My journey with simplifying our home started more years ago than I even knew. I was pregnant with my first child and found a decluttering challenge. I think that was the first time I had even heard of decluttering. I mean, obviously I had gotten rid of things over the years, but mostly because they were of no use to me anymore or broken. It was never about being intentional about removing things that just add clutter to my life without a real purpose. Because there is a difference. There are plenty of things in our homes that are not un-useful … but they aren’t really being used either. They are just there…because they always have been, right?
As years have passed (18!) since that first decluttering experience, I have come a long way on my mindset towards what I keep and what I discard. I’m definitely more picky on what I keep, and I have less attachment to things and the “what if’s?” than I used to. And along the way, I noticed some positive changes in my mind, my life, and our home.
1. Cleaning is so much easier
Dusting around knick knacks and on various shelves, tables, bookshelves, desks, etc is time consuming. And on top of that, those items themselves need dusting. Extra furniture is more to vacuum/mop round when cleaning floors. Excess paper clutter and things that won’t fit in cabinets/bookshelves/drawers pile up making it hard to keep a surface clean.
I used to love my knick knacks and decor. As a kid I hoarded these things. But now I’m very conscious about what I bring into our home because I know that whatever it is, I’ll have to clean around it (or on it).
2. I spend less
As I mentioned above, I’m more conscious about what I bring in knowing I need to clean around it. But I’m also more conscious about it because I need to determine if it helps me or holds me back in some way. I never buy something if I’m not 100% sure where I’ll put it. Even if its super cute. Even if it’s “so cheap” on clearance. If I don’t know where it will go, that means it gets crowded with something else, or sits in a cabinet until I can figure it out. Also, purchasing something means its one more thing I need to take care of. Whether that’s the cleaning mentioned above, or the maintaining/fixing of it like with electronics, kitchen appliances, etc. Living with less has made me think more deeply about what I do want around…and as a result, I spend less.
3. I spend less time looking for things
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4. My home feels more open
One thing I love about our decluttered home is how open it feels. There isn’t extra furniture or wall decor or things on shelves. With less in a room, each room feels bigger, more open, and more peaceful. It’s much less stressful to sit around in a spacious, tidy room, than one filled with clutter, piles, or even just a lot of furniture & decor. I can feel an actual difference in my
5. I have more time for things I want to do
All of the things above add up to this one. Having less to clean, maintain, pay for, and stress over gives me more time to enjoy the things I want to do. Time with my family & friends, time exercising, time spent on hobbies I love, and time growing my business.
I didn’t get to where I am overnight (or even in a year). It’s be an ongoing process for me that has increased more as the years have gone by. I’ve learned to let go of more and have not had any regrets (other than not doing it sooner). And I still have more to go, but all in good time. For now I can appreciate the benefits I’ve gained from this process. Less stress, more time….
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