Decluttering can be hard. Where do you start? What do you do if you are emotionally attached to your things? These tips will help!
I’m one of those people that attaches memories to things. This can make it very hard to let go of things. It can be emotionally draining for me. On the other hand, a messy clutters space also gives me anxiety. This is a tough place to be and one I know many people struggle with.
Last year we moved into a 1,350 square foot home. It’s very well laid out and feels bigger and has a lot of storage space but it’s still easy to fill up that size home. We really have to think about what we want in our home or it will become a cluttered mess really fast.
Over the many years of my life of struggling with letting go of stuff, I have found things that make the process easier. Even if you don’t get emotionally attached to things these tips can still help you declutter your home.
Tips to Make Decluttering Easier
1. Stop Clutter Before it Starts.
When considering buying something really think about it. Is it something that will really bring value to your life or is it just something you think is neat or pretty? If the second is the case admire it and leave it for someone else.
The same is true of gifts. This one is tough for me because if someone buys me something I feel a sense of guilt if I don’t keep it. However, I know that person wouldn’t want me to clutter my home and cause myself anxiety over things. So I appreciate the thought and pass it on to someone that can use it. The longer I hold on to the item the more likely I am to struggle to let go of it.
2. Take Photos of Sentimental Items.
This tip is from my husband. He knows I struggle with wanting to keep everything because they hold memories for me. I have a fear that getting rid of the item will be like getting rid of the memory.
He has suggested to me to take a photo of the item and keep that instead of the item if it doesn’t bring value to my life. This is something I’m trying to do more. It really is a great way to hold on to the memory without having to hold on to so much stuff. A small flash drive of photos takes up almost no space.
3. Sell or Donate Things You No Longer Need.
Depending on the item and your stage of life the idea of getting some money from your items or giving them to someone in need can make it easier to part with the items.
This is especially true for me with childhood things. Reminding myself that a child in need could have their life brightened a bit by something I’m no longer using really helps. And selling things is also motivation because I can save that money for a trip or something else I’ve been wanting.
4. Take it Slow.
I tend to throw myself at projects and decide I should get it all done at once. This is a great way to burn yourself out. I’m learning to slow down and small bits at a time.
I get rid of more this way because I have the mental energy to do so. It’s also far less overwhelming to think “I’m going to clean out this cabinet” than “I’m going to declutter my whole kitchen today.” You can also just give yourself 15 minutes a day, whatever works for you. I like to take it a project at a time so I can see my progress.
Bonus- Challenge Yourself
Sometimes we need a boost of motivation. A fun way to motivate yourself is by doing a decluttering challenge. You can create your own based on what you need to do or try one someone else has already created. I have a fun list of different decluttering challenges to help you get started.
Giving yourself a prize for completing the challenge can be extra motivating. It could be something like a fancy coffee out, a massage, a new decor item (that you actually love and isn’t just new clutter!), or whatever you can budget for and will make you motivated.
The whole goal is to encourage yourself to keep going until all of the tasks are complete. And remember once you are done to keep up with step one, stop clutter before it starts!