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Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don't. ~Unknown Clutter is evil. It does unmentionable things to your mind. Unknowingly you get sucked in. Am I right? When we look at magazines and pictures of our dream houses (I know I'm not the only one that does this!) they are all color coordinated, pretty and sophisticated. They always have fresh flowers but in the real world many of us don't have time to get a decorator to our house and stage our homes with all that neat stuff right? And if you are one of those people that always have fresh flowers in your home- I just have four words for you. I am completely jealous. Yep. But in most homes all that clutter just makes for a ton of dust. How do we get rid of all the unnecessary stuff? And how do we know what is good to keep, what is good to giveaway and what is good to trash?

Ok well, being that I am of the mindset we need to recycle as much as we can, it's important to at least try to give away as much as possible. You will be surprised at what people will want to keep for themselves. How does that saying go? Someone's trash is somebody else's treasure? It really is true! You never know what other people need certain things for and since we can find so many double uses for things nowadays- it's virtually endless what can be done. But back on track...how do you decide what stuff to get rid of? In my last post I decided to dive into the subject of decluttering and why it is good for you. There are so many reasons why we should declutter our homes, ourselves and our lives. But how do we get started? And how far do we take it?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

1. Throw away all trash

My kids share a room. It's a really small room. We try to maximize on space with some organizing techniques but really there is no way around the fact that the room is small. Normally, I am in constant check with their room to make sure it is clear of trash. The hardest part about having a small bedroom is that everything is visible because hiding something is usually not an option. Not to mention that my kids are still getting the hang of hiding things from me. You never know what I am going to find in their clothes drawers! But the ONE THING I always notice above all else is trash. I will pick it up sometimes and other times I make them pick it up. The reason for this is two fold: 1. They probably don't think of the items as trash and 2. I don't want to fight with them about it! But no one likes trash. Grab an empty bag and get going. Things will smell better and while picking up you may even find things you can recycle or reuse. Think outside of the box with what can be considered trash!

2. Take five minutes a day per room

Stop and think for a minute how long five minutes REALLY is. Like if you were to sit for five minutes and count the seconds- it would seem like that is the longest task you had ever been asked to do! It's like watching water boil.  IT TAKES FOREVER! Taking just five minutes will allow for time to pick up any trash and put knick knacks in their proper place is so huge. It may even allow for some deep cleaning especially once you have been doing this awhile. Things become a habit after 21 days and you start to declutter more often as you see it pop up!

3. Look at things from another perspective

All it takes is pretending to be my mother in law and my house will a bit cleaner because of it! If you imagine yourself as a guest who is going to look at your home and see what they see it may be easier to let some of these things go. Try to think of yourself as a toddler tramping through your house. What things can they reach and can you put them somewhere else or just let them go too?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

4. Ask yourself, "Am I going to use/need this?" and "Why?"

Well doesn't that just say enough? People forget that there is a definite difference between needing something and wanting something. Can you distinguish the difference?

5. Become more organized

By putting all things in their proper place, you are not only organizing your life, you are decluttering and saving your sanity all at the same time. Get your kids involved in the process and they may actually help keep things that way. Sometimes it is not about what you have that is "extra", it's about how you are storing your things. And if it doesn't fit, then it goes. Period.

6. Avoid distractions while you work

Getting down and dirty with your task will help you in the long run. Don't get distracted. Work in small spaces for a short time so other things don't have the opportunity to creep in an bug you.

7. Not all family items are meant to be kept

This one is the hardest for most people. "But it was my father's!" There is a fine line between keeping something that was an heirloom in your family. I believe that all pictures of course need to be saved always ;) but what about other things? Small momentos from your families past are important to save. They may not technically be worth anything. And by that I mean monetary value, however, they are obviously personal in nature and need to be kept. I would say the only exception to this rule is if you don't have room for it. This is surely an individual decision but one that needs to not be taken lightly. I have room for my grandfather's piano in my house (barely!) but I still have room. So what about your own children's things? "But I want to keep her very first outfit she ever wore!" What? Bottom line, if you don't have room for it, the item needs to be scrapped- or get rid of something else so that it can take its place. Not everything needs to be kept.

8. Go all the way with it!

Haha! Another way to do things is to go all the way. True minimalists live in tiny houses (and I mean TINY) and they have lofts for rooms and live on lots of property so they can experience nature. In concept this is beautiful. I just don't know if I could do it!

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

If you missed my first post about the reasons why we need to declutter and why they are beneficial to your health then please read it! It's so important to put our health into the equation. Also think about what we are teaching our children! Please cut the clutter!

One good way to make sure you have "good clutter" is to make sure it's all about you. It has to make you happy or else why have it? Do need an updated photo of your family? I bet you do! It's something we all tend to put off and then wish we hadn't. Contact me today and we can discuss the finer details of your upcoming session. See what I can do for you! Can't wait to speak with you about it!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

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.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

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.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

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!

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

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.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

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.

And when you are done make sure to send me a quick message telling me all about the photo session of your dreams! I can not wait to hear from you!

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

Facebook

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  Google +

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Contact

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