The more time you spend in your home, the more you start to notice things; piles that have accumulated, tasks you have not finished, repairs that need attention. If you’re not caring for your environment, your home can feel like a stressful place to be versus a respite from the world. When clutter is one of the things that got you down, you might be thinking:

  • I need to get organized, or
  • I should manage things better, or maybe even
  • I wish I could just light a match!:-)

Before you give up and choose the last option, there are a few simple rules you can follow to put you on a path to a less cluttered home and life. Rather than taking on the pain staking task of going through each item and trying to decide what to do with it, just get rid of it. Yes, I said, “Get Rid of It”. Having too much stuff eventually becomes burdensome. You have to figure out where to store your stuff, move it when the piles grow too large, and possibly upgrade to a larger home when your stuff overtakes your space. Keep in mind the less stuff you have, the less you’ll have to manage, store, and organize. So make a decision to unload some of  your stuff now, and soon you’ll have less of it.

Tips to help you get rid of your clutter:

Don’t Keep It If:

  • You don’t need it.
  • It doesn’t work.
  • You don’t use it or never learned how to use it properly.

If You Have Too Much, Get Rid of the Excess – Do you have more sweaters then can fit in your drawer? Is your bookshelf so full that you can no longer add new books to it? Items on sale are great, but if you buy more than you can use in a lifetime or don’t have the space to store it, it’s not worth the bargain.

Don’t Buy Containers Just To Store More Stuff – Containers and organizing products are great for holding items and making your space more attractive.  However, if you keep buying more containers just to move your clutter to a different space or make room for more clutter to collect, the containers are not the answer.  A better place to start is to make a decision whether to keep or get rid of the clutter.  If you keep an item, then figure out how to store it.

Not Everything is Sentimental – Keeping things for sentimental value is fine, but if your goal is to have less clutter and less stuff to manage, then be honest with yourself.  Does every piece of artwork your child made really have sentimental value?  Is the vase from your aunt, that’s buried in the back closet, truly a memento or are you holding onto it out guilt.  Decide now what objects have lasting value and meaning to you and get rid of the rest.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen? – If you got rid of an item, could you live with the consequences of not having it?  If you’re okay with the answer to, “What’s the worst that could happen if I did not have this,” then get rid of it now.

I get it, getting rid of things can be difficult. But why do you want to waste any more time managing your stuff and feeling guilty or ashamed about too much clutter? If you have the time and motivation, I highly encourage you to go through and organize your stuff (deciding what to keep or toss, creating homes for items, etc.) But if more important things in life occupy your time and attention, perhaps tossing out* a few things is the way to go. Those piles will be gone in no time!

*tossing out – disposing of, donating, giving away, etc.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay