How to begin simplifying life through decluttering
When you look around your home, how do you feel? If you are feeling even slightly uneasy, then it is time for change. Your home should be your respite center, your place to find calm in the crazy world. Let me show you how I started simplifying life through decluttering and how you can do the same to seek out simple living every day.
I have always been a neat person that has a passion for organizing. It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I realized that we just had too much stuff and so much of it was unused. I was in a pretty rough life patch and I realized some things had to change. The clutter was one of them!
That is when I started seeking out the simple living lifestyle and making small changes that lead to some pretty awesome results! While this is an ongoing process (we are constantly changing and shifting, right?) I feel like I can actually manage life now and man does it feel good.
What is simple living?
While simple living can mean so many things, Wikipedia states the term means to voluntarily commit to “various practices that simplify your lifestyle”. These practices can be to decrease your possessions (as in to declutter your home and minimalism), decrease your time commitments (declutter your life), or becoming more self sufficient.
Here at Embracing the Simplified, I really focus on the things that you can do that will give you more time to spend with your loved ones and to pursue your passions. I truly believe that objects can cause more stress either financially, time wise, or both and we should be very conscious of what we allow into our space.
These actions of decreasing your stuff and increasing your time margin leave room for you to grow as a person, give you time to give to others, and has a positive effect on the environment and on those around you. So, what is the most important to you and do you feel like simple living can help you achieve more of that? Probably your answer is yes!
Why decluttering is important
In this world of the concept that more is better, it is really counterintuitive to actively seek out less. But the reality is that less “things” in your home and less “stuff” going on in your life actually helps decrease stress. Matter of fact, a study from UCLA showed that women who walked into their home and felt uneasy had a rise in cortisol, the stress hormone.
Sometimes, there are things we cannot change about our home, I get that. If the clutter is one thing that throws you back, then decluttering is an important next step for you. How do you know if clutter is the thing that you dislike?
Take this little test the next time you are away from your house for a few hours. Step into your home, what is the FIRST negative thing you notice? Do you get anxious over the shoe organization? Is it the decor or paint color? Do you immediately notice the stack of papers on your counter? Taken inventory of your emotions and jot it down.
If the clutter bothers you, then you need to start simplifying life with decluttering. And I am going to give you some tips on how to get started.
How to start decluttering
There are so many ways that you can start decluttering. Let me tell you a secret, there is no “right” way to declutter. The key is that you start decluttering and keep the momentum going. I want to give you some tips that have helped me the most through my own journey with decluttering my life and home.
How to declutter your home
There are so many “sections” if you will, of your home. Think of the areas of your home and then break them down even more because you need to tackle decluttering your home in small chunks. So, take for instance, your bedroom. Your bedroom has the normal furniture and decor, but then you also have your closet, maybe a hope chest, and possibly you have storage in your closets.
When you start to declutter your home and your room, you will need to tackle your closet and clothes, then your room and decor, and then your storage all separately. I am a fan of starting with clothes.
Ask yourself these 4 easy questions when decluttering your possessions.
- If this were in the store today, would I buy it?
- Do I wear this/use this?
- Does this item fit (my body, my life, my home)?
- Does this item make me feel good when I wear it/see it in my home?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then chance are good that you need to get rid of the item.
Another tip is to declutter quickly (seems obvious, right?). You will want to not think on your items very long. Ask the questions, then either keep them or get rid of them. If you are really unsure about something, just keep it for now and when you come back around to declutter that spot in 6 months or so, you can make a decision then as to whether or not keep it.
Declutter your life
Life just seems so…busy, right? There are things that we must do in order for our homes to function: groceries, bills, errands, school, jobs, cleaning, etc. It can feel like the list goes on and on. The key is to separate the necessary from the optional and then to streamline your processes for the necessary tasks.
A few years ago (you know, during that really messy part of my life), I was not a planner girl. Matter of fact, I was a long to-do list kind of gal because I had no systems in place for anything. I would just get things done as I thought of them which usually meant last minute. It was frustrating!
Then I finally bought my first planner. Matter of fact, I bought a Brilliant Life Planner from Brilliant Business Moms. Once I got my planner and started actually mapping out my daily life, I was hooked on finding more efficient ways of getting my day to day tasks done.
Here are 5 areas that you need to do on a routine for simple living:
- Morning routine
- Evening routine
- Meal planning and grocery shopping
- Budgeting and paying bills
- Cleaning your home
Once you have these 5 areas on a routine, your life will feel so much more streamlined and way less stressful. I have a lot of posts and resources for each of these areas so go dig around to get some useful tips.
Simplifying life through decluttering doesn’t have to be complicated
I know this was a lot of information, but I hope you get why decluttering is important in order to pursue simple living. If you want to stress less and enjoy life more, I highly recommend you declutter your home and declutter your life. I promise you won’t regret it!