Decluttering your home has to be emotional for everyone in some way other another. For us, it’s been a long time coming so the emotions aren’t as strong for us just yet.
It’s been a serious challenge though because of time constraints, kids and well normal life that is going on around us.
We grew up in homes that were always cluttered and felt like a hoarders paradise. For us, our home messes generally consist of things that the kids have strewn about. I feel like our kids’ mess cause me an extra 5 hours of work or more per week.
I know you’re probably thinking I should make my kids clean up their messes. Generally, I do, but when they get distracted or refuse and I send them to their rooms the messes just end up left there.
And you know what I end up cleaning up their things because when I was a child I didn’t have a steady parent at home to make me clean up or clean up after me. But now that we are selling everything and moving into an RV I now need to declutter.
The feeling of getting rid of things hits at the most inopportune time too. But when it’s time to seriously declutter your home you will need to work through those emotions.
Have you ever read the KonMari Method book? Well, I have and let me tell you when you are desperate for a method to part with items you’ve accumulated over the years you’ll do anything. Even if it sounds crazy… like thanking your inanimate objects for their use. Yes, I’m serious.
So where do you start when you want to deal with the emotions of decluttering your home?
I recently subscribed to the magazine Simplify Magazine and reading the stories inside of real people making life changes was incredibly inspiring.
The truth is the whole notion of more things will make me happy and having clutter surrounding us has been with us since childhood.
So how do we deal with the emotional baggage that we’ve accumulated and carried with us?
Emotional attachment can happen in a variety of ways whether it was happy memories, status or even trauma it’s likely happened to all of us.
Detaching From Sentimental Attachment
Since Nate and I are so early on in our life together we’ve yet to really accumulate a lot of items with sentimental value.
We do have things that hold incredible memories for us though. What I’ve learned through reading and researching is to realize this… our memories aren’t held in those physical items.
A good way to remember those amazing times is to take a picture of the item then give it to someone else who can truly benefit from it.
Not only are you helping someone out who may be in need but you are capturing that item in a photograph which can be kept online.
The next lesson I’ve learned when it comes to sentimental stuff is less isn’t nothing. It’s less. You are giving up things that are cluttering your space but keeping the things that mean the most.
Less isn’t nothing, it’s just less.Less isn't nothing, it's just less.Click To Tweet
Connect With Your Emotions
I have a few things that I’ve put away over the years because I wasn’t ready emotionally to let it go. There were a few things that I got when my grandma passed away in 2011.
My best advice and what I’ve read online is to connect with your emotions. Allow yourself to feel the happiness or trauma that is attached to that thing.
For me, it was a hat that my grandma had worn in the garden. It was a silly looking lime green hat with big pink flowers on it that I’d never wear but it was hers. Letting it go was tough.
But I sat there on the floor in tears both happy and sad allowing those feelings to run through me. When I was done I hung the hat up on the bedroom door and about a month later I was ready to let it go.
Sometimes it’s not an easy process when you start decluttering your home. Sometimes you will have things you can’t just let go.
That’s fine and when you run across some of those items set them aside and allow yourself the time you need to let it go.
Related: Lessons Learned While Decluttering to Travel Full-Time
Pass It On
On the other side of this clutter coin, we have things that were given to us and we feel the need to hang on to it because someone gave it to us.
One great example of this is the tv stand we have in our house. It was given to my husband and he feels like we need to keep it because of that.
While I don’t necessarily agree I can’t force him to give it up nor would I want to. So there it is in our daughter’s bedroom. We will likely move it into storage when we sell our home and that’s fine.
The only thing you can do is to continue do downsize your things and hopefully inspire others in your house to do the same.
But if you have smaller items that were gifted to you don’t allow them to become a burden on you.
If you aren’t using it then re-gift it or donate it. Give that item a second wind of life and help someone else out that might be in need.
Once you are ready to declutter your home will want to actually start taking action and moving things out of your living space.
This can be empowering and liberating once you start doing it.
I have a few tips on making this work and being successful with decluttering your home…
This is what has worked for us as we’ve started this journey over the last several months.
Start Decluttering Your Home
Start with one space at a time. That doesn’t mean one entire room either. It means one closet, one cabinet, one space.
If you bite off more than you can chew before you even get going you will be discouraged and likely quit.
Use the 4 box method. I’ve been using this myself and it’s really helping. Your boxes are trash, donate, sell, keep.
This gives you a clear picture of what needs to go and where when your box is full.
As soon as a box is full take it straight to the car and get it out of your house then get it out of your car.
Set a timer for 15 minutes and focus on one area. Once your 15 minutes is up then clear the clutter you’ve collected in your 4 boxes.
Try the “out of sight out of mind” method. I don’t remember where I learned this but when I was moving years ago someone told me to make a box for things you think you may need.
Put the box in a closet out of the way and when you have items you don’t think you need anymore go put them in the box.
Then set a reminder once a month or once every few months and take the box to donate or if there is trash throw it out.
This has worked really well for kids toys, duplicate kitchen items, books and more in our house.
That’s all we are doing and so far it’s going really well. I have cleared out one entire room by using these methods over the last week and it’s so liberating.
So where are you going to start decluttering your home?
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