For most of my adult life, I’ve had a love affair with stuff. Back in the day, I would regularly go through my closets, drawers and storage areas, sorting, deciding, purging, tossing, and organizing my clutter. You see, I had lots of clutter neatly packed away in beautiful and fancy storage containers, clearly labeled, so I knew precisely what bin held what objects. I didn’t understand the truth about clutter.
Every once in a while I would come to the realization that my clutter needed to be organized through even further. This would typically occur before a big yard sale where I would sell my unwanted stuff for pennies on the dollar and then head out and purchase more.
Usually, whatever I was selling I was still paying for via my massive credit card debt, but I didn’t care. I just kept purging, buying and complaining I didn’t have enough storage. It never dawned on me to stop buying stuff.
It was a vicious routine that I would later reflect on in horror and shame. That’s the truth about clutter no one tells you about.
Many people detest clutter. Intuitively we know something about it takes away our energy.
We’ve all seen the shows Hoarders and Hoarding – Buried Alive. These folks take clutter to the extreme. We watch in shock at their living conditions, and we shake our heads trying to understand why they live the way they do. And although most of us don’t live like we belong on an episode of Hoarders, most of us have too much stuff crammed into our homes.
Besides the obvious lack of room, what is the effect of a cluttered home?
The Truth About Clutter
1. It Makes You Feel Exhausted: The truth is a cluttered home drains you emotionally. Looking at the constant chaos of a cluttered environment saps you of all energy and leaves you feeling fatigued. And, the most exhausted people I know have cluttered homes and can’t throw anything away.
2. It Makes You Feel Hopeless: Too much stuff is overwhelming, and that overwhelm leads to feelings of hopelessness. In essence, we throw our hands in the air in resignation because we don’t know where to start and how to clean it up – so we don’t.
3. It Leads You To Feel Out of Control: You’re not in control when you have clutter. Instead, clutter is in control of you.
If you find yourself living in a cluttered home, I want to you think about something:
Clutter is old, stuck, stagnated energy. It’s unmade decisions, regrets, and guilt. Sometimes it’s shame or old childhood wounds. That’s what exists in clutter. There’s nothing positive about it. That’s the truth about clutter.
How To Tackle Clutter
While it may take more than a weekend to fully rid yourself of all the clutter in your home, you must start somewhere. Usually, a huge dose of decluttering is just what you need to shock yourself into making the commitment to purge ruthlessly. I suggest you dedicate yourself to starting with a weekend purge party.
Here’s how you can prepare to make it happen:
Commit to The Task – Sit down as a family and get everyone on board to clearing the clutter. Make sure you’ve given thought to the emotional and physical commitment to ridding your home of junk. Then, decide what days you’ll commit to making this happen. Will you start Friday afternoon and work through until Sunday night or will you commit to only Saturday and Sunday? Decide as a family.
Assemble Your Team – You’ll have a lot going on, and so it might be wise to enlist other family and friends to help with the project. Divide and conquer by putting people into teams. Have one group in charge of donations and another in charge of yard sale and online selling, and yet another person for handling everything that will be thrown away.
Arrange Child Care – Smaller children don’t need to be involved in this upheaval. Instead, ask a friend or family member to entertain them out of your home for the weekend. If you have older children, they should be part of the house team. They should work in their bedrooms and personal spaces as well.
Pick and Arrange For Donation Pick Up – You’ll have to organize and schedule this well ahead of the actual date. Call your local charity and arrange for them to pick up each day at the end of the day all the items you wish to donate. Don’t skip this step or you’ll be left with a bunch of stuff sitting on the front lawn!
Gather Supplies: Don’t waste time during the weekend by gathering all your supplies ahead of time. In short, you’ll need:
heavy duty contractor garbage bags
tools – hammer, screwdrivers (flat/Phillips), tape measure
bins and baskets for organizing
Once the clutter is gone, here’s what you can expect:
1. You’ll Get A Sense of Calm
A clean, clutter-free home gives you a feeling of calm. It’s so peaceful to walk into a house that’s clean and organized. Don’t believe me? Go to a hotel for a night and see how well you sleep and how calm you feel without all that junk around you.
2. You’re Feel Healthier
So many people suffer from allergies and asthma when they live in a cluttered home. Once the junk and stuff are removed, and the house cleaned, their symptoms either subside or all but disappear. Additionally, because the clutter is gone, you’ll feel more energized.
3. You’re In Control
Suddenly, order appears in the Universe, you can find things, the feeling of being overwhelmed isn’t always present, and you look forward to activities; life is sweet again. You’re free to take charge of your life.
4. Your Bank Account Grows
First, you’re not spending money on things you don’t need. The clutter has been removed and with it all that old, stagnant energy.
Remember, this weekend purge is NOT about organizing all the junk in your home. Organizing is just rearranging your current junk. Instead, commit to truly purging your stuff, and you’ll be amazed how awesome your home will look and you’ll feel.
Next week we’ll tackle the actual plan of how to get your home clean and clutter free in one weekend! Until then, what do you feel about clutter? Do you have too much of it?