More and more people are seeing the value in living the simple life… realizing that possessions aren’t everything, and that, in fact, having too much ‘stuff’ is just bad for your soul. You just have to turn on your television and you’ll see show after show about families downsizing – there’s Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Builders and my favorite, Tiny House Hunters. But you don’t have to pack your family up and move to experience the benefits of ‘letting go’ of some of your excess baggage. Here are 8 easy things that you can do this week to ‘lighten the atmosphere’ in your life…
1. Make a list – create a list of places in your house that need de-cluttering. Do one per day (or per week, if that suits you better). It may not sound very creative, but you can get creative in the areas that you choose. You may, for example, assign yourself all the bottom drawers, or underneath every single bed in the house.
2. Dedicate 5 minutes (5 solid minutes) every day to one specific, small task. Zenhabits.com has a great list of 18 small, 5-minute de-cluttering tasks. Choose one each day and by the end of the 18 days you’ll have accomplish a lot.
3. Take a page out of Colleen Madsen’s book (365lessthings.com) and try give away one thing every day (by now she has been doing it for quite a few years, and it really has transformed her life).
4. Rearrange your closet (okay, it’ll take a little longer than this week, but you have to do it anyway! 😉 ) – I’m sure you’ve all heard of this trick but have just never actually got around to doing it. Turn your clothers hangers facing the opposite way to which you naturally put them in, and when you wear them put the hanger in facing the normal direction. After a given period (it should be quite a while, preferably an entire season) check which clothes you haven’t worn and get rid of them. They’re taking up space, and clogging your energy flow!
5. Grab two trash bags – one for garbage and one for donation, and aim to not stop until both bags are full. I’m sure if you look hard enough you can do it… 🙂
6. Get a little weird about it … ask yourself, “If i went out would I buy this today?”, “How much would I pay for this?” This helps you see things for what they actually mean to you now, as opposed to what you think they mean to you, or what you remember them meaning to you. You will be more willing to part with something if you are realistic about its value to you or your family.
7. The 12-12-12 challenge is a wonderful way to get the whole family involved in the ‘streamlining’ process. Grab the kids and explain the rules. There need to be 12 items found that are going to be thrown away, 12 that are going to be donated, and 12 that are so special that they’re never going to leave the house.
8. Try and look at your house with extra critical eyes – it’s hard. But sometimes we get used to our junk. We just don’t notice it. unclutter.com has a whole list of tips for seeing our clutter in a new light. (some of these are quite funny 🙂 ) Once you know where the clutter is, you can look at attacking it!
In the end, it really does come down to finding a balance… you also don’t want to be spending all of your time sorting and clearing out your stuff, getting all out-of-breath, so that you can have the space to breath… aaahhhh….
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