Decluttering has been a buzzword for a while now. People who want to elevate their standard of living deem it an important method in achieving such a goal because a life free of clutter is more manageable; hence, less stressful. Likewise, decluttering lets beauty resurface. And, with beauty around, joy subsequently occurs — after all, “A thing of beauty is joy forever,” said famous poet John Keats, right?

So, if you wish to declutter your life to make way for the good things that you have been missing on, this New Year is definitely a great time to start. There are different approaches to decluttering, especially if you like to follow organising experts. But if you want a no-nonsense method to this undertaking, provided below are simple and effective ways to go about it.

  • Go through your belongings and start throwing away rubbish.

A lot of people are guilty of keeping rubbish such as really old receipts, candy wrappers (especially in bags), broken jewellery, old and mouldy makeup, broken kitchen utensils, clothes with holes in them, and others.

You do not need any of these — find a trash bin and dump everything in it that serves no purpose in your life anymore, or simply cannot benefit you in any way.

  • Get rid of (some) sentimental clutter.

These are items you have that you associate with positive feelings or fond memories, so it truly can be difficult to let them go.

If you keep a large collection of such items, re-evaluate your feelings. You’ll realise that at the end of the day, things are just things. It’s the memories you hold within you that matter.

But, if you really can’t let them go, reduce the number of things you’re keeping purely for how they make you feel. Likewise, come up with a better way to make them serve a better purpose in your life. For example, the old plates from your grandmother — put a few of them on display in your home or actually use them for meals instead of just letting them eat space in your cabinets.

Perhaps the best way to tackle sentimental clutter is to give them away to people who can use them. That’s a smarter way of honouring the memory of those who had given you those sentimental items.

  • Free yourself from your fantasy self.

Whether you want to admit it or not, your fantasy self can create clutter.

Everybody has this idea about what he or she can become. For instance, a young woman may develop an interest in creating her own beaded jewellery after seeing tutorials online and she sees herself making beautiful beaded jewellery, and wearing and selling them. So, she buys beading supplies, tools, and books.

However, the reality is, she’s busy with work. And, when she’s not working, she needs to take care of chores to make her home decently liveable. Basically, her current lifestyle doesn’t leave her much time for such a hobby. All the supplies she had purchased just take up space at home, gather dust, and become “litter,” especially when they catch her children or pets’ curiosity.

That’s how your “fantasy self” can clutter your life. But, by taking control of your fantasy self, you can avoid wasting money on quality items that you do not use now and most probably will not use in the future.

So, give yourself a reality check and accept that your fantasy self is just holding you back and making life a little difficult for you. Now, what should you do about the items that you have purchased for your fantasy self? You can sell them to somehow recoup the money you doled out, or put them in a storage facility to get them out of your house while there are no takers.

  • Avoid the inclination to accumulate.

Unsubscribe to online shopping sites and retailers that send catalogues of their products. The lure of these is often difficult to avoid. It will be easier to resist the temptation to shop if you do not get notifications on the latest products that you might like but don’t really need.

  • Save for experiences, not things.

Make the decision to enrich yourself with experiences instead of material items. Set goals for personal happiness. Doing so can make you more focused on what’s truly essential instead of material items that can break, get old, and eventually lose their usefulness.

Fun experiences will not clutter your home and your life. Moreover, they’ll create a deeper meaning to relationships and reinforce your self-worth. Experiences that you should save up for instead of trendy items would include a holiday at a luxurious beach resort with your family, and trips abroad to discover new places and immerse yourself in a variety of local cultures.

A life decluttering project does not need to be too complicated and daunting to tackle. Just focus on what’s right in front of you, once you’ve cleared that, it will be easier to address the smaller details of the “mess” you are undoing.

AUTHOR BIO
Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services and storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000 sq.ft. of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.