Anyone who has been following me for a while will know that I have a lot to clear around my house and every day I am getting closer to my goal of living a more spacious life. Some days I feel nearer to my goal than others but at least I’m heading in the right direction.
Six key pointers that I’m finding helpful are:
- To stop bringing things into the house that could end up being clutter one day. I do this by really thinking about new purchases and where they are going to live or how they are going to be used. If I’m not sure, I keep the item on a list for a week before actually buying it.
- To have a place for everything, making it easier to put things away. This is difficult if you have surplus stuff, which is what I’ve been working on this year. I do have to be careful not to fill every space just because it’s there. What I need to be focusing on is having less.
- To have routines to take care of the everyday processes so that they don’t get in the way of the big stuff. What I mean by this is not letting bins around the house overflow, keeping bathrooms decluttered and clean, making the beds in the morning, going around the house every day putting things where they belong, getting others to follow routines I’ve put in place such as recycling, keeping kitchen surfaces free, and so on.
- To lead by example. I find that the more I clear, the more it rubs off on other family members. I was shocked by this earlier in the year. I never asked the girls to clear their rooms, they just did. I also don’t nag them, I just continue to lead by example. If I can’t show them what a clean place looks like, how can I expect them to learn.
- To have somewhere in the house where you can get away from the clutter. This doesn’t have to be a whole room, it can just be a comfy chair in the corner of a room with a small table where you can put a drink and sit and think. If you have the luxury of a whole room, shut the door if you can. Make it your priority to declutter this space first before you start on anywhere else. It took me a while to work this one out, but when I did it made such a difference. If my space ever got cluttered (mainly because I moved things into the space), I felt overwhelmed again. Keeping it clear became important to me.
- To eliminate items as soon as they become clutter. As explained in yesterday’s post, if an item doesn’t serve a purpose anymore, it’s best to get rid of it. My main issues over the years have been that I hold onto things just in case or if I can’t make a decision about them. I tend to put them somewhere out of sight thereby postponing the decision. All that happens in this situation is that I end up with a massive job to dispose of things and get annoyed with myself for keeping them.
I’m sure there are many other helpful ways to clear stuff and stop the build up in the future. I celebrate the small and sometimes big successes every day and I’m learning loads along the way.
Today I put the food processor away that was sitting on the counter top in the kitchen. My husband asked for it to be left out earlier in the year but he’s hardly used it and I much prefer a clear surface. This large expensive item is now taking up room in the cupboard. I’m going to give it six months and possible consider selling if neither of us use it.
What items around the house are you holding onto that you don’t use?