Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes…~Henry David Thoreau
The one thing I think of when I think of clutter is all of my grandmother's knick knacks sitting on a shelf. My grandparents were wonderful people. They had a formal living room which I was allowed to play in however it all too often seemed boring when there was nothing to do in there. It held a nice couch and some chairs in front of this really big bay window that looked out into the front yard. I remember that my grandmother would put towels on the back of the couch and on the arms so the cat wouldn't rip the couch to shreds. This room also held my grandfather's piano which I lovingly have now in my home. It needs some major work and more often than not it ends up being a table of sorts to set things on as we enter the back door (but that is another story for another day as I am getting completely off track!) These shelves in which these knick knacks stood were probably made of glass and they probably looked really nice. I don't remember what they were exactly but I'm sure I never touched them! (Yeah right...) All I can think of now is why would anyone want to have that kind of stuff in their home? Why all the extra space and why make more work for yourself? The extra room to clean, dust and keep maintained. And for what? So no one can use it? Ok so let me just say I am not completely against having these sorts of things in your life. Knick knacks (quality ones) that you have purchased along your life travels, are fun to have. They give you memories and probably good ones at that since you kept the darn things. I still have a few knick knacks like this on my bookshelves at home and in my kitchen window. But you will not find many. I don't like dusting and inevitably these things require a little bit of maintenance. I am very low maintenance. So therefore my house is very low maintenance.
All that being said, we all have extra things in our lives that we probably don't need right? I hope that if you were to look at your house today you could pack a small box to give away to goodwill or maybe be able to put some old clothes in a bag that you don't wear anymore. What's the rule? If you haven't worn it in six months you should get rid of it? What? I can't afford to have that kind of spending budget on clothing. I keep all my clothes until they have literally fallen apart. But I am getting off subject again. We all probably could do a little bit of "cleaning up" in our lives. Knick knacks, clothes. old toys, and other items that get little use in your home could probably get some use somewhere else just fine.
Why is it important to declutter your house and the life around you? Well studies say...wait. I'm not going to tell you what studies say. I am not an expert. But these are my reasons for keeping a decluttered home and maybe they will make sense for you too.
1. Less chores
Let's face it. The number one reason I don't keep a ton of stuff is so I don't have to clean it, wash it, dust it, dry it, iron it (who irons anymore anyway?), step over it, you name it. Keeping less stuff in your life is really a nice thing when you think about it. It's less work to keep everything in check when you have less stuff. Believe me. It's true!
2. Less stress
Yep. The more things you have to worry about the higher your stress level gets. It just makes sense. The more you see in view, the more you have to think about physically and the more you can get distracted. The more distractions the higher the stress! I know so many people that live off this kind of stress. Nope. Not for me. Let it go.
3. More time for me
The less time I spend cleaning, washing, dusting, drying, ironing, insert your annoying -ing here...the more time I have to spend with my family and the more time I have to pamper myself. That's a fact that you cannot argue with. I dare you to try.
4. More money
Say what? Simple. The less you buy, the more money you have. The more you give away or sell- the more money you have. Need I say more?
5. More appreciation for what you have
The less you have, the more you appreciate it. It's amazing how a minimalist view can give you more appreciation for what you have. You may even learn new ways to use old things that you hadn't thought of before. And think about what your kids will do when you get them to focus on the most important things in their life. It might be a game changer. When you have a lot of stuff you become bogged down with too much to do that you become bored. Weird huh? It's a little counter intuitive. It just goes to show that money really can't buy happiness. Teaching your kids this lesson at a young age just might make their future a little brighter. They can keep these experiences in their heart and use them wisely once they become adults. What a gift that would be.
6. Helps you stay focused and organized
This one is a no-brainer. Once you have less in your life to worry about you can more easily take the things that are most important to you and organize them better because of the simple fact that you have less items to organize. This will help you stay more focused and in the long term this will make you happier. It's a win-win. Just take my word for it.
7. Frees you up to do other fun things
With less to worry about, you have more time on your hands to focus on the important things in life. Want to actually get through that book you have been reading for over a year? What about finding time to actually exercise? Ok I do realize that there are lots of people out there that actually exercise daily or multiple times a day. Can you come over to my house and give me some motivation? I may need it. And now that I have more free time we can work out together! YAY!
I could go on and on and on. But I won't. However it is really important that you take these things into consideration when you are thinking about buying that new really cool item you want. (Yeah, tell that to my movie collection...) Nothing is better than good ol' fashioned family time. Think on that one.
So how do we do this? How do we declutter so we can have all these great things in our lives? Well that's for another post so stay tuned for How do you declutter your life: Part Two. It's coming. You know you want to read it.
In the meantime go ahead and hop on over to some other posts that may interest you. My Kids Were Here is a blog circle I joined way back when and I just love looking at old photos of my kids and their lives. After all, aren't they what I am living for? Take a look and tell me what you think.
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼
Member of Red Thread Sessions