
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Table of Contents
MAKE ROOM FOR WHAT YOU LOVE
We’ve all done it. Absolutely lost it at the clutter. How can a person end up with so much shit, I am DONE living like this. After watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, my whole attitude changed. It was like someone lifted a veil from my face. Instead of getting rid of things you hate, make room for what you love. Her question throughout her show and book is ‘does this item spark joy?’ And it is an actual sensation when you handle your items. A thrill will run through your body when you handle something that truly makes your heart happy. After experiencing this, it was so easy to go through things and find what didn’t bring joy.
Once you’ve decided what you will get rid of, thank those items. This really helped me to not feel guilty when decluttering them. Thank them for their service or the lesson they taught you. Maybe that lesson was not to impulse shop or showing you what you really don’t like or need. Thank them, and send them on their way.
GET EVERYONE ON BOARD WITH DECLUTTERING
I’m ashamed to admit this. When I would fly into these rages, it wasn’t just about my own things. It was my husbands and children’s as well. I would secretly find things that I thought made me angry and throw them out. (It wasn’t the actual things, it was a sense of having no control over my life or my house and therefore acting out in anger.) One of these items was a chair my husband had bought at a garage sale and recovered himself. It took him a lot of work and I had NO IDEA. To me, it was a chair in the way that made me angry. I was so sad after this happened, and felt so horribly guilty.
Don’t do things in secret. Get everyone involved in a positive way. You are freeing up your lives for happiness and love! After I got my kids involved, I really thought it would be crying and yelling and not wanting to give anything up (they’re 2 and 5) but it wasn’t. I told them to tell me if they felt happy when they held an item of clothing or a toy or if they didn’t really feel anything. The things they said they didn’t care for were SHOCKING. At the end we thanked everything (they liked that😊). Don’t hold any judgements on things that your family wants to keep. They will get rid of lots and they will keep the things that truly bring them joy. Because you love your family so much, it is easier to love what they decide to keep as well.
CLEANING WILL BECOME EASIER
Minimizing everything we owned and only keeping what we love has affected ALL areas of my life. It is unbelievable. I was going down a very negative path. The house was always a disaster, I was angry at everything (and everyone.) I blamed my children and husband for the state of our house and was basically accepting that we weren’t ‘tidy’ people and that we were doomed to live in mess forever and ever amen.
This isn’t the truth. This is a truth that I was telling myself and believing it. What is the truth you tell yourself?
As we decluttered, I began to feel lighter and lighter. We were laughing more, we were doing the dishes and instead of complaining that it was a never ending chore, we were appreciating the time we had to spend together making memories. I’m sorry if this sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. Same with folding laundry. I HATED folding laundry, but now it’s a family affair! My five year old loves to fold the way described by Marie. My husband is in on it, and truth be told, he’s a WAY better folder than I am haha.
Because you have so much less stuff, cleaning becomes easier. Everything in your house has a place, it is easy to put back and therefore you are not cleaning all day and expending negative energy getting annoyed and trying to put things away all day.
MAKE SPACE FOR POSITIVE ENERGY
Do you realize the amount of energy you are expending by feeling an emotion every time you look at something? A book someone lent you that you haven’t gotten around to reading- first you feel guilt and then you think I should get that back to them. A mug, t-shirt, decoration that was given to you as a gift that you never use. You look at it and feel guilt and think I should use that, Auntie Clara gave that to me!
Don’t keep things in your house that are causing to feel like that, it’s not worth it for your mental health! Marie Kondo has a great way of looking at gifts- the purpose of the gift has been fulfilled because the purpose is them giving and you receiving. Thank the person and the gift for what it has done for you and let it go. Do you think the person who gave it to you would be happy to know that all the object is doing is causing you to feel guilt?
There are things in your house that are ‘hidden in plain sight.’ As I went through the decluttering process, I found more and more areas that I hadn’t even considered going through because I was so accustomed to seeing them that the thought didn’t even occur that I could get rid of it! One of these areas was our junk drawer- we all have one, it’s all good! But my god, the amount of wasted energy every time you open it, looking for one tiny thing, one pen you really like, a battery but goddammit they’re all dead. What a freeing feeling to go through it and get rid of almost everything in there that was no longer of service.
YOUR HOUSE IS AN EXTENSION OF YOURSELF
Your house is an extension of yourself. I started to realize that maybe my creeping anxiety and ever present anger were being caused by living in chaos. Chaotic house, chaotic mind. This can be said about your purse, car, room, wherever you spend a lot of time. If you think your messy car and room aren’t affecting you, you are wrong. Even if it’s just a hum of thoughts in the background of how you should clean this or remove the garbage. Let alone the act of trying to find something. Wouldn’t it be great to have those feelings and thoughts gone so you could make room for light, clean energy? You are worth it! And so is your family. Give yourself and your family your best you.
When you walk into a room that is only filled with things you love, you feel love. Why are we wasting so much time and energy hanging on to things that cause us grief when it is so easy to let it go? It’s all a mental state. Please watch Tidying Up and read her book as well, The Art of Tidying up.
RECAPTURE THE MAGIC IN YOUR LIFE
Do you want to become your best self? It sounds crazy, but tidying your home will affect all areas of your life in ways that you can’t possibly imagine. You will become a faster decision maker and learn to question yourself in a positive way, a way that will encourage growth as a human being. You will learn to take responsibility for your attitude, your home and surroundings instead of just hopelessly accepting it. And the best part? It’s learning that you are not an inherently (angry, messy, uptight, annoyed, negative) person that you think of yourself as right now! You’re not. You are listening to a truth you keep telling yourself. It’s time to take responsibility and move forward to this new part of your life.
Please let me know how this is going for you and what unexpected side effects come up! For me, one was breaking the habit of biting and picking at my finger nails- yes, gross. But this was something I had been doing for YEARS, so this was an amazing bonus. I sincerely hope you experience some amazing changes, physically and emotionally. Have fun decluttering your life ❤