Clutter can be overwhelming, draining, and just plain stressful. But what if we told you that you don’t have to keep clearing clutter?
What if we told you that you can ditch it for good? That’s right, it’s possible to live a clutter-free life, and this article is going to tell you exactly how
What is Clutter?
: to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness
In essence clutter is objects that prevent you from living the best version of your life. There are many ways that clutter drags down the quality of your life. Clutter costs money, takes up space, prevents you from doing things as quickly, and creates an invisible mental strain.
Many people have trouble identifying clutter as such. Instead, they justify their clutter with various platitudes. If you’ve ever heard someone say, “Don’t touch anything, I know where everything is,” whatever they are referring to is clutter.
Clearing Clutter Again and Again
Your life has become a never ending loop of cleaning, caring for, and clearing clutter. In fact, as Jerry Seinfeld describes below, “All things on Earth only exist in different stages of becoming garbage.” You are the current owner of future garbage.
Every time you make a meal there are items you don’t need hindering your ability to reach the thing you do need. The disarray of your kitchen stems from too many unnecessary things. You probably describe it as a storage problem, but in fact it is a stuff problem.
The item you’re don’t want to throw away represents a feeling. You are too proud, annoyed, sad, or hopeful to admit that object is garbage. Eventually, enough time passes and you are able to overcome the feeling and purge the item. You are always working through feelings on multiple objects.
How to Ditch Clutter for Good
I’m going to assume you’re fed up with clutter since you’re reading this article. You recognize that going through the same steps over and over again until you die is not the best use of your time.
By following these steps you can end the insanity and stop clearing clutter everyday for the rest of your life. Instead, you can do literally anything else and your time will be better spent.
Define Your Values
The first step to ditching clutter for good is to define your values. What is important to you? What do you want your home and life to look like? When you have a clear understanding of what matters most to you, it becomes easier to let go of the things that don’t align with your values.
Pay careful attention not to define values based on what you think others expect or want from you. It’s a tricky thing to ask because knowing you’re letting external forces influence your values is hard to self identity. I’m writing a book called, “Stop Lying to Yourself,” that will illustrate this more deeply. Stay tuned for that.
Minimalism is kind of my thing. It’s a lifestyle that prioritizes experiences and purpose over excess. The main concept is living with less and focusing on what truly matters. When you adopt a minimalist mindset, you’ll find that it’s easier to let go of the things that don’t serve a purpose in your life.
Most importantly the minimalist mindset will help you overcome the three main justifications you use for holding on to items. Everybody uses the same excuses as to why they won’t clear the obvious clutter from their home. You can make the conscious choice to learn skills to fight against those justifications.
Marie Kondo’s famous phrase “does it spark joy?” is a great way to determine what to keep and what to get rid of. If an item doesn’t bring you happiness, then it’s time to let it go. This can be a difficult process, but it’s worth it in the end.
Don’t let guilt play a role in your decision to let items stay in your life. There will be a strong desire to keep items because of how you are supposed to behave. You will feel obligated to keep gifts, hand me downs, and old items. No matter how that object came into your life, if it doesn’t spark joy, you are under no duty to keep it indefinitely.
Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s important to not replace it with more clutter. Stuff creep is ultra common for people on their minimalist journey. Clearing clutter over and over because they inadvertently allow new clutter to enter their home.
Ending a life long behavior is far from easy. Your consumer conditioning is deeply engrained inside of you. Almost everything that you believe you have to own is really unnecessary. But, it may take some failures and realizations for you to really grasp how pointless certain stuff is.
Remove Hidden Storage
Every house hunting show you’ve ever watched has made comments about the abundance or lack of storage. We rent or buy homes based on their availability to store the things we own. The financial choice you make regarding your residence could be drastically different if you were a minimalist.
In your current living situation you should eliminate storage containers, furniture with built-in storage, extra dressers, slide out bins, or any other way you conceal your clutter. When things are out of sight, they’re out of mind, and tend to let your stuff get out of control.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can help you stay committed to a clutter-free life. It’s common for your existing circle to reject the drastic change of minimalism. When someone in your community begins to make changes it feels like a personal attack on your way of life.
Of course your desire to growth and change is not at all about them, but it’s commonly taken that way. Luckily, the online minimalist community is ready to welcome you with open arms. You’re not weird or an outcast for wanting to pursue a minimalist lifestyle.
Living a Clutter Free Life
Ditching clutter for good is possible with the right mindset and approach. You can live a clutter-free life and enjoy the peace and happiness that comes with it.
Stop the insanity of clearing clutter over and over until you die. Your life and time are far more valuable than to spend fiddling around with junk every day.