Having a clean, uncluttered household can reduce stress and anxiety, yet many of us live in environments with every spare inch of space occupied by physical objects. Part of the problem is not knowing where to begin; along with an unwillingness to part with objects that we have imbued with sentimental value. Spring cleaning symbolizes a fresh start, but this process can be undertaken at any time of year. You may notice that as your house becomes less and less cluttered, your mind starts to feel more open and free as well!
How to Get Started
The first hurdle to overcome is a mental one. If you’re used to cluttered surroundings, it can seem like an impossible task to streamline your home into an efficient model of Zen living. Like any task, however, this large one can be broken down into several small steps. Once you have realized this, the next step is to start going through each room with a critical eye. Look for items that simply don’t fit in the space you have available, or items that you no longer use. Remove anything that fits this definition, so that it can be sorted. Pay special attention to junk drawers, outdated decorations, knickknacks and old clothing!
Dealing with Sentimental Clutter
Another major hurdle to jump over is the lure of sentimental clutter. If you have boxes filled with love letters, old birthday cards, or gifts it can be difficult to get rid of these. They may hold powerful memories or remind you of a loved one. It’s difficult to get rid of objects that hold such an emotional attachment, but these objects will continue to multiply over the course of a lifetime. It’s helpful to separate the memory from the object to realise what’s really worth holding onto, so that you can start paring these items down to only the most important or irreplaceable.
Using Digital Storage Rather than Physical
One helpful way to part with sentimental clutter is to use digital storage. Although nothing compares to holding a painting your child created in primary school, you may have five dozen very similar paintings that you are loathe to part with. Instead of keeping them in an overstuffed file or throwing them away completely, you can take digital photos of them and create an online portfolio. Taking a photo of each sentimental item and storing it online will allow you to hold on to emotions and memories, without using up so much physical space.
Turning Clutter into Profit
After you have sorted your items, chances are that you will have a large stack to give away. You can either donate these or think about turning them into profit. This could be an added bonus of sorting your clutter. You may have seen the popular adverts for websites like Quicksales, which can be used to sell to local bidders. Ebay, Amazon, and other online marketplaces of this nature are all excellent venues in which to sell your clutter. Quicksales.com.au even has an app to allow you to make short work of keeping on top of your bids. Be sure to take high quality photos for best results, and anything that doesn’t sell can be donated.
Although it may seem impossible to live in a home which is completely clutter-free, it’s remarkable how freeing it can be to purge your home of useless objects. There’s a lot to be said for space, both of the physical and mental variety.
Messy Drawer – Mark Miller on MorgueFile, Some Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
Rachel MacDonald is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer who has worked as a copywriter for businesses from Lima to San Francisco. She specializes in travel, design, and the arts.