So, we’re on this journey of de-cluttering and downsizing for financial purposes among other things. When you think of de-cluttering, you usually think of getting rid of stuff. Read: Get rid of your junk. That’s really only the first step. It is the most difficult to get started, but once you get going, it does become easier. Although it is not the only step, it will be necessary to start there.
Step 1: De-cluttering your belongings.
We found it easiest to tackle this one room at a time, but do whatever is best for your personality. We started listing high dollar items that we knew we could sell on Amazon. Hubby got rid of his Starbucks mugs – we don’t support Starbucks anymore, so it worked out well – and I got rid of my Willow Tree figurines. I loved collecting them, but they do not serve a purpose. I would get rid of a few each week. Slowly winding down my collection until I had one left. Have a yard sale, give to family members, or just donate if you don’t want any hassle.
This is very difficult, especially if you are a sentimental person. I found it helpful to give yourself realistic challenges, like within one week, reduce the game collection from 25 board games to five. Each day, remove two, and so on. We found it helpful to go through areas more than once. We’ve gotten rid of kitchen items and clothing probably once a month.
Step 2: De-cluttering your mind.
You do not NEED the thing that you are about to purchase. Go home. Think about it. Decide if it is a necessity or just something that you want. Will you still want it in 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years? There are many things that we feel like we need, when really it is only what we want. Watching shows like the “Tiny House Nation” and “Tiny House Hunters” helps you get a perspective.
We have tried to downsize over a period of months instead of days like the people on those shows do. It is not as stressful when you know you’re not fighting a clock. We will put items in a pile to see if we really need/use them or not, then after a few days/weeks, we will get rid of the items.
Step 3: De-cluttering your technology.
E-mail messages should at least be organized in folders and not cluttering up your inbox. Sort through your other accounts like Pinterest and see if you really need to hold onto all of those pins that you saved. I couldn’t believe how many pins I had saved more than once!
Everything has a place in your subconscious mind. Clutter that has no purpose only clutters up your mind. No one needs that!
Step 4: De-cluttering your calendar.
Many of us think and do so many unnecessary things! I just started reading this book called “Simplify” as part of a Bible study. There are so many great points in it! There can be too many good things. Learn to say no when you feel overcommitted.
Get your priorities straight! I know as a mother, it can be easy to not take care of yourself, but it is necessary. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Schedule yourself some “me time” doing things that you like to do. Go for a walk, take a bath, write, get alone with God. This will help you be your best and ultimately benefit those around you.
These are the main experiences that I have had on our journey to becoming more minimalistic. Anything that you can do is an improvement!