Decluttering our home has been a journey to self-discovery. As we got started last year, we knew the work that was ahead of us. It was going to be a lot of work which is why we started so early. We just didn’t know how much decluttering would make us appreciate the little things in our life much less the time we were saving by not having the junk anymore.
When we started this journey we had 3 cars, a Kawasaki Teryx, a utility trailer and we had bought the motorhome. That was just the personal property we had with wheels.
It was ridiculous.
Then we started our journey to decluttering so we could eventually move into our RV and start our full-time travel journey.
I learned so many hard lessons while I was decluttering and if you are reading this and you’re thinking to yourself that it’s impossible for you to do… think again.
Lessons Learned While Decluttering
Make a Plan
You might think to yourself that you just need to get started, right? Just get started and everything will fall in line. Wrong.
Seriously, don’t “just start”…
You need a plan. This was something I’ve learned the hard way over the course of selling things.
You have to start in one place and don’t try to do everything in the whole house at the same time.
When I started I tried going through the entire house and I was stuck in this decision fatigue of what do I really need and what can I part with…
Which is why I’m telling you to get started but choose 1 room and then choose 1 thing inside that room.
If I could go back and do it again I would have started in the kids’ rooms by sorting through toys and books. Once that was done I would have moved to clothing, then bedding.
Do this throughout your entire house, one room and one task at a time. This way you don’t overwhelm yourself.
I tried to do too many different things all at once and was feeling defeated.
Start earlier than you think you need to start. We started in June of 2018 and we are closing on our house in March of 2019 and we still have crap we need to get rid of.
If you have a date in mind that you have to be done decluttering by because of say, you need to move out of your house… start earlier than you think you should.
Have Garage Sales
I know that sounds really obvious, but I’m going to share a regret with you that I have had since starting this journey.
I am really good with social media so I figured I could get away with a couple garage sales and sell everything else on Facebook Marketplace.
Selling on Facebook has brought out some of the worst buyers. No one wanted to come out to actually look at the things I was actually selling and all they wanted to do was lowball me.
If I could go back and do it all again I would have had garage sales every single weekend until it was all gone then used Facebook Marketplace as a backup.
Price to Sell
There were a number of items we had priced too high from the start that just wouldn’t sell.
Do the research and price your items to sell so you aren’t stuck with things at the last minute like we are currently.
Set Proper Expectations
This one might be hard for some people but you need to set expectations from the start that the process might take a while.
We had a ton of nice, gently used stuff that took a long time to get rid of. Part of it was our asking price and part of it was our lack of enthusiasm to sell it.
After selling for months and months you will lose the desire to keep moving, but you have to remind yourself that this process takes time and patience. Just keep at it and eventually, your hard work will pay off.
Remove the Emotions
This was something that wasn’t as much of a lesson for us but it’s something that anyone reading this might need a reminder about.
Remove the emotion from the items you’re selling otherwise you won’t get rid of anything.
You have your memories with the people who gave it to you, the use you got out of it… take a photo and send it on its way to a good home.
The stuff you are likely hanging onto could bring so many good memories to someone else who could really use it.
Switch your mindset and let go!
I’ll tell you this process of decluttering our home to live with less and travel full time has been a journey.
We have really figured out who we are and who we want to be and it took a lot of negotiating and a lot of selling to get rid of it all.
This society has conditioned us to believe we need to buy things to fill every corner of our home. Then we need to buy organizing bins to put all of our stuff into.
In reality, what we need to do is learn to live with what we’ve got so we don’t spend so much of our time and energy cleaning, organizing, fixing the problems that come along with all of the crap we accumulate.
It’s hard to be on the other side of this journey looking around the house seeing the things you know you need to take care of. Being in the middle of it knowing you have months of work ahead of you.
It’s hard knowing the amount of money and time you’ve invested in your belongings only to need or want to get rid of them for a fraction of your investment.
It’s hard. I’m not going to lie to you there were days where I was in tears over the amount of work I had left to do.
Sitting on the other side of this process looking back on what I would have done differently if I had to do it all over again I am relieved.
I don’t ever want to have 20 coffee mugs and 15 cooking spoons ever again. There’s no point in having things you can’t enjoy or that cause you more undue stress than you deserve.
Make a plan and get started decluttering your home!