For years I wanted to declutter but never seemed to get past a junk drawer or closet. I signed up for classes, watched movies, and even made mantras to try and motivate myself.
The breaking point was when I got fed up and tired of spending all my time picking up, cleaning up, organizing, and dealing with ALL OF OUR STUFF that I couldn’t take it any longer. I was wasting my life managing our stuff and it was making me resentful and angry!
My not-so-secret dream of a fire taking all my stuff (not the people or pets!) so I wouldn’t have to deal with deciding what to keep, what to donate, and who would receive it, just wasn’t happening. I had to take matters into my own hands, sans matches, and pronto!
Long story short, I had to keep trying different ways to get the clutter out.
What finally worked for me was getting the courage to ask my friend Gwen of Space, a decluttering business, if she would just come and take my decluttered stuff away each week, every week. She agreed!
Week after week, each Thursday I would set out unsorted bags and boxes (rubber ball to antiques to mops to furniture) on my porch. For a fee, she carted them away, sorted them, and distributed them. Hallelujah!
I was shocked at how much we had. Each week the culling got easier. Great-grandma’s beautiful glass serving bowls that I never used, gone. Books I thought I should read but never did, gone. Expensive clothes that didn’t look on me, gone.
The key–for me–was knowing that I was paying someone to pick up my decluttered stuff for one price and she was coming, whether I was ready or not. So, I tried to find as much as possible and get it out before she arrived. Sometimes I just ran around the half-hour before she showed up, finding random items I didn’t need/want. Having a time limit also made the decision-making process easier… and there was no changing my mind once she took stuff away.
My monster motivation to reduce the amount of time I spend dealing with my stuff by getting rid of it worked! It really, truly worked! After a year of decluttering, I now spend so much less time tidying up. It is a HUGE relief. No return to “maximalism” for me!
Recently, when new friends came over 1) I didn’t run around like an irritated dictator tidying up before they arrived and 2) when asked about our house being simple, minimalist, I took it as a compliment. Mission accomplished (phase I).
When we get tired of wasting our time managing our stuff or ignoring it only to realize it is why we are stressed, we will find a way to remove it. When we realize that our clutter is weighing us down and preventing us from living our best lives, we’ll figure out a way to lighten our load of stuff. We’ll keep trying until we find a method that works for us.
Do I want to continue reducing? YES! The more I declutter, the more I want to declutter.
Is it easy? Nope. Work is work but it does get easier with practice. I still have a tendency to want to hang on to stuff… you know, just in case. When this happens I enlist my team of cheerleaders and coaches: Youtube, Netflix and audiobooks.
Are you motivated to clear the clutter to start living your best and most beautiful life? Does it feel overwhelming? Not sure where to start?
I say, start now. When you get to the end of this post find 5 things to put in the trash, recycling, compost, or a donation bag. Then find a way to repeat it until it’s done. Keep adjusting your plan to find what works for you. Action begets action! Let’s do this!
6 life lessons learned
1. Have the courage to ask for help.
2. Ask for what you really want.
3. Be persistent.
4. Figure out what works uniquely for you.
5. Think outside the box.
6. Be consistent… same day, time, method