I recently had the pleasure of helping a friend do a little spring cleaning. It’s not something I get to help with too often, but I actually really enjoy cleaning out clutter and my friend was willing to team up on hers. She found that with three kids, a husband, and a full time job she just hadn’t had time to really tidy in awhile – and her house was suffering for it. I happily went over to help her and wasn’t surprised by what I found.
Clothes that didn’t fit, piles of toys in every corner, and books that nobody in the house had been reading for years. We cleaned for hours, but a big part of it was simply decluttering. We got rid of the clothes that didn’t fit. We trimmed the books that weren’t being read. And we donated the toys to a local Goodwill. She barely recognized her home when it was over it looked so good – yet it still had everything she needed!
So how is this possible? My friend, like everyone out there, had become attached to her things. She’d collected them, cared for them, tried to make a place for them – all without thinking about whether or not she really wanted them in the house still. When she finally threw the things she no longer needed out, she felt great, because at this point the things she once cared for were literally cluttering up her space (nothing else).
While this is completely natural, it is also preventable. This article is going to present some of the signs that you may own just a little more (maybe a lot) than you actually need – and tell you what to do about it. I realize that no one sign is going to work for every person, but think of these as clues.
Sign #1 You can’t park in your own garage.
How many times have you tried to open your garage to find something, only to forget it because you “don’t have time to go through all that”? Does it have any space to house your actual car, or has it become the biggest storage closet in the house? This altogether common fact often means there is at least a need for organization of the stuff, and likely the need for some serious decluttering.
Sign #2 You’re renting extra storage long term
If you’re moving soon, or you’ve been given a wedding gift furniture set, there may be reasons to temporarily rent a storage locker. Maybe you just moved down and haven’t yet had the time to organize things. The bottom line is that it should be temporary.
If you find you’re renting longer term, with no plans to move, chances are you own a lot that you don’t need – and it’s literally costing you to hang on to it. While there could be reasons to temporarily rent, it may be worth a trip down to the storage locker to declutter to see if you could eliminate this expense.
So how long is long term? Likely anything longer than a year, perhaps even 6 months with no plans to change in the future could mean it’s time to head over and declutter.
Sign #3 You can’t stop buying organization tools…that never seem to get used
While it does help to have an organizational system, it doesn’t make very much sense to continuously buy more stuff to organize the current amount of stuff that you have. If you’re continually purchasing new systems, you likely have too much stuff in general and it may be time to declutter.
So what do you do about it?
If you recognize these signs as being present in your home, it may be time to declutter. Grab a Goodwill bin, a garbage bag, and clear an afternoon. Spend some time actually asking yourself what it’s worth to keep what you have.
Remember that as hard as this feels now, you’re returning a sense of peace and cleanliness to yourself – that will feel better than you can likely even imagine! Clear your home, and preserve that space. A clean home is a happy one.