“When we throw out the physical clutter, we clear our mind. When we throw out the mental clutter, we clear our souls.” Gail Blanke
I love this quote and for 2018, I plan on doing both.
Stuff! Stuff! Stuff!
Let’s be honest, when was the last time you went through ALL of the closets in your house and cleaned them out? And I mean, ALL. When was the last time you went through the junk drawer to get rid of…well, junk? When was the last time you went through your kids room and threw away broken toys and/or donated items they no longer play with? Ladies, what about the bathroom cabinets? How many old products have you been hoarding in there? Do you have 8,454,974 half filled shampoo bottles? How long have you had these stupid tupperwares without lids? The garage, oh the garage! What is in there? Can you even get a car in there? And what about the inside of our cars? What is all of this stuff in our trunk? I personally found five sweaters, a coat, three pairs of shoes, a folding chair, an American flag, bottled water, paper towels…am I going to a Fourth of July barbeque campout in the middle of January?
I am seriously exhausted just thinking about all of this!
I usually try to go through my closets and do a major cleanse once a year now. I prefer the beginning of the year, while I am putting the Christmas decorations away and feeling the need to organize. As I go through each closet, I am reminded of those times I had guests coming over and I hid everything in the closet. The Christmas gift I got my niece and never mailed. Why did I keep these plastic linen bags with zippers I thought I would reuse? I mean, really Anna? And why do I have all this paperwork in my office? What was I saving it for? A massive bonfire?
In the first series of this blog, I wrote that my second goal for 2018 is to rid my personal space of clutter by throwing away junk and donating things I no longer use. I don’t know about you all, but I literally hate seeing junk around my house now. I read that “clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.” Wow, I truly believe this! I think being surrounded by clutter and messy spaces makes me feel anxious now a days. I have not always been like this. Perhaps because I now work from home and I am more aware of my personal space. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have been trying to live a life with less things and teaching my daughter that material things are not important to live a fulfilling life. Perhaps it was growing up with parents who loved to hold on to everything. I mean everything! Regardless, I just know that I absolutely need to clear my life of all this stuff that I know brings me anxiety.
So here I am, on my second weekend and I have gone through all but two closets in my house (I am off work tomorrow so this is my late night project). I have thrown away a total of 8 LARGE curbside trash bins and I have a car full of donations ready to be dropped off. I went on local sites and I was able to sell some items. We will use the money for spring break. I cannot begin to express how AMAZING this all feels! It is like a HUGE weight has been lifted.
Am I a neat freak? By no means whatsoever. I will still be the girl that has shoes around the house and clothes not put away. But keeping things that I no longer use or love, that is a change I desperately needed to make.
Why does getting rid of clutter feel so good?
- Physical space and mental space go hand in hand.
- Separating from the past can heal us.
- You gain momentum. This is my second year doing it and it is now easier and easier to give up things.
- It makes your life easier! The less stuff you have, the less you have to clean, store, maintain, or preserve.
- It makes you feel more calm. Is there anything better than a serene space?
- If you are able to donate items, it will make you feel good. Also, get your children involved. It’s a great way to teach them about charity.
- Less distractions could mean better sleep.
- Maintaining a clutter free home could lead to spending less on things.
Are you ready to get started? Try setting some realistic goals and timelines. If you don’t have an entire weekend to do this, pick one room a week. Commit to give away things. Have a yard sale or sale things online. However, if they don’t sale, donate the items right away and don’t put them back in the garage and “store” them. If you have not used something in a while, ask yourself, do you really need it?
While I am feeling amazing about the progress I have made. I recognize that I have more things I can and would love to rid my personal space of. I am very proud of the what I have been able to do so far and I truly hope that I can keep this up in the months to come. If you have been thinking about doing the same, I highly recommend that you do it now. Control your clutter before it controls you!
And remember, it’s just not things. Let 2018 be the year that you declutter your life of toxic energy and people as well. Can you imagine all that weight lifted?
Fuel The Soul
Anna, Fuel The Soul Today Blogger